Don’t you just love free software! I can recommend a lovely 3D animation
package called Muvizu – totally free and offering great creative potential. I am a big fan of animation for digital storytelling and there are many software packages that allow students to create wonderful animations. Most of these packages have to be bought and this can become costly if a site licence is required for a school with many computers. But you can download Muvizu for nothing and install it on as many computers as you like. I think it is suitable for ages from 8 to 80! So what does it do? You set scenes, add characters, direct the action using different camera angles and add sounds to create 3d animated stories. They are outputted in avi format so can be imported into movie editing packages and they can be uploaded to the Muvizu website, YouTube or to your school website. There is a great section with video tutorials (easy listening Scottish accent) and a user forum. The tutorials cover every aspect of the software and will take the user through several examples.
If you create an account with Muvizu (free to do) you can store assets such as pictures,scripts, sound effects etc. on the site and you can benefit from the resources other members have shared. But this is optional and if you want you can just run the application locally on your computers. The learning potential is enormous and soon you and your students will be making great movies. Just one note of caution – the application requires a well speced computer as it is heavy on graphics and it is advisable to close applications running in the background to maximise your processing power.
Go to the website www.muvizu.com to download and learn more!