Is there still a place for traditional stop-motion animation techniques now that most films jut rely on computer graphics? As long as 3D animation software takes months and months to master, of course there'll be. And Crayola's new Color Alive Easy Animation Studio wants to help inspire kids to be the next Ray Harryhausen.

Available in July for just $25, the set comes with a coloring book and markers that lets kids design their own character and then import it into a free accompanying app using a smartphone or tablet's camera. It's the same technology used in Crayola's Color Alive coloring books, except this set goes one step further with the inclusion of a posable mannequin.

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The mannequin is covered in tracking markers so that the app can recognize a pose and then apply it to the character a child has already created. It also uses intelligent 'tweening—as it's called—to generate the in-between frames so that kids will only have to capture a handful of poses to create a fluid animation of their character. The days of painstakingly posing modelling clay in front of a camera are long gone. [Crayola]


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