We were very lucky to be sent the Zu3D animation kit. I expressed an interest in reviewing the kit as my 13 year old son is interested in photography and film making.
We spent an enjoyable couple of hours setting up the kit and producing our first film. I was a little apprehensive about setting up the software, but it was really easy to do. We used my lap top, which doesn’t have a disc drive, you just download the app then input the unique code you’re given with the kit. A disc is included in the kit too.
Once down loaded we had a look at the video’s on the Zu3D website which is packed full of tips and tutorials. We also viewed some of the films that people have posted in the gallery for inspiration.
We then referred to the really easy step by step booklet that accompanies the kit. My son decided he was going to create a Pokémon film, but got frustrated trying to create Pikachu out of plastercine – he is a perfectionist! So we decided to recreate the penguins as shown in the booklet, we made two called Dave and Steve, we then decided that we would get them to play football (another of my son’s passions!).
We then set up the “studio” which took a little time, but was quite enjoyable. We wanted the lighting to be right and the background to be flat without any gaps. We found this worked best on the lounge floor with all the curtains shut! The box that the kit comes in can be used to prop the backgrounds. The HD webcam which comes with the kit is very flexible in that it is easy to position, there is also a focusing dial to ensure the cam is clear when viewed on the screen.
To create the movie you take shots of every small movement that the character makes. This is really important, as if you make the movements too big the film doesn’t flow quite as well. Think “Morph” if you’re old enough! It’s great that you can play the movie through at whatever stage you wish and it is easy to delete frames that haven’t worked as you wanted or if you’ve photographed your hand accidentally.
We got the penguins to kick the ball to each other and even balance it on their head! We then found football music to accompany the film. We had a little trouble cutting the music to the length of the film, but again there’s loads of information on the website.
We produced a short basic movie and we are now going to progress onto adding text and speech bubbles. There is the option to create credits for the end of your movie to really make it your own. Inside the kit there is a green screen sheet which will enable you to assemble your own green studio, you can then create impressive back grounds, fore grounds and special effects from Zu3D’s media library as well as import your own to the library to create unique scenes.
We thought the Zu3D animation kit is excellent and I’m sure we will use it a lot. For our next project we are thinking Lego and Sylvanian families films. It would make a fantastic Christmas present. I really like the fact that it appeals to all ages. I’m going to try making a film with my six year old twins, although they will need more input than my son.
I definitely recommend this product.
*For the purpose of this review we received 1 Zu3D animation kit. All words and opinions are my own