At just over 10 pounds I didn’t expect much really, but when it arrived, and I glanced over the packaging I thought I’d grabbed myself a bargain. Online, it looked like a brilliant time filler, and stepping stone for my son’s current interest in making movies, and to feed his cravings for understanding how things work.
Fast forward to a few weeks later on Xmas day, during the pandemonium, he opened the Crayola Easy Animator and turned to asking “What it is?” suddenly I found myself lost for words and couldn’t really explain. It’s 2017 and even a younger child should grasp the concept but I couldn’t…
We revisited the Crayola Easy Animator the next day, and as we unboxed the product, we unearthed a booklet, some crayons and the posable doll. We headed to the iPad and downloaded the app. Once installed I was initially impressed to see it was crafted with unity, which has been at the core of many great games and programmes in the last year or two.
Again he asked what it could do, and I didn’t want to overemphasise its ability, while I still wasn’t sure. So we followed the tutorial, which seems to be pushing us away from being hands-on, and towards using the pre-coloured backgrounds, and built-in animations. We did this and despite our best efforts what we produced, was boring, even for a six-year-old.
Determined not to be beaten so quick, we entered the advanced section, in which you “scan” pictures you’ve coloured from the included book,there’ss only a handful inside and only one of each type… Which seems like a real oversight if any mistakes are made, or the user just wants something different in the future.
The same problem exists with the templates for the characters, after colouring in the front and back of the pirate, we returned to the app, and it went downhill from there. When he decided he wanted the hat a direction colour and rightly assumed we could edit this, but couldn’t.
The iPad struggle to ID the picture, so we opted to enter a room with more light and try again. Finally, after many attempts, we had made the transition from paper to the app. He wasn’t amazed, and neither was I, it does an OK job of taking what you’ve done and wrapping it around a 3D model but its far from perfect.
The Dab is still haunting my household in 2018, and naturally, my son wanted to create this. Being a reasonably basic move I had expected I could achieve this in 3 of 4 photos, and that the app would create something that resembled the craze. Sadly not, between each movement, the models was sliding across the floor, and the arms would twist and glitch out on the iPad, when trying to raise the arms they would frequently fall off, and when repositioned the application would no longer see them.
30 minutes later I had managed to create something near enough, but my son simply said ok but what else can I do? And the sad answer is not much. You can use the prebuilt animations, and have the option to record a voiceover, but regarding switching characters, or producing a story of any kind, it’s just not viable.
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