I’ve seen quite a few references to Pivot Stickfigure Animator for making simple animations in the classroom,for example these ones from Kent ICT, but never tried it out. Pivot is windows only software and until the Dell refresh in Glasgow primaries I could not install software there. Now I’ve moved to North Lanarkshire where most of the primaries run macs so I’ve not tried it here either.
Last week I was checking some old Supercard links and found reference to Stykz – The first multi-platform stick figure animation program on Sons of Thunder Software developer site. It looks like Stykz has been developed with revolution which is sort of a modern x-platform HyperCard clone. Ken Ray of Sons of Thunder used to be a very helpful contributor to the Supercard mailing list.
Stykz worked well on my mac at home proving to be simple and engaging to use. I can imagine that some children would find it very appealing. Stykz exports to animated gifs and quicktime movie files, in my brief test the movies were a wee bit smaller that the gifs, swf support may be coming, I presume that would make for smaller file sizes.
Stykz is still in Beta, version 1.0 for Mac and windows is expected on the 30th of April the Linux version will follow a month later. The Stykz F.A.Q. lists some interesting features in the works.
The example below show a lack of imagination on my part, but only took a few minutes to produce 70 odd frames and export to a mov file. Well worth a download if you are thinking of teaching the basics of animation and giving your class some fun.