www.huehd.com
£41.63 without VAT

For schools and families alike, the HUE Animation Studio from HUE is more than just a toy – this is a kit that allows your kids to put together proper stop motion animated videos, giving them everything they need from image capture to editing software. Many big-time film makers started at home with a video camera and a stop motion project, and with YouTube and other platforms making video creation a more viable career than ever before (and one kids are more aware of than ever), this is a great way for kids to develop important skills whilst having a lot of fun.

The HUE Animation Studio guarantees that you have everything you need to set your kids up to do a stop motion project, or better yet, for them to feel like they have the tools to set it up themselves. The kits, available in red, blue or green, look fun and accessible rather than intimidating, even down to the fun, wiggly, posable, ‘monster eye’ style camera. The camera plugs in with a USB and has a built-in microphone, so it’s super easy to use to capture film footage AND audio, and equally easy to set up and link to the software.

In total, the kit comes with this camera, the required software, a CD of support content and a book that offers a step-by-step guide on how to create a video, including some prompt ideas of some videos your kids might want to try making, if they find following a guide the best way to start them off. The book also mentions various sound effects and backgrounds that your kids can use to help them make their movies, all of which are included on the CD (or are available for download if you don’t have a CD drive). Of course, they can also import other files, including ones they make themselves!

What I loved about this kit is it enabled kids to achieve ambitious projects, but breaks the information down in a way that they can understand. The materials were put together by teachers, so they know how to make something that is clear to follow whilst still being inspiring. I was also impressed that, even though this software is for kids, it doesn’t limit them by dumbing down its capabilities. You can edit frames, add text and special effects, and can even use a green screen – this would have been so much fun to have had as a kid, and would still be fun now!

With digital media a more accessible and viable outlet for young people than ever before, this kit makes sense. These are skills that your kids are probably going to value having in their digital futures, so why not get them started now? This kit is well put together by people who know what they’re doing, providing much more structure than downloading MonkeyJam and wondering what to do (which is what I did when Kid Me tried her hand at stop motion). If your kids have a creative side and like making up stories, this would be a fantastic gift for their birthday or Christmas. It’s made me want to make movies again myself!

5/5

Pros:
Posable camera
Easy to use
Fun design
Support materials made by teachers
Support book and CD
Provides starter sound effects, backgrounds, special effects
Green screen
Accessible but comprehensive software