Back and better than ever: the PixStop app is now NFB StopMo Studio
Launched in December of 2011, the NFB’s PixStop app for iPad has been completely redesigned and is back with a bang under the name NFB StopMo Studio.
This updated version of our stop motion animation (also known as “pixillation”) app boasts several new features in both visual and audio editing, including automatic time-lapse photography, digital drawing, title cards, frame-to-frame transparency, new visual and sound effects, and more.
These functions may seem intimidating at first, but the app is actually quite easy to use. The team who developed NFB StopMo Studio, under the leadership of designers Mivil Deschênes and Jean-Sébastien Beaulieu in the Platform Development department of the NFB, began by creating a simple and easy-to-use tool meant for the general public. Regardless of the fact that NFB StopMo Studio is the most sophisticated stop motion animation app on the market, it was originally designed for users like you and me. Thanks, NFB team!
Check out this quick introductory video that briefly demonstrates how to navigate the app:
Helpful suggestions from Patrick Bouchard
One of the collaborators who participated in the redesign of our app is none other than animation filmmaker Patrick Bouchard (Bydlo, Subservience). After testing similar applications, including the now-defunct PixStop, Bouchard offered his expert opinion to the design team.
“Keeping the ideas of simplicity and storytelling in mind, Patrick Bouchard helped us make the application more detailed,” said designer Mivil Deschênes. “The transparency slider was one of his ideas—this function allows you to carefully compose each new shot based on its predecessor via an overlay of one image over the other.”
In fact, this transparency function is a trick often used by animation professionals in the studio. “Filmmakers are always trying to test sequences of images in order to create more fluid movements,” says Mivil, adding that a tutorial explaining each of the app’s functions will soon be available.
Check out this totally awesome short animation, No Disturbing Gramps, created by Patrick Bouchard with the NFB StopMo Studio app:
Due to popular demand: new features!
While using PixStop, many of you told us that you’d like to have the option of importing images from your iPad photo gallery into the app. You asked and we answered! It’s now possible to import external images into the app. What’s more, it’s now also possible to save your films in mp4 format on your iPad, so you can share them with your friends and family on Vimeo, Facebook, or by email.
And what can you do with this awesome app, you ask? Lots of neat things! For example, you can create a sped-up stop-motion video of your friend’s hockey game, create your very own Toy Story by animating your kid’s favourite toys, make a tribute film for a birthday, retirement, or other special occasion, create a film out of your vacation photos, or even test your patience by trying out the app’s rotoscoping function (which allows you to draw directly onto frames you’ve shot). Let your creative juices flow—the only limits are in your imagination.
Download the NFB StopMo Studio app for iPad
Feeling lucky? Follow the NFB on Twitter for a chance to win a free NFB StopMo Studio download code over the next couple of days!
Head over here to watch a short video on how you can make your own iPad tripod, since stop-motion animation requires the stillness of the camera.
And, discover all available NFBs apps here.
Mivil Deschênes & Jean-Sébastien Beaulieu – Creators & Designers
Gwenaëlle Jouan – Project Coordinator
Matthieu Stréliski – Director, Platform Development
Sébastien Morel – Software Developer
The app has stopped working… I have removed and reloaded it – but still won’t open…
Thank you for your comment. I have forwarded your query to our client services, which should contact you shortly. Thank you for your patience and interest in the NFB!
Carolyne, NFB web writer
Here is, in part, the answer from the NFB’s client services:
“The issue concerning the App is linked to the new iOS10. Regrettably, it was more extensive than anticipated, and for this reason we haven’t been able to correct it as quickly as we would have liked. However, our Web and Technical teams are working very hard to fix this as soon as possible.
We anticipate that an update to the app will be available at the end of January 2017.
We are sorry for the inconveniences this situation may have caused you. Please feel free to contact us again should you have any questions or concerns.”
Before I download this app, I would like to better understand the audio editing capabilities. Can you add voice and then edit it?
Hi. How do I save a movie to the camera roll? On export, I get a message that the file “exceeds the sharing limit allowed by mail”.
Is it possible to remove/hide rigging with this app?
I would like to have the option of importing external images from other apps on my iPad via the copy and paste function into the StopMo layers and then have the ability to move the image in that layer. I realize this is alot to ask but I use Proceate to paint my images and if I could get the digital images into StopMo I could produce unlimited animations from my digital art work. Thank you for creating this very cool app. Cheers Mike
StopMo allows users to insert images from the iPad’s photo folder by going to: EXTRAS PANNEL / PHOTOS
The image is imported on a single layer, but cannot be dragged around.
A great app with fantastic potential. I’ve been using the app with my grae 6 students since it came out,, and pix stop before then. My daughter is also becoming a great fan. Several things that would be positive add-ons, as per requests from students…
1 A green or blue screen tool so they can create more varied backgrounds.
2 Remote capabilities ie. using a second iPad or iPod touch to remote trigger the photos when the iPad is set up on a tripod
Thank you for creating such an inexpensive and easy to use tool allowing young story tellers another way to bring their stories and ideas to life.
Thanks for your feedback Richard, and we are glad to know you and your students are enjoying the app. I will pass your input on to our web team.
How can we get a Stopmo Studio movie off the iPad (and ideally into iMovie on a desktop machine) ? The export options seem limited to texting or emailing. Texting is a reduced resolution option, and emailing seems to be limited in size. We’re hitting limits around 600 frames, using Gmail, and we get error messages. Alternatively, is there a way to duplicate films, so we can chop them into smaller pieces to email. Any suggestions?
Hi Kurt, you should be able to save the movie to Camera Roll, and then plug your device in to your desktop and transfer the saved file. What kind of error messages are you receiving?