Zu3D Studio 3 review
Powerful stop-motion animation, with tools to suit both primary and secondary school children
Review Date: 16 Jun 2012
Reviewed By: Jay Stansfield
Price when reviewed: £50 (£60 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Zu3D Studio 3’s stop-motion package comes with a rugged Kinobo-branded HD webcam, some plasticine, green-screen material and a pre-designed “set”. The webcam has built-in LED lights, which makes it more accommodating of less-than-ideal conditions, and the whole caboodle is simple to set up and use.
The same is true of the software, which gives you the option of choosing between simple and advanced tools.
The simple tools include a capture button, an audio tab for recording or importing sounds from the included audio library, and a text tab for creating credits, titles and other layered text. Tools are intuitive, and the video features included, coupled with unlimited video and audio tracks, make this one of the best stop-motion animation programs available.
The more advanced features of the program include automatic chroma- keying, painting tools and a magic rubber and rig-removal tool. This gives students the chance to capture their frames, import their own images, and also erase strings or other objects from captured frames. Chroma-keying can be applied to the live video, giving students an instant idea of what the project will look like and whether or not the lighting
or position of the green material needs adjusting.
A special Painting mode enables each frame to be painted over and, although the tools are restricted to basic brush, pencil, shapes and fill tools, this still allows the program to double as a hand-drawn animation package.
Overall, Zu3D is an intuitive and surprisingly powerful piece of software. It can be tailored to cover all age ranges and abilities. With a network licence and install available, the program can also be used on virtually any machine with a webcam, making it an excellent choice for schools that might want to start with a single licence and then expand at a later date.
Author: Jay Stansfield
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