Here is a great creative, fun tool to create movies. The creator inputs: text, facial expressions and looks, chooses camera angles. With the inclusion of a range of basic body animations, pauses and sounds you have a unique movie created with incredible ease.
You can create text-to-movie 3d movies in minutes using either xtranormal or Instafilms . Instafilms is limited in that you have 3 scences to choose from:
war (Brothers in Arms),
school (Menlo Park) or
mystic warriors (Heavenly Sword).
For each scene there are alternative characters and backgrounds to choose and the option of having one or two actors or characters. Instafilms if free to use currently.
Xtranormal on the other hand has both a premium – pay all access option or a reduced options free account. The free account now offers users the choice of 6 worlds to set their movie. Each world now has limited options in terms of backgrounds and characters to choose from. Having 6 worlds to choose from does means more flexibility in terms of how it used and the many applications that are now possible.
There are many applications for using these fantastic tools in Educational settings. The potential uses are endless. Everything from introduction to film making to creating movies around specific topics where one person is explaining something or two people are having a conversation. Students could produce, create and share a play/animation which demonstrates what you have learnt. Encouraging students to include their own interpretation and analysis in their story. They could also show how new knowledge can be applied in other contexts or how theory can be applied to real life situations – thus giving their learning a context and meaning. Students could use these tools to make a video animation to demonstrate their learning. You might create an animation which is an interview, a how to, a documentary, a news report etc. Students can show what they have understood of concepts and skills taught, add your own interpretation and create meaningful connections with their learning and research. My year 9 geography classes used it as an introduction to Urban Geography to explain what they liked about where they lived, some have used it to present research findings in the good, bad and interesting of a Melbourne suburb. In my commerce class students have made infomercials and we have used xtranormal to explain more complex concepts. Examples
Have a play and create a movie today to introduce a topic or a lesson to students. Then have your students make their own and embed into a ning, wiki or blog or upload to you tube. It is easy to use, students love it, testing out what is possible and how creative they can be. “Too much fun to be school work”, “this is fantastic”, “i’m going home to make more movies” “this rocks Ms Raff” were some of my year 9 students comments after using xtranormal for the first time. Give it a go you will be excited by the results and the potential of these Web 2.0 tools.