Monday, 5 January 2009

Cutout Animation, CreaToon, Alan Rogers and Peter Lang

I have been researching cutout animation with a view to introducing it to my students. One digital cutout package I am trialling, CreaToon, has now been offered free by its Belgian designers, Androme N.V, who are no longer developing the program and have therefore withdrawn technical support. CreaToon has a number of features that seem useful to me: excellent tutorials, the ability to integrate backgrounds created in PhotoShop, and I suppose more basically the ease with which it can tween my students' drawings and photographs. The fact that it is now free does not denote any lack of quality. Judge the product from one successful UK studio whose work is primarily with children's television as well as the odd television commercial. Alan Rogers and Peter Lang - collectively The Cut-Out Animation Company - their paths having moved apart recently as each has taken on new challenges though with a new joint project soon to be announced I hear. Essentially Alan does the design, Peter the animation. Their list of credits, when one clicks on their web page, looks for all the world like a programmer's script, so tightly packed with their history going back to some BBC inserts made in 1970 to the present day and their Maths Channel intro, again for the BBC. They worked together with the software developers since 1999 and the program has been used extensively and to great effect by them. As an example of their work and technique, try this charming three minute (and charming for every one of them) children's Sunflower in which Bonny, Banana and Mo go to tend their garden and search for an elusive worm. It was produced for the CBeebies series Tikkabilla. Strong, warm colours and perfect for children - of all ages. Download the software and try to create something yourself.

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