When it comes to keeping fans happy, LEGO is on a roll. It seems like every week, LEGO announces some new product or feature that pays service to its base of hardcore fans. Their latest goodie: a free iPhone app that makes it super simple to film your own stop-motion LEGO movies.
The app is branded around the new LEGO Super Heroes line of toys, and the DC superheroes in particular. I see no reason you can’t use it to make any kind of stop-motion movie you like, but the background plates, title templates, and other tools included in the app are tailor made for LEGO DC Super Heroes animations.
The free LEGO Super Hero Movie Maker app (iPhone only, at least for now) provides you with everything you need to make stop-motion animation into an incredibly simple and fun activity. Line up your LEGO minifigures and models, and tap the on-screen button to capture a frame. Make small adjustments to your minifigs and bricks, and snap another frame. Here’s a brief tutorial showing how it works.
Stop-motion has a reputation for being an excruciatingly slow, time-consuming process that tests the patience of even seasoned animators. But you’ll be surprised at how fast the process goes using the LEGO Movie Maker app. Since you’re filming with an iPhone, scenes have to be rather small-scale by necessity, so there’s no need to bury yourself in wildly complex visuals. Likewise, the number of frames-per-second can be easily adjusted, so you’re not required to adhere to the standard 24 FPS. There’s also an on-screen “onion skin” feature that shows you ghostly visuals of where your LEGO elements were in the last frame you took. So it’s crazy easy to ensure that your frames match up.
LEGO DC Super Heroes Movie Maker is made to be kid-friendly, with bright, colorful controls, and single-button adding or deleting of frames. Five soundtracks are included for use, eleven title cards that can be customized, and even some nifty color filter effects. To share your movie, you just save the finished film to your photo gallery, and export it or share it from there. Check out some screenshots of the app below.
LEGO is already promising future updates that will add new features and tools, so we might just be on the cusp of an explosion of creative LEGO films. Here’s the real question, though: will a future update add the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes lineup to the app?