Below text is taken from an internal email, I thought it was good bit of advice and general information that could be shared. Should we use Dragonframe or iStop motion for foundation student to create stopframe animation ?
"Dragonframe looks great and very flexible. However Foundation students have been successfully using iStopMotion for the past few years. Although it is more limited, I feel the simplicity of iStopMotion is actually an advantage, especially when it comes to students who have never animated before. iStopMotion is simple and uncluttered and allows students to concentrate on sets, puppets, models, lighting and narrative than getting bogged down in learning a complex bit of software. I can show them how to use it in 5 min and they're away, then they use Final Cut for editing, and maybe even after effects if necessary. Also, iStop is only $40 whereas Dragonframe is $295, and we already have enough licenses to get this up and running asap. It does work with some SLRs, which we can test, but if not then they would have to use a Mini DV.. obviously less good image quality, but if they work with good sets, lighting and post-production they can get excellent results and get a really good feel for the process."
I agree with this advice having also used istopMotion with students the past few years. The iStop motion website is very geared towards 'a child can use this' which may put people/students/professionals off from using the software. $49 buys you the Home addition which really gives you all you need, and I have created some great quality animations using this version and have supported students using it for a few years. Its all in the preparation and the time, creativity and effort invested into the idea and the animated elements. For those wanting a more professional set up Dragonframe actually woks out a lot cheaper then iStop professional at $499, I would be interested to hear how the two compare.
iStop motion also comes on an iPad now which is really interesting proposition.