Monday, April 11, 2011

Sock Puppets for Storytelling

SockPuppets is another app that lets you create short animated stories.You get to choose one or more of several 'sock puppets'  and a background for your show. The basic app is free but, just as you can with Puppet Pals, you can buy more puppets and backgrounds as an in-app purchase, starting at $0.99 for individual items or $4.99 for the complete package. You can also add some props. While recording your dialog, simply tap a puppet and that puppet will 'lip-synch', tap a different puppet and switch auto lip-synching to it. You can switch backgrounds to take your puppets to different places, move the puppets, props and scenery to animate them while recording.

SockPuppets is very simple, and very cute. I like that the puppets' mouths open and close, giving an extra element of animation to the finished video with no effort on the part of the students creating the animation. One feature, that I haven't seen in other animation apps, is the ability to change the pitch of the voice for different characters. In other words, one person could record both sides of a conversation and by having the app alter the pitch of their voice it could sound like two different people talking. The finished video can be saved to the iPod/iPad and watched on it, or you can export it to be shared. Unfortunately, the only options for sharing right now are Facebook or YouTube, both of which are often blocked in schools.

Here's a video created in Sock Puppets that I found on YouTube - a conversation between 2 students who are learning to speak Chinese:

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