SAM Animation is another fantastic piece of free, cross platform, software that is ideal for schools and homes. SAM originally stood for “Stop Animation Movies” which indicates what it does. The software has been designed by the TUFTS Centre For Engineering, Education and Outreach, with the noble purpose of:
– increasing student and teacher excitement for learning STEM;
– improving student & teacher skills so learning is more enjoyable in all subjects;
– increasing the general public’s technological literacy, and
– increasing the awareness of the importance of STEM for society.
SAM Animation is easy enough for primary aged students to use, with impressive results, but would be equally suitable for older students or adults wanting an application to illustrate a concept or tell a story. It has a variety of sophisticated tools to capture, import and manipulate images and sound. It even has the ability to apply the chroma key effect. Pictures can be imported or added directly using a camera.
Once you have finished your animation there are options to export it into various movie formats which means it is portable for home computers and easily published to a blog or wiki.
The SAM Animation site has a very thorough “help” section with easy to follow movies. It has links to “Latest Animations”, “Related Web Sites”, research, a forum and community. You can try the online version or download it for your personal use or for educational research. If you register as an educator your principal will need to verify the details that you have supplied but then you are able to use SAM in your school. All this and its free! Schools and families should definitely make the SAM investment!