By Daniel Bullock, Makerspace Specialist
In 2017, the library received a grant to purchase “makerspace” type equipment that will be shared between our library, Tye Preston Memorial Library in Canyon Lake, Blanco Library, Johnson City Library, Patrick Heath Public Library in Boerne, and New Braunfels Public Library. As part of this grant, stop-motion cameras were purchased. The following is a questionnaire about the cameras.
- How did you hear about HUE?
I heard about HUE in a tech camp at the Public Library Association Conference. An exhibit about stop-motion animation featured the HUE HD camera and software. We were looking for projects that appeal to the creativity and imagination of kids and engage them in an activity that focuses on a technical skill.
- How are you utilizing your HUE products? (what age groups)
We represent six libraries in the central Texas area. Through grant funding provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, we are acquiring and sharing industry products while offering our communities a training and educational service that prepare patrons for 21st century technology. These products are categorized by general area of interest such as 3D modeling and printing, woodworking, laser cutting and engraving, sewing and textiles, electronics and computer programming, audio/visual creation and editing, and others as our DIY program expands.
HUE Animation Studio is offered as a classroom activity for stop-motion animation that is part of our audio/visual laboratory. Our program is advertised to children between the ages of 7 and 16, although we do not exclude anyone from attending. Patrons can create their scenes from a variety of materials such as Play-Doh, clay, LEGO, K’NEX, paper, glitter, glue, toothpicks, pencils, markers, and crayons.
- Would you recommend our products to other teachers?
Teachers can keep their focus on interacting with the kids rather than interacting with the technical difficulties. A feature of the HUE Animation software that cannot be overstated is the onion-skinning, which is advertised as a guide for step-by-step adjustments, but it also helps you fix an inadvertent bump to the scene or the camera itself. The ability for a student to both see their mistakes in real-time and fix them unprompted is something that any teacher will appreciate.
- Did you find that it was fairly easy to get up and running?
Because the HUE HD camera is plug and play, we had no trouble getting it set up on a Windows 10 computer. The ability to capture photos directly from the camera with the HUE Animation software is a much easier process than working with other software that was limited to importing images. We did encounter a difficulty when working on a MacBook Pro that only had two Thunderbolt ports, so connecting the HUE HD camera through a USB dock meant that it would often not sense or update the camera. However, this difficulty did not occur when connecting to a Mac Mini.
- Any pictures or other comments also welcome!
The options to both import and export individual frames has been great for recursively recording, editing, and overlaying videos. We have been experimenting with a 3D scanning software that can construct meshes from still images. HUE Animation Studio has made it exceedingly easy to capture every angle of an object in mere minutes so that we can create an accurate duplicate with our 3D printers.
Visit the library’s Facebook or Instagram account to see videos from the stop-motion & claymation classes!
Daniel is the Makerspace Specialist and can most often be found in the Makerspace area at the Annex. Daniel’s favorite author is Lisa Randall. When he’s not working he enjoys electronics and computer programming. He is also a Physics professor.