Digital Puppets

Digital Puppets is a word I use to encompass lots of different areas of animation. I describe it as having control over a digital animation. It could be making a character talk like a puppet or you could have complete control over its movements. Here are just a few apps I’ve used over the last few months:

Plotagon.

This App is really useful for teaching script writing.

You can choose the setting from a range of options. including ones that you have uploaded. Don’t be fooled by the two options initially as there are many more free ones available. Although there are characters available, I quite enjoy making my own by choosing hair styles, skin colour, face shape and voice.

http://plotagon.com/player/69046

The app makes script writing really easy to grasp. There are simple icons at the top of the script writing section which either allow you to choose where the character is standing, what they are saying, how they are saying it and  any actions from a long comprehensive list.

According to the website, a teacher could invest into this by paying £70 (incl VAT). This is for 1 teacher and 30 children. However, I find that currently the free version is just fine despite a few limitations.

Tellagami

Tellagami is an easy to use app. You choose the character and the setting. With the free version there are quite a few limitations regarding the characters you can choose or the backdrops (it is possible to upload your own backdrop). Very simply, you have 30 seconds to record your own message.

I think Tellagami is useful for any pupils that might lack confidence and don’t want to speak publicly. It could also be used as a presentation tool, enabling pupils to think about their tone of voice in different situations. With a variety of backdrops, I have encouraged my pupils to create their own news reports with a backdrop of the drama in the background, e.g. an erupting volcano. Only worrying about the voice is quite releasing and somehow despite the restrictions, the hand movements, which you don’t have control over, match the speech.

Morfo 3D Face-booth

This is the weirdest app. You can take a picture of yourself, or even a character from a book as long as it is face on, and it brings it to life. You match up the features and then it record a voice. The mouth moves, but so do other facial features. It looks weirdly life-like. Nevertheless, if you just want any animal or inanimate object to talk, this isn’t the app for you.

Chatterpix Kids

This app is superb for making anything talk. You draw a line where you want the mouth to be and press the record button. The app picks up your voice and makes it look like the character is talking. I have used this to make fruit talk and other characters. This is particularly good for FS and KS1 as the app is very accessible. I would encourage older pupils to use an app like My pet can talk.

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