Smoovie Updated for Mac Stop Motion Animation

The category of low-cost Mac stop motion animation program is dominated by Boinx Software's iStopMotion, which was recently upgraded to version 3.2. But Open Planet Software's Smoovie is coming on strong and has a slightly lower price point. The developers of both claim that their applications are suitable for enthusiasts, as well as professionals.

Smoovie plays back what you've captured without pausing to render, so you can capture more frames or begin editing what you've got so far. The editor makes it possible to arrange content in scenes, with each having an independently adjustable playback speed (from 1 to 30 frames per second), allowing you to vary the pace and mood of an animation. It's possible to add, cut and reverse scenes, capture new frames into existing scenes, and drag scenes around to change the running order, all with full undo support. Smoovie's virtual filmstrip can also be used to display all the individual frames in each scene.

It's possible to copy and paste frames between Smoovie and image editors, drop in a music track from iTunes or export an animation as a movie file for editing in iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Users can view animations in Smoovie's virtual movie theatre or share them directly to Vimeo, YouTube or an iTunes library.

New in version 2 is a refreshed interface with support for retina displays. New live effects include Chroma Key (green screen and blue screen), Overlay, Color Splash, Toon, Marker Pen, Luminance Mask, Black and White, Sepia, Invert, Gloom, Bloom, Blur, Crystal, Comic Book, Edges, Hue, Color Adjust and Exposure. Also new is time lapse capability; an alphabetical grid-based library; full 64-bit support; the ability to import and export projects between Macs; a scene reverse function; and built-in help with video.

Smoovie 2 for Mac can currently be purchased for $29.95 (regular $39.95). More information and a trial version is available on the Open Planet Software site.