Flip Boom All-Star 2 review

£50
Price when reviewed

The first thing that stands out with Flip Boom All-Star is its bright, icon-driven UI that’s perfect for younger pupils.

It’s primarily a frame-by-frame animation package with a good range of tools, features and library content, and the simple interface makes the process more accessible. In fact, the program goes so far as to provide students with a wide range of options for creating “auto animations”, although these feel more like PowerPoint presentation tools and can create equally slick but generic results.

Luckily, the package makes up for this in other areas. It has a sizeable catalogue of characters and backgrounds to get you started, and an audio library stacked with high- quality sound effects. The timeline is clear, and creating motion or adding sound effects is a piece of cake. It won’t be long before students start creating original and fun animations.

Flip Boom All-Star 2

What Flip Boom All-Star does best is introduce the basic concepts of 2D animation, but it still has some advanced features, such as the ability to compose animations in layers or vary the opacity of layers and brushes for special effects. It’s all presented in a clean, straightforward fashion, which may help to give students the confidence to adopt more complex software later on.

The finished animations can be published in a rather limited set of formats, with the default being Apple’s m4v. This may be annoying for Windows users, since they’ll need to install QuickTime to play back the video. Alternatively, you can upload directly to Facebook or YouTube, although here the output size can’t be changed. (This isn’t particularly relevant for many schools, where social networking services are taboo,

but it can be a good way to share creations with the wider world.)

While Flip Boom All-Star has some niggling issues, it’s a solid introduction to 2D animation for reasonably little expense – and a good starter package for schools looking to introduce something with a fuller feature set to older year groups later on.

Details

Software subcategory Graphics/Design software

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