Zu3D – Stop Motion Animation on your iPad

Zu3D is a powerful yet simple to stop-motion animation and timelapse app for the iPad. The folks at Zu3D have taken their PC animation software and streamlined it to work on IOS.

Zu3D uses the front or back cameras from the iPad to take a series of pictures, which it then strings together into a stop-motion animation. You can import and record sound effects as well as add titles, credits and speech bubbles. Zu3D comes with a library of sounds which can be used in your animations.

The interface allows for “onion-skinning” which means that the old image is overlaid on top of the image about to be taken – this helps¬† you to judge how far you need to move the object each time.

The finished movie can be saved to your camera roll and exported as a YouTube video as well as uploaded to Zu3D online. The project can also be exported to iTunes. Saving it to your camera roll means it can then be used in other movie apps such as iMovie if the children want to splice several different films into a longer movie.


I found the software very easy to use, having used the Zu3D software on the PC before. Children should pick it up very quickly.

There are many different uses for this in the classroom. Children can use it to create animations to demonstrate their understanding in many topic areas. The ability to add sound means that they can script and record their own dialogue or narration on top. The time lapse feature would also be useful in subjects such as science – perhaps recording how a shadow moves during the day. You’d have to test out some ways to hold the iPad in place long enough!

The app costs £4.99 and can be downloaded here.

Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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