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Joby's Stop Frame Animation Tool for Iphone Reviewed

Maker of photographic gadgets Joby, best known for its brilliant GorrillaPod knobbly-kneed tripods, recently released Frame X Frame, a stop motion iPhone app, and thinq_ decided to have a play.

The first thing you'll need to take into account is that this incredibly fun app is free. And we mean totally free. It might contains some unobtrusive plugs for some of the company's other apps and products, including the aforementioned grab-anything camera supports, but that's it. No additional modules to buy, no premium upgrades, just an honest-to-goodness free app which could give you hours of pleasure and frustration in equal measure.

We don't mention frustration because of anything wrong with the software, it's just that creating stop-motion animation is an inherently painstaking and time-consuming pursuit that requires enormously high levels of concentration, a methodical approach and a steady hand.

Having said that, we bypassed the instructions and dived in at the deep end - electing, as we're sure many will, to create our first (probably) award-winning effort by shuffling random stuff around our desk.

A single click puts your iPhone into Stop Motion mode and allows you to set either continuous or manual shutter modes. You can automatically shoot up to 2,000 individual images at intervals between one second and 24 hours, at frame rates of between .5 and 20 frames per second, or to manually fire each shot at the same frame rates.

Once you've shot your individual frames, the software stitches them all together seamlessly, then allows you to share them with the rest of the world via Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and email - all from within the app.

Unfortunately, there's no way to add audio or voiceovers, but we cheated slightly and fired up Apple's equally excellent iMovie to add multiple Hungarian animation-style voiceovers and a nice background audio track.

Admittedly, the results of our ten minutes of labour probably won't give Aardman Animation too much to worry about - and I'm well aware that my keyboard could do with a bit of loving care, before you all start calling me a minger - but the clip below gives you just a hint of what is possible.