Looking for a way to engage students with video and video creation? The Apple iPad’s rich ecology of video editing apps empowers students to be directors of fantasy and science-fiction flicks by using special effects. Educators like TCEA member Lauren Houser (@lauren_houser) have also taken advantage of Do Ink’s Green Screen app (see example) to create amazing vidoes. But you can also combine green screen with movie FX apps to get startling results.


This blog entry originally published at TCEA TechNotes – Read other awesome writing there!

Lesson Connections

When writing a story, students often want to take their tale to the next level. One approach involves converting it into a movie script. Then they can record that script as a movie to be shared. Imagine your students creating a story, converting it to a script, then making a movie replete with special effects. The apps below will make illustrating a movie possible. Students can shoot their video, whether they rely on clay animation, action figures, or real people. Younger students can be introduced to digital graphics/animation aligned to TEKS Chapter 126.25, as well as TEKS Chapter 110.31 English Language Arts.

Effects Apps

Here are several apps that enable you and/or your students to add special effects to photos and videos. All apps include in-app purchases to expand the range of effects available to you. Save these enhanced clips and/or photos to your iPad’s Photo Gallery, then drop them into another app (e.g. iMovie, Tellagami).
  1. Action Movie: This incredibly easy to use app assists in adding Hollywood FX to iPhone and iPad movies that you record. And you can share your creation as a video or animated GIF. (View example of videoView animated GIF.)
  2. FxGuru: Add horror, sci-fi, or action effects to a video you record. Available for Android, too. (View example)
  3. Super Power FX: Enable your students to add super power effects to their clips. You are able to “shoot fireballs from your hands, lasers from your eyes, or control the elements, teleport, and more!” (View example)
  4. Extreme Movie FX: Snap a picture, select the effect you want to apply to it, then save the still image to your Photo Gallery. From there, you can import the picture into a movie app like iMovie or Videorama. There are various effects you can apply, including shark attacks, UFO attacks, and more. Some effects are free, but others require in-app purchases. (View example)
  5. Videorama: Unlike other apps, this one allows you to combine photos and videos, add effects, adjust the speed of the video, and more. It’s less about the effects and more about video editing. Combine clips you create in other apps in Videorama. Easily add text, music, and transition effects to your video.(View example)
  6. Prisma: Although less about action adventure and more about art, this app allows you to apply nine different styles to videos, as well as photos. The astounding result resembles a work of art. (View example)

Teach the Language of Sound and Images

“If students aren’t taught the language of sound and images,” points out George Lucas, “shouldn’t they be considered as illiterate as if they left college without being able to read or write?” With these apps and imagination, you can enable students to engage in scripting and digital graphics/animation at a younger age. The sooner they begin, the better they will be. After all, who doesn’t have a budding filmmaker in their family?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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