We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

5 gadgets that will turn you into an artist

Become a film director, an artist or even a DJ

You may have never been trained as a painter or musician, but today's tech tools make faking it easy. Here's our favourite gear for the creatively minded.

2. Move it like Wallace and Gromit

Stop-motion animation is the art of animating using real-world objects instead of drawings. People often refer to it as 'claymation', but anything and everything can be fair game for stop motion, from your collection of Smurfs to fresh produce.

The principle is easy: take a picture of something, move it a little, take another picture, repeat. Play the still frames back, and your object comes to life. (You can even use people instead of objects, which is called pixillation.)

That's the idea, anyway. If you're just starting out, you quickly discover how hard it is to keep track of exactly how you moved something in the previous frame.

Nikon to the rescue: Many of the company's budget-friendly Coolpix digital cameras such as the Coolpix S51, as well as its feature-laden (but pricier, at £530 with lens) D60 digital SLR, have a little-heralded stop-motion feature. Once activated, the camera overlays faint versions of the previous images on your LCD preview, allowing you to line up your next shot accurately.

Once you're done shooting your masterpiece, the camera will automatically assemble the images into a QuickTime file, but if you prefer more control over editing your shots, you can use the £20 QuickTime Pro for the task.

Visit Digital World for the latest digital audio, games and home-entertainment news and reviews

3. Don't try this at home

Are you looking to make the next indie action flick on the cheap? (Hey, don't laugh, Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi - the prequel to Desperado - was made for £3,500.) Camcorders are inexpensive, but dunk one in water for your scuba-diving fight scene, and you'll be hitting eBay for a replacement. Face it: the most exciting films are the most punishing on the equipment used to shoot them.

Much of the problem can be traced to the cameras' many moving parts and fragile recording media but for a spate of low-cost, flash-based camcorders, it's a nonissue. The £229 Sanyo Xacti CA6 is splashproof and can record on SD Card. Let the extreme cinematography begin!

NEXT PAGE: Superstar DJ, here we go

  1. Become a film director, artist or even a DJ
  2. The tools you need to become the next Nick Park
  3. Superstar DJ, here we go

IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features UK: Staggered release with PCs coming first this summer -...

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

How to get a job in design

IDG UK Sites

MacBook Pro 15in preview: better battery life, faster storage and a new discrete graphics chip may...