MonkeyJamImage.JPGTime estimates for this page and this tool. Downloading, installing and getting the program up and running might take an hour and a half if you don't run into technical snags. Producing your first animation could take a further hour, as animation takes time. The division example give below took an hour to shoot. For constructive educational use, you might care to explore some of the resources I have placed on the digital story telling page, here

Take a 15 euro webcam, take a box of Plasticine and you are Stephen Speilberg! Well maybe not. But here is an example of what you can do:
claymation animation example
Monkey jam is a free program for doing frame by frame animation, which can be a series of post it notes, a step by step guide to a calculation, or whatever. Its quite simple to use, and after about forty minutes with the program the group I was in had quite a respectable minute of animation in the can. Very silly movie about a cat. For the technically minded we were shooting at six frames per second which is about as slow as you can go, while keeping up the continuous motion illusion.
There is a reasonable video guide here: MonkeyJam Tutorial which will give you a feel for what is involved and there is also a pdf format guide to using the program here:
pdf Guide to using MonkeyJam
I have a video on how to download and install this program here:
Video showing how to download and instal Monkey Jam
Educational uses
This is good material for a class project or group work as it gives the students a great sense of achievement seeing the movie rolling. Its results can be imported into MovieMaker, if you want to combine them with live footage shot with a video camera.
I’ve used it to produce animations for use in class. A simple example for maths is here
Divide by a fraction example
This shows the kind of simple resource which can be built. I would use this in class by running and pausing it te explain each stage as we go along.

Teck stuff:
Monkey Jam relocated (2012) to a new web site:

Claire Wallace of the Cesi List has reported problems with this program, and has suggested I can Animate as an alternative This software costs about 35 euro a seat with an educational discount.

Monkey Jam Requirements (from the new web site)

  • Pentium III or higher
  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7
  • DirectX 8 or higher

MAC versions: Monkey jam can be run using virtual PC however the MonkeyJam author suggests Frame Thief, as an equivalent for stop-motion animation. I Can Animate, has also been suggested by Cormac Cahill for a Mac platform, its a little more expensive at £45. Site license and educational pricing is available. (It would of course be blasphemy to suggest that you run Windows 7 on your Mac hardware!)

Other alternatives are Suggested by Joe Dale
and synfig

However both of these seem to be more orientated towards drawing based animation.
There is a how to here: for doing stop motion using a digital camera, and imovie for a Mac.

Trevor Boland, is interested in getting teachers involved in stop motion animation,
he is setting up a stop motion website, by the end of October 2012, that will support Teacher facilitate animation in schools. To accompany the site there will be a facebook page to enable dialogue between teachers specifically about stop motion issues.
Also he says he will launch an app that teachers can download from that can be downloaded on android phones and tablets.

The app is in its early stages but any feedback would be much appreciated.
These tools are all aimed at a hands on frame by frame approach to animation. There are other more automated alternatives, and a good starting point is this web site from Mark Brumley

Finally, I'm doing some research on who you are and how you found this site. I would appreciate it if you could complete this 8 question survey.
User Survey

Any Questions? I have set up a discussion forum for this page here:
Eleven Tools Monkey Jam discussion Forum