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The Ultimate Paint And Animation Program For Kids

A Review of Kid Pix Studio

Tina Velgos

I’m stranded on a deserted island which just so happens to haveaccess to electricity (OK, so it’s not Gilligan’s Island but can I still beGinger?). Of course, I’d never go anywhere without my multimedia computer.Since I travel light, I’ve only decided to take five favorite CD-ROMs withme….one of which is Kid Pix Studio (Win/Mac). Here’s the skinny!

For those of you thinking this is Kid Pix, forget it. Broderbund’s Kid Pixsoftware is a good paint program, but Kid Pix Studio is darned nearperfect! Kid Pix Studio is an animation sensation PLUS the ultimate paintprogram for kids. Although the recommended age range is 3 through 12, trustme and ignore the age range. Any adult who longs to dabble and play withmultimedia art and animation should own this program!

Besides fascinating animations, video, special effects and photos, kids cancreate SlideShow productions, QuickTime movies, and illustrate with agazillion (over 1,300) animated stamps and way dazzling backgrounds!That’s not all. Wait till you hear the sound and music effects…in short,this is an amazing application at a killer price.

The multimedia “studio” gives you six different projects to create art andanimation with. The six projects are: Kid Pix, Wacky TV, Moopies,Stampimator, Digital Puppets and SlideShow.

Kid Pix has a way cool drawing screen where you can use a Wacky Brush (over50 to choose from) to paint radical patterns, and pour multicolor fillswith the Paint Can. Just turn on the Electric Mixer and watch your Picassojumble into a gazillion crazy patterns. We counted over 110 tints andtones in the palette alone! There are a whopping 14 different tools, andmany have additional options. Don’t forget the crazy DrawMe, HiddenPictures and ColorMe features (in the Goodies Menu). DrawMes are supersilly suggestions of pictures to create. Once you hear the suggestion,you’ll see the words on the screen. It’s up to you to supply the rest ofit! Hidden Pictures are pictures which you actually UNdraw. The only wayto view them is to use an eraser. You can see as much or as little of apicture as you like by using a special Mystery erasing tool. ColorMes aregreat for younger computer artists. Similar to pages in a coloring book,you can play with them over and over and save the ones you like.

What’s a Moopie? Moopie is KidPix talk for moving pictures. This is wherethe animations come to life. Each tool takes on a different personality.Some lines stay still, while others zig-zag across the screen. Watch themwiggle, wobble, whirl and get ready to rock-n-roll!

Stampimators are animated stamps which double as actors in your soon-to-beanimation. Choose a cool background or draw your own, then select up tofour stamps and drag each one along a path you want it to travel.Remember, YOU are the director of the show so be zany and creative!

Digital Puppets are a scream to create. These on-screen marionettes can becontrolled with the keys on your keyboard instead of traditional strings.There are 10 puppets to choose from, including Albert, Alien, Buster,Dragon, Princess, Garden Sal, Dufus, Peteroo, Rasta and Shelley. You canchoose sounds or music for your puppet to dance to from the “Pick a Sound”dialog.

Lights, camera, ACTION! Are you ready for the Slide Show? SlideShow linksyour pictures, animations made with Moopies,Stampimator, and DigitalPuppets, digital movies, or a mix of all of these!. The result is aawesome multimedia presentation of special transitions, sound effects andvisual wonders. After all, you’re the director!

You’ll appreciate the SlideShow Controls on the bottom of the SlideShowscreen. Here’s where you meet the Undo Guy, Firecracker, Play and PlayLooped. The looped arrow plays your slide show continuously. Great forfirst-time directors. After all, you can never get too much praise.

Show your movies on Wacky TV! This is your exclusive on-screen movieplayer. There are over 100 Wacky TV movies included to get you started.Throw in more special effects with the Electric Mixer and you’re ready toroll the action. If you use the Paste Jar, you can paste your movie rightonto a Kid Pix picture!

OK, so you’re ready to be a super artist! Let me say that the drawingtools and easy-to-use menus will impress even the skeptics out there. Anexcellent User’s Guide comes with the software, so you’ll never be lost inspace with this program. The emphasis in Kid Pix Studio is a three letterword — FUN!! If you keep that in mind, you’re sure to have a blast withthis software.

Particularly hot are the sound effects: tools which make realistic soundswhile you work with them, sounds you can import to projects, and recordingoriginal sounds. Even the colors make sounds when you click on them. If itgets annoying, you can always click on “Tool Sounds” and turn the puppyoff. For Windows users, the option is called “Turn Tool Sounds On/Off”, bythe way.

Although you can only print projects in the Kid Pix section, you can saveand show all of your projects.

For those of you interested in digital video, digital video clips can bepasted into Kid Pix pictures, viewed in the Wacky TV, or used as slides inSlideShow. Want to import digital video from users groups, BBS, or your ownKid Pix Studio projects? Just remember to save your animation projects byusing the “Save for SlideShow” option. Fellow Mac users will use QuickTimeformat for its digital video files, while Windows users use AVI format.Digital sound can also be imported up to 450k and is available in Moopies,Stampimator and Digital Puppets. If using a Mac, import sound files inSoundEdit, otherwise sounds can be imported in .WAV format for PC.

Another bonus in KidPix Studio is that it supports Photo CD. In otherwords, you can take any roll of film to a Kodak film development facility,and ask for it to be developed onto a PhotoCD. Your pictures are stored indigital format, so they can be opened as graphic files on your computer.Open the Photo CD files in Kid Pix, or import them into your Moopies,Stampimator, and Digital Puppet pictures as backgrounds!

Although you can buy Kid Pix Studio (SRP $49.95) alone, it is alsoavailable in Broderbund’s Creative Advantage Library (SRP $50.00). TheCreative Advantage Library consists of Kid Pix Studio and The AmazingWriting Machine (2 separate CD-ROMs) and is an outstanding package…youget two titles for the price of one!

A hand of applause to Broderbund’s Kid Pix Studio for the slickest paintingand creativity program ever. Your kids will play this software over andover again! If you’re lucky, they’ll give you a turn!

School House Scorecard


Kid Pix Studio


Broderbund Software, Inc.
P.O. Box 6121
Novato, CA 94948-6121
Phone: 415-382-4740
Internet: www.broderbund.com



System Requirements:

386DX or higher IBM PC compatible (486 recommended)
Windows 3.1 or higher (Windows 95)
4 MB RAM – Windows 3.1; 8 MB RAM – Windows 95
13 MB Hard Disk Space for a Minimum install, 16 MB for Recommended Install
SVGA color monitor, 256 colors at 640 x 480 resolution
Mouse or other Windows-compatible pointing device
Double speed CD-ROM drive
MPC-compatible sound card

Apple Macintosh computer
System 7.0 or higher
9MB Hard Disk Space for a Minimum install, 14 MB for Recommended Install
13″ or larger monitor, 256 colors at 640 x 480 resolution or higher
Double-speed CD-ROM drive


Ease of Use 4
Learning Value 4
Entertainment Value 5
Graphics 5
Sound 5

Overall Score:

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