Inspire a Young Animator with Mine-imator

Product: Mine-imator
Glows: Fun, free, and easy to use.
Grows: PC Only, features are fairly basic.
Bottom Line: Mine-imator is a fun, free, and easy to use animation program that your child will love.
Rating: ★★★★☆

If your child is wild about Minecraft, chances are they spend hours watching YouTube videos featuring the creatures and characters of Minecraft. Lots of kids love to watch the game world they love come to life in story form. And while watching Minecraft stories is fun, finding tools that allow your child to create stories of their own is even better. 

For example, Mine-imator is a free program that allows kids to create animated videos featuring the characters of Minecraft. If your child is already a Minecraft pro, they’ll feel right at home in Mine-imator. Users can import their Minecraft builds to use as sets and even add their Minecraft skin, mobs, and more. Anyone can be the star of their own Minecraft video!

For example, suppose your child has been working on a Minecraft castle for weeks. Maybe they imagine their castle as a setting for epic battles with archers and dragons. With Mine-imator, they can tell that story. The program allows your child to import the castle they’ve created in Minecraft into Mine-imator. They can then add in archers and dragons (or other creatures and characters) with Mine-imator’s simple tools, and voila! An epic castle battle scene is born.

With a bit of work and imagination, your child can create original animated shorts all their own.

How It Works

Here’s what a simple animation might look like. Nick Heiisama, a Connected Camp counselor, created it for a workshop he ran with kids on how to use Mine-imator:

I’ve used high-end animation programs as an undergraduate student. While Mine-imator is nowhere near as powerful a program as something like Maya, it’s a fun way to learn the fundamentals of animating in 3D.

I wish Mine-imator was around when I was a kid! Mastering it provides a solid foundation for any youngster interested in pursuing a career in 3D animation.

How to Get Started

If using Mine-imator to create animations about Minecraft sounds like something your child might want to explore, you can download it from the official website by clicking here. Keep in mind that you’ll need a Windows operating system to run Mine-imator. It will not work on a Mac!

Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, there are some great tutorials on Youtube to get you started, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKvnpiIDhw8

Also be sure to check out the Mine-imator forums for tutorials and discussion!

Catherine Fox is a Connected Camps Assistant Camp Director with a BA degree in Interactive Entertainment from USC.

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