I've been looking into Muvizu a way to do simple animation with my kids. It's a "free software application that lets you make 3D animated movies on your home computer."
Kerry Kasim of Muvizu says:
Muvizu Christmas Treasure Hunt
Muvizu, in a nutshell, uses game engine technology (Unreal 3 to be exact) to allow for easy, real-time animation.
To promote our software and to spread a wee bit of holiday cheer, we’ve launched a Christmas campaign – an advent calendar-based treasure hunt. Every day until Christmas Eve, a new door on our advent calendar will be unlocked offering a video treat – either an animation or stories about animation. There will also be Muvizu videos that have clues hidden within them. To take part in the Muvizu Christmas Treasure Hunt, viewers will have to crack the code these clues represent in order to claim the top prize: a desktop animation studio.
The top prize consists of a high spec Alienware laptop, Sony Vegas Pro video editing software, a Kindle Fire loaded with animation books and more. And just because it’s already been launched doesn’t mean people can’t jump in at any time to take part – each door of the advent calendar remains open once the links are live, so viewers can go back at any time and watch the videos over.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects