Google has launched a new free app especially for children - Toontastic 3D . Describing the app as a “digital puppet theater,” it allows kids to create animated videos, short stories or designs for school projects or just for fun. The application can be downloaded from the Google Play store or Apple App Store for free.
Since the app revolves around children, the makers have made its usage pretty simple, clear and straightforward. It involves a number of simple steps.
Firstly, the child has to choose an animation stage. There are three options available - a short story, a classic story and a science report. Each option is cut up into different scenes. As the child navigates through the interface, the app assists the child in knowing how the animation will flow. For instance, the classic story has assistance for setup, conflict, challenge, climax and resolution. The science report has question, hypothesis, experiment, result and conclusion parts. Since each part is clearly labelled, it shows kids what should be done in each scene.
The second step involves the kids in choosing an environment for their animations. Kids have an option to either draw their own setting or choosing from one of the colourful environments available in the app. There are various options to choose from like a state-of-the-art-command center, an ancient and mysterious temple, a classroom, a pirate ship, the lost city of Atlantis, a camp in the middle of the forest and a flying steampunk airship.
In the third step, the child has to add characters to the scene. Toontastic 3D has a large array of interesting and attractive characters like a robot, a jellyfish, a shark with machine legs, a mermaid and a gorilla. The characters are organised according to themes such as city, space, explorers and pirates. Alternatively, children can also draw their own characters.The app will automatically convert the 2D drawings to 3D. Each scene can have a cast of a maximum of 7 characters and the same character can be added multiple times.
After setting the scene, comes the interesting part - to record each scene and to move around the characters or the background. Swiping moves the scene in different directions, and these movements are recorded. The characters can be controlled with the finger and made to move about the scene. Kids can even record their voice and narrate as to what is happening in each stage. They can even provide dialogues to the characters. Animations for turning and walking are directly added by the app. Once the animations are set, the movements can be enhanced by setting a mood. Available moods include gloomy, tense, stormy and curious.
The app also has an “Idea Lab” section which has illustrated animations so that kids can understand what the application is capable of and manipulate it to the fullest. There is also has a video lesson on storytelling by animator Austin Madison who has worked on movies like Wall-E, Up and Brave.
Google's Toontastic 3D is an all in one app wherein the kids can make full use of their imagination and creativity and come out with wonderful stories and projects for school or just competitions. here, the role of the parents is negligible wherein, they are just observers who watch the young minds at work and create wonderful projects.