11 August 2009 – If you’ve ever wanted to create your own cartoons or animated movies, then head over to the Nintendo DSi Shop, as Flipnote Studio launches on 14 August in Europe on Nintendo DSiWare – and is downloadable for free!
Do you remember seeing old-fashioned flip-pads when you were a child? You draw a sequence of images, one per page. Flicking through the pages at speed creates the illusion of movement – which is exactly how cartoons are made today.
Flipnote Studio is an application which allows you to create these animations on your Nintendo DSi! Of course, you could use it just as an electronic notepad, allowing you to quickly save handwritten and even vocal memos – but why stop there? Get your creative juices flowing – Flipnote Studio is the perfect virtual animation studio where you can create short animated sketches called Flipnotes. These can then be shared online via a special service accessible with the Nintendo DSi: Flipnote Hatena.
Using the Flipnote Hatena with Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, you are free to trade, grade and save animations from all Flipnote Studio users. It is even possible to continue a Flipnote created by another user. User-created Flipnotes can also be watched, evaluated and commented on using devices such as a PC via the Nintendo DSi: Flipnote Hatena website.
One single Flipnote animation can have hundreds of frames, meaning there is plenty of scope to get creative – but the software remains beautifully simple to use and no technical knowledge is required in order to create an animation.
The tools are very simple – a pen, eraser and paint brush, with three colours available: black, red and blue. You can adjust the speed of the Flipnote, copy and paste pages or ‘frames’ and even import photos as black and white images from the Nintendo DSi Camera Album.
Once an image is imported, its contrast and saturation can be adjusted using a slider system for different visual effects and an outline effect can be applied to make an image made up of outlines, as if drawn into the software. Use the Nintendo DSi’s microphone to record sounds for your Flipnote, such as music, speech or sound effects… Then you are ready to show and share your creation with your friends and family!
There are some additional tools for expert users – such as layering, shrinking, enlarging and advanced recording – and you can save your animation to an SD card to play on a friend’s Nintendo DSi.
Two users of Flipnote Studio may share Flipnotes using the Wireless Communication feature of the Nintendo DSi, and when Flipnotes have been shared between users, they can save each other as friends on the Nintendo DSi system and on Flipnote Hatena.
Head over to the Nintendo DSi Shop on 14 August, download Flipnote Studio for free and start creating your own cartoons!