Augmented reality app maker Osmo has teamed up with Disney for a new line of character-driven animation sets dubbed “Osmo Super Studio.” First in line to be released is “Osmo Super Studio Mickey Mouse & Friends,” which allows kids to draw Mickey Mouse characters and then have them get animated by an iPad.
Osmo Super Studio is based on the same technology as other Osmo sets: A dedicated iPad stand with a clip-on mirror allows the iPad’s front-facing camera to monitor what’s happening on the table in front of the device. Osmo apps then analyze those visuals, and incorporate them into game play and more.
In the case of the Super Studio, children place a special sketch book with prepared shapes in front of the iPad. The app then allows them to pick certain scenes, and instructs them to use the book and a special dry-erase marker to draw characters, which subsequently appear on the screen.
Osmo uses a couple of interesting tricks to make these hand-drawn characters come to life: The app may for instance instruct kids to draw an ear first, and then a hand, which makes it possible for the app to identify individual body parts. That information is then used to animate characters, or populate a scene with hand-drawn flowers and butterflies.
These animations are then integrated into interactive scenes, where kids can tap on characters to have them move. Osmo CEO Pramod Sharma admitted during a recent interview with Variety that the company isn’t quite ready to give kids full-blown animation tools just yet, but said that the company wanted to eventually move in that direction.
“Osmo Super Studio Mickey Mouse & Friends” is available for $19 for anyone who already owns a Osmo base. A kit including the base and the book costs $79. Versions featuring Disney princesses and Pixar characters are scheduled to be released in the coming weeks.