The future

Animation for many years has simply been watching the story unfold from a television screen. However with the progression of the internet, and more recent technology and platforms, new exciting and innovative ideas of what animation could be are coming forth – a new era away from anything we have known before. In this post I have collected some innovative ideas, or new technologies which has changed the purpose/ added to viewing animation and simple story telling. What I feel has been a major ‘theme’ is the idea of interactivity with the animation. We no longer live in a world which is one sided – social networks such as Twitter, has given the general public a voice and has let them reach out and talk and expect a reply back. We are living in an age of interaction beyond the realms of face to face – the digital. I have collected some examples which also combine 3D and 2D together and the possibilities of them.

Above is an e-book app of the Lewis Carroll’s, Alice is Wonderland – in addition its not like any other as its an animated interactive book.  It will let the user watch as Alice grows taller, turn the Ipad to watch items fall and knock over and play with the beautifully illustrated characters.  This product is very innovative, as it explores the way that animation can transform a book and the text. Children can engage with the visuals and follow the story with the imagery – it is a new way to approach children / and adults:

“Think about it: the latest Grisham novel is just raw text, which any old Kindle can deliver. But children’s books are all about big, splashy pictures and wild colors–elements perfectly suited to iPad screens. And needless to say, the iPad can do a lot more than just display static pages. It can read stories aloud; it can enrich a classic tale with touch-powered extras; and it can even render pages in 3D.” 

Unlike adult e-books which are just simply text to read – children’s books has created a very futuristic pathway – and lets us explore the colourful world and imagination that really connects with children. This as animator creates an opportunity to play with literature and create an interactive playground within a novel – as well as engaging with 3D and 2D. Further it gives the chance to present visually rich art works from different medias – I really like the above style which incooperates the 2D and 3D – the historic illustrations which suit the novel so will. It shows how the two can work together well in the future.

This is new technology in Japan used to create 2D characters into 3D. It has given the ability bring these character to life away from the 2D world – and to interact with fans who download the app. This video shows the combination of 2D and 3D technology – the character has been made from 3D software and yet still has the anime 2D look which is desired by many. This technology can interact with the touch of a finger – even looking and reacting where the finger moves. The creators in 2012 hoped that soon they could render a 360 version of such characters: “Live2D, developed by Cybernoids, is the world’s first drawing technology to enable 3D rendering of 2D images. This technology supports a variety of portable consoles and smartphones, and Live2D is already being utilized for games that take advantage of the unique characteristics of hand drawn artwork.” (

The use of motion track dots are problematic to be used by normal users (wanting to motion track their faces for online use) – therefore the Keio University have create a software which will register the face shape and other parts of the human face in order to move the 3D character – the character will then be able to copy the movements of the head and the expression / speech of the user. All without the use of motion tracking dots and can be used by a computer and webcam:

“As well as avatars, this system could also be used for games that detect and react to changes in people’s faces.

“Systems using motion capture with markers on the face aren’t convenient for ordinary users. In that sense, until now, there hasn’t been technology for moving a model freely in real time.”

From now on, the researchers aim to develop motion generation software for standard PCs. That should enable various ways to apply and implement this system.”

Diginfo TV (

Petros Vrellis is a Greek artist which created an interactive experiences that lets you become the artist instead of simply viewing the famous art piece. The piece is ‘Starry Night’ and it uses particle dynamics to manipulate the starry sky, with a touch of the user’s finger the artwork changes and disrupts the arrangements of the swirls (in addition the music also changes when touched) The interactive system has been converted into an App so that anyone can access this incredible experience. The scene also lets you zoom up into different areas not in focus from the original masterpiece. This piece is initiative as it means that the audience are able to explore a painting like never before – and shows how 3D can interact with 2D animation to make a fascinating display.

“vrellis used openframeworks to create the work, with multitouch tracking via ofxkinct and ofxopenCV.
the musical backdrop is created using a MIDI interface to create an ambient tone that can also be altered in realtime.
the animation involves about 80,000 particles, drawn as small openGL minimaps, whose motion is determined
by a fluid-like algorithm. trial and error determined his settings for the velocity field and music composition,
both designed to resonate with van gogh’s original artwork.”

Jenny Filippetti

The Night cafe’ is a tribute to Van Gogh’s painting (of the same name). It is an interactive environment created by Mac Cauley – entered in for a competition. His work captures the innovative exploration of Virtual reality and invites his audiences to step inside one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. Not only that, but he had to create different parts of the scene – even adding elements from past paintings. The use of Occulus Rift can be used to watch this incredible digital environment – also can be viewed without. This exciting new technology really puts the viewer inside of the work – no longer stuck behind a screen – you can walk around the scene and become apart of the masterpiece. This colourful 3D environment also captures the 2D feel/ of the original painting and is a good example of how the technology can be used to to combine the two and create a piece of work that can push the boundaries of simply looking at art. Imagine the prospects for such technology such as in art galleries. Although this interactive experience is not a game or anything – the user has the ability to look up close at details such as Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers and even a character that looks very similar to the artist himself. This idea is truly initiative as it uses new technology and idea to create something truly original:

“Innovation: My main goal with this project was to see what kinds of stylized 3D rendering could be experienced through VR. I have always been drawn to the paintings of Van Gogh and I imagined it would be amazing to be inside one of these colorful worlds. While the GearVR offered certain challenges with its technical limitations compared with a PC, it forced me to prioritize and really define what makes a Van Gogh painting unique.

While creating the environments of these paintings in 3D space I’ve had to expand on areas that can’t be seen; rooms behind doors, objects hidden from view, people turned away from the viewer. It’s been an interesting process in using reference material from Van Gogh and other expressionist painters but also imagining what might have been there, just off the edges of the canvas…

Even though a Van Gogh painting is on a 2D canvas, you can almost imagine yourself in those places””

Mac Cauley

Van Gogh ChairThe Night Cafe - An immersive tribute to Vincent van Gogh – screenshot 5

De Vriend by Charles den Tex - animated book trailer skrollr

De Vriend / Friend (one of four book trailers) – Aimee de Jongh

Above is an interactive Book trailer – the user using their mouse scroll to control the animation – they can rewind and send the animation forward in what ever speed that they desire by manipulating their mouse scroll. I included this within this innovation section as it shows how even a trailer is letting the viewer interact with the order of a trailer. Different sections of the piece are animated such as girl running from one room to the next – not only having fun playing and engaging with the medium but also by following the plot of the story – getting a feel of what can be expected from the book. This new interactive trailer could give a taste of what is install from the book.

This software uses an LED scanner to scan the 2D drawings of children and then to convert it into an animation which would be projected on to the wall for all to see. This system is meant to be a communal experience – A child draws a fish and then sees it come to life in a 3D experience. This system is initiative as it shows how animation can be used as a way to connect children together and use interactive software which can engage them within the sector. The creator expresses more:

“My kids are three years old and five years old respectively. They are obsessed with the smart phone and fiddle with it all day. When I saw that, I thought this was very isolating and the kids don’t move their bodies. I thought it would be interesting to create a space for the kids to physically play and collaborate in a digital environment and that’s how I came about building this installation,” said Matsumoto. Matsumoto believes that a new kind of playground is needed for the kids of the 21st Century who are more familiar with playing with mobile phones and console games than running around.He also wants to make a difference in educating today’s children by focussing their attention on innovating and creating to prepare them for the new economy.

“The education of the future is more than rote learning. It is about building new things. This comes from being creative and collaborating. I want to provide this sort of stimulation to the kids and with any luck, I hope they will feel it,”

Euronews Knowlege

Augmented Reality is an existing technology however it is being used for many initiative ways – above shows the marketing value. Creating experiences which will get audiences talking and creating a virtual reality which can be shared among people (not a single experience). The Pepsi advert above shows a projection which will project when an unsuspecting pedestrian walks down an alleyway in London – the realistic creatures such as Dinosaurs, futuristic cars and aliens light up and scares the audience – taking the next step in initiative ways to reach the audience with animation. The viewer is no longer simply just watching an animation but are apart of the virtual reality – within the moment, and that is what is purely initiative.

Augmented reality can also be used as an interactive way to experience a museum (in ways that will engage children and also adults.) The use of this software means that the visitors can walk around the musuem and view different sections such as a skull transforming into a human head of what that person would look like – or even scanning art on a pottery coming to life and becoming an animation. Animation can be used with 2D and 3D, the two in cooperated with an array or games, 3D environments, 2D animation based on artwork and etc. The new way of experiencing animation is initiative:

“The app complements and enriches the experience of Colchester Castle as well as incorporating a section dedicated to the wider heritage available around Colchester city centre with suggested walking trails and interactive interest points.Using PEEL Interactive’s expertise in augmented reality, the app features an interactive floor plan of the castle with pop-up 3D reconstructions of the castle through the ages.Some of the AR features allow you to interact with and dress up like a Roman warrior, immerse yourself in a spectacular banqueting scene with the then King of England and watch a human skull come to life – reconstructed with hair, facial features and lots of blood! Our brief was to increase visitor interaction and fun, whilst providing relevant, accurate and interesting information – and we believe we’ve done just that!”

Peel Interactive


Baraniuk, Chris (2015) ‘Step into this Van Gogh painting recreated with virtual reality’, NewScientist, Monday 18th May (Online) Available: (Accessed 28/05/2015)

Vlaanderen, Remco (2013) ‘4 Interactive Animation Book Trailers,’ Submarine Channel, Monday 22nd July (Online) Available: (Accessed 28/05/2015)

Matt (2014) ‘Tag Archives: Animation the rise of Augmented Reality,’ Peel Interactive, Tuesday 30th December (Online) Available: 28/05/20150

Bonsor, Kevin (N/A) ‘How Augmented reality really works’ HowStuffWorks, N/A (Online) Available: (Accessed 28/05/2015)

Griggs, Mike (2014) ‘5 new animation trends for 2015 that will change everything,’ Creative Bloq, Thursday 11th December (Online) Available: (Accessed 28/05/2015)

Broida, Rick (2010) ‘5 amazing IPad e-books for kids,’ Cnet, Wednesday 14th April (Online) Available: (Accessed 29/05/2014)

Culey, Mac (2015) ‘The Night Cafe – An immersive tribute to Vincent Van Gogh’ Challenge Post, N/A (Online) Available: (Accessed 01/06/2015)

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