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Disney brings appiness to the drawing table


For nearly a century, Disney has been helping curate childhood memories through popular and timeless cinematic titles, while also empowering kids to explore their creative prowess through colouring books.

Fast forward to 2015, and we see the Californian imagination factory at it again researching and developing “live texturing of augmented reality characters”, a virtual reality app which is set to revolutionise the culture of line drawing colouring. While it’s not the first app to bring static 2D drawings to life in 3D form, it’s unique, in that one does not have to completely colour in a picture first before activating it in augmented reality… It happens simultaneously as the character is given colour!

Built for Android and iOS, the app retains the original artwork’s texture, meaning if you fill in the front-facing line drawing of a character provided, the app will show you a backside that resembles your front facing masterpiece.

While childhood development benefits may range from creative stimulation, improved hand to eye co-ordination and even motor skills development, colouring has also seen its use effectively explored in other areas of human interaction; in medicine for instance, renowned surgeon and medical illustrator Frank Netter inspired Netter’s Anatomy Coloring Book as well as Netter 3D Anatomy, titles said to enhance study experience and boost reference power. The Khoisan turned to the art of rock painting to record their history, similarly did their ancient Egyptian counterparts famed for their hieroglyphics. Let’s also spare a thought for cartoonists, who’s black and white take on politics, manage to paint light-heartedness into even the most pressing issues.

Yet to be made available for the everyday app fundi, Disney’s latest venture into colouring innovation could potentially have positive cultural spill over effects and revive practices like hand writing, which has seen a sharp decline in relevance in the age of digitisation. Another creative practice that can benefit from this innovation is story telling, as practitioners will be able to bring to life characters and dramatise morals through age old fables.

-Lerato Moleko – Innovation Architect at Live+ Connectivation™ Agency


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