updated 11:35 pm EDT, Wed May 28, 2008
Toon Boom Animation and educational publisher FableVision on Wednesday released Animation-Ish, a new software program that offers "do-it-yourself" animation. The software seeks to leverage the "ish" philosophy that art pieces don't need to create a mirror image of reality to effectively convey ideas, which was popularized by New York Times Bestselling children's book author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds in his best-selling books "The Dot" and "Ish". Reynolds uses a playful, low-stress approach to coach children and adults to think "ishfully" about their art and be brave about expressing their creativity and originality. Animation-ish featuresmore than 50 "Inspire Me" video clips with Peter H. Reynolds, three animation skill-levels, and a "Project Vault" with Reynolds' drawings and starter ideas.
The three levels are Wiggledoodle-ish, Flipbook-ish, and Advanced-ish.
In addition, the software offers a "Share" feature for exporting into multiple formats and includes 24 lessons written by teachers for teachers; the company said that additional lessons written by teachers are available online and that additional tutorials by Reynolds and the animators of FableVision are available online as well.
"Too many people say, 'I can't draw.' I constantly remind kids and adults that their creations don't have to be perfect, they just have to be 'perfect-ish,' which is where the name Animation-ish came from," said Reynolds. To help users overcome their possible reluctance toward drawing, Reynolds personally guides users through the program with dozens of video clips featuring drawing tips, and samples of his own artwork.
The software runs on both Mac and PC; it requires Mac OS X v10.4 or later at least a PowerPC G5 (Intel Core processors are recommended). The software is offered in two versions: the retail price for Animation-ish is $60 for a single copy, while the Educational version which includes a printed Classroom Edition User's Guide is offered at $500 for a 10-computer license, or $1000 for a 25-computer license.