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Disney App Creates 3D Coloring Books

Mickey Mouse

Disney is ready to open the door to the next level of creative playtime with their new live texturing app. Proposed for both smartphones and tablets, the app will allow children (or adults, no one’s judging) to color in 2D drawings as usual – and then watch as they’re turned into 3D images, just like magic.

Or, as Disney Research explains, like the latest in video augmentation technology. Essentially, the app will track 2D coloring, on paper, using your phone or tablet camera. It will then utilize state-of-the-art texturing software to apply the same colors to a 3-D model of the character in real-time, creating the illusion that every mark a child makes on their traditional 2D drawing is being printed on a 3D animated model even as they draw it.

In order to complete the illusion and ensure that the 3D model is colored even on planes unavailable on the corresponding 2D sketch, Disney Research will design a ‘lookup map’ for each character it offers: this will allow the app to mirror each pixel accurately, creating a cohesive, seamless three-dimensional image.

As the Business Standard notes, coloring books are some of the very first opportunities for children to demonstrate creativity and learn self-expression through art. Combining classic pen-and-paper coloring with the thrilling and immersive world of 3D animation will hopefully serve to enhance the experience, encouraging burgeoning artists to connect more deeply with their work and helping them to build even more imaginative worlds.

Combining classic pen-and-paper coloring with the immersion of 3D animation will enhance the creative experience for both children and adults.

Disney Research presented the initial design of the app at the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality in Fall 2015. The app is still in the research phase, and therefore has no set ship date. Still, excitement is guaranteed to grow as Disney Research continues to merge traditional play with innovative technology.

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