24th Entertainment Division Excellence Award
“RakugakiAR” Production Team (SO Yoshihiro, Representative)［Japan］
This is an app that brings doodles in a notebook or on a whiteboard to life in virtual spaces and makes them move around, by scanning them with a smartphone or tablet. The creator developed its proprietary HoneBorn engine for the app, which automatically adds “bones” (connection points for movement) to the scanned drawings. Although the first step is an analog doodling experience, the app integrates AR to overcome the barriers between analog and digital. Users can have interactions once the doodles start to move, such as feeding and touching them. This interactivity is intended to further enrich the user experience. The app also allows recording and photographing, bringing users various ways to enjoy it, such as archiving keepsakes or sharing on social media.
Reason for Award
I incidentally found a unique video on Twitter. Various pictures rise up from a 2D surface and run around the real world, moving the parts that appear to be their hands, legs, and tails. User’s scribbles, popular characters, children’s drawings—a number of unknown creations are manipulated to move. The video went viral. I immediately downloaded the app and scanned all kinds of doodles with my kids to make them move. RakugakiAR has become phenomenal via social media and by word of mouth, without any promotional effort. Its developer and a creative studio, Whatever Inc., has evolved its products the same way as we have evolved as life forms: from fishes to animals with arms and legs. The word “animation” comes from the word “anima,” meaning “spirit.” This work breathes life into various 2D objects, offering casual and fun opportunities for god-like experiences of creating life. (TOKITA Takashi)