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Ex-Disney Animators Color Up iPhone Apps

An animation studio based in Sydney, Australia has hit the global iPhone market with its release of two colourful apps aimed at children.

Press Release from Tui Studios

An animation studio based in Sydney, Australia has hit the global iPhone market with its release of two colourful apps aimed at children.

Tui Studios' directors Jonathan Dower and Kelly Baigent worked for Disney Toon Studios Australia as animators before it closed its doors in 2006.

Inspired to work on their own projects they opened Tui Studios in Sydney's Inner West and now work on a wide variety of projects.

Tui’s latest release is Monster Melody Mash, a musical game that people can download onto their iPhone or iPad. Music is created by choosing from 'Alien' or 'Classic' monsters worlds and touching the characters on screen in time to the beat.

Creator and Director Jonathan Dower says, “The iPhone and iPad are great devices for our ideas. We are a small studio with a strong background in animation. We decided to take a gamble and develop our ideas for the iPhone. It has been a great, more direct way of reaching our audience.”

It is Tui’s second release for the iPhone, after their successful animated children's book, Little Bella's – I Close My Eyes was released early last year.

Little Bella was the number one book in Australia over Christmas 2009 and reached number 4 in the books category in the hugely popular US iTunes App Store.

“Our training and background is with the old tradition pencil and paper animation. With new software available we can now have the fluidity and subtlety of traditional animation with a much more streamlined work process.”

Flash and Anime Studio Pro were chosen for animation. “Flash is great for speed and Anime (Studio) for its subtlety,” explains Dower. After Effects was used for compositing, Dower’s favourite part of the process. “It’s where you quickly see everything come together and you can add so much with little effort.”

An important goal was to make the app simple enough for a three year old to use – button sizes, menu placement, function, navigation, movie transition and so on.

So far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “Some of our favourite feedback comes from the children themselves,” says Jonathan. “We get many emails from kids which look like they've been playing the piano on the computer keyboard. The letters don't spell out much but it’s great they are getting in touch!”

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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