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Blow into the microphone on your iPhone or iPod Touch (iTouch), and watch beautifully rendered Balloonimals spring to life. After the balloon inflates, give your phone a shake. Voila! With each shake, a Balloonimal takes shape. Soon, your Balloonimal appears ready to play. Now, pet your Balloonimal and see what tricks it can do.

Great for kids of all ages, Balloonimals is packed with an entire collection of colorful, fully animated balloon animals, including a fish, duck, T-Rex, and unicorn. Fun, fancy pets that go where you go!

You'll love Balloonimals for its great features:

• simple controls: blow to inflate, shake to transform, pet for tricks
• variety: Balloonimals randomly cycle through each time you play
• amazing graphics: quality 3D renderings and animations now on your iPhone
• sound effects: playfully squeaks, quacks, and roars

With Balloonimals, there’s no need for a clown. Now you're in control. This iPhone app makes a great addition to any celebration – fun for birthdays, family reunions, or any play date!

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“Mommy, me try!”
– Eva, age 2

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Following our Party Whistle iPhone app, we were raring to design a second iPhone application. Party Whistle taught us that kids really love blowing into the phone to activate the application. It’s easy to do, and the resulting animation is dynamic and fun. Building off this, we tapped Toy Lab’s kid experts to brainstorm for more classic play patterns, specifically looking for a theme that would resonate with 2- to 6-year-olds. Then, we stumbled on the idea of balloon animals. And, really, who doesn’t love balloon animals?

Inspired, we set to work. We started with the real thing, inviting balloon artist Cesare to come play. He filled our workspace with a whole zoo of fabulous balloon animals. From there, we had to figure out how to get these animals into an iPhone and bring them to life.

We initially thought that stop-action animation would be the way to go. We photographed our animals from every angle and played with stringing the images together to create an animation.

However, we found a better way. Computer rendering allowed us to not only capture the feel of a real balloon animal, but it also let us exaggerate features to give the animals more character. Better still, it gave us the freedom to dream up new animals that had yet to be seen in balloon form.

The animals evolved with the addition of color, transparency, light, and reflection. These renderings were then animated to give each animal a choreographed action to match its personality. Meanwhile, our friends at Red Dot Media did an amazing job designing the sounds, an array of squeaks, stomps, quacks, and roars that enliven the Balloonimals experience.
Oh, he (my son) would do this for hours.”
– Annie, mom

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Version 1.0 Release Notes                       For app support, contact us at ToyLabApps@ideo.com

 

* Attention balloon creators! Please be aware that gentle blowing or talking into your iPhone’s microphone is all that is needed to inflate the balloon. Any type of spitting into your microphone may be harmful to your device – plus, Balloonimals hate to be spit on!

 

* We also encourage gentle shaking and touching when creating and playing with your Balloonimals. Violent shaking or prodding can lead to damaged devices and unhappy Balloonimals too!

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“When I showed baby Alejandro the ballonimals fish give kisses and blow bubbles, he grabbed the phone out of my hand and kissed the screen. It was cute in a cool way.”
- Alex (Dad)
How Balloonimals was made slide 1: stop frame animation

Initially, we intended to create Balloonimals through stop-action animation. We took photos of balloon animals from every angle and planned to string these images together to show motion.

How Balloonimals was made slide 2: 3D model

But in the end, we went with computer rendering rather than photographs of real balloons. The balloon animals were recreated on screen in 3D form, so people could experience them from every angle. With animation, we could give our balloonimals more personality.

How Balloonimals was made slide 3: Rough 3D rendering

Rendering the images ourselves allowed us to exaggerate certain features in order to play up the personality of the animals.

How Balloonimals was made slide 4: Final 3D Rendering

With the addition of color, transparency, lighting and shadows, the fully rendered Balloonimals were set to go!

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