I recently sat down with Shona Grundy, CEO of Trigger Happy, to talk about their new app Toon Hero. Toon Hero is a fun app that allows the user to make up stories and cartoons featuring some of their favorite characters. You provide the voices and sound effects, and Toon Hero fills in the rest. Imagine playing with toys from a toy box, and you've got a great idea of how this app works.
You start with an empty stage. You can then choose a background or character and jump straight in to creating your scene. I liked the fact that there is no set order to how you make your movie. If you want to have no background, or have characters from different sets together in one scene, you can. All of the characters are professionally animated, and the transitions work quite well. You can get very nice results quickly and easily.
Here's my chat with Ms. Grundy:
The interface is one that iPad users will be familiar with. Tapping, scaling, double tapping, and tapping and dragging will allow you to do all that you need in Toon Hero. Each character has some basic animations, including walks, runs, and standing idles. They also have unique animations that you can trigger by tapping and dragging in different directions. The microphone on your iPad will record your audio, and the active character will mouth the words in a puppet type fashion. The cartoon is recorded live as you perform it. Once you are finished, the cartoon gets stored to your camera roll, and can be shared anywhere, just like a standard video.
Trigger Happy has recently announced a partnership with Valve Corporation. The characters from Portal 2 will be joining the Toon Hero roster later this year, which already includes characters from The Jim Henson Company, Hero: 108, Mukpuddy, and National Geographic among others. Peabody is available now.
A couple things I would have liked to have seen would be some animated props, maybe a sound effect library, and the ability to incorporate your own art as a background. A basic film editor would be nice as well. If you enjoy making machinima videos, then you should definitely check out Toon Hero.
You can download Toon Hero now for free on the App Store.