DreamWorks’ DVD release of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was the first home video product to include a DVD-ROM feature allowing users to make their own films from actual animation assets. Now the NFB’s Animation/Youth Studio is bringing the technology online with the Ultrabug Cliposcope.
Designed to give kids 9-12 hands-on experience in moviemaking, the Ultrabug Cliposcope is part of the studio’s overall media education initiative. With help form the Ez-Toons game engine developed by Sarbakan, kids can create, view and e-mail films with just a few clicks of the mouse. The NFB is the first organization in Canada to use the Ez-Toons engine under license from Sarbakan, and the Ultrabug Cliposcope site represents the first time the engine has been used on the Web.
The Ultrabug Cliposcope web site (www.nfbkids.ca/cliposcope) stars an interstellar super-cockroach named Ultrabug, the brainchild of director/screenwriter Martin Barry. Barry got the idea for Ultrabug from his own Genie award-winning 1989 film Juke-Bar.
The Cliposcope lets users choose from a whole library of backgrounds, actions, camera movements and animated accessories in creating customized Ultrabug animated adventures.