Frame by Frame: Nintendo’s Flipnote Studio

Announced at E3 2009, the Nintendo DSi App Flipnote Studio caught my attention as one of the most interesting things from the Nintendo Press Conference. Released to Japan’s DSi Shop on December 24, 2008, the Flipnote Studio App has seen some amazing success with 38% of all Japanese DSi owners downloading the software and over 1,000,000 uploads within the first six months of opertation. North America finally saw the release of this software on August 12th, 2009 with it also debuting on European and Austrailian DSi Stores on August 14th, 2009. Lets look deeper into what makes this little App so endearing.

Flipnote Studio offers you three basic categories of tools that you use to create your animations with; draw, paint, and erase. These tools have variations of which you can use, for example, a different pattern of which you can use to paint with or a different shape for the erase tool. There are a total of eight different variations for each tool. There is even an undo function just in case you mess up on your drawing.

There are advanced tools you can use to add a bit of flavor to your animations. You can add a music track as well as three sounds that are mapped to the A, X, and Y buttons which are all recorded using the DSi microphone. The three sounds have to be relatively short, about three seconds, and can be assigned to any moment to the animation by pressing the corresponding button to each sound. The music track must be recorded throughout the whole duration of your animation to be added. There are more tools to make detailed frames, such as the color 1 and 2 tools with allow you to select red, blue, or white for your drawing tool.


You can also take black and white snapshots with your DSi camera and add those to your animations. The most important tool though is the “timeline” tool, of which you interact and edit the frames of animation you have created. Thankfully, when you are creating new frames you are given an afterimage of the previous frame to show where to animate from. The “timeline” tool has several options for example, the useful copy and paste function. You also can edit the speed of which your animation will play.

Once you are done experimenting with the various tools you might want to check out the new website that Nintendo has created specifically for the Flipnote Studio, Flipnote Hatena. A sort of YouTube for the Flipnote Studio, Flipnote Hatena can be accessed online or even through your DSi. There are several “channels” of animation and a ranking for the most view animations. There are basic search functions as well as a “button code” function of which you use to search up animations on your DSi, something nostalgic of the Konami Code. You can also create an account on the website and link it to your DSi and upload your animations to the site.

The Flipnote Studio is something that everyone can enjoy. It caters to the creative side of everyone without being too complicated to use and at the same time deep enough for those who are dedicated enough can make jaw dropping animations. It offers a website reminiscent of YouTube, of which people can display their talent for animation and show the world their artistic endeavors. There should be no excuse for anyone to pass up this app; it’s not only fun, but also free. Go download this app if you have a DSi, you won’t be disappointed.

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2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. cool, 38% of all dsi owners in Japan? that’s pretty amazing (although sounds like another Japanese trend attack to me). The game itself looks pretty neet though and is definitely one of those dsi time wasting games that can become addictive.

  2. This would appear to be something I might be interested in. I like to dabble in animation and such, but it’s not a strongsuit of mine, so I need easy to use, uncomplicated software that will keep my projects fun and not causing my blood pressure to rise.

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