The ANIMATION DOME - 3D Zoetrope Bring the Toy Box to Life!
A toy that can create 2D and 3D animations using drawings and toys like LEGOs, action figures, army men, claymations, and much more!
As Seen On...
The Animation Dome is a creative new toy that enables kids from 6 to 106 to create and watch limitless 2D and 3D animations. Inspired by the classic zoetrope, the Animation Dome brings together history, fun, creativity and play in one magical toy that will mesmerize the whole family!
The Animation Dome comes with twelve sets of animations printed on cards and discs to get you enjoying the magic right out of the box. Then it's time for your imagination to take over with...
•Unlimited printable color your own “color book” style versions of the cartoons.
•Unlimited printable templates to draw your own cartoons!
•Instructions and templates to animate your toys: LEGOs, small action figures, army men, and much, much more!
•Instructions and templates to make your own claymations with modeling or oven-bake clay
•Tips for making 3D printed zoetrope animations
Here is a fun add-on option that you can add to your pledge if you want. The Animation Dome can make awesome 3D animations with your LEGOs, but you need 8 or 9 of the same minifigure to make the animations work. So we are offering some LEGO compatible figures in sets of 9 to help get your 3D animating off on the right foot. If you want to add any to your pledge, its pretty simple...
All US shipping is included in the add-on price. International shipping is $5 per Add-On.
Add-On #1: Set of NINE (9) LEGO compatible figures plus bricks to mount in 3D animation. $12 each. Order multiple to get different sets of minifigures.
We will add more Add-Ons later in the campaign if circumstances allow.
The Included Cartoons
We have some of the cartoon sets on display in the campaign, but as the campaign progresses and we start to go into production, you will get to give your feedback and watch the creative process as all of the sets are finalized. Ken Higginson, who is very experienced in zoetrope animation from our ZOEFLIX campaigns, will be hard at work finishing up the 12 sets of included cartoons. So send us your ideas and watch for updates asking for your opinion—you are going to be part of the process.
The Animation Dome is instantly mesmerizing, infinitely expandable with each new animation and a captivating education toy for art, animation and STEM (STEAM) concepts. The intuitive logic of arranging toys or drawings in sequence combined with the necessary constraints of an 8 to 9 frame animation will inspire creativity while it teaches problem solving skills—helping your kids learn and grow while they play!
Who Wants the Animation Dome?
The short answer...EVERYONE! (as long as you're not a party-pooper) But all Dad jokes aside...
Kids from about 3 to 5 will enjoy watching the animations with the help of an older child or adult.
Kids from about 5 to 7 can play with the Animation Dome by themselves, change out the included animations, and color the “coloring book” style animation pages.
Kids from about 7 to 10 can start making their own simple cartoons, claymations, and toy/LEGO animations.
Then as kids get older (12, 14, 16+ years old) they can create more and more complex 2D and 3D animations and start to experiment with 3D printing and other yet to be discovered ways of using the Animation Dome. So the Animation Dome will grow with your child and continue to present new challenges as their minds develop.
If you are an adult and want this toy for yourself, please understand that you are the normal one, and all those grown-ups that don't like to play with toys are just fuddy-duddies. The Animation Dome is just a cool toy for any age, and a great artistic platform to make real hands on kinetic art without strobe lights or camera tricks.
Below are interviews with a couple of my kids after they finally got a chance to play with the Animation Dome. You can feel their imagination and pride as they describe the worlds they created!
How to use the Animation Dome
The Animation Dome comes with instructions, but it is very simple to use. Each set of cartoon cards are numbered 1 through 9, the card slot holders in the Animation Dome are also numbered 1 through 9. To load in a cartoon, just slide each card into the holder with the corresponding number and drop the cartoon disc in the bottom. There is a light on the inside of the dome, push it to turn the light on, then place the dome over the spinning base. Then you use the gear on the top of the dome to spin the cartoons to life!
The Animation Dome does not have to be used in total darkness—although that does have a cool effect. You just need it to not be overly bright, as strong light can wash out the animation.
You can also film the Animation Dome with your smart phone or other camera. The shutter speed of the camera can be adjusted to better line up with the spinning slits. If you are using your phone, the shutter speed tends to work well, but with a video camera you may want to adjust the shutter speed down to about 12 frames per second.
How does the Animation Dome work?
You can see with your own eyes that it works, but how is this magic possible? The Animation Dome is a type of zoetrope, and works in much the same way; only it has been optimized for fuller brighter viewing and 3D animation, and simplified for use by children. The 2D or 3D animations are arranged in a simple looping sequence. Then by viewing the spinning animation through slits in the dome, the blur of color is broken into a rapid succession of sequential images producing the illusion of motion. This is the same basic persistence of vision principle that is at work in flip books and even your TV while watching ABC's The Toy Box.
The Invention Process
The video above illustrates my journey to invent the Animation Dome, which started in the spring of 2016 when I decided I wanted to totally reimagine the classic zoetrope toy. I had been building my own style of improved zoetropes for years, but I stayed very close to the classic design and function. Leading up to the Animation Dome, I wanted to let go of all the historical constraints and focus on creating the coolest kid's animation toy possible.
The close historical replicas were not going to cut it if I was going to inspire the next generation. And I needed to be free from any concept of what a zoetrope is supposed to look like, so I could invent something new. I paced back and forth excitedly as my mind raced through different designs and possibilities—my body mirroring the frantic pace of my mind. Then I would stop and build. Test what I built. And repeat the process all over again. This went on for several weeks and resulted in piles of prototypes all over my garage. Below are some pictures of what my garage looked like:
Check out my ZOEFLIX Project to find out more about the classic zoetrope and the improvements I've made over the years.
I am teaming up again with Practical Industries (who I've worked with since 2009) to get this new toy professionally built and delivered. Together Practical Industries and I have designed, created, and delivered thousands and thousands of my inventions, so we have the experience we need to get you your Animation Dome. Right now we have the Animation Dome designed and ready to start mass production, we just need your funding from backing this project to buy the injection mold tooling and to produce the minimum order of 5000 Animation Domes.
The Animation Dome will be injection molded from safe and strong ABS plastic, which is the most common material and method for making toys and many other plastic products. The spinning base and turning gear at the top of the dome will be grouped in one mold and the dome in another mold. Printed stickers will be added to the spinning base to match the prototype. The cards and discs will be printed on card stock.
Once this Kickstarter project is successful and the funds are transferred into our account, which can take 2 to 3 weeks after the campaign ends, we will go into full production mode with our Hong Kong based factory. We already have quotes for everything, and the design drawn in CADD ready to go to production. Injection mold production should take 6 to 7 weeks. Then it should take another 4 to 6 weeks to injection mold the plastic parts, print the cards and discs, then assemble and box each Animation Dome before loading them on a US bound ship. Shipment to our 35,000sq ft facility in Stockton California (less then 2 hours outside San Francisco) will take around 4 weeks. After we get the Animation Domes, we will do another quality inspection (the first quality inspection taking place before the Animation Domes leave the factory). Then we will pack-up and ship your Animation Dome, which should take 2 to 3 weeks.
All said, from the end of the Kickstarter campaign to the time we ship your Animation Dome, it should take around 4 to 6 months, which would put shipping sometime in April or June. We are putting the estimated shipping date down as July 2018 to leave a little room for unexpected delays, but if at all possible we will ship earlier.
Risks and challenges
Because working together with Practical Industries, we have already built so many products over the years, and fulfilled multiple Kickstarters together, the risks are very low. The biggest risk (which we do not expect) is the risk of delay. It is always possible that things take longer than expected, which means delivery time could be longer than estimated. But we do fully expect to be able to ship all the rewards in or before this July 2018, and I have the full backing of Practical Industries behind me to get these rewards produced and shipped out to you as promised. And we will be open and honest if any unforeseen challenges or delays come up during the production process.
You can back this project with confidence because we have done this before, and we know what we are doing. Just take a look at the other projects we have built with the help of the Kickstarter community: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/amat/createdLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (56 days)