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Two Left Feet: an AR pop-up book for the digital age

Aussie VFX and animation studio Resin has created an augmented-reality experience for children's book Two Left Feet.

Aussie VFX and animation studio Resin has created an augmented-reality (AR) experience for children's book Two Left Feet.

(Credit: Resin)

Disney Research's HideOut is a way from being consumer ready, but the idea of enhancing the book-reading experience with augmented reality is a brilliant one.

Adelaide-based studio Resin has created a new technology for doing just that. Called boooKAP, it has made its debut with Adam Stower's Two Left Feet, a heart-warming tale about a clumsy monster who nevertheless loves to dance.

When the user's iPhone or iPad is pointed at the pages of the book with the app in "Book" mode, animated characters come to life off the pages, while the story is narrated, allowing a child to experience the book either alone or with a parent. You can also move your iDevice closer to the animation and all around it for full 3D. It's beautifully made, and offers something beyond the more common children's digital book experience — although the app does include a 2D ebook with narration. And, if you don't have the book, the app provides something called "Canvas", which allows you to print out the flat 2D pages and use those.

(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

"The technology recognises imagery from the printed page or canvas, and then tracks the surface (a process that works out where the page exists in the real world) and then delivers animation on the surface, your very own private stage," Resin said on the boooKAPP website. "BoooKAPP doesn't require QR codes or special reprints. It can work with any existing editions of books."

Resin, which started work on boooKAPP and Two Left Feet a few years ago, hopes to expand into further partnerships with book publishers and authors to create a suite of augmented-reality children's books.

"We are already developing our next product, which is our own original IP this time," Resin creative director Grant Lowering said in a post on Australian Creative. "It uses the boooKAPP technology platform in a new way, and fits more into an entertainment/game genre type of project and we are busting our butts to have that finished before the end of the year. We are also in discussions on several other opportunities. It really is a focus of ours now to find the right publishers, authors and entrepreneurs to partner with."

Two Left Feet is available from iTunes for AU$5.49, with an Android version on the way.