MAGIC SCENE CREATOR - CRAYOLA
When small cards containing scrambled images are placed upon a backlit screen, the card images magically come to life. The cards can be collaged into unlimited scenes and even mixed with dry-erase drawings right on the screen. This product is a collaboration with inventor Rufus Seder.
The toy is based on a century old animation technology. I had the idea to take this technology and literally turn it upside-down.
The animation technology traditionally uses an image comprised of about 6 separate images which are split into thin stripes and then interlaced, or scrambled. As a sheet of narrow black opaque stripes with transparent spaces in between is moved across the scrambled image, each separate whole image , or "frame", is revealed in succession, causing the image to animate.
Historically the moving sheet of stripes is placed over the coded image. I had the idea to place the moving stripes under the coded image and then backlight both image and moving stripes, making the stripes a continuous moving loop and adding a transparent surface over all -- like a tablet.
The result is that images still animate as previously, but since the images are on top of the moving stripes they can be moved around interactively by the person playing with the toy, and so combined in various ways to produce different animating scenes and effects.
In addition to inventing the technology, I engineered and built the prototype unit, wrote the software for it and initially conceived of how various types of images pieces might be combined/collaged in novel ways to maximize play possibilities -- like the world's first animating puzzle!
Rufus further created new ways of play, did the exquisite animation artwork for the prototype and provided his deep technical expertise in this type of animation so that the images were clear and animated perfectly.
The invention was awarded this patent.
I am honored that Crayola chose to license this invention. Below is Crayola's promotion video, followed by our demo pitch video of the prototype unit -- originally called Scanimagic (TM by Rufus). Unfortunately Crayola was not able to do all of the cool the things we created. Check out the prototype video!