Disney’s Coloring Book App Makes 2D Drawings Three-Dimensional

Michele Debczak
Disney Research
Disney Research / Disney Research

In today’s landscape of high-tech toys, it’s getting harder for a staple like the classic coloring book to compete. Disney’s prototype app attempts to get tech-savvy kids excited about drawing by reinventing the company's creations as three-dimensional characters. 

After a child fills in the colors and patterns of a character on the page, the app scans the picture and fills in a blank, computer-generated model with the design. The technology uses the camera from your smartphone or tablet to create an “augmented reality” simulation of the 3D character that makes it look like it’s standing over the real-life coloring book on the screen. 

Disney Research, a team based in Zürich Switzerland, presented the app last month at the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality. The project is still in the research stages, but it’s not hard to imagine this type of technology inspiring a new generation of young artists in the future. For a closer look at how the app functions, check out the video below. 

[h/t: Fast Company]