Inchworm Animation (DSiWare)

Game Review

Inchworm Animation Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard


When Flipnote Studio burst onto the DSiWare scene back in 2009, it quickly became one of the most popular releases on the service, although it is worth noting that the title was available free of charge. Sites dedicated to hosting the animation creations began popping up across the Internet and remain active almost two years later. Now Flat Back Films is bringing its much-anticipated animation program Inchworm Animation to bear, bringing with it a host of new features including a full colour palette.

At the basic level, Inchworm Animation offers up a diverse set of drawing and painting tools for you to create your graphical elements with. These allow you to draw freehand or using a variety of shapes and straight lines. If you want to get a bit more intricate, you can even zoom in to work with individual pixels, with or without the use of a grid option that's available. No matter how detailed you want to be, the program offers plenty of design elements for users of all artistic skill levels.

Since the program offers animation capabilities, you'll be working with individual layers and frames, which also offer a nearly limitless amount of flexibility. You can even control the amount of time and delay each frame will feature as it plays out in your overall animation going so far as to offer different timings on even individual items in a frame. There are also tool options that will allow you to draw underneath a layer or above it and an onion skin tool that lets you see the layers below the current one you're working on as a reference point.

If you want to get really creative you can make use the DSi system's camera to shoot stills or up to 60 frames of video. You'll then be able to add things to the video or edit it into your own custom animated creation. Granted the limit to 60 frames of animation can be a bit limiting, you can set the frames per second to a smaller number to fit in lengthier clips, although you'll obviously lose some animation quality.

As you work on your projects you can constantly test them out, even doing so frame by frame if you so choose. And no matter how many frames or layers you find yourself working with, flipping back and forth between them is as easy as pressing left or right on the D-Pad.

Once you've finished your project you can then export it to your SD card in order to upload it to your computer for viewing or posting. And if you have any animation programs or gif creators on your computer, you can then export individual frames to it and use even more powerful editing functions to put your creations together.

Flat Back Films has done a wonderful job of not only including a wealth of powerful drawing and animation tools at your disposal, but also done so in a very easy and intuitive fashion, although the lack of any type of sound editing is a bit disappointing. The tutorials are simple enough to get anyone up and creating their own animations in no time and when you toss in the ability to add in your own photos and video clips, you've got an extremely powerful animation package at your fingertips.


Much like Flipnote Studio, what you get out of Inchworm Animation will depend heavily on what you're willing to put into it. The wealth of powerful animation tools and functions make it even more potent than Flipnote Studio, but with that added functionality comes a slightly higher learning curve if you want to get the most out of the package. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but those who are willing to put in the time to come to grips with the more advanced feature set will be rewarded with an absolutely fantastic animation creation tool.

From the web

User Comments (52)



Late said:

Gonna buy this when I can. I need to buy 3DS first as I have only DS Lite. 500 points is a good price for me.
I'm pretty sure that I'll use this only to draw and not to make animations as there is too small limit for me. For drawing this has almost everything I need: layers, colors, zoom and other features.
Maybe 3DS Flipnote has an ability to create longer animations, that's what I'm really looking forward now.



Platypus said:

Being the type of person who has zero artistic skill I will skip this one and have all of you post what you made.



drexegar said:

This review is not that detailed, but good score. Also with the camera you can take up to 112 frames, default is 60.



piguy101 said:

One question: Like Flipnote Studio, can you change settings for a left handed person?



LuWiiGi said:

I heard of this a while back and it looked awesome. I wonder if I'll ever get round to buying this though. Short and sweet review.



kurtasbestos said:

Is 60 frames of animation a limit for ALL animations, or just those using video? Or rather, are all the animations based on static frames (as opposed to key frames)? I have some projects that I've been too lazy to do on my computer and this would be a perfect tool... if I can get more than just 60 frames to work with per animation.



jdarrell said:

Re: Left-handed

I'm not left handed and could be wrong but the controls seem more configurable and dependent on touch. You can change the L R buttons though. Don't think you'll have to worry about using the face buttons too much. Only possible annoying thing I see is having to hit select to get into the settings menu.



NintyMan said:

Neat, there's still appeal for DSiware. I might download this when I have the time and money.



MeloMan said:

This is absolutely stunning, and animation is not my thing (it kinda is, I'm just not patient enough). No sound editing? Does that mean totally no sound to go with the animation AT ALL? Still is a tight package but if you can't put ANY music to it, that is rather disappointing. Corbie, can you clarify?



moosa said:

Corbie, a lot of us were already sold on this when we read about the feature set. But you neglected to address one big issue. How does this play on 3DS?? Of course, there isn't much you can say about this before May... .



theblackdragon said:

@moosa: I can't tell if you're serious or not, but I can tell you that we have no idea how it plays on 3DS and won't until May — no one does. How can you possibly expect a 3DS-based viewpoint from us before then?



Corbs said:

No sound on this whatsoever. Nada. And as Des said, we have no way to check this program out on 3DS at all.



wizball-23 said:

...Would love to be able to mess around with this or Flipnote Studio. Don't think my DS Lite will be mutating into a DSi anytime soon though.

I don't suppose anyone's heard of a similar program for the Mac platform?

(...Also, I love the name.)



Dodger said:

I won't buy this until I find out if DSiware will have the low quality that DS games have on the 3DS unless you press Start and Select while loading. I don't want an animation/drawing game to look blurryish like that and I don't want it to be shrunken either. If they make it so DSiware looks OK, I might have to get this. I fail at drawing of course...



sam322 said:

wait a second i have left dsiware for a while but after seeing the rating of this game i really want to get back to dsiware



ramstrong said:

Wow. Only 9 points? What's wrong? I'd have given it 10.

I want Layers. Check, with the bonus of different timings per layer.
I want Stop Motion capability. Check, with bonus of Time Lapse Photo.
I want full Color Spectrum. Check with bonus palletes option.
I want Zoom. Check, down to the smallest details.
I want Gradient, or at least a Blur. Missing.
I want FPS setting. Missing. But saved option does have it.

All in all, I really can use that Blur capability, but that's nit-picking. Explicitly able to set FPS would be nice, too. However, the bonuses does offset the missing capabilities. As far as I'm concerned, this is very close to perfection. I do not miss the audio. Deluxe Paint Animation does not have sound, and I don't miss it at all. I'll be using this for comics and maybe t-shirt designs, and it's perfect for that. Especially since it allows up to 9999x9999 resolution!

I certainly will recommend this for anybody, but for DSi XL owners, this may well be a killer app!



paperskyx said:

This is an extreme bargain. An animation tool that powerful for $5.. Everyone should get it! I can't wait until I get my next points card.



pntjr said:

if it was free i'd get it, but Nintendobis planning to murder my wallet this year, so no buy for me...



Big_Al1 said:

It's worth every penny and then some. The one problem I find is that I cannot export to the gallery... getting the card out every time is a nuisance and potentially could wear the flimsy hinge on the card cover.

Other than that, it's pretty impressive as a drawing tool.



Supremeist said:

Wow, I think I might download this right now.. I love to draw and create things, and since Flipnote doesn't have any good sign of coming yet, I think I will pick it up.



Supremeist said:

Downloaded, It's not too great, I kinda regret it. It's confusing. Wait for Flipnote....



grumblegrumble said:

It's confusing? I was just about to download it, but ryan you made me think twice.. who else agrees that it's confusing?



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

If it had sound, I wouldn't wait for a second. Yes, I know about exporting to a computer, but with animation you're supposed to create the sound first. I'm thinking about getting it to keep me satisfied until Flipnote 3DS.



Milkman-123 said:

i love this app. no sound is a downer though. i'd agree with this review, since sound is one thing that made flipnote studio so fun. it has AMAZING features. i bought this on my 3ds. being that i dont have any stopmotion dolls to animate, im stuck with a plastic moose pooping staples. but thats my fault.ll in all, its a nice tool to hold anyone waiting for flipnote memo. it keeps anyone with an animating heart satisfied until flipnote memo. however, when i succesfully post my animations to a website(deviantart.com), everything is green. however, i uploaded my pooping moose video(video, not animation) everything was clear. im not sure what THATS ll about. oh well.



paperskyx said:

Hmm. A bit late to be writing this comment maybe, but I bought this a while back and I was kind of disappointed. Naturally, I'm going to compare it to Flipnote.. and I must say, I like Flipnote better. Whereas Inchworm has more powerful tools, Flipnote has a much cleaner, professional, visually appealing look. Inchworm's design in general just puts me off and makes me not want to use it. It also lacks the ability to share creations with the world like you can with Flipnote, and that's a huge mistake. Flipnote has created a community within itself with the ability to share animations, and without that feature on Inchworm, creating things seems dry and pointless.

I can't ignore its good qualities though. I really like how we can create movies, stop motion, and time lapses. I wish we could make movies longer than a few seconds, but I understand that with that ability, the memory on our poor Nintendos would dwindle faster than we knew what we were doing. I also like how we have a full color selection, rather than the classic black, red, and blue that Flipnote provides. The drawing tools are certainly more diverse and they allow us to make beautiful creations that would be impossible with Flipnote.

Buy this application if you're an artist, basically. I feel like it's a nice thing to have but I don't use it too often because I'm not good at drawing or animating myself. The potential of this program goes above and beyond though, so I definitely recommend it.



screaminscott said:

OK, the software is very powerful. But it is worthless if you can't figure out how to use it.
The instruction manual online is only in image files. You can't search it. You can't print it because the image files are too big to fit on one page and photo software wonly print over multiple pages. The font is this weird low pixel font that's hard to read.

My son and I are very frustrated with this software because you can do so many neat things but we can't figure out how to use it!!!!!!!



Gioku said:

It's like Flash on the go! I'm glad you can upload to the computer; with that you can add sound and other stuff like that out of the editor, which is cool. I taught myself photoshop and Flash 9, so I think I can figure this out! I think I know what my next eShop download will be! A great deal for $4.99!



Squashie said:

The 'game' is due to be released in Europe this Thursday! I should be getting my review copy through soon!



Flam said:

Is it available on the eShop for the 3DS, even if it's a DSiWare ?



yamimami said:

@ramstrong Great review! I think we'll get it too. Would love to see any animations you've made. Even if there's no community like Flipnote/Hatena, we can always upload to YouTube or something...



ramstrong said:

Wow, your first comment so far and it's to me. I'm so honored! By the way, that was a long time ago. Once I got 3DS, it's New Art Academy. I did make some animation, but nothing too good to share. Ditto with Flipnote. Maybe it'll be different with FlipMemo.
I'm also active with Petit Computer and probably will make new animation with that program, instead of inchworm animation program.

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