Ever wanted to turn a simple home video into a slapstick cartoon? According to representatives at the 2008 TechCrunch50 Conference in San Francisco, BeFunky plans to soon offer the service to its Web site users as an addition to their upcoming service, "video cartooning." The service will enable the user to manipulate the physical features of video actors, putting the ability to create full motion animation at her fingertips. If you have seen Richard Linklater films like A Scanner Darkly or Waking Life, you can appreciate the art of rotoscoping. While rotoscoping is available on professional editing software such as Final Cut Pro, BeFunky plans to offer such services online and catered to the amateur video editor. Additionally, the amateur user will soon be able to make exaggerated cartoons from these rotoscoped videos.
Currently, the Istanbul-based company allows the user to lengthen noses, widen grins and add thought bubbles to rotoscoped pictures. Here is an example of the distortion performed on a rotoscoped photo of Mark Alvarez, Atelier writer.
According to the company's Creative Director Mehmet Ozkanoglu, BeFunky has the technology to transfer this ability to video. The company is simply looking for the necessary advertising and revenue partners before going public. "We are looking for exclusive partners to showcase video cartoonizer. This technology will emerge a new way of expression, not a regular video, nor a slideshow but a video with innovation and self-expression by one click. No need to have an artist at work" Ozkanoglu said.
If BeFunky can deliver on this technology, the ability to bend a video into a cartoon will be more accessible than ever. Current online video editing interfaces such as JumpCut and EyeSpot do not provide rotoscoping services, or the ability to exaggerate the body parts of characters from user-uploaded movies.