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Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II (3DS eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on November 8, 2016 at 10:35 PM

eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m going to animate on my 3DS with the newly hatched Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II. As the name suggests, this is a follow up to the original Inchworm Animation that launched way back in 2011 on the Nintendo DSi shop (and later the 3DS eShop when it was available, and I don’t when in Inchworm came out, I mean the eShop in general). The DSi version was a good alternative if you wanted something else besides Flipnote Studio to animate or add more colors to your animations than just black, red and blue (and sometimes purple). Flipnote had two features that gave it an edge, however, first being it was a free app that eventually came with the system starting with the DSi XL, but most importantly, it provided an online service within the app, something Inchworm didn’t have. Times have changed and both apps each got a 3DS installment, with one feeling like it made the correct choice to improving itself over its predecessor. I’m going to see if the five year hibernation in the cocoon was worth the effort, or should a frog have just eaten it (or stomped if they don’t eat cocoons)? Let’s animate! 

The plot here in Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II is…..however you make it in your animations. You’re greeted with the inchworm animation butterfly at the title screen, where you’ll go over the basics in a short tutorial, and once you get with that out of the way, it’s time to animate or draw doodles (or animate doodles!). Once you start a new animation, you’ll have some starting choices for the layer configuration, which can be further edited in the timeline. Compared to flipnote, it’s not as simple to just jump in and create animations, not saying it’s too overly complex, but there’s some learning to be done. The tools provided here can have an unexpected depth to them for your animations, you could just draw a line with the line tool, but you can also change its opacity, size, growth, etc., or, add a firework effect trail instead with the mop tool. If you have more than one layer, you can even create animations in 3D, but if you do, you’ll have less cels to work with, and there’s only about 99 cels, so your animations won’ be the longest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create detailed animations, because thankfully, overdraw and underdraw help with drawing on top and underneath the current layer. These and the other tools will take some time to learn, but once you play around long enough, who knows what you’ll create!


Besides animating, there are two other features that you can use for your animations. First up is the ever so loveable camera animation, the one where you just gotta take a bunch of pictures juuuust right to create an animation of pictures. Depending on how many cels are used will determine how many pictures you can take. All cameras (inner, outer left and right) can be used one at a time, having the 3D on won’t affect the pictures due to only one of the outer camera being used. Three options can be used with the camera to take pictures. First is stop motion, where you have to take each picture one at a time, next is video, where you can record instead of taking pictures, and lastly is time lapse, where it’ll countdown and take a picture depending on how long the countdown was set, be aware that for all of them, when a picture is being taken, a shutter noise is made. The other feature that you should listen for in here is sound. This is where you’ll be recording audio and/or sound effects for your animations, and if you get any extra background noises after them, don’t worry, you don’t need to cover it up, just crop it out. If you can’t create the sound effect or just want an idea to animate using a sound, it comes with a list of sound effects, ranging from animals to weapons, or, it can range from saved recordings that you can add to the list. There’s also DrPetter’s SFXR (sound effect generator), with this, you can create custom sound effects that you can tweak and mess around with some provided sounds tools, however, you can’t use your own recordings for this.


After creating something, whatever it may be, you’ll probably want to share it with the world! With the previous installment on DSiware, this was only possible by saving an animation to the SD card and uploading it to your computer, which you can do in butterfly if you want, but this time, the cocoon has also hatched up an online gallery. The online gallery functions similarly to how flipnote hatena did back in the day, having a service that you can go on via your 3DS, or even go on it on your computer or mobile device. Once an account is created, you’ll be able to post your animations into your studio, where others can view, as well as comment and rate on your work. On the 3DS, viewing animations with sound a correct speed requires you to download them first, on the website/mobile version, it’ll play like a youtube video. The website version also provides tutorial videos, as well as a forums section, which, like the online gallery itself, will hopefully continue to grow in the future with more users that want to make whatever they can think of from their imaginations.

All and all, Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II does what it did before it’s five year wait in it’s cocoon, provide owners of Nintendo’s current handheld an animation studio they can fit in their pocket. While you can’t create the longest of animations, what you can create can still have an effect if you can get used to learning the basics. If you prefer to animate or just view animations, the online gallery will definitely keep you coming back to check out what others have created. Flipnote Studio 3D may have had its online gallery cut, Butterfly offers something that’ll help restore the cut wounds.


I give Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II 8 Butterflies out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $4.99

Memory used: 72 Blocks

Review code provided by: Flat Black Films


Categories: All Reviews, 3DS eShop Reviews