A-Ha! Cartoonatic brings animated effects to iPhone video

Cartoonatic, a video effects iPhone app from MacPhun, debuted Tuesday in the App Store. The app features nine filters to make videos look like live-action cartoons, with effects that range from pencil sketches to one that fills the frame with bright primary colors. Videos can be shot in either 320-by-400 or 360-by-480 resolution.

You can add music to the videos, as well—either directly from your iTunes library, or using five soundtracks that come in the app. (Conversely, the sound can be muted for silent-film style.) Videos can be shared to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or via e-mail, or they can be saved to your phone's photo library.

For those of us who came of age in the 1980s, some of Cartoonatic’s effects may dredge up memories of A-Ha's classic “Take On Me” video, in which the band were transported into a world made of pencil-sketch cartoons. By the time the new century came along, Richard Linklater's "Waking Life," a rotoscoped live-action cartoon, was similarly impressive and mind-blowing. With Cartoonatic, the technology needed to make such videos can fit right into your pocket.

Cartoonatic is free—although an in-app upgrade to an ad-free version, with three additional effects filers, costs $1. The app is compatible with the iPhone 3GS or later, fourth-generation iPod touch, and the iPad 2. The device must run iOS 4.2 or later.

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