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Flipnote Studio 3D

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Flipnote Studio 3D, originally announced as Flipnote Memo, is a free downloadable animation application launched in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. Developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo, this successor to Flipnote Studio allows users to use three separate layers to create stereoscopic 3D animations, which can be exported into GIF or AVI format. Flipnote Studio 3D was launched with two online communities: Flipnote Gallery: Friends, and Flipnote Gallery: World.

The application was released in Japan on July 24, 2013. It was set for an August 2013 release in North America and Europe, but due to "unexpectedly high" usage of the online services in Japan, the application's release was delayed for both regions. After months of waiting, Flipnote Studio 3D was released in February 10, 2015 for Club Nintendo members exclusively to go with the discontinuation of Club Nintendo. The app was released again with the My Nintendo Awards program opening from March 31, 2016 to May 1, 2016

Flipnote creation

Flipnote Studio 3D running on a white 3DS XL. The tool selection screen is open on the bottom screen.

The main screen of the Flipnote creation interface.

Largely similar to its predecessor, Flipnote Studio 3D allows users to create short animated sketches known as Flipnotes. Flipnotes can be made of hundreds of frames, and can be played back at a variety of speeds. The software offers users the option to create 3D Flipnotes by drawing different parts of the animation on up to 3 layers. The main tools include a pen, an eraser, and a paintbrush. New to Flipnotes Studio 3D are tools that draw shapes, fill enclosed areas (paint bucket), and insert text. The application features a limited color palette, including black, white, red, blue, green, and yellow. This is a slight improvement upon Flipnote Studio, which didn't include yellow and green as selectable colors, but were still possible using color mixing.. The selection tool is used to copy and manipulate parts of a frame. Users can also use the 3DS system's camera and microphone to add audio and photos to their creations. These animations can either be shared on the application's native online community, or by exporting them as GIF or AVI files.

Online services

Flipnote Gallery english

Flipnote: Gallery World's interface in English obtained from its ROM image.

Flipnote Studio 3D was launched along with two separate online services: Flipnote Gallery: Friends and Flipnote Gallery: World. As the names imply, the former allows for Flipnotes to be shared with people on the user's 3DS Friends List, and the latter is a worldwide community for sharing and viewing Flipnotes.

Flipnote Gallery: Friends was a Spotpass service included as a part of Flipnote Studio 3D. The service allowed users to share Flipnotes with up to 20 people in their 3DS Friends List via temporary galleries. In addition, Flipnote Gallery: Friends featured a simple voting system.

On November 1, 2013, Nintendo ended the Flipnote Gallery: Friends service in Japan, due to concerns that users, including minors, could exchange Friend Codes on Internet forums and use them to send inappropriate content. Later, the Flipnote Gallery: Friends feature was removed completely from the application via an update.

A screenshot of Flipnote Gallery: World.

Flipnote Gallery: World's "Most Popular" page.

Flipnote Gallery: World is a paid community service, and the successor to Flipnote Hatena. Unlike Flipnote Gallery: Friends, this service was not discontinued. The service is based around 30-day "passes" that can be obtained in a variety of ways. There is also a window of time when anyone can connect to the service for free, based on the 3DS's System Time. Users receive one pass when they first connect to Flipnote Gallery: World as a free trial to the service, with additional passes being purchased for a small fee. Each pass, activated when the previous pass expires, grants users 100 Coins and 3 Star Coins which are required for various activities.

A coin is required to perform most activities on Flipnote Gallery: World, including posting a comment or downloading a Flipnote. They are also used to rate Flipnotes. They also are required for posting Flipnotes. Users may add as many coins as they want, based on how much they like the Flipnote. Users are given a very limited quantity of Star Coins. These are required to add another Creator to a user's Favorites, and can also be added to others' Flipnotes.

Flipnotes can be posted using either a regular Coin or a Star Coin. If Flipnotes posted using a regular Coin don't receive any Coins within 30 days, they will be automatically removed from the service. On the other hand, Flipnotes posted using Star Coins will remain on the Gallery indefinitely regardless of whether it has received any Coins.

There is also a section of Flipnote Gallery: World called Nintendo DSi Gallery, wherein Flipnotes transferred from Flipnote Hatena may be viewed and downloaded. This gallery is free to access.

Users can participate in the Flipnote Gallery: World community as either a "Creator" or a "Collector." Creators make Flipnotes and post them to the gallery, while the role of Collectors is to find high-quality Flipnotes and help them become popular. Doing particularly well in either activity provides an opportunity for users to be granted a free 30-day pass to the service.

The Western version of Flipnote Studio 3D currently limits the sharing of Flipnotes to local wireless between 3DS systems, though users may still export their creations to SD cards and download Flipnotes from the DSi version.

Development

Flipnote Studio 3D was originally announced in a travel of Miyamoto in France in 2011 under the name Flipnote Memo. Other than this mention, there was no further news on the eventual release of the application until a Nintendo Direct Mini broadcast on March 13, 2013. In this official announcement, several features were revealed, such as the ability to create 3D Flipnotes using up to 3 layers. This was the first time that the application was referred to as Flipnote Studio 3D. The broadcast also announced a release date of mid-2013.

Flipnote Studio 3D was released in Japan on July 24, 2013. Originally, the application was to be released in Europe on August 1, 2013. However, on July 30, 2013, Nintendo of Europe "tweeted" that, due to the unexpectedly high use of the online services in Japan, the application's release would be delayed. They also promised to announce a new release date "as soon as possible." Nintendo of America's official website for the application originally indicated an "Early August 2013" release date, but on August 7, 2013, this release date was changed to "TBD" without any accompanying notice of a delay.

On November 1, 2013, the Flipnote Gallery: Friends service was discontinued in Japan due to the possibility of underage users sending/receiving "inappropriate content" via the service. Simultaneously, Nintendo globally disabled SpotPass features for their messaging app Swapnote/Nintendo Letter Box for similar reasons.

On January 20, 2015, Nintendo announced that members of Club Nintendo, which is due to close later in the year, will be able to download Flipnote Studio 3D for free between February and June 2015. This version limits sharing of Flipnotes to local wireless, though users may still download Flipnotes from the DSi version's gallery and transfer creations to an SD card.

On March 31, 2016, the My Nintendo program started up. Flipnote Studio 3D is one of the awards for the program. It is available for download for free until May 1, 2016.

Reception

Flipnote Studio 3D has received mostly positive feedback since its release in Japan. A Nintendo World Report editorial stated that the now-removed Flipnote Gallery: Friends feature was not very well put together. However, it also praised Flipnote Gallery: World and the wealth of other sharing options available. Despite the current lack of Spotpass features, the editorial expressed that Flipnote Studio 3D is still a lot of fun, and Nintendo should still release the application in the West.

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