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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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