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Entries in Animation (12)

Kickstarter Project: SketchPad Pro - iPad Storyboarding for Artists and Filmmakers

TikiBone have been developing 'SketchPad Pro: A Filmmaker's Storyboard for the iPad' for a while now. The app is designed to make the storyboarding workflow more instantly accessible, easier to share and cheaper (especially with regard to materials costs).

SketchPad Pro: A Filmmaker's Storyboard - KickStarter from TikiBone on Vimeo.

The team behind SketchPad Pro, Roger Trier (a storyboard artist) and Scott Ahten (iOS Developer, animator and VJ), have got the app to the point where it is almost ready for release, but to make it a truly awesome app that does all they want it to do for their customers, they need to be able to invest more time and resources into it.

This is where their Kickstarter Project comes in. Roger and Scott want to make the leap, quit their day jobs and go full time on SketchPad Pro (rather than developing it in their spare time as they have so far).

SketchPadPro Color Fan

They are after $20,000 funding to bring SketchPad Pro to final production by the end of the Summer. You can get on board with a pledge of just $5, this will help them out of course, but for $25 you can secure a copy of SketchPad Pro for yourself when it is released.

There are various other pledge levels, with some unique rewards, so if you're an Artist, Animator or Filmmaker or just interested in backing the project, check out the Kickstarter Page and let them know we sent you.

Another Brilliant DoInk Animation Created On An iPad 

Here's a fantastic and fun animation created by students on Clay Animation Network's (C.A.N.) Travelling Animation School.

They used the Doink app on an iPad 2 to create this animation below, which is one of many you can see on the C.A.N. YouTube channel.

via DoInk on Twitter

Using DoInk iPad Animation in Education

Here's a video by DoInk demonstrating how their brilliant iPad vector drawing and animation app can be used in the Education field. We have already said how much we like DoInk, see the video description on Vimeo :-), so if you're not already familiar with it be sure to check it out.

If you are using DoInk we would love to hear about it in the comments.

Thomas Animation Remake with DoInk on iPad

Here is a great example of what can be done with the right tools and a healthy dose of animation talent. If you are already a regular visitor to the DoInk homepage you may have seen this video featured before.

It is a remake made entirely in Doink's iPad app, with some help from iMovie for the final edit. Although not yet finished (there are still some scenes from the original Thomas episode cut in) we think it shows a lot of talent and patience from YouTube user known cryptically as ccddxxjj.

There are plenty more animations from the Doink community over on their site where you can share your creations no matter what level you are at and let others re-use them if you want to.

DoInk also highlights the work of some of the more talented animation artists along with some interviews on their blog.

Have you created something with the DoInk iPad app you would like to share with us? Post a link in the comments and let us see your stuff.

Friday Fun: Technocat in a Suit

Well, it's Friday and, for many people desperate to get to the weekend, that means trawling YouTube for silly cat videos. What better way to justify watching a silly cat video than this creation from soon-to-be-YouTube-star bjseverns which was made 100% on his (jailbroken) iPad.

From the description (see below) it looks like a lot of work went into this video, and it made us laugh, so we hope it brightens up your Friday too:

And here's the description of how the video was made without leaving the iPad:

Here is an original movie I made 100% on iPad. I used Photopuppet HD for the animation, iMovie to put everything together, Garageband for the song, iMovie Extras for titles, iFile to move the GB audio to iMovie without iTunes and Reel Director for Zoom/pan and to transcode the Photopuppet video into a format that iMovie likes.

iPad animation tutorial using DoInk and Bamboo Stylus

DoInk Animation & Drawing by DK Pictures, Inc. is probably the best animation iPad app we have had the pleasure of using. Like all the best iPad apps, its simplicity is a key strength. Regardless of your skill level DoInk, with its powerful vector tools, key framing and bezier curve editing should keep you entertained for some time to come.

In the video above Priscilla Alpaugh Cotter creates a super-cute dancing frog using DoInk and the Wacom Bamboo Stylus.

If you have created an animation and would like to share it with the iPad Creative team, please be sure to get in touch using the 'Email The Team' link in the menu panel on the right.

For further articles about iPad animation follow this link.

Thomas Needs Rescuing on your iPad

Callaway Digital Arts bring us a new Thomas and Friends story with the Misty Island Rescue app. This lovely story brings the most recent in a very popular series (especially with the iPad Creative kids) to the iPad with the style and quality that we have already seen in other Callaway titles.

App Highlights

We liked the style of animation that features on every page. It feels in keeping with the book itself because it is the illustrations that you would see in the paper version that are animated, so it really feels like the book is coming alive. You can see what we mean in the video below.

Whilst each page does have an animated element to it (usually drifting mist if nothing else), not every page has interactivity. Callaway have added a yellow glow effect on elements you can interact with when the page opens.

Unfortunately this didn't stop our little testers stabbing at every bit of the page they thought should react to them and they found this a bit frustrating.

Clever Narration

The narration is very good and great quality, but if the kids get impatient (as they do) and start touching the interactive bits of the page, the narration cleverly pauses. It can then be resumed by clicking on the white circular arrow underneath the text.

It would help if this resume arrow was a bit more obvious because we missed it the first few times we used the app to be honest, maybe a different colour on the white background or using the yellow glow effect.

Fun and Games

There are some other features included in the app to keep little ones busy including Jigsaw puzzles, join the dots, games and colouring pages, all of which the kids loved. There is also a video featuring the Misty Island theme song.

We think that Thomas and Friends Misty Island Rescue is a well illustrated, carefully animated and visually appealing iPad book that will provide Thomas fans with plenty of value. If you have little Thomas fans using your iPad we recommend you check out the video and App Store link below.

Thomas and Friends Misty Island Rescue is available on the App Store for $4.99 (£2.99).

iPad Art Gets Weird With PhotoSpeak

 

When some videos created with PhotoSpeak popped up in our iPad Creative Art and Design group on Flickr they seriously freaked us out! You really have to check out that first link to see what we mean. But we were also fascinated by these videos and we had to find out more about Photo Speak.

What we discovered was a ton of fun and a great way to entertain ourselves and the kids in the dark winter hours. It also provides portrait artists with another creative outlet, if for nothing other than a bit of silly fun.

What PhotoSpeak does

As you can see from the video above, this app takes a still image portrait and renders it as a 3D animation. Using some amazing technology called Motion Portrait, the app attempts to identify the eyes and mouth as reference and animation points.

It doesn't always manage it though and we had to try a few different images to get it to work. You can scale and shrink the image to help the detection engine and we found that, depending on the image, zooming in our out gave us a better result.

Once PhotoSpeak has located the eyes and mouth it will use the internal mic to pick up your voice and animate the image as it repeats what you have said, it literally makes your Photo Speak in near realtime in response to the audio it hears, amazing stuff! There isn't curently the option of importing audio already on your iPad, though, like songs or audio in your iTunes library.

Making Movies

The app can also record audio from the built-in mic or other audio input so that you can export that audio and animation as a movie. The processed movie can be saved to your Photo Library, shared to Facebook, YouTube (although we had trouble getting this to work) or via email.

It is a bit annoying that the app only works in Portrait mode, which means videos with big black borders on the side, but we understand that the primary use of the app is with 'portraits' so it sort of makes sense.

Even with the fairly gimmicky feel of the app, in the hands of more creative minds than ours some amazing and frankly, creepy, pieces of animated art can be produced with PhotoSpeak.

(We would love to show you some of these movies here but unfortunately, Flickr video embeds still do not work on iOS. If you haven't already followed the link in the first paragraph, check out these examples in our Flickr group from some of the most creative iPad owners out there. Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to the Flickr group.)

If you would like to try this out for yourself PhotoSpeak is on sale until the end of January for just $0.99 (59p), after which it returns to its $2.99 price.

If you do create something on your iPad with Photo Speak feel free to add it to the iPad Creative group, new members are always welcome.

As for our effort, it is very poor we realise, but our excuse is it was done very quickly over a lunchtime, enjoy all 6 seconds of it below:

 

Animation Desk for iPad

Animation Desk icon.png

Offering the closest thing we have seen to a real-world scenario for animation, new app Animation Desk for iPad has got us dreaming up ideas for our own animated classic.

Based on the easel, or desk, of a traditional cell animator, the user interface of Animation Desk uses warm colours and appealing visual elements to emulate the wooden desk and tracing pad that you would have seen (and still might see) in the big animation studios of days gone by.

We love the onion skinning effect, which simulates tracing paper overlaid on the previous frame so that you can draw your new frame on top of it, quickly flicking back and forth to get the effect of your animation.

The video below is from the developers and shows a highly sped up process of drawing an animation, which makes your head spin a bit, but the resulting animation is shown if you watch to the end.

The iPad's screen size lends itself perfectly to something like this and we think this could definitely be of use to anyone, but especially to working or aspiring animators who need to sketch out ideas quickly or mock up some ideas.

Animation Desk only has the one layer to work with though, so really it is for sketching ideas out than a full on animated production but still, we think the potential is there. 

We can imagine Animation Desk also helping to sketch out presentations or project ideas and with the built in export to a movie in your iPad's Photo Library, YouTube or even Facebook if you need to, that idea can be shared or used in Keynote/PowerPoint presentations fairly easily.

Animation Desk is only $2.99 (£1.79) in the app store which we think is a great price for this app so it is certainly worth checking out.

We found a number of animations exported to YouTube from Animation Desk, many of them very short (and some of them with content we wouldn't want to share with you here) but we have included a few of the better examples below.

 

How to Make an Interactive iPad Book

We mentioned yesterday how much we liked to see the Creative process in action, which is why we have been fascinated to watch the journey behind the production of new Interactive iPad book Astrojammies from Demibooks.

As well as creating a gorgeous and truly interactive storybook, Demibooks and author/illustrator Stacey Williams-Ng have shared the creative development process of making the app with us via a blog and videos as they went along.

About the App

Astrojammies for iPad tells the story of young boy, Jimmy, who believes that his pyjamas are magical and make him an astronaut who can fly off into outer space (actually a very normal fantasy for many of us as we grew up). The illustrations are sumptuously coloured and make the book very attractive and pleasing to the eye.

Here is a bit about the app from the iTunes description:

"..this story includes a dreamlike original music score by Steve Dixon, professional narration and amazing special effects. Readers can launch a rocket, squish and poke a planet made entirely of goo, and help Jimmy escape the jaws of a hungry space baboon... all with the tap of a finger! These interactive features help advance the story and enhance reading comprehension."

There is a 'read to me' mode as usual but you can turn this off so that you can read it yourself, or your kids can, if you let them have a go. The interactive elements have been designed to be engaging, but importantly great effort has gone in to making these elements a progressive part of the story, and this leads us on to...

The Process

What Demibooks and Stacey Williams-Ng have done to make this project stand out for us is to share their progress towards launch of the app in a series of blog posts and videos discussing some of the thinking behind decisions being made, how they tested the app with their target group (children), what this taught them, how they responded to it and its impact on the development of the app.

The posts also cover how the illustrations were developed and animated with some interesting learning points for the team.

The whole process is summarised in the video below, but if you want a really interesting read and further insight into the creative process behind Astrojammies then we would highly recommend reading through the 9 posts on Demibooks' website, we have really enjoyed it.

If you or your kids have tried out the Astrojammies app we would love to know what you think, let us know in the comments below.

Can You Make an Animated Film with Just the iPad?

When someone takes on the iPad as the sole production tool for a creative project it is always going to pique our interest. Rick Wolff, a graphic designer 'by trade', is one such person who aims to answer the above question. He has let us know about his new personal project and the supporting blog/production diary named iPadimator.

Rick is planning to produce the "first animated short using nothing but an iPad".

 

At iPadimator Rick plans to discuss the apps he will use to carry out this project and the process of using the iPad as the sole content production tool. He also hopes to generate some discussion around these areas and the project with both iPad users, animators and other creatives, as well as the developers of iPad apps themselves.

Animation (2D) is a personal passion of Rick's and something he has wanted to do since he was very young, so we are really looking forward to seeing how he gets on with this project using the iPad.

We recommend reading Rick's Welcome blog post which explains his project in more detail. For more frequent updates and Rick's thoughts on the apps he is trying out you can follow him on Twitter. Let him know we sent you!

The Littlest Girl On The Big iPad Screen

Parents are getting a lot of help recently with teaching and literacy for their children using the iPad. Just yesterday we mentioned a fun and interactive app to help pre-school children learn their Alphabet and today we heard about the release of Thumbelina for the iPad.

This interactive children's book is from Parent-programmers Touchoo, who focus on producing beautiful book-apps for Toddlers and pre-school children. We have to say the illustrations by artist and illustrator Hagit Hashimshoni are really appealing and simply gorgeous. More of her illustrations for this book are to be found in a Flickr group here.

Interactive Features

An interesting approach has been taken in some scenes, as you will see in the video above, where children are encouraged to interact with the Thumbelina story by physically moving the drawing and acting out the story. We thought this was a nice innovation and will help to engage the child's imagination by becoming actively involved with the story telling process.

Thumbelina screenshots08.png

There are four ways to experience the story of Thumbelina with this app (taken from the iTunes description):

  1. Read to Me – listen to the story, narrated in English
  2. Read Myself – the most flexible story time experience
  3. Record myself – your voice, your language, and your way to tell the story!
  4. Auto page flip – Using any one of the narration options, pages will turn automatically. Best for little ones, when they’re reading alone.

Thumbelina for the iPad is on sale at 50% of its usual price until 31 August to celebrate the launch of the app, so you can pick it up now for £1.19 ($1.99) if you are quick.

If you try it, let us know what you and your little ones think of it, in the comments below.