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Entries in Animation Desk (2)

Animation Desk Upgrade to add Layers, updated UI

We reviewed Animation Desk for iPad when it was first released, we recommended it then and still use it now, but the big feature that was always missing? Layers...

As previewed on Twitter and in the video below, Animation Desk 1.5 (set for release in the next few days) will finally feature Layers.

In addition there is a revamped user interface making some of the main functions far easier to access more quickly and a new export feature so that packages can be created and imported to your computer/other apps/other devices.

Going by the video below the 1.5 upgrade looks to be a good one. Animation Desk for iPad [app store link] promises to be better than ever and with Layers it is sure to become a favourite animation app on the iPad. We can't wait to download the update.

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.