Tag Archives: ipad

App Review: DoInk

As many of you probably already know, Wacom announced their new mobile tablet line, which allows digital illustrators to draw on the go. This is a great idea, but many people aren’t too fond of being tied to Windows or Android operating systems, or dropping $1600-$2500 USD for the luxury to be mobile. Wacom also announced a pressure-sensitive stylus for the iPad for a more reasonable $100 USD, but it doesn’t have much of a benefit if your drawing app of choice doesn’t support it.

So lately I’ve been the hunt for a good drawing app that is similar to Adobe Flash and supports Wacom’s new stylus, does animation, vector lines, .PNG exporting, canvas resizing, and has features like pencil, paint brush and paint bucket. After downloading about 20 drawing apps, I’ve come to the conclusion it doesn’t exist or I still have yet to find it. A few I’ve tried are Sketchbook Pro, Sketchbook Ink, Adobe Ideas, Animation Desk, iDraw, Paper, Penultimate, Bamboo Paper, Skitch, Drawing Pad, Procreate, Artrage, ArtStudio, Inkist, and FlipInk.

Charles McKeever (@CoronaGeek) mentioned DoInk to me a few days ago, but before I bought another drawing app that didn’t fit the bill, I first decided to email the company who makes it. I asked if it supports individual .png exporting and Wacom’s new pen. To my surprise, DoInk is created by one developer who gave a prompt response saying those items were on his to-do list, but it’s difficult implementing everything he would like to see in the app. As an individual developer myself, I completely understand the balance of features you want to create and time available to do so.

I decided to give DoInk a shot, especially since I figured it’d be a fun app and it’d support a fellow indie app developer. The app is very similar to Adobe Flash, which was a great surprise. The lines aren’t vector, but they’re still pretty crisp and there is paint bucket support. The user interface is pretty intuitive, as soon as I opened the app I was able to draw a character and animate him. Once you have your animation drawn, you can overlay it on top of a background drawing, a pre-made background, or even a picture from your camera roll. Then when your scene is setup, you can export the video to your camera roll. From there you can send it to your DropBox or even edit it in iMovie.

So is DoInk the drawing app I’ve been searching for? Not really, it doesn’t support .png exporting or Wacom’s pen yet. Is it a lot of fun to use? Yes, it’s nice being able to create Flash-like animations on the go. Honestly, I think I might be stuck to sitting at a desk when it comes to drawing artwork for my apps, but DoInk is definitely a great app when you want to animate away from your computer chair. If you’re looking for a good animation app, definitely pick this one up.

App Review: Scouting Thomas

As a father of a 13-month old, I’m always looking for new children’s apps that she’ll be interested in now and ones that she might have interest in years from now. It’s actually the reason I wrote, illustrated, and programmed the Colin Turtle children’s book series. I recently stumbled across a new app called “Scouting Thomas” through social media and I was instantly interested by the great artwork style.

Scouting Thomas

Opening the app, I was immediately impressed by the well-animated intro sequence of Thomas and Buddy roasting marshmallows.  I tapped on the animation, and Buddy’s marshmallow burst into flames and Thomas quickly put out the flames using a fire extinguisher. It was cute, funny, and being an animator and app developer myself, I was impressed that there was such fluid animation on a splash screen of an app.

The next screen I visited was the Jokes & Game page. Here you can tap on Buddy and watch him tell kid-friendly jokes to Thomas. The jokes are a bit corny and might be slightly too sophisticated for very young children, but I think kids in the demographic that Flying Monkey Pie Productions are aiming for, will enjoy the humor. The games screen offers a crossword, Scrabble-like game where users can solve questions by jumbling supplied letters. Here I was impressed that the app offered a game, a joke screen and an introduction animation without making the app running the least bit slowly on my iPad. The only qualms I had thus far were that the kids didn’t speak, you have to read everything yourself, and the controls to the game were a bit clunky. While moving letters around to solve a puzzle, you had to make sure that there wasn’t a letter in the space to where you wanted to move it, otherwise the letters would overlap in the same space. I would have liked to see the letters shift down one space to make puzzle-solving quicker and easier.

Scouting Thomas 2

One part I did enjoy was that after reading all of Buddy’s jokes, you get rewarded with a scout badge. Throughout the app, you can earn different badges for completing various tasks. I think kids would enjoy being rewarded for going through each part of the application and performing different actions.

Scouting Thomas Badges

Next, I visited the how-to section. This section is an interactive portion that shows you how to make a contraption that shoots out marshmallows. You drag the parts on the screen connecting them, and when you’re done, you know how to make your own marshmallow shooter. You also earn another scout badge for completing the contraption in the app. I didn’t have the parts needed, so I did not get to test out actually making the marshmallow shooter. Could be a fun weekend project when my daughter is loder though.

There is also a theater section where you can watch a short animated film. I was really impressed by this because the animation is fluid and the frame-rate never dropped. I was probably more impressed by the theater than most people would be that purchase the app, but it’s probably because I know how difficult it can be to make a great animation and also have it play well on a mobile device.

There is a comic book section as well, where you can tap on each panel of a comic strip and have the speech balloons appear. This is where I would have really liked to hear the kids actually speaking, but I’m well-aware of the costs of professional voice actors, so I wasn’t terribly surprised by the lack of kids’ voices. Still, I think it’s what could have taken this app from being great to being a fantastic experience.

Overall, I am still amazed by how much the creators were able to fit into a single mobile app and not only that, to keep the quality of the work so high. Kids will love this app because of all of the different activities, and adults will be surprised by the high level of quality that the app displays. Pick this app up if you’ve got little ones and want to keep them entertained.

iTunes

How to Draw on iPad

I was out of town for my birthday when this went live, but I wrote a new tutorial for www.RayWenderlich.com about how to draw on an iPad using Sketchbook Pro. It’s good for beginner’s who don’t have much experience drawing, but more advanced artists may find some useful tips in there as well. Enjoy!

http://www.raywenderlich.com/41650/learn-to-draw-on-ipad

The Phrase Game: Updated!

For the past couple months, Daniel Williams and myself have teamed up to create a new game app called “The Phrase Game”. I’m happy to announce it’s now available for iOS, Amazon Kindle, Nook, and Android!

For the initial release, we created 50 puzzles to solve based on popular phrases and idioms. We just released a free bonus pack of 25 puzzles that are a little more challenging as well as an additional trophy. We’re hoping to continue releasing periodic updates that give players more puzzles and trophies.

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Built with Corona SDK

Download Now!

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Coffee Grab: Now For iOS

Yesterday afternoon I got notification that Apple approved Coffee Grab for the App Store.

iPhone/iPad Version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coffee-grab/id606931259?ls=1&mt=8

Android Version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gpanimations.coffeegrab

 

You could probably beat the entire game in one sitting pretty easily, but at least it’s free and I enjoyed making it. It’s pretty easy to add new levels so I might release an update in the future with new levels to play.

 

New iOS Game Submitted

Coffee Grab - Copyright 2013 Greg Pugh - GP ANimations
Coffee Grab – Copyright 2013 Greg Pugh – GP Animations

I just submitted a new game app to Apple and I am awaiting its approval or rejection. I created it as a learning experience, as I have never created a game app or have used any sort of ad program. I have filled out all of the information for iAds, Inneractive, etc. accounts in the past, but never utilized them.

I always thought banner ads made apps look kind of cheap and I didn’t like having to compensate screen real estate to accompany them. I was also weary of making game apps because it seems like once a user finds a bug or glitch, they leave terrible reviews criticizing the app, the developer, and the developer’s mother.

To step away from my comfort zone, I decided it was time to publish a free game app that utilizes an ad. I still didn’t want to use banner ads though, so I opted for a one-time fullscreen ad that the user can close before the game starts.

It was actually very easy to implement an ad using my Inneractive account. I signed into Inneractive, created a profile for the app, which generated an App ID. Then I placed this code on the Choose Level screen of my game:

ads = require “ads”
ads.init( “inneractive”, “app_ID” )
ads.show( “fullscreen”, { x=0, y=0, interval=60 } )

Then on the screen where the game starts I added: ads.hide();

It’s a pretty straightforward way of implementing an ad into an app. Hopefully you’ll all be able to play Coffee Grab in the near future.

Win an iBook Contest

GP Animations is giving away an iBooks copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Mobile Apps with Corona SDK” for iPad!

 

Here’s how to enter:

1.) Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CreateCoronaSDKApps

2.) Leave a comment on Facebook why you’re interested in learning how to make your own apps.

 

A winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. The winner will be sent a message on Facebook containing a promo code to download a copy of the iBook onto their iPad.

iBook: Creating Mobile Apps with Corona by GP Animations

Since I’ve been writing a lot of tutorials lately, I thought it might be worthwhile to write an entire iBook about creating apps with Corona SDK. However, once I got past the first 2 chapters, I began to wonder if anyone would even want an entire book on the subject.

To solve this question, I’ve decided to give away the first 2 chapters of the book for free. The only problem is, I hear it takes Apple quite awhile to approve iBooks so I’ll provide the link for the file here. Simply download the .ibooks file and sync it to your iPad via iTunes.

If you enjoy or hate the book with a passion, let me know and that will determine if I continue writing the rest of the book.

Click to download iBooks Version
Click to download iBooks Version
Click to download the PDF Version
Click to download the PDF Version

 

PDF Version Readers: Click to watch video
PDF Version Readers: Click to watch video

 

I’m aware of the typo in the poll question, I guess autocorrect got the best of me and now I can’t change it. Be sure to check your autocorrect, kids.

Tutorial: Sketchbook Pro for iPad using Reflector

The other day I discovered Reflector, which allows you to stream your iPad or iPhone screen to your computer. You can also then record your iPad screen using Reflector, Google+ Hangouts, or Quicktime. The only downside of using Reflector to record your screen is that it doesn’t record audio.

I figured since I could record my iPad screen I would give a brief tutorial on drawing using Sketchbook Pro for the Apple iPad. If you enjoy this video, I can give more tutorials on other iPad apps such as AnimationDesk, Penultimate, or Make Pixel Art.