Apps for Animation and Drawing-With-Benefits


Despite what you may think about my ignoring your app suggestions, I do actually take them to heart.  I just have to find the right category for them if I’ve done a blog about something similar.

I recently wrote a blog about Cool Things to Make With the iPad, and in that, I covered apps that fancied up photos into something artsy, and a stop-motion animation camera app.  I also wrote a blog about 10 Great Drawing and Painting Apps for the iPad.

So … consider those apps for creating images/content/assets and take things a step further with Apps for Animation and Drawing-With-Benefits.  You’ll see what I mean when reading below.

School Age or Older

Animation Creator HD – free to try, $1.99 to buy, available for iPad

This is a pretty awesome app for those who like to do flipbooks, traditional or cel animation.  Animation Creator acts like a light table, with “onion skinning” so you can see a watermark-like version of the previous frame.  Users can change the frame rate for speed, create an unlimited number of frames with a plethora of drawing tools, then share finished works.  There’s a walking animation included in the gallery that’s quite inspirational, so the potential for Animation Creator creations is sky high.

PhotoPuppet HD – free to try, $2.99 to buy, available for iOS

I have to admit that while I didn’t have much patience (or drawing talent) for this app, I can wholly support its potential for really awesome finished products.  It’ll take some hefty investment of time to learn how to use the app, but in the end, users should be able to treat digital images like puppets (hence, the title), but move separate body parts/pieces of puppets in different ways.  Users can also record voices, put various components on different timelines, move between layers, and change a variety of other settings.  I would say that this is a good precursor to using Adobe Flash, and tangible encouragement for budding animators.

Daydream Doodler – free, available for iOS, Mac, PC

The interface isn’t the greatest in this app, but its main feature is that all brush strokes appear with a black outline for that classic cartoony look.  There are a surprising number of features, such as changing the paper colour, drawing on multiple layers, incorporating lots of different brushes and colours, then exporting to the device’s Camera Roll or gallery.  In terms of animation, this would be a good app for creating images to be animated in another app or software.

AniMate Maker – free to try, $0.99 with in-app purchase or separately, available for iOS

There’s not a lot in the free version, but it’s enough to get a taste for what this app can do.  If your kids are into making silly pictures, AniMate could be a lot of fun.  Users start with an outline of a body, drawing and inserting pictures.  When ready, users choose character animations and watch as their drawn figure comes to life, dancing and doing gymnastics, since the outlined body template is preconfigured.

A note to parents that it might even help in psychologically taking the mickey out of a bully.

Say It!  Animated Greetings – free with $0.99 in-app purchases for characters, available for iOS

Parents will have to keep an eye on which characters are bought, but this cartoony app lets users record greetings, which appear as if spoken by cartoon characters and famous American politicians.  While recording, the mouth on the picture will move according to the voice recorded (like a digital ventriloquist dummy), and greetings can be shared through email and Facebook.  Now, did President Obama really say that everyone should be entitled to ice cream?


Squiggles! – free, available for iPad

This is what I mean by “drawing with benefits.”  Squiggles! lets users choose a page, draw squiggles as directed, press the go button, then watch as the drawings become animated, as if powered by the squiggles.  Users can also choose a blank page and draw whatever (and use “stickers”), but then it’s a surprise as to how the drawing comes alive.

There are several things that I like about this app, primarily the introductory video starring Miku and Bobu (because all good videos should star a monkey and a bunny) and the animated storybook that’s included.

In terms of being user-friendly, I really like that there’s a very clear parents section for grown-ups-only stuff like subscribing to the developers’ newsletter, changing options for sound or language (English or Japanese), viewing the gallery and sharing works of art made in the app.  But I love that it’s this substantial and free.

Doodlecast For Kids – $1.99, available for iOS

In this app, users draw as their brush strokes and voices are recorded, creating videos which can be played back (as soon as you hit “done”) then uploaded to YouTube.  To get ideas, users can use the simple templates to start, or draw in response to questions like, “What goes fast?” for inspiration.  In playing with Doodlecast initially, I didn’t really understand the point (so don’t feel bad if you didn’t either), but now I realize that it’s especially great for parents who have kids that draw weird things, or like to explain what’s going on as they draw.  Also, it’s probably a great way to capture some cute little voices before they get sassy and sullen.

I usually don’t say much about developers, but I think it’s important to mention that buying this app supports zinc Roe, one of Toronto/Canada’s leading independent game studios.  Grown-ups can also try using Doodlecast Pro for presentations and such.

Hopefully these apps will inspire some digital movement and creation.  And for those of us less inclined, we can still enjoy the fruits of animation labour, like Doodle Bowling.

Image Source: IAppFind