iPad as an Animation Tool?

iPad

Like so many others, I was eagerly anticipating Apple’s iPad, but the device falls shorts in many areas, including in its usefulness to the animation community. As it relates to animation, it appears to me that its two biggest deficiences are:

– lack of stylus input, which means no animating on the device

– lack of Flash support (in other words, no viewing animation on Vimeo or Newgrounds, no Flash on websites, and no ability for playback of your own Flash animation)

The absence of these two on the iPhone is inconvenient, but to have them missing on the iPad is inexcusable. Flash, in particular, is such an integral part of today’s web browsing experience that I can’t imagine owning a full-screen device without that functionality. I’m curious to hear your thoughts about the iPad specifically as it relates to animation. What are the possibilities and what could be improved upon in the next generation? Will you be buying one?


  • http://brentcyoung.com Brent

    While Apple doesn’t make a stylus available there is one the works with the iPhone/iPod Touch and presumably the iPad.

    http://tenonedesign.com/stylus.php

  • Rob

    The more I’d heard about this when it was being worked on, the more i was preparing to not buy it. The concept could be great, if it was more like a cintiq-laptop that ran a low-tech OSX (or other os of your choice). IT would be great to use it to animate or even just have something to sketch on.
    I’m not surprised its not geared towards artists, they want to make as universal a product as possible, but was disappointed at a lot of the shortcomings.
    Also disappointed how much I’ve had to hear about it in the last 24 hours.

  • http://stephenneary.blogspot.com pizzaforeveryone

    I was looking forward to animating on my commute, but you can get a cheap tablet pc for the same price. the sensitivity wouldn’t be great, but it beats drawing with your finger on a large iphone with no pressure recognition.

  • http://rauchbrothers.com Mike Rauch

    I’m not sure that it’s true that you wouldn’t be able to watch video from Vimeo. Along with Youtube, they recently rolled out support for HTML5 which the iPad supports. Of course, a majority of online video and games at other sites will NOT be accessible.

    It seems like Apple is betting on a future for the web where Flash is a much smaller player. I would definitely be happy if that proves to be true. Flash locks content in a box. It looks more like the past to me than the future.

    HTML5 looks to have a lot of potential. Less bandwidth, more accessible content, less energy draw on your computer, and you can apparently jump anywhere in a video without buffering. And have you seen this? Produced 100% with HTML5.

  • x

    This thing is all about locking content in a box. Apple’s box.

  • http://nocturnusstudios.blogspot.com Nick

    What gets me is the fact that apple has yet to come out with their own tablet PC or at least a good one. Yet they spent all of their time and energy to create a bigger iphone. I thought small was “in” right now.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I figured no Flash was part of controlling what you can see without paying the Apple store for it.

    If the iPad succeeds I think it will create a market for a cheap asian knock off device that can play the same sort of content AND have a memory card slot AND play Flash. They’re probably prototyping it already.

  • Danny R. Santos

    I will not be getting one. It’s smaller than it looks in pictures.

  • OM

    …It’s been pretty much unanimous amongst critics that the lack of Flash support is what’s going to kill the iPad. A clear case of (cr)Apple shooting off its nose to spite its face insofar as its feud with Adobe goes. In fact, the only ones defending the lack of Flash support are the sycophants to Jobs’ Cult of Personality, and their argument is summed up with “duh…it’s Apple, d00d! Buy it and stfu!”

    I mean, not even *one* USB or Firewire port?

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    This is close to being the digital sketchbook I’m waiting for.
    However, the fact that it’s an iPhone on steroids rather than a mini-Mac makes it a disappointment for me.

    Unfortunately, I don’t want to draw with a ‘pogo’ stylus which is like drawing with a Q-tip. How hard would it honestly be to adjust the firmware to work with both a fingertip AND a regular pen stylus??
    The ability to run full programs like Sketchbook Pro would be ideal, but the Brushes app is getting pretty good by now.
    STYLUS, Apple!

    Still… give it a few months for the inevitable firmware update, we shall see.

  • david

    i love my cintiq and working at a desk, not on my lap on a screen that’s a lot smaller. HOLLER

  • http://www.artofzacharyknoles.com Zachary Knoles

    My Apple fan friends have been telling me for years that “an Apple tablet is coming.” Now that it’s here, I’m anticipating a lot of conversations explaining why this isn’t what I want.

    If it had a pressure-sensitive stylus on the order of a good tablet PC (or an Intuos or Cintiq, but that would just be icing on the cake), that would make it a very nice lightweight digital sketching tool.

    I don’t see it being useful for much other than that, but I could imagine a scenario where the iPad gets used for on-the-go digital sketching, and a Cintiq on a home computer is for the real art creation. (Right now I have a tablet PC doing double-duty on these fronts.)

    My dream scenario device would be something that allows pressure-sensitive stylus input AND touch input, as DIFFERENT INPUTS, in the same device. How awesome would that be?

  • http://www.brandoncordy.com Brandon C.

    If you have $1700 just sitting around unused, you could always get a Modbook;

    http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=modbook

  • http://privatehand.com Mike Stanfill

    Safari and Flash do not get along on my Mac system. I get jerky playback on sites like youtube but I solve that by using Firefox which has rock-steady Flash support.

    However, to remove Flash support from the iPad entirely is ludicrous. Obviously Apple has some view of a Flashless future web and, in that, I hope they’re misguided.

  • secret goldfish

    Did anyone really think the Ipad was going to be anything more than a big Ipod touch?

    Seriously, it was pretty obvious before this was even announced that it was going to be a consumer product. By consumer I mean for viewing media rather than creating it.

    Sure Flash playback is a shame but then again Flash Player is a notorious CPU and battery intensive hog.

    If Flash was available and running in its current form on the Iphone/Ipad your battery life and smooth moving UI would be compromised, in turn compromising the user experience which people would be quicker to blame on the device rather than the real culprit, the software.

    Flash needs to be seriously optimised and Adobe have been slow to act on this which will be to their own long term detriment when developers and users move towards a more ‘open’ and less resource hogging standard like HTML 5.

    I run a really powerful production desktop machine and am staggered by the percentage of resources Flash consumes to do the simplest of things like playback.

    The problem with any new Apple product is that the media and excited waiting crowds hype and build up too many unrealistic wishes for every eventual product they release.
    This happens every time they release a product and I have gradually learnt to lower my expectations before any announcement. It has also become pretty obvious that Apple are far more interested nowadays in the money to be made from consumers rather than their traditional base of pro users which is shame but also completely understandable from a business point of view.

    I use a large Cintiq that I have mounted into an angled drawing desk which with extra monitors, powerful computer and other hardware/software, makes a pretty great complete animation/drawing/effects studio.

    I would of course like to have a portable A4 sized digital sketchbook that I could use outside my studio when out and about but I knew that it was extreme wishful thinking to expect this from a consumer product like the Ipad.

    But hey if you really do need a portable digital sketch pad, you can already get a pretty darn good one made by a company that will convert a mac laptop by adding a custom Cintiq panel.
    This of course is expensive but then again so is a $500 Ipad (if it could do this) compared to cost of a simple paper sketchbook and a pencil, which is what I have opted to continue with when away from my studio.

  • zakelkou

    well Ipad is larger and will be great to introduce and present work and animations by converting them to Quick time as a portfolio device, but I agree that apple is way advanced with the product design in terms of weight and thickness plus all of those amazing applications without Flash that is insulting to graphic and web designers. I think there is a solution, its just not released yet

  • Charlie

    Now this is an iPad!

    http://www.funnyordie.co.uk/videos/167d70800c/the-ipad

    I love the very easy controls. You can draw, you can paint, you color, erase, it’s like having the real thing!

  • Anon

    Apple leaves the stylus to 3rd parties to avoid user damage/warranty on the screen.

    In regard to Flash… it’s long over due but in the works… as well as native wireless printing capability.

  • Jeremy Fries

    To sum up, I’m hugely disappointed. I love Apple products, and I was looking forward to doing animation tests on a super-swish version of the Modbook…but no, it’s just an expensive, oversized iPod. What an anticlimax!

  • jon Hooper

    OM writes: “It’s been pretty much unanimous amongst critics that the lack of Flash support is what’s going to kill the iPad.”

    All the Apple haters like OM predicted the demise of the iPhone due to lack of Flash, a shitty plastic keyboard and various other must have features. We saw how that worked out.

  • http://thousanium.blogspot.com Tang

    Did anyone who follows tech actually think it would be useful for animators in any substantial way? The problem is that the term “TABLET COMPUTER” means different things to different people.

    I always cringe when I hear tech journalists talk about the ideal tablet, because it’s always a really low spec 3g device they can watch tv on and write with. If a stylus even comes up in conversation it’s always concerning hand writing recognition.

    If anyone wants a portable drawing device they can animate with and use the applications they are used to, get a ModBook. A mass market company the size of Apple won’t release such a niche device anytime soon.

  • Scarabim

    I’m not impressed with the iPad at all. I’m waiting for the Microsoft Courier. That thing looks rad, opens up like a book (two screens!) has a stylus, and other goodies. Can’t wait!

  • http://tillmyhands.blogspot.com Adam VM

    Even if it did have flash capabilities, the lack of pressure sensitivity and stylus support make this seem less than tempting. Which is a shame – this could have been pretty cool.

    I was hoping a good and affordable tablet PC was on the way, and the thought that apple was putting one out there – finally- was exciting.

    But no, pbbbt. A giant ipod touch.

    It’s more like a high-end e-book reader.

  • http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com/ John Paul Cassidy

    On the one hand, that is rather disappointing to hear that the iPad doesn’t support Flash. Hopefully, Apple will correct that later on.

    On the other, I hear this could be a great revolution for books, especially comic-books! Some comics vets are very excited about the iPad.

    I’ll wait until the iPad becomes ubiquitous (just like the iPod), and check it out for myself before I pass any judgment. For the time being, though, I still prefer reading comics on the monitor.

  • joecab

    Sorry, but dismissing it as “just a big iPod Touch” is completely missing the point. This is the same kind of myopia that happened with the iPhone’s debut.

    I think the problem is that you’re seeing this as a computer. It’s a consumer appliance. This is all about a brand new line. Flash is a resource hog and the biggest reason for browser freezes/crashes I’ve seen. Apple’s not going to allow it on their new mobile devices. This is partially why they (and Google) are pushing HTML5 instead.

    I don’t know anyone with an iPhone who regrets not having Flash available. If you’re coming from a Flash animation perspective and can’t imagine not having Flash and a stylus, this new line of devices is never going to be for you.

  • http://www.cartoonmonkey.com Chad Essley

    Did a small cartoon about this I’d like to share:
    http://www.cartoonmonkey.com/ipad/ipad.jpg

    I was very disappointed as well. I mean, the thing doesn’t even sport USB! Crazy. Fortunately, the tablet pc (with a nice WACOM digitizer / stylus) has been around for many, many years. And if you really have a hankerin’ for OSX, google the osx86 community forums and find out how to install Leopard on .. a pc! ( Also, look for the TabletMagic driver to get your pressure sensitive pen working. )

    Honestly, there’s no shortage of fantastic laptop / tablets out there, and there’s no reason a reasonably tech-savvy person couldn’t just install Leopard on one of these machines themselves. Why wait another eight years to be disappointed yet again? Then again, Windows 7 is fantastic, and I personally don’t find any reason to lust after Apple’s OSX. All that said: Apple! If you do ever make a nice slate *full laptop computer* i.e. Tablet Pc with a true Wacom stylus.. and it’s just as nice looking as the Ipad (better resolution please), I’ll be the first in line to buy one! Unfortunately, I’ll blow away OSX and install windows 7 on it immediately. ;-)

    -C

  • http://pierreportfolio.blogspot.com/ Pierre Fontaine

    The iPad rollout was just about the biggest disappointment ever. I think that Apple’s hype machine backfired. If I heard the term “magical” one more time, I think I would have tossed my lunch. I’m rather insulted that Apple is trying to define the experience of using the iPad before anyone really has had a chance to use it.

    One of the reasons for my disappointment occurred to me some time after watching the launch video. Take any product which will do X, Y, and Z. Then after a few years, a smaller version will be released that has the same functionality but does more. What Apple has released is a 10″ iPod Touch. I can get essentially the same functionality for $299, rather than $499 and it’s more portable too.

    I also can’t imagine how anyone is going to be able to type or draw anything with that device sliding back and forth on their laps! It’s no wonder that they have identified this problem and already have docks and external keyboards that essentially turn the iPad into a desktop device.

    Ultimately, I would have been ecstatic if Apple had released the iPad, but with Flash support and with some form of pressure sensitivity. The omission of these two items are a real deal breaker for me.

  • wORK_

    I agree! I hope during this 2 to 3 month wait, the people at Apple use our feedback on the iPad to make upgrades. I would also love to see Adobe develop a CS suite application, for the iPad. Something that would allow one to work on projects on the go, and be able to sync that information to your computer once your home. The same way an iPhone syncs.

    Besides that Apple should take a page from Wacom’s Cintiq series. I always felt that if Wacom had made the Cintiq 12WX wireless, it would sell more. The ability to draw anywhere, is what I need. Like a drawing pad! This idea is not that far off from what Apple has done, with the iPad. Lets hope someone is listening.

    Secret Goldfish, I agree with you.

  • Rufus

    I believe the same styluses that worked on iPhone and allowed you to draw on Autodesk Sketchbook (which worked great, except for the screen size) can be now used on the iPad. So to say the least, I’ll be buying one to sketch on, on the road. :) And as for an app for animating, that’s just a matter of someone developing one. I’ve no doubt that someone will, and if not, I may look into taking that up myself.

  • http://coroflot.com/guz Guz

    Wow, really? No Flash support? What were they thinking?? As for the lack of stylus, that can be aided with a Wacom tablet… But really, no Flash Player support? Man…

  • http://persistenceofvision.blogspot.com/ Ethan

    The one thing that Apple did right on this was to have flash memory. I have a Toshiba M4, I got it thinking I could make it a digital sketchbook. The thing runs loud and hot and is not portable at all, flash memory will fix that. I would have been better off buying a Cintique.

    Apple will come out with a pen for the iPad, in a year or two. They always put out a bare bones product and then roll out the features so people will upgrade.

    Looks like I’ll have to stick to pencil and paper. It’s probably for the best.

  • http://www.animehell.org tohoscope

    I was really hoping the iPad would be a tool for animation, instead it’s just a really big iTouch.

  • http://www.animehell.org tohoscope

    pizzaforeveryone -”I was looking forward to animating on my commute, but you can get a cheap tablet pc for the same price.”

    Where? Link please! All the tablet pcs I’ve found are twice the price of the iPad.

  • http://flashfx.blogspot.com Ron Doucet

    If you want a MacOS version of the portable Cintiq, the Mac tablet has been out for many years.

    http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=home

    Artists/animators who prefer the MacOS use this, those who prefer PCs use the portable Cintiq.

  • http://coldhardflash.com Aaron Simpson

    Ideally the screen would be pressure sensitive (as opposed to just touch sensitive), but I think Wacom’s products rely on the pen’s recognition of pressure intensity, not the screen, right? Apparently, pressure sensitive screens for devices like this are around the corner…

    http://www.gsmarena.com/pressuresensitive_touchscreens__are_the_next_step-news-1407.php

    Hopefully an iPad solution is too.

  • Ryan

    Could a stylus be developed for the express purpose of being pressure sensitive? Like, make the tip squshy and cone-shaped, and I can use it like a brush?

    I don’t understand exactly how the multitouch works, so I’ll admit I’m presuming they could make it figure out how much of the surface you’re contacting and maybe I’m wrong.

  • http://www.warrenleonhardt.com warren

    Last year I bought an HP Touchsmart series tablet only to find out that its multitouch was provided by NTrig technology, which renders pressure sensitivity in any Adobe software useless, same with Storyboard Pro.

    Turns out they all need WINTAB support. This might be one of the reasons the iPad does not have a stylus – yet. In the meantime, I traded in the HP Touchsmart unit and got an Axiom Modbook and all is well. So far. The kicker is, as a freelancer, this kind of headache and overhead is all part of the deal when providing for all-digital pipelines. Too bad nobody uses paper anymore…it’s probably cheaper.

  • http://siskavard.blogspot.com corey

    I think I had my hopes up way too high. I thought they would have some sort of stylus pen. I’d love to carry that thing around and sketch or even make a complete comic book while sitting in a coffee shop.

    I’m suprised you guys didn’t mention the Nintendo DSi’s FREE animation program, Flipnote, when it came out. The screen is tiny but you can make some pretty sophisticated animation on the thing, even Aardman did some promos using it:

    http://flipnote.hatena.com/97849B20AA34FFBC@DSi/

    I’ve made a few myself

    http://flipnote.hatena.com/5FFB1B70CC78F8A1@DSi/

    At least Nintendo recognizes animation & has done so on past systems (Mario Paint)

    I’m suprised that Steve Jobs, who owns PIXAR, didn’t have anything like this in mind for the iPad. Sure there is a fingerpainting app, but it feels slapped on.

    • Herman

      Did you know the DS hardware is both pressure sensitive, and multi touch? Just not simultaneously, and only when run from a home brew app, I actually had that demo on my cart years ago :)

  • http://pierreportfolio.blogspot.com/ Pierre Fontaine

    I’ve tried just about every stylus available for the iPod Touch/iPhone and frankly none of them are very good for drawing purposes. The cheaper ones come with a rubber tip that is great for pressing onto the surface of the glass but the tip will not glide across the surface of the glass.

    The other type is the one with the spongy tip. These do work better but there’s still too much resistance to be able to draw properly.

    My solution actually works pretty well. I took one of the cheap rubber tipped styluses I purchased:
    http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Impression-SGH-A877-Eternity-SGH-T929/dp/B002BBJMO6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=wireless&qid=1264779375&sr=8-1

    I then snipped off the rubber tip and inserted a brass fastener that you can purchased at any office supply store like these:

    http://www.staples.com/OIC-1-Brass-Fastener-3-8-Head/product_378814?cmArea=SEARCH

    The rounded brass surface glides over the surface of the glass very easily. Surprisingly, this “frankenstylus” works very well and you can angle the head of the brass fastener so that it angles better based on how you hold it. Of course I have a screen protector on my iPod Touch to protect the glass from scratching.

    For a quick preview of how well this works, just grab a brass fastener, hold it with your hand with the head facing downwards and use it to navigate on your iPod Touch or iPhone. It really does work quite well!

    Ultimately, I find that even this is still not a perfect solution and frankly, I’ve grown accustomed to using my finger for my painting apps.

  • Amber

    I strongly disagree that the lack of flash support on the iPad is a negative. NoScript and SafariBlock are both very popular apps for good reason. Flash is by no means necessary to animate. If anything comes of this decision – specifically Adobe revisiting the way flash works on a mac – then thank goodness.

  • tobor68

    hi,

    i think flash sucks on the mac and that’s both adobe’s and apple’s fault. not one version of flash that i have is a stable product. i have clicktoflash in safari and adblocker in firefox so flash doesn’t take down my browser.

    im sure a stylus will be available within the year for the ipad. one thing apple does do well is create a product that has potential to be the focus of a large and vibrant community of developers. they will fill in the perceived ‘deficiencies’ of the ipad. if apple didn’t create a great starting point for the add-on community their products wouldn’t have the punch that they do. this is what i think everyone who is criticizing the ipad is missing.

    animation on the ipad? looks like a niche market to me. someone create an app for that! i’d buy it.

    the ipad is a fast, fast computer.

  • http://www.brandoncordy.com Brandon C.

    I’m on the same page as Tang with the pre-announcement expectations. With the exception of not having a camera built in, the iPad is exactly what I expected would be announced: a multimedia/web device with e-reading capabilities, or, as many have said, a big iPod touch.

    I knew there would be no Flash support, because the iPhone OS that was known to be running on the device doesn’t have Flash support. As for actual animation usefulness, I suppose someone could write an animation program for the iPad, but it wouldn’t make much sense unless someone else comes up with a thin-tipped stylus.

    But, like others have also said, it’s primarily a consumer device, like the iPhone and iPod. It’s not really a computer.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Underwhelming. Hopefully in a few years it’ll more specifically tailored to the things I want to do.

  • wORK_

    UPDATE!
    This I just saw on macworld.com, looks promising. But, Wacom needs to step into this field.

    http://www.macworld.com/article/146018/2010/01/ipad_stylus.html

  • http://cartoonlandanimation.com Kevin C.

    Here’s an update about Flash on the IPad:

    Adobe: Flash Apps Will Run On The iPad, Even Full Screen At Some Point

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/27/AR2010012704222.html

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ariville Sketchees

    I-this… I that.. when will it end?!!!

    I’m out :)

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    To those asking about pressure sensitivity on the iPad, it is conceivably possible, as capacitive screens can determine the area of touch, and a squishy cone-shaped stylus (as posited by Ryan above) would at least theoretically be able to give a reasonable approximation of pressure (although nowhere near as accurate as a Wacom). However, that would require Apple opening up that part of the SDK, and I am not optimistic about Apple allowing decent pro-level apps onto the iPad either, given their history at rejection of things that they see as infringing upon their own planned products.

    A bigger problem, though, is that capacitive screens’ controllers are still pretty inaccurate (although the iPhone/iPod Touch is much better than the others on the market right now). http://labs.moto.com/diy-touchscreen-analysis/

  • iBITCHNMOAN

    everyone’s complaining complaining complaining…yeesh. It’s version 1 of the product. with feedback they’ll make each version better as they always do. for artists: we’ll need the stylus with more precise drawing control. it’s a cool device that you can carry around and take use of Apple’s touch technology.

  • iCrap version 2

    Yeah, why build it in now when they can make you buy 3 iterations of the device first.

    Its just a portable web browser! But kudos to apple, they are like a modern day Midas. They’ve turned a free software app into a piece of sleek, shiny, and lets not forget expensive hardware.

  • Ultra

    I really don’t understand the complaints until people have actually tried it out. Most of the press who actually tried it out at the event LOVED it.

    Also, saying, “It’s just a big iphone” is like saying ” a 40″ tv is just a big 15″ tv. Why would I want that?” Because it’s bigger and more powerful!

    The iPad will be defined by the software created for it. If someone creates a great animation software for it, I’m sure everyone will be surprised by what you can achieve. Also, if there’s a big enough demand for a more “pencil like” stylus, I’m sure a third party will create one.

    I’ve already been surprised how inventive people have been with iPhone software. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do for the iPad.

  • http://www.wardjenkins.com Ward

    Right now, the iPad is clearly not directed to artists and animators, but that might change in later versions.

    All this poo-pooing is strangely similar to when Apple released the first iPod:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500

  • Yelonde

    As an animator, I am quite disappointed. I was hoping that this could possibly replace the more expensive intuos, or modbook.

    There are styluses however that will work with the iPad. The only thing we have to wait for is for a company like toonboom to make an animation program for this platform. I think that the iPad would be an excellent tool for animation production. The problem is, toonboom, and other animation companies may never create a professional animation program for this device.

  • tobor68

    creating an animation app for the ipad seems like a no brainer to me. toonboom, nudge, nudge.

    as far as a stylus is concerned i know there are ones for the iphone (pogo) and it’s not impossible to create an input device for it either. it’s in the SDK. they debuted this with the iphone 3GS.

    so what if it’s “just a big ipod touch”? what’d you expect? a small ipod touch?

    go back and watch the part where they demo iwork. you don’t think that technology will be available to developers?

    if you think ‘no’ then you’re just being willfully ignorant or you need to get your head out of your ass. or both.

    how can you possibly be underwhelmed by this device? every tech manufacturing company who claims that it’s nothing special is crappin’ in their drawers right now.

  • mickhyperion

    I guess no one watched the keynote and saw the demo of the Brushes app, currently available for the iPhone/iPod Touch, ported over to the iPad. The painting and layering abilities, in addition to the ability to playback the entire creation of a piece, hold many animation opportunities. Has anyone heard of the app called Flipbook, a traditional animation tool for the iPhone… and now the iPad? Has anyone heard of iTracer, a 3D animation app? How about the Brian Eno app called Bloom which demonstrates the possibilities presented by the ability to create music and animation live before your very eyes?

    I love Flash, but it’s hilarious how most of you talk trash about it most of the time, yet now act like you can’t live without it on this device. If you guys are so disappointed by the iPad, you are about as unimaginative and uninspired as the current PC-user world and animation industry can get.

  • bicboyd

    i have two selves: my consumer self and my professional self. i’ll admit i was craving a prosumer device that i could take to meetings and sketch ideas for clients, or overseas when i’m doing product design work, so much lighter than the macbook, plus sketchpad, plus camera. and i was also looking forward to my morning routine of doing my scrabble moves and reading the new york times in bed, as i do now on my iPhone, without my big old potato pickers getting in the way of the text as i scroll.

    but that’s not what was introduced to us. and because the iPhone / iPad require/s a finger’s width to register input, wide styluses [or styli?] don’t let me see exactly where my ‘pointer’ is going.

    i’d love not to give up on the iPad. although i’m not what some call a fanboy, i’m definitely more excited by what apple produces and i’m not ready to embrace an HP slate or windows. does anyone think a 3rd party will develop a stylus thick enough to register input, but thin enough to see what we’re drawing? that would sell it for both the pro and the consumer in me.

  • Mats Andren

    so whats the bottom line? now there are stylus pens around, is it still not exact enough? I personally dont mind that its not pressure sensitive. I dont mind animating in flipbook on the DS even (although its a bit ropey accessing the tools and not being able to change the holds of every drawing, just the framerate. buts thats up to the app.) as long as I can do some animating on the thing Im alright, dont need 24bit colors or flash. but if its a fingers-widths accuracy like someone said thats not good enough…

  • http://albertkinng.com Albert Kinng

    Steve said on D8 Conference, if you don’t like the No-Flash feature, don’t buy it. 3 Millions are being sold, I got mine and use my Pogo Stylus to draw my comic-strips. So, listen to the Big Steve and go find other tablet as cool and functional as the iPad… I’ll like to see that.

  • http://www.doink.com Aaron White

    (Disclosure, my company wrote the app I’m about to mention)

    DoInk’s online animation software has been ported to the iPad, we’re really proud of what we’ve created and its getting better at an incredible ‘clip’…

    Lack of stylus is a bummer, but the pogo stylus is better than nothing.

    Anyway, while of DoInk.com’s animations are exported as flash, our iPad app can export flash & h264, we may eventually export all animations that way….

    Would love to hear your thoughts on our app!

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/doink-vector-animator/id364762290?mt=8

    [email protected]

  • http://photopuppet.me Piotr Sliwinski

    Here’s a new way to make funny animations on the iPad – PhotoPuppet. Check it out on App store:

    http://itunes.apple.com/en/app/photopuppet/id391266186

    Be sure to check video tutorials on our website – you will ‘get it’ in 2 minutes!

    http://photopuppet.me/en/video-tutorials/basic-animation

  • http://photopuppet.com Piotr Sliwinski

    Disclaimer: I designed the app I’m mentioning.

    This is a completely new release, based on the original PhotoPuppet idea:

    PhotoPuppet HD is a video animation app for the iPad that allows you to create and control animated puppets which can be created from images stored in your photo library and from ready-made templates. Utilizing the multitouch features of the screen and a simple layering technique seen in most full fledged video and image editing suites, items can be animated by using pinch and zoom and manipulated with simple finger movements. Editing can be done in a storyboard mode similar to iMovie/GarageBand, or frame by frame.

    The created videos can be saved to iPad’s library, posted to YouTube, and then the links posted to Twitter and Facebook.

    Here’s the App Store link: http://itunes.apple.com/app/photopuppet-hd/id421738553?mt=8

    Currently there is no other animation app in the store that allows you to do what PhotoPuppet HD does.

    Check out the comparison of features of current iPad animation apps:
    http://www.morriscooke.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/PhotoPuppet-HD-feature-comparison1.png

    All other similar apps (Puppet Pals, Animation Creator, Toontastic) limit you to ready-made pictures, or worse – force you to use old-style flipbook animation. Some of them don’t offer YouTube uploads. Some of them don’t have Twitter and Facebook integration. PhotoPuppet HD has all that:

    1. frame-by-frame animation – create sequences of frames, edit them in PhotoPuppet HD and use during animation by switching frames using vertical or circular frame switchers

    2. automatic motion – set objects in various types of motion (like rotation for car wheels or planets) 

    3. characters can be built from many separately-controlled body parts (create puppets with animated legs, arms or heads – move them separately or set *automatic movement – eg. applying walk sequence to puppet’s legs )

    4. attach heads to ready-made bodies and create cartoon-like puppets instantly


    No other animation software on the iPad gives you so much creative freedom.

    PhotoPuppet HD allows:

    - creating puppets out of photo gallery
    - using any content in your animation
    - recording and editing individual tracks and sound – just like you would in any pro app
    - exporting your creations to video files with standard or HD quality
    - posting animations to YouTube, links to Twitter and Facebook

    - sending projects, project parts or single puppets via email to other PhotoPuppet users – your content can be reused

    - sending movies as e-mail attachments

    Here is our promo video that show what can be done in PhotoPuppet HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsO12Ugim4A&feature=player_embedded

    Here’s a short introduction to PhotoPuppet HD:
    http://photopuppet.me/apps/photopuppethd/introduction-hd/

    We have also great video tutorials, that present the features of PhotoPuppet HD:
    http://photopuppet.me/apps/photopuppethd/video-tutorials/

    This is our web page: http://www.photopuppet.com

  • http://johnnyscribble.com Tyrel Bramwell

    I realize this is an extremely late comment, but I thought I would post it anyway, especially considering the last post which mentions various animation apps. I’m the creator of Johnny Scribble, an internet animation series, and I do it using Animation Creator HD on my iPad2.

    http://johnnyscribble.com

    With respect to other animation apps, I chose to use Animation Creator HD because it allows me to actually draw my cartoon completely within the app. I’m doing a very simple styled toon, but I would argue that it is much more than a flip book animation. My goal is to use the technology available to create an entertaining cartoon that is completely drawn and animated on a mobile device. The only aspect of Johnny Scribble that is not done on my tablet is the sound. Animation Creator has the ability to handle audio, but I do not. I’m an artist but unfortunately not a foley artist! :) I have however used Animation Creator’s audio editor to sync a completed audio file – music and foley effects to my animation. It works like a champ!

    I think as developers continue to work with the iPad and similar devices we will see better animating possibilities! And of course I hope Johnny Scribble will help push the community in that direction!

    Tschus!

  • Mike Scott

    Hi Amid. I think it’d be cool to revisit this topic, 3 years or so later. I’m considering getting an iPad to use for some animation (among other things, email, web etc…). Now that there are a number of stylus options to choose from, and Wacom’s Companion on the scene, I think it’d be great for some insight here.