Developer: miSoft
Price: $3.99 
Version Reviewed: 3.2.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ 

The more our culture’s technology advances, the more I delve into the art programs our culture’s handheld, more compact devices offer. When I was in college, I pained over laborious attempts to make animation on a ginormous desktop. At the time, my computer was cutting edge. Now, it’s more Jurassic than anything.

The iPad and iPhone have flooded the masses with good, well beyond competent programs that are easy to learn and maneuver, and inevitably they create glossy, nuanced animation for the mostly average joe. My days of hacking away at a single page for hours in exchange for mediocre at best results are surpassed by the slick and addicting Paper app and Draw Something, to name a few.

I love Animation Studio by miSoft for this very reason. I was skeptical about its performance when I downloaded the app. The initial graphic I spotted reminded me of a cheesy attempt to recreate an authentic 1950s graphic. It looks like a Frank Sinatra microphone–with a face. I felt sort of like I did when I visited the Prime Time Cafe at Walt Disney World’s MGM.

The Salsbury steak and mashed potatoes were there on my melamine plate. Lucille Ball took a hit of Vitameatavegimin on a 13’’ black and white tube TV mounted on the wall. The waitresses wore vintage aprons, sparkly cat-eye frames, and short, girly bangs.

Still, this was not an authentic diner. I wanted all of the panache without the overloaded story and accoutrement.

Fortunately, Animation Studio delivers the artistic goods all around. I play with the functions: text boxes, paintbrushes, backgrounds, music, sound effects. I look forward to devoting more focused time to exploring the many available options.

The paint brush and texture are unlike any other I’ve run across on such a program. The screen works to display my finger strokes in a fluid way. I also love that my finished product, albeit quickly drawn, has a nice toothy texture of wet paint. The faux brush lines are just right.

Struggling with a mouse and keyboard, toggling back and forth, those days are over for me. Pulling text, changing fonts, selecting stroke quality, mixing quality paint colors with my fingers in a neat and easy fashion are more my style. And this is where the world all around us is shifting.

I will always be true to my roots as an artist, taking the hard way just to experience the process. I’ll never forget my solid education founded in color theory and proper technique, but elegance and beauty are not ALWAYS hard won. This is at the heart of Animation Studio. Convenience is an oft-overlooked but vital piece of the entire package.
 

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