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Animation Desk Cloud Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on August 11th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: DETAILED ANIMATIONS
Animation Desk Cloud is a detailed way of creating your own animations, but it's a little tricky at times.
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FlipIt.im Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on July 15th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: ROUGH ANIMATING
The layout is a bit of a mess but FlipIt.im allows you to create some fun if simple animations.
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PixelTV Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on February 26th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PIXEL CREATIONS
Simple yet creative, PixelTV is an app all about creating moving images from pixels.
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Disney Animated Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Rob Rich on August 9th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ENCYCLOPEDIA FANTASIA
Disney Animated is a chronicle of all of Disney's animated features that's incredibly detailed, extensive, and even a little magical.
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Disney Animated is the Be-All-End-All Disney App for Your iPad

Posted by Rob Rich on August 8th, 2013
iPad App - Designed for iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ENCYCLOPEDIA FANTASIA :: Read Review »

Disney's animated films will always have a special place in movie history. And a special place in many a heart as well. It's is probably why Disney Interactive, in collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios and Touch Press, got together and created Disney Animated.

This isn't just a big eBook about Disney movies; it's an interactive chronicle of all 53 (fifty three!) of their feature length animations, from "Snow White" to "Wreck-it-Ralph." In other words it's something no iPad-toting Disney fan should be without.

• Read about Disney animation in a way you never could before, and work with Disney characters and technologies via sophisticated interactives.
• Reveal work-in-progress animation steps and visual effects layers beneath animated scenes.
• Zoom in on concept art, painted backgrounds, and storyboards to see intricate details as never before possible.
• Rotate treasured artifacts from the locked vaults of The Walt Disney Animation Research Library as if they were in the palm of your hand.
• Swipe through a complete timeline of every Walt Disney Animation Studios feature film, with animated clips from your favorite characters and recently uncovered trailers.

Charade Parade Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PARTY POSING
Charade Parade is a pretty cool idea that fumbles slightly in one very important area.
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Pilot Brothers 2 Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on June 21st, 2013
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: CONFUSING
Charm and cartoon-style graphics can only go so far in this strange and confusing adventure game.
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NIKO And The Sword Of Light: The First Fully-Animated Hand-Drawn Comic Book App?

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 1st, 2013

Sometimes, it's quite easy to forget how truly innovative iPhone and iPad apps can be. They can revolutionize concepts that we've taken for granted in an earlier guise, something that the folks behind NIKO and the Sword of Light hope to achieve.

Having recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to aid their project, four college friends from London and Toronto hope to change comic books massively, by launching the first fully animated hand-drawn comic book app. They certainly have the pedigree, too. Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera, from Imaginism Studios, are well known for their work on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3, while Adam Jeffcoat and Jim Bryson, of StudioNX, have worked for companies such as Nickelodeon, CBBC and EA Games.

With a plan to launch NIKO and the Sword of Light this summer, the team told me a little more about exactly how it all came to be and precisely why it's worth taking this Kickstarter campaign seriously.

"Niko was born from the idea that we wanted to make something different from the types of cartoons and movies that were out there. Something dark and edgy that enabled us to tell a story that would transport our audience…through awe inspiring landscapes full of wondrous characters and monstrous beasts.", explained Adam Jeffcoat. "We wanted to take the darker feel of graphic novels and combine it with the style of modern animated movies to come up with something that would appeal to both adults and children alike!"

As he explains, the story is set to be a classic battle between "dark versus light" with "one tiny hero against all the odds." After all, it's an apt concept given that "[the] real world always seems to be faced with so much darkness every time you turn on the news." Discussing the team's addiction to TV shows such as Game of Thrones and Spartacus, Adam pointed out that they "love the idea that our world could have once been a place where magic existed, where dragons roamed and where the forces of dark and light were at constant war with each other."

Further inspiration stemmed from "modern graphic novels such as Hellboy", focusing on a "darker and more adult way" of telling a story.

Ambitiously, Adam and the team didn't want to stick to typical ways of doing comic books or graphic novels: "Right from the start we wanted to to something that hadn't been done before." The iPad played a pivotal role given, "this thing bridges the gap between static and animated." Adam feels such interactivity will add to the experience too, "to create a sense of real tension."

The combined work of StudioNX and Imaginism Studios is a truly modern way of doing things, given that one half of the team is based in Toronto and the other half is in the UK. With a sound designer in Mexico, and coders located in Australia and the US, Adam extolled the virtues of Skype, email and Dropbox to make it easier to be working so remotely.

Acknowledging the importance of retaining momentum throughout the Kickstarter campaign, Adam also explained the importance of getting marketing just right. Facebook has proved a valuable ally, thanks to the team's focus on keeping fans informed each step of the way.

While the glimpses of work are fleeting, NIKO and the Sword of Light looks quite special already, thanks to some beautiful artwork within.

The Kickstarter campaign has around three weeks to go and it's already nearly hit its goal. If you're interested in participating, check out the campaign page, which offers some pretty cool pledge rewards, as well as learn more via their Facebook page. We'll be sure to keep up to date with all the latest developments, also.

Major Magnet Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Carter Dotson on February 22nd, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: A MAJOR ATTRACTION
Major Magnet takes obvious nostalgic influences and applies them to a great original game.
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Animation Studio Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Monica Stevens on July 11th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: Unexpected Stroke of Genius
Painterly decadence hits a sweet spot.
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Blocksworld Makes All Inner Children Squeal with Glee

Posted by Rob Rich on June 12th, 2012

Everyone’s messed around with building bocks in some form or another at some point in their life. Everyone. It’s kind of a universal thing. Which is a big reason as to why I’m somewhat amazed that very few people have attempted to merge the concept with interactive design. It’s one of those ideas that doesn’t seem obvious until someone comes up with it. And Boldai came up with it.

Blocksworld is, in essence, a set of virtual building blocks. Structures can be cobbled together, tiny people can be crafted, and all manner of impossible creations can appear with a few taps and flicks. But simply creating a thing is only the beginning. Once that mutant frog or towering skyscraper is complete, it can be brought to life or used as an asset in an animated movie or even video game. This is because it’s more than just a sandbox, it’s an incredibly easy to use toolset for creative types.

Any iOS user can open up Blocksworld and create whatever their imagination can come up with. Then they can use it to create their own action movie or turn it into a game, then they can share it with the world on the official website. Or Twitter and Facebook, of course. The tools are rudimentary but the sky is indeed the limit.

Blocksworld is still in beta but is expected to release later this summer. There’s no official word on pricing yet but users will be able to purchase additional content packs (prices also TBD) in order to bolster their creative arsenal.

ActionShot Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 30th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: INTERESTING
A nice idea that misfires in places.
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Bane of Yoto Comics Arrive on iOS

Posted by Jason Wadsworth on March 5th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The Bane of Yoto Animotion Comic Episode I: Monster is the first installment of a new stand-alone comic app released by Squiddle Games for enjoyment on the iOS device of your choice. The story of The Bane of Yoto is an original story created by Josh Voila and based on the novel The Bane of Yoto: Blade of the Arbitrators written by the same Josh Viola and Nicholas Karpuk in collaboration with New York Times best-seller Steve Alten, JC Hutchins and Keith Ferrell. In this sweeping sci-fi fantasy tale readers will learn the fate of Yoto, who is turned into a powerful beast when a magical dagger is stabbed into his chest. Yoto will have to choose whether to save his downtrodden race or destroy them with his new power.

The Bane of Yoto is more than just a comic book to read, though. This app integrates 3D animation and 2D artwork created by Nick Runge of IDW Comics and Tyler Kirkham of DC. The comic is also narrated.

This is currently available in the App Store for free, and is compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S as well as the iPad and iPad 2.

Kinotopic Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 18th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: INTRIGUING
A fascinating concept that's let down slightly by execution and stability issues.
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iStopMotion for iPad Lets Us All be Animators

Posted by Jordan Minor on December 23rd, 2011

The unique look and feel of stop-motion animation is what gives movies like A Nightmare Before Christmas and the Wallace and Gromit series their charm. Mac users have been bringing ordinary objects to life with this technique for years now thanks to iStopMotion from Boinx Software. Now iPad users can also have the power to create and share their own stop-motion animations with the release of the iStopMotion for iPad app.

Like any form of animation, stop-motion works by playing a series of frames so fast that they appear to be moving. What sets stop-motion apart is that its frames are pictures of real things that have been carefully re-positioned numerous times instead of drawings. iStopMotion for iPad allows users to capture these frames, edit them into movies and share them online all through an iPad. It's a cheap way to make movies and learn about the animation process while doing it.

Also available is the iStopMotion Remote Camera app which allows users to capture frames with their iPhones and sync them with their iPads via W-Fi. That way movies can look the best they can thanks to the superior cameras of the latest iPhones.

iStopMotion for iPad is $4.99, iStopMotion Remote Camera is free and both are available now. Why not celebrate the holidays by making some homemade Rankin/Bass specials?

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