2016-04-04

Animation Desk For iPad

I am adding a new label to the blog: Animation. Over the weekend, I happened to pick up an animation app for my iPad, called Animation Desk. I gave it a test spin, using the "crayon" drawing tool and letting "inspiration" strike me as it may. The results are as follows:


I spent a few days trying to research which animation app would be the best one to get. It's just a $4-$5 app, but still, why waste the money? As it turns out, there are only two or three apps worth investigating in the iPad animation space. I chose Animation Desk because it seemed to have the best drawing features. While it may not yield the best immediate results, it seems most appropriate for people interested in improving their animation skills in the long run.

There seem to be two major drawbacks to Animation Desk.

The first is that, if you want to add sound to your animation through the app itself, you're stuck with a 6 frames-per-second rate, which is very slow by animation standards. This is why the animation above looks "choppy." It looks much better at 12fps, but in order to add that useless guitalele soundtrack, I had to accept the 6fps limitation. In the long run, this is not a big deal, since I can use proper sound recording and video productions applications for that purpose, after exporting the animation itself. (Almost like a real, big-budget animation studio, eh?)

The second limitation is that the app does not meet the security standards of YouTube, Facebook, etc., so while it technically has the functionality to be able to upload to those media directly, in practice YouTube will simply interpret the file push as a security threat and disallow it. So you have to go the long way: Save the file, and then upload it via some other application.

At the end of the day, this has already been quite edifying for me. I've gained a lot of respect for professional animators after seeing what they have to go through to animate well. I look forward to future experiments in animation.