September 25, 2012

Nice to see Mousey is getting around...

Nice to see Mousey is getting around.  I discovered this website in India with a nice Mousey picture on the front page... right next to Bruce.

I'd say Mousey is nearly famous. It's an especially long way to go for a very short mouse to travel. And it's not true that elephants are afraid of mice... that's just a myth.

September 22, 2012

A little physics

Physics is the name given in game programing to the ability of graphic objects to react to gravity and other forces on a tablet screen.   I think it's key to making apps in the future... and today I just downloaded two great programs to add physics and animation to an e-book app.

The two great programs are TexturePacker and PhysicsEditor.  They allow an artist to create their own physics and animation to add to their books. They're from Code'n'Web.  So that sounds like my wintertime hobby to figure out how they work.  I think it should make for some awesome potential.
I made up this little test film in Corona where I simply subbed in my graphics for the image in the pre-written program.  It really wasn't that difficult.  So I'm excited about getting up the learning curve to figure those things out... if I can.

September 20, 2012

Interactive Special Effects

So how was that spinning globe in the title page of 'Mousey the Explorer' created?  Creating a globe isn't easy!

I wondered that myself.  One afternoon it occurred to me that there isn't any reason why photography and even movies can't be mixed in with illustrations for an interactive e-book.  So I thought about the globe. 

The globe started out life as a holiday ornament that's been on our tree for years.  I've always liked it a lot.  First I thought I'd just photograph it.  But then I wondered why couldn't I make it turn?

The trusty old brain started toiling away and before long I'd figured out a method of staging it to photograph on my kitchen counter.  With a tripod and my trusty Lumix FZ18 I placed the globe against the backdrop of a white background using a bread basket and white towels.

I carefully rotated the globe for each partial rotation, taking care to not change the orientation.  Then with photoshop I created a circular white mask to isolate just the globe and blank the background.  Finally I  resized and plugged the sequence into the InteractiveTouchBooks animation format.  Voila!  The world now spins!  I even made it wobble slightly back and forth in addition to spinning.

It was fun and it's just one example of the unlimited possibilities for creation with interactive books.

Here's what the finished title page looks like... with the spinning globe.

September 6, 2012

Experiential Book-making

I've never had so much fun making a book.  And it's the exact inverse of regular publishing which is years of frustration, compromise and rejection.  Publishing an ebook is instant gratification by comparison.  I made this book in 2 1/2 weeks and I was swept away with inspiration the whole while.

One thing I quite like about ebook apps is the experiential nature of them.

I love to watch my artwork come alive. I can spend half an hour watching fish glide across the screen and listen to space music as the planets swirl through the starry sky with meteorites shooting past.  I especially like the polar pages with wolves howling and whales spouting.

I guess it's sort of an experiential reality that its hard to duplicate without writing a novel. 

I never experienced much of that with any of the previous 70 all paper books I've done.