Tag Archives: iphone

Sketching in Art Rage on the iPad

I'm putting together a tutorial for drawing and painting on the iPad, and I spent a few minutes tonight saving off the progress of a quick sketch, focusing on the use of layers in the Art Rage app on the iPad. "Layers" is a fairly common feature in the better drawing and painting apps on any platform/OS–from Photoshop, Painter, Sketchbook Pro, to Art Rage, and a batch of others.

Think of a layer as a sheet of tracing paper you can put down over your drawing to use the underlying line work to guide you–but with a lot more power, including blending modes, which I won't get into.

From left to right: a quick sketch to get down the figure in motion and not much else.  Adding a second layer, I reduce the transparency of the first and draw–or redraw–the figure with more definition, bringing out folds in the cloth and giving the face some guidelines. Creating a third layer, reducing the transparency on the second, I now use the work in first two layers to redraw the figure with even greater detail.  

Click the image for the full view:

Here's what the Art Rage UI looks like on the iPad–with the layering menu up at the bottom right.



My novel Winterdim is now available in ebook and very soon in print.  It hasn't shown up everywhere yet, but I see it at Amazon and B&N.  In the iBookstore I think it will get a release date of 11-11-11, which is cool.

Winterdim @ Amazon

Winterdim @ Barnes & Noble

Front cover below, text from the back cover:

Theodora Viran has a way with forests, blossoms, creeping vines, composting, paranoia, and sudden death.  She sees deception in every shadow, a trap in every word, and the universe has always been someone else's  manipulative game,  but when she makes a promise to save the life of a childhood friend,  it becomes a promise she cannot break without breaking her view of the world.

What I’m working on…

SeabornAppSampleHoping to submit an update to Apple this weekend. I'm working on Version 3 of the Seaborn Books and Art iPhone app, which includes bug fixes, enhancements, and an entirely new feature called "Ocean View", a set of artistic image filters that will give any photo or illustration an underwater look.  Version 3 of the Seaborn app is going live with five Ocean View filters: Shallows, Biologic, Beams, Rust, and The Tide. 

Shallows attempts to recreate that shallow-water experience of bands and rings of light.

Biologic is a tinting and blending filter that allows you to merge your photos with some of the built-in underwater images of marine flora and fauna.

Beams overlays some vertical bands of light with some contrast and tint adjustments.

Rust…never sleeps. This will significantly alter the copy of the image you run through it.  (See the examples in the workflow below).

The Tide takes a few passes to overlay a rising tide halfway across an image.

With this release the blending, alpha, color, and other values are set for each filter and can't be adjusted, but I'm already working on the next version, which will add new filters and allow greater flexibility with each–sliders for parameter values and the ability to add custom image overlays.  In version 3 the filters employ a bit of randomness with each pass, producing different results almost every time. 

Version 3 will also have built-in sharing features that allow you to post your Ocean View creations–with comments–onTwitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social platforms.  You can also email copies of your images and save to the camera roll or photo albums on your iPhone.

Here's my workflow diagram–click to view full-sized:



Seaborn app for the iPhone is out!

SeaborniPhoneAppIconThe Seaborn app for the iPad has been available for a while, and I'm working on a new version.  Apple just notified me that the iPhone version is now available!

Here are the links:

Seaborn iPhone app


Seaborn iPad app


Help me spread the word! Here's the HTML for the iPhone app:

<p><br />Seaborn <strong>iPhone</strong> app<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/seaborn-books-and-art/id468260118?mt=8"><br /><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/knowledgenix/AppAvailable-iPhone.png" border="0" alt="" width="116" height="40" /></span></a></p>

Here's the HTML for the iPad app:

<p><br />Seaborn <strong>iPad</strong> app<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=393798398&mt=8"><br /><span style="font-size: medium;"><img src="http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/knowledgenix/App-iTunes-iPad.png" border="0" alt="" width="116" height="40" /></span></a></p>

Here's the main menu for the Seaborn iPhone app:



iPhone 4s

Alice and I went up to the AT&T store in Newington yesterday morning, and walked out with a pair of iPhone 4s's.  There was a bit of a line, but they had things flowing smoothly.  You know I'd swear they've done this before…

This is my third iPhone. Pretty soon I'll have enough boxes to build a fort.


Category: Cool, iPhone | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Goofing with QR Codes

I've created a QR code for SaltwaterWitch.com (black and white) that works just like it's supposed to, but I started playing around with colors and how far I could distort the code and still have it readable.  I got pretty far.  If you have a QR code reader on your phone let me know if any of these don't work. They all worked with mine, although I had a bit of trouble with the last one.  I suspect I'm getting to the edge of what's readable.

Category: Books, Cool | Tags: , , , , , ,

Seaborn Universal App (That’s an app for iPhone and iPad)

Photo-1 Got up early this morning with a project I have been waiting to get to–a "universal app" for my Seaborn app, which is currently iPad only.  Some of you have been emailing for an iPhone/iPod Touch version, and I can now offer proof that it's in the works!

The idea is that the app developer builds a single app that works for both platforms, and in the case of purchasable apps, if you have already purchased it for your iPhone, you can install the same app on your iPad without another charge. 

Here's what I have so far–and trust me it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Seaborn is a Navigation controller type app, but on the iPad it uses features that are iPad specific–UISplitViewController, etc.  So, it's been a subclassing kind of morning.

Here's the current Seaborn iPad app

Seaborn iPad app

Here are a couple screenshots of the latest development–porting the navigation controller menus to both platforms:

iPhone menu–menu items will be changing, but this is the existing menu layout:


Here's the same menu on the iPad–with splitscreen:




TELLER Final Cover Design

Sorry for the number of posts and subtle variations on this one. I think this is it!  The book launch is on schedule for the end of the month.  Stay tuned!



ArtsProjektLogo I'm really excited to tell everyone that I'm in ARTSPROJEKT, "a curated platform that empowers emerging and establish artists and brands to connect, collaborate, and showcase original art, designs and ideas with fans and consumers."
–and I'm in here with a lot of extremely talented and imaginative artists.

See my store here:


I'm going to be doing all kinds of cool product designs, but to start off I have a few different iPhone and iPad cases I want everyone to hear about.  (iPad, iPhone 3G/3Gs, iPhone 4 cases).  I'll be adding new designs very soon, so check back.


I'm still putting some details together, but I'll be running a contest to win a Saltwater Witch iPhone case (iPhone 3G/3GS or 4) as well as some other cool prizes.  Stay tuned for that, too–and if you have any contest ideas or prize ideas, I'd love to hear them.

IPadCase IPhone4Case

iPad and iPhone 4 cases above.

Below there's a shot of the iPhone 3Gs case–this is a Speck® Fitted™ Hard Shell Case, really kick-ass case for your phone. Closeup of the case, "Saltwater Witch"




Cocos2d animation, accelerometer, and supporting multiple orientations

Screen shot 2010-10-12 at 9.44.53 AM This started out as a way to test and quickly roll through some animation I'm working on, and I thought it would be cool to share some of it with you.  (I'm building on a thousand informative Cocos2d forum posts, and the animation tutorials by Ray Wenderlich and the rocking team at Get Set Games–so check out their blog posts on animation, awesome stuff).

One of things I love about the Cocos2D framework is how easy it is to set up a batch of animations and then shift between them with a call.  So, you can load a spritesheet (an image with a bunch of images–sprites.  These can be a sequence of frames in an animation–or more likely a bunch of sequences showing your characters, space ships, asteroids, frogs, sea dragons in different states–fighting, swimming, running, falling, etc.) and in the course of play and state change, your app shifts to different blocks of animation.

Here's a shot of a sea dragon animation I'm drawing–making it easy at this stage by doing everything on one side and mirroring it for the other: 


There are certainly better ways to display animation in a real game, but for my test app I've set up a SeaDragonType, placing this in SeaDragonScene.h


typedef enum
DragonTypeLiving = 0,
} DragonTypes;


And then I keep track of which dragon type is being displayed at the moment, looking for a screen tap to rotate through the dragon animations. 

Essentially, it's

What dragon do I want to show now? 
Run the action for that dragon type.
Stop the action for the prior dragon type.

_dragonType = DragonTypeDead;
[_spriteDragon runAction:_undeadAction];
[_spriteDragon stopAction:_liveAction];

I'm using Zwoptex (http://zwoptexapp.com) to create spritesheets.  See Ray Wenderlich's post and the Zwoptex site for details on how to use the util.  Powerful stuff.  Here's my sheet for this app, three variations of the same sea dragon, a healthy living version, a sort of glowing one, and an undead version, each with the same bit of flipper action.

Using the Accelerometer on the iPhone and iPad to manipulate your sprites
This is easier than you might think.  Let the app know you want to use the accelerometer up in your init:


// enable accelerometer
self.isAccelerometerEnabled = YES;


And then drop in the accelerometer callback, which let's us know what's going in with the device.   (Debugging on the device is necessary for this, so set your target for Device and run to see this work).   It doesn't do a lot, simply rotates the dragon–positioned in the center of the screen–in the direction the user tilts the iPhone/iPad.

- (void)accelerometer:(UIAccelerometer*)accelerometer 
didAccelerate:(UIAcceleration*)acceleration { static float prevX=0, prevY=0; #define kFilterFactor 0.05f float accelX = (float) acceleration.x * kFilterFactor +
(1- kFilterFactor)*prevX; float accelY = (float) acceleration.y * kFilterFactor +
(1- kFilterFactor)*prevY; prevX = accelX; prevY = accelY; _dragon.rotation = - (-accelX * 120); }

Supporting different screen orientations in Cocos2d

I've basically swiped the UIKit rotation code Frogblast posted on the Cocos2D site, and included it in my test project to see what happens to the animation when I turn the device around.  This method pushes the rotation handling off to a UIViewController (MultiplatformViewController)  I'm using the UIInterfaceOrientationPortrait and UIInterfaceOrientationPortraitUpsideDown, and ignoring landscape views.

Here's the SeaDragonTest project zipped.  I'm using Cocos2D v0.99.4 (current stable release) and iOS 4.1 SDK. 

Have fun. Make something cool with Cocos2D!