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In August, iTunes changed affiliate partners to PHG, which means that if you want to provide affiliate links for people to buy your books in the iBookstore, you had to change all your links. Updating has been a breeze and it makes book marketing more efficient.
First, why add links to your website, blog or your social media platforms? The links take readers directly to the iTunes page about your book. Not only does it encourage readers to buy your book for the iBookStore, it also gives you a small commission. I am currently earning about $100/month on this type of affiliate and by adding in the iTunes affiliate, I hope that figure goes up. (Thanks for your support!)
If you just want a link to your book and don’t care about the affiliate links, then use the iTunes Link Maker tool. If you are writing books for children or teens, this is a great time to add these links because more and more schools are adopting iPads in their classroom. For example, the Los Angles School District spent more than $30 million this summer to purchase iPads for every student. Of course, on the iPad, you can choose to read books from the Kindle or Kobo apps; however, the iBookstore is becoming easier and easier and I expect Apple to start pushing it more.
Becoming an iTunes affiliate is now an easy task: simply apply now. It’s free.
After your application is approved and you provide the proper financial information, you just need to snag links to your books. This used to be a cumbersome process and I was lousy at doing it. With the switch to PHG, it’s as simple as any Amazon affiliate links. More on creating affiliate links.
You simply login to your iTunes Affiliate Dashboard and click on the iTunes Link Maker Tool; it will take you directly to the tool, but this time, it will automatically add in your affiliate ID. The resulting links will still take readers to your iBook page, but will also record that they came from your affiliate link.
So, here’s the list of my books now available on the iBookStore. For more information on each title, see here.
I received a proof copy of my book "I Fell Through The Crack" today. I got it printed by MILK books, (I'm testing various printers and formats). I must say they've done a very good job. Contact me if you want to buy a signed copy.
Here’s my view of Truro, Massachusetts, where we visited old friends. I used the ArtRage app with my Sensu Brush on my iPad. I seem to “paint” mostly when I’m on vacation. Love Cape Cod!
I did these while spending a week with the family at Lake Winnepesaukee in July. I used my Sensu brush/ stylist (except on the last one, where I used my fingers—you can totally tell) with the Artrage app on my iPad.
I loved watching the water and sky at different times of day and in different weather. The colors changed so dramatically in a short space of time.
Which one is your favorite?
Copyright 2013 Emily Smith Pearce
Walt Disney Animation Studios has partnered with Touch Press, the digital book publishers behind Elements and Leonardo DaVinci: Anatomy, to create Disney Animated, a new premium iPad app that provides “unprecedented access” to the art and technology behind all 53 of Disney’s animated feature films from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the upcoming Frozen.
Disney Animated, which is available today in the iTunes app store for $13.99, contains 750 interactive illustrations, over 400 short animation clips and 350 backgrounds, concept drawings and storyboards. “The promise of Disney Animated is that it is a serious work about the history and present day practice of making animated feature films, in which the medium is finally able to speak for itself”, explains Theodore Gray, Touch Press COO and co-author of the new app, on the Touch Press blog, “where every image from every film is in fact a short clip, complete with sound, music, and life.”
Source: Wall Street JournalAdd a Comment
In conjunction with the release of sci-fi graphic novel Anomaly, an app (for iPhone/iPad/Android) brings the book’s characters to life through augmented reality technology. As seen in the trailer, the user points his or her smartphone at the pages of the book, transforming two-dimensional static characters into fully animated 3D models with interactive features. Additionally, the app reveals plot details and images that cannot be experienced through simply reading the book.
Augmented reality, defined as a screen or other device that overlays computer-generated data onto the real world, has been around for a while, with Google Glass being the most recent and talked about iteration. But augmented reality has never quite caught on with the mainstream, perhaps because there’s an underlying Minority Report-like creepiness that’s unsettling for most. But if you move past that, augmented reality could become a promising experimental playground for visual artists. At the very least, as is the case with Anomaly, it has the potential to offer more opportunities for collaboration between storytellers, illustrators and animators.Add a Comment
There are so many animation apps out there that it’s easy to forget a time when the most basic software wasn’t affordable. Within today’s wealth of tools, Loop (available for $0.99 on iPad) stands out for its spare, hand drawn interface and simplified features. Created by Universal Everything, it allows users to trace over video frames, choose pen widths and do some quick-and-dirty onion skinning.
What I like most about this app is that it was inspired by UI designers who like to use pen and paper during the creative process. For many non-animators, animation is a key tool in the ideation process–there are times when a sketch just isn’t enough to convey a vision to your team. Loop values fast sketching and expressiveness over polish, making it a potentially valuable tool for animators and beyond. Visit the Loop gallery to see how people are using the app so far.Add a Comment
American food chain Chipotle eschews TV advertising and stopped using external ad agencies a few years ago, but when they create ad campaigns, they go all out. Their latest project is “The Scarecrow,” a game-and-film collaboration with Bill Joyce’s Moonbot Studios based in Shreveport, Lousiana.
“The Scarecrow”, conceived in collaboaration with CAA Marketing (a division of Creative Artists Agency), is a free arcade-style adventure game for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that encourages players to think about industrial food production and the processed foods that they consume. Players can win coupons for free Chipotle food if they achieve certain goals within the game. There’s also an accompanying short film directed by Brandon Oldenburg and Limbert Fabian, and music by Fiona Apple:
Like their earlier “Back to the Start” campaign, Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” campaign is being praised for putting across its message in an entertaining, classy package. Adweek says, “Branded entertainment goes doesn’t get much more well rounded or better executed than this.”
Moonbot, which won the animated short Oscar in 2012 for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, has created a lush and well-conceived feature film-quality universe for The Scarecrow. The golden-hued nostalgia that defines the studio’s visual aesthetic is a perfect complement to the environmental themes of Chipotle’s campaign.
This making-of video reveals some of the effort that went into creating The Scarecrow:Add a Comment
Director and animator Lucas Zanotto proves with his creative new app Drawnimal that drawing with a pencil on paper and digital apps are not incompatible technologies. The iPad/iPhone app not only teaches the alphabet and animals to children, but cunningly encourages kids to draw around their devices to create a complete image of an animal that will then perform an animated action. For more info, go to Drawnimal.com or download it from the Apple store.Add a Comment
My iPad and I are getting along effortlessly and now to make it even better our Texas library listserve has been touting the advantages of using Reflection to connect and use the iPad with a projector in our libraries. What? Did I need more reasons to love my iPad? We all know we can buy a VGA adapter (limited to a roving range of the length of cable) or use a product like Apple TV (wireless but expensive), but we want to be free and untethered and we want something inexpensive. Reflection and AirServer seem to both hit the mark. They are still fine tuning some bugs, but I have high hopes for both of these products.
A few years ago, I offered praise for a Spanish preschool series called Saari, created by Veronica Lassenius and directed by Pablo Jordi. Unfortunately, the show wasn’t easily viewable in many regions. Lassenius and Jordi, who are wife-and-husband, have solved that problem by releasing a new Saari app for iPads and iPhones to distribute episodes of their show.
The app, produced through their new Helsinki-based company Pikkukala, is free and offers a new episode every two weeks. For those who want to watch more episodes, episode packs are available for purchase and downloadable for offline viewing. Visit Apple’s App Store to download Saari TV.Add a Comment
McLaren’s Workshop is a free iPad app from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) that provides access to over fifty films by experimental filmmaker Norman McLaren and allows users to create their own films with animation techniques used by McLaren. I was impressed when I previewed the app last fall at the NFB’s Montreal headquarters, and now that I’ve had a chance to play with it more extensively, I can confirm that it’s a no-brainer download for anyone with even the slightest interest in animation.
The fifty-one shorts on the app include all of McLaren’s best known works such as Begone Dull Care, Blinkity Blank, Le Merle, Neighbours and Pas de Deux as well as plenty of rarities dating back to the early-1930s. The colors are vibrant and lush thanks to film restorations that were done in 2006 for the DVD set Norman McLaren: The Masters Edition. In addition to the films, there are eleven documentaries in which McLaren and his colleagues discuss process, an illustrated biography, and an extensive essay by McLaren documentarian Donald McWilliams.
The app points forward to a new way of learning animation history in the 21st century, in which understanding a filmmaker’s work isn’t done through passive activities like reading a book or watching a film, but rather by making films of one’s own. McLaren’s Workshop contains three separate programs that allow the user to create animation using digital tools that approximate the techniques of cut-out animation, scratch-on-film, and synthetic sound, the latter of which will appeal particularly to those with a music background.
The cut-out workshop is free, the other two workshops are each a $2.99 in-app purchase. While pinching-and-zooming on an iPad doesn’t create the same visceral, sensory experience of manipulating paper cut-outs by hand or scratching onto film stock, the workshops are elegantly designed for simplicity and intuitive usage. They provide an excellent entry point to McLaren’s animation techniques for students and novices, although as you’ll see below, the tools are robust enough for professional filmmakers to have fun, too.
A couple other features worth pointing out: firstly, the app allows users to store McLaren’s shorts for up to 48 hours of off-line viewing, and additionally, during the first two months of the app’s release, users can upload their own films from the program directly to Vimeo accounts.
Start your weekend right and download a copy of McLaren’s Workshop on the Apple Store. And to get a little inspiration for what can be done with McLaren’s Workshop, check out these films made by top indie animators using the new app:
I Am Alone and My Head is On Fire by David OReilly (scratch-on-film)
Day Sleeper by Don Hertzfeldt (scratch-on-film)
Bon App by Regina Pessoa (cut-out)
Five Fire Fish by Koji Yamamura (scratch-on-film)
Barcode Transmission by Renaud Hallée (synthetic sound)
Cyclop(e) by Patrick Doyon (scratch-on-film)
(Disclosure: The NFB is a sponsor of Cartoon Brew.)Add a Comment
Gigglebug, a newly released iPad app from Finland, uses infectious laughter to encourage social play among children. Through touching and swiping the screen, players can tickle various 2D animated characters to make them smile and laugh. This sort of interactive, responsive play is irresistible to kids, and elicits a reaction that may or may not be desirable to parents:
Infectious laughter has proven to be a guaranteed form of entertainment—how else could videos of laughing babies have 60 million views on YouTube? Several cartoons, toys and other products have found success in using laughter, such as Sesame Street shorts and Tickle Me Elmo.
Then there’s Sh-h-h-h-h-h, a clasic Tex Avery cartoon about a man trying to escape the constant laughter and noise of his surroundings. The soundtrack of the cartoon comes from the early-1920s Okeh Laughing Record, a bizarre recording that features a man and woman laughing uncontrollably.
Gigglebug also features lush watercolor backgrounds and laugh scenes that are fully animated with quality not often seen in 2D animated apps. Not surprisingly, the app was developed in part by Helsinki-based Anima Boutique which has extensive experience producing animation for entertainment purposes. They are simultaneously developing Gigglebug as a children’s TV series. The success of another Finnish creation, Angry Birds, appears to have normalized the idea that a successful app can lead to cross-media adaptations on more traditional platforms like TV and film.Add a Comment
There are plenty of GIF-making apps out there, but none compare to the Internet-ready capabilities of Glitché. Developed by designer Vladimir Shreyder (also spelled Schreider), the app comes with tons of filters and makes it easy to alter, animate and share your own images. The best part is the simple interface, which enables easy frame-by-frame manipulation and sharing across most major social networking sites.
Glitché is as easy to use as it is addictive—I made this GIF in a matter of seconds and then had trouble putting my phone down. A few of the filters even create some extruded, 3D visuals; I took a picture of my laptop keyboard and quickly turned it into this bizarre thing:
Glitché also feeds into the retro-Nineties aesthetic that dominates certain pockets of the Internet. Glitch art and datamoshing, which carry with it a curiously nostalgic vibe, have spread across visual culture, and increasingly entered the mainstream, whether in Kanye West music videos or David OReilly’s recent Adventure Time episode called “A Glitch is a Glitch.” Apps like Glitché not only make it easier to experiment with looped animation, but also enable a wider audience to participate in major digital art movements.Add a Comment
As an animation professor at the School of Visual Arts, I try to keep abreast of all the latest animation how-to books. There are many books—excellent and otherwise—that are published regularly, but there is only one author who can tout having had close personal and professional relationships with such Golden Age greats as Milt Kahl, Grim Natwick, Art Babbitt, Emery Hawkins and Ken Harris, not to mention having won two Academy Awards. That animator is, of course, Richard Williams.
Williams’s indispensable The Animator’s Survival Kit is a book that everyone should already own. It should be sitting next to your Illusion of Life, wherever you do your animation. I no longer even list this as a recommended book on my syllabus because I expect students to already own it when they enter my classroom. Thankfully, most artists starting animation school have picked up the book and have already begun applying the knowledge to their projects.
Then, there’s the 16-dvd set of the Animator’s Survival Kit in which Williams teaches a room full of staff at Blue Sky Studios. The $950 price tag on this set has made its amazing wealth of knowledge unattainable to most art students, enlightened amateurs, and even ordinary working professionals.
The latest incarnation of the Animator’s Survival Kit is the iPad app, which sells for $34.99 at the iTunes store. The app, published by Faber & Faber, is an interactive blend of William’s excellent book and DVD set. While the app doesn’t include the Blue Sky lectures/William’s dry erase board lessons, it is much more personal in nature, with new clips of Williams speaking directly to the viewer. The app also includes the expanded edition of the book—a treat for all of us first edition book owners—with sections dedicated to animating quadrupeds and winged creatures, as well as extra animation exercises and personal anecdotes from Williams himself.
The app interface retains the homey look and feel of the original book, using Williams’s handwriting rather than a print typeface. Each chapter is clearly laid out and accompanied by dozens of clips of animation exercises. One of the real highlights is the playback function available on all the animation exercises which allows the user to play back the animation frame-by-frame, at full speed, or to scrub back and forth through the action. Some of the exercises have an onion-skinning feature that allows the user to closely gauge each drawing in succession, guided by the animation’s motion charts.
Completing the app is an extras section, showcasing both new and previously seen work by Williams. The most intriguing is the nine-minute short film Circus Drawings that spans sixty years of Williams’ progress as a draftsman. Beginning as a montage of circus drawings by young Williams (oh, to draw like that at twenty-years-old!), the figures come to life by his contemporary hand. It’s an unusual but fun film for any artist with an interest in visual progression.
While I highly recommend this app, I realize that not all students own iPads (or Apple products for that matter). PC users are out of luck for now. Perhaps the next installment will address this discrepancy. For those who are unable to purchase the app, the traditional book still contains all the essentials of Williams’ advice, even if its format is not as glitzy.
The clarity, draftsmanship, and knowledge of Williams comes through in all three formats—book, DVD series and now, iPad app. Who knows what digital learning tools will come next, but Williams’ Survival Kit will continue to be the standard textbook for generations to come.
Purchase the Animator’s Survival Kit app at the iTunes store.
CELIA BULLWINKEL has worked on feature films (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Chicago 10, Hair High), TV shows (Little Bill, MTV’s Friday, Ugly Americans, Wonder Pets), and far too many commercial projects. “Alpha’s Bet,” her music video collaboration with visual artist and hip-hop pioneer Rammellzee, was exhibited in 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts animation department, and teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s MFA Illustration program. Her first short film, Sidewalk, recently won first place for independent film at the ASIFA-East Animation Festival.Add a Comment
Filmmaker and animator Arthur Metcalf (Fantaisie in Bubblewrap, It Took A While To Figure Shit Out) has taken a moment between short films to create Stress Baal, a new game app that is now available for iPhone and Android phones. The game, which features a high-strung imp ready to be tortured for the amusement of the player, is like an interactive Duck Amuck, in which the user chooses how often to inflict agony on their character. “You beat him up with your fingertip,” Metcalf told Cartoon Brew. “There’s no score, no goals. It’s meant to just be entertaining rather than addictive.”
His approach to creating the game is not unlike that of one of his films, and the small moments of personality are just as important as the big action scenes. “As a kid, I spent a lot of time just playing with Sonic on my Genesis,” said Metcalf. “Not playing the game, just playing with Sonic’s animation. If you left him alone for a few seconds, he’d cross his arms, kick the ground and so forth. It was this one simple animation, but it added a lot to the game – it made it feel like Sonic was more than just a sprite box sliding around.”
Rather than moving towards digital puppetry with simulated physics, Metcalf challenged himself by sticking to his traditional animation background while simultaneously pushing the number of reactions he could get out of the character. “Part of my decision to make Stress Baal was to try to figure out if this kind of animation would work at all in a game. I was told by a lot of tech guys that it would probably be impossible due to technical limitations, that there was a reason characters had to only have one animation for each action. I’m glad to find out it wasn’t so.”
As a result, the action in Stress Baal is a combination of repetition and surprises that makes the game charming, fun and comically sadistic. “It’s meant to be sort of an easter egg hunt. You will see animation repeated, but I can tell you from having done the game testing myself, that it can take an entire day of nonstop play to actually see it all.”
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