Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Puppet Pals (ipad only for now)


We have always loved animation apps and empowering users to be a content creators and not just consumers. The problem has been, that in the app store, many frame by frame animation apps have been clunky and intimidating. Our goal with puppet pals was to present a familiar straightforward method to create your own "jib-jab© like" animations. All you have to do is select your actors and backdrops, press record, and drag them around. Everything you drag around is recorded in realtime (including your audio). You can even flip characters with a double tap or resize and rotate them using two fingers. The result is a simple and fun way to quickly create your own animated movies. There is something very satisfying about being able to see you animations come to life instantly without the painful frame by frame process.

We are planning on making an iphone version of the app as well. This will be coming in an update, along with many more character sets and additional features. It's free to try, so if you have an ipad give it a whirl and tell us what you think.

FYI: We have many more features planned with updates, but please feel free to leave suggestions here or in the itunes review board. Thanks for playing!

30 comments:

  1. Puppet Pals just shot to the top of my favorite entertainment apps list! After I downloaded it for my iPad, I came to see if I could find more apps by Polished Play because it's that good!

    The art and animation is simple - but cute and fun; the display/presentation is beautiful. This is a must-have.

    My one suggestion is to allow for users to use their own photographs as backdrops. Letting users personalize the puppet show experience adds another level of connection and fun with the whole thing!

    Even without that option, five stars all the way for such a creative and beautifully executed app. Thank you for this wonderful app! It's a keeper, and I look forward to more updates!

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  2. Oh my. Allow me to upload to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and you will have a real winner.

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  3. Awesome!

    Please enable video exporting and the ability to add your own backdrops and characters. Even if the ability to add your own graphics and characters was an in app purchase that unlocked photo import..

    Great job guys! Super fun and funny!

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  4. This is so, so cool. My 4 and 6 year old are having a blast right now making up their own shows. I've seen lots of great suggestions made through reviews, but I must say that even if no changes were made, this is going to be a favorite for my kids. My 2 biggest wishes: ability to add puppets of my own kids and ability to export. It would be so much fun to add a puppet show my kids made to my blog. Puppet show for the grandparents 2010 style! :)

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  5. One problem: I can't seem to remove backdrops from my 3 selected set. So, my first three backdrops are my last!

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  6. @Chritopher

    Can you give me more details on how that happened? It sounds like a bug that we haven't seen before and would like to fix. Does restarting the app help?

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  7. Looked you guys up to say how awesome this app is. My four year old daughter and I had a great time with this yesterday.

    I'll second the video export request, as well as being able to bring in our own puppets (I'd pay for the capability too). My four year old would like more kid characters to purchase - and certainly more girls. A sound effect board would be fun. Whatever you do add, please keep the simple elegance that makes this app so great.

    FYI: We encountered the backdrop error Christopher mentioned, restarting the app worked. It was after recording a show and then going back to change backdrops. I can't seem to duplicate it today after rebooting the ipad.

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  8. I love the app! I would love to be able to use music from my play list. But more importantly I would like to be able to share either via email or Facebook. This app is so much fun and I can't wait to play with it more. Thanks!

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  9. Super real super, my daughter loves it!
    I'd realy like to export it to facebook!

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  10. This is a wonderful apps. My 6 yrs old girl and my 13 yrs old niece enjoy creating their stories. Created 3 clips in one afternoon. There is no way to export or email them. I want to share t them. Can't bring the ipad around every time right? It will be perfect if it can be exported and share. Great apps, do keep them coming. WJ.

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  11. Just wanted to say I love this app - my 7 year old daughter has spent ages making her own puppet shows.

    Free app, character sets nice and cheap - a winner in my book.

    Suggestions for future updates:
    It seems many people have also suggested this - a way to export the videos. Whether that be to YouTube, or a way to add them to your Camera Roll allowing you to save them to your computer, would be great.

    With only a 16GB iPad, and an enthusiastic daughter, I'm concerned how much space the saved shows take up as I couldn't find that information anywhere.

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  12. @ CJay and others wondering about video export

    Thanks for the feedback. The good news is, that the videos stored on the ipad are very small media files. Just the audio file and a little extra metadata. We are not currently saving rendered video files to your ipad, we simply tell the app to play your show back.

    We are working on video export. We are exploring the best way to do that, as you note correctly that your 16gb ipad could fill up fast. We have several different options, but none of which are quick fixes. So sorry, it is coming, but you'll have to be patient as we figure the best way to implement it.

    Thanks for playing! Believe me, I can't wait to see what everyone is creating via sharing.

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  13. Hi Lance,

    Is there a way to save the audio file and the little extra metadata out of iPad? At least, the stories can be kept safely outside the iPad until the video export is available. I am afraid to lose the stories my daughter created.

    Thanks,
    WJ.

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  14. @ WJ
    As long as you backup your device to itunes you will be okay. They are currently not accessible to the user but they are part of the itunes backup and can always be restored from itunes via backup.

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  15. Thanks Lance. It is good to know that backup up the iPad also backup the save shows. At least I won't be worry of losing them considering I can restore them.However, I am still looking forward for the export feature.

    I have another question. I have a second iPad. Do I have to purchase another One Director's Pass? Or it will recognize my iTunes account that I purchased and let me download it?
    Basically, my daughter will use the apps. Now it is installed on my wife's iPad. So if my daughter is with me, she can get the same like what she had with my wife's iPad.
    Thanks.
    WJ.

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  16. WJ
    Your director's pass purchase is linked to your itunes account, so if your second ipad uses the same itunes account you do not need to purchase it again.

    Here is where apple could provide a more elegant solution, but as it stands you will need to go into the app again, and go as if you are going to buy the director's pass again. It is only after you have confirmed the purchase request by submitting your itunes password that apple's servers will confirm you have already purchased this item and you will get a message like "you have already purchased this item, would you like to download it again for free?"

    This seems weird, as you basically have to trust that this will happen cause the process feels like you are going to have to pay again even though at the last second they tell you that you don't have to. Just make sure you are using the same itunes account as your other device and you will be good.

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  17. Lance,

    Wonderful. It works as you described. My daughter now would be able to create shows on any of our iPads. She is still very excited in creating her shows. Thanks for the great apps.

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  18. This is a great app and has the making to be one of the best. There are two main areas that I think you should work on first. Import photos from pictures on the iPad as backdrops and the second would be to export saved animations to be sent to email or social websites. My girlfriend kids have came up with some very funny shows but the masses can not see them due to no export for the animations. Keep up the good work!

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  19. I really love this app and so do all of my friends!!! Its really great but I have a suggestion on a theme. Its on YouTube and it's the characters from Harry Potter. They are called Potter Puppet Pals and it is a great puppet idea. So if you could try to get them that would be great!!!!!

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  20. Shows over four minutes seem to fail and either crash or record only audio.
    Love this app but longer recordings seem to fail. I have 8 GB free on a 64Gb iPad.

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  21. how can i purchase the directors pass?
    HELP ASAP! :D

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  22. If you like this app you will love PhotoPuppet.. Many more features...

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  23. Dudes this app is absolutely amazing. You know? My GF is a Sunday school teacher and this will be super useful to her as a visual aid for her kids. Are you planning to add a bible pack anytime soon? Maybe for Christmas?

    If that's not the case, please add some way to create our own puppets and share them. You do that and you'll have an instant passionate community.

    I'm an illustrator myself and I'll be more than happy to create and donate some puppets and pay for the feature of course.

    Awesome work guys.

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  24. I faced a strange problem when I tried to purchase all the packs .. It give me loading then nothing happen ... The most strange thing is it deduct the money

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  25. Love the app. Bought the extras now I wait patiently for the export function.

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  26. I just wanted to say that the updates were excellent!! Combined with the iPad 2 cameras this is one of my families favorite apps. I highly recommend making a more adult themed version to target those interested in creating presentations and training videos.

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  27. We've just started using your app at our school. We have 10 ipads for our Grade 3s. Is there a way to share the Director's Cut or do we need to purchase is 10 different times?

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  28. To whom would I send a permission for for use of a Puppet Pals screenshot to be used in a forthcoming textbook?

    Thank you for your attention to this request.

    Dr. Parette

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  29. My students just used them to create Spanish conversation videos. They were required to have each character say at least 4 lines. One group clearly didn't keep that in mind, and they're wondering if there's a way to add more video and audio to the end of one they've saved, or is there a way to insert into a part of one they've saved?

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  30. I would also like to know if you have a tutorial. I don't have the app except on my iPhone, but the students have it on their iPads. They also say that they can't find a Help button or tutorial, though it is pretty very simple to use.

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