When I started this project (turning one of my stories into an iPhone app book) there were only 19 illustrations including the front and back covers. When I finished up yesterday that number had grown to 79! How did that happen? Originally “Pet My Dragon?” was intended as a picture book with the 19 illustrations spread out over 32 pages so without any additional illustrations it would have been presented like a slideshow. I didn’t think that original format would have been all that entertaining on an iPad. Besides, I wanted to take advantage of as many iPad features as I could so this book didn’t become just another “slideshow” but a true multimedia experience. Really, what is the point in turning it into an app anyway if you don’t take advantage of those features?
So I got to work reformatting the illustrations for “Pet My Dragon”. The display dimensions for the iPad are 1024x768 pixels. The original illustrations were nearly twice that length so each spread had to be clipped considerably. Sometimes the spread just needed to be split into two different pages. This wasn’t too difficult since all my illustrations are done in Adobe Illustrator but it was time consuming. The next step was planning the animation for each page. I was able to do a lot of cutting and pasting here so I didn’t have to totally redraw every new illustration. I used a stop animation style of animation to embrace the simplicity of the illustrations and enhance the inner child of the story. So each page turned into 3 or 4 pages with small variations on each page to show motion as if it were in a flipbook.
When I wasn’t reformatting Pet My Dragon? I was reading a lot of iPad books/graphic novels. When you get a chance you should check out these titles: Ghost Boy, Twisted 1, Robot 13, AR01, CrappyCat and Jellaby. You can find all of them except Jellaby in the app store and most of them are free.