Do Ink Animation & Drawing, created by DK Pictures, is an incredible app that brings sophisticated graphic arts tools to any child, anywhere. Do Ink’s site states, “We like people, art, and the new.” Initially, we were intimidated by this app. When we revisited it, our students were too busy with testing and all that it entails to spend the few minutes it takes to utilize this app. In addition, we did not know that Do Ink is also a computer application and can be enjoyed without an iPad. This app has it all, especially when you throw in the term animation! We recommend watching these “how-to” videos before you attempt anything:
Flipbooks are a great way to start using this app and they sure brought back fond memories for us. “From the pre-motion picture era to the origins of animation, cinema and modern entertainment, flip books are recognized as one of the earliest forms of what today is referred to as interactive multimedia.” When the term vector flash was researched http://www.flippies.com/flipbook-history/, a clearer understanding of this engaging cartoon-like art form and the steps involved in executing it, was realized.
Enough of the technical talk, let’s have some fun! Trial and error works just fine here, you’ll learn from your mistakes. Not that you would call anything you draw or animate a mistake, it may just take a few tries before you get what you want. Here is our first attempt, and yes, an apple, and no, we didn’t draw it. Do Ink makes it so easy! We just went to their “props” and found this incredible apple that was already animated. We were left to design a background mix, add a rainbow, play with the timing and looping, then more play with the timing, delete the rainbow… and our creation was complete. Simply amazing! And we do stress simple.
Now, parents and teachers may feel that this is over their heads or too time consuming. Not the case! Do Ink, when placed in the hands of kids, is a beautiful thing! The drawing tools are completely intuitive and any child with basic computer experience will dive right in. The animation is two fold, you can create single-frame vector artwork or somewhat more complicated frame-by-frame animations. Let’s have Do Ink elaborate here, “Vector drawing is as easy as MS Paint, and powerful like Adobe Illustrator. Animate with classic ‘flip book’ style animation, and graduate to key-frame ‘what you drag, is what you get’ flash-style animations.” We were only able to get three testers for this app so far, but now that we are on board, that is definitely going to change! If you visit Do Ink’s gallery of featured projects you will see original art work posted. This is another great place to visit after viewing the animation tutorials. Try suggesting that to the kids and see if they take the bait: http://www.doink.com/explore/featured Ours didn’t, they just dove right in and a crab drawing was executed in under three minutes. This tester was 14, female, artistic, and using the computer version. It was amazing to see how quickly and authentic looking this cartoon character took life during the animation. Of course kids are not afraid to click or tap and the end product was a result of lots of experimentation with the animation tools.
Do Ink obviously has a huge following. Tons of kids are using this tool, as witnessed in their gallery. Now, this app/computer drawing and animation application/program may not be for all kids. As a teacher, I would have been using this in all subject areas, asking kids to show me what they know.