So I’ve just found out that my iPad interactive iBook, Play Piano For Kids, has been launched in 32 countries around the world at the Apple iTunes store. Yeah!!!
This project has been on my mind for close to 5 years, and only in the last few months has it been a burning priority. With Apple’s January 19, 2012 announcement of their new free software iBook Author, I finally knew I could create this.
So what’s the deal with iBook Author? There’s a lot of pros as well as cons to this software. On the positive side, it is really quite easy to start laying out beautiful pages. If you’ve used any of Apple’s other products like Keynote or Pages, then this should be very familiar.
Drawing objects and placing type is the same as Pages. In fact it seems like they started with Pages and then added some additional functionality. The use of Widgets for interactivity is pretty simple, but somewhat limited.
Because my book is aimed at young pre-literate children, I would have loved an easy way to have the kids touch the animated character (a penguin named Pontus) so he could do things like giggle or jump or whatever.
Using the widget, I could only add pre-made videos either from iMovie or exported from Flash or even Keynote presentations. By using a combination of these software packages, I could achieve a simplistic animation style that was both compelling (for young pre-reading kids) and not too detail oriented that I would get bogged down in production.
You can see the intro video I made which shows a few examples of the different animation techniques.
Here’s an animation that was created in a combination of iMovie and Flash.
You can learn more about the book at Play Piano For Kids.