Saturday, October 30, 2010

PumpkinMixer

PumpkinMixer, mix and match app for iPhone and iPod Touch by Charley Parker
I don’t often talk about my own projects on Lines and Colors, but sometimes they’re enough fun to be worthy of note.

PumpkinMixer is my new app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Like my other apps, DinoMixer and MonsterMixer, it was developed with my friend and colleague Leon Stankowski, who created the coding to fit with my design and illustrations, worked with me on the functionality and coordinated the sound.

Similar to the other “Mixer” apps, PumpkinMixer is based loosely on the old Surrealist game of Exquisite Corpse, in which artists would fold over paper and draw three independent parts of a drawing, head, body and legs, without seeing the outcome until all were in place. This concept made its way into popular culture as a children’s game (my friends and I played it in elementary school), and was eventually adapted in publishing as “mix-n-match” children’s picture books (usually spiral-bound, with stiff cardboard pages that are divided in three).

PumpkinMixer, like DinoMixer and MonsterMixer, is an electronic version of this. In the case of PumpkinMixer, you swipe side to side to swap sets of eyes, noses and mouths, with an extra horizontal band at the top to switch between three backgrounds. Swiping on the iPhone screen vertically switches between pumpkins and swaps out the colors of the animated “candle flame” behind the face cut-outs.

In designing the interface and creating the artwork, which was done digitally in Painter and Photoshop in the same way I draw my webcomic, Argon Zark!, I faced the same challenges I outlined in my post about creating the artwork for DinoMixer.

Like many illustration projects, this one, in addition to the design and technical challenges, had a deadline. Since PumpkinMixer just made it through the App Store approval process and became available today, one day before Halloween, you might say we just made it; though we obviously had an earlier release in mind.

On the other hand, you could say we’re just really really early for next Halloween!

7 thoughts on “PumpkinMixer

  1. Susan Scheid

    I’m glad you chose to wrote about your own stuff. Just following a couple of links, I see there’s a treasure trove here for kids. I immediately passed the link to my computer-savvy mate who is head of a local school.

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