The Making of “Talking Anya” – The 3D Model

Anya is 5 Years old, she is cute,  playful and emotional, like all little girls of this age. We wanted her 3D character to reflect her personality, after several sketches and going back and forth to the drawing board we finalized these three sketches:

Talking Anya Sketches

Initial sketches for Anya's 3D character

Option 01, was the most appealing: cute, innocent and adorable and expressive face. Option 03 was the other option we really liked, but  we decided to proceed with Option 01.

Next came deciding on her clothes and other microscopic decisions such as the color of her eyes, what accessories she would have, early on we decided that with op 01, she should have the barrette which op 03 has. Several weeks were spent in creating her 3D model. After several iterations and fine adjustments we had this cute 3D model that was Anya:

Talking Anya

Anya

The iOS devices have limited resources, so loading and rendering a high quality 3D model, was a daunting task. We wanted our users to have the best experience in playing with Anya, fast response time and good frame rate was a must, to achieve this we had to reduce the number of polygons in the 3D model, this meant possibly reducing the quality. The barrette had to go, we used a cute tie instead, textures were used where possible and finally again after several iterations we got the Anya we have in the app, we managed to retain the quality.

Next followed the animations and the big bulk of developing the app, which took over 6 months, there were challenges on each step, but with an ace team of animators and developers we forged forward and were able to release Talking Anya. In hind sight – making Talking Anya was a fun process, we loved every moment of it. This is currently a FREE Universal app in the App Store and the users are loving Anya, in just a few days she has almost 300 facebook fans ( 291 at this moment: 2:38 PM June 3, 2011 ) . This is what her fans are saying about Anya:

AWW :”> SO ADORABLE !! (:  ~ Danielle Salem

So, cute!  ~ Albert Martinez

What a cutie! ~ Kathleen Moriarty

why should you be so cute Anya? ~ Lina Amalina

Little Sweetie ~ Cynthia Rita Gerard

Comments like the above, give us great satisfaction knowing that we succeeded in creating what our users wanted ..  so keep them coming.

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Another feature in the App Store: “Show Mom You Care”

Thanks to Apple again to feature Photo Captions Premium as an app to “Show Mom You Care” for both the iPhone and iPad

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Photo Captions Premium Featured in iTunes App Store “Apps for Surviving Valentine’s Day”

Photo Captions Premium featured again, this time in the iTunes App Store “Apps for Surviving Valentine’s Day” list.

 

Photo Captions Premium in App Store "Apps for Surviving Valentine's Day"

 

 

 

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Photo Captions Premium Featured iPhone -> “New and Noteworthy” in UK App Store

Photo Captions Premium got one of the prestigious spots in the UK App Store, it is featured “New and Noteworthy” on the main page of the UK App Store. Thank you Apple and all our users for their valuable feedback.

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iLearn SolarSystem released, featured “New and Noteworthy” in Education category

We have been working on an educational application for kids. It is now available for download from the Appstore: iLearn SolarSystem. This application teaches the Solar System to kids. Astronaut Ashley teaches about Galaxies, Stars, Planets and then quizzes the child by playing a guessing game. ZooBy the alien encourages the child to play further.

If you have a little space enthusiast at home, he/she will surely love this app.

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Photo Captions HD featured “New and Noteworthy” app. in the AppStore

Thank you eveyone for all your support. Photo Captions HD which was released this Friday  June 25th is currently a featured “New and Noteworthy” photography  application in the AppStore and is at #6 in the Photography category woohoo!

Photo Captions HD is the iPad version of the popular Photo Captions application packed with features and photo fx. You can create customized cards, post cards and photo mementos with this application. It comes with a rich library of wigs, sun glasses, spectacles, hats, hair styles, tiaras, masks, flowers, tattoos, flowers and many other shapes you could add on to your cards and photos. You can also add Photo fx, such as Black and White, color filters and thresholding.

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Camera ClickMe Featured on Yappler, iPhoneography

Camera ClickMe got featured on a couple of very prominent review/blog sites. We are particularly happy about these as we follow both these sites regularly ourselves and cant be happier to be featured on both of them.

Yappler Handpicked the App to be showcased for the week of Dec. 20th, along with the other greats like James Cameroon’s Avatar, Microsoft Bing, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire iPhone Apps

http://www.yappler.com/news/article/10084/New-Handpicked-Apps-Week-Dec-20th.aspx

iPhoneography also posted very encouraging and positive reviews. iPhoneography is a leading Photography blog/review site for iPhone applications:

http://www.iphoneography.com/journal/2009/12/20/new-iphone-photo-app-camera-clickme.html

Editors comments: What I really like about this app is the way it talks to you whilst taking a self portrait, telling you to move your iPhone, up, down, left or right, and then saying “smile” just before snapping your photo.

What I don’t like about this app are the silly optional frames and graphics that you can add to your snap.

Over all this is one of the best and easiest to use self-portrait apps currently available for the iPhone, as it ensures you get your shot everytime.

Thanks Glyn.

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Camera ClickMe… finally

Camera ClickMe was the first app that we started developing almost 9 months back. After 3 months of a lot of hard work we submitted the App to Apple, but kept on getting sent to additional reviews and went through several delays. We even re-submitted the app several times after we got some feedback from Apple about use of some shapes and images that were copyrighted, or some UI design issues etc.. but it was not until a couple of months later that we got a call from Apple and were told about the final decision: a rejection, and were told to use the new APIs provided in the 3.1 OS update which allowed customization of the camera preview window.

Meanwhile, we worked on and released several apps, as you would see listed on Animagik’s home page, and Camera ClickMe could never see the light of the day. Finally, thanks to Apple’s review team, Camera ClickMe was finally accepted and is available on the App Store starting today. We cant be more relieved and thankful to Apple.. though they did give us a lot of anxious moments since we first submitted the App early in Summers of 2009.

Check it out at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camera-clickme/id345949627?mt=8

We hope you like it.. do give us feedback or any suggestions for future improvement.

About Camera ClickMe:

Camera ClickMe is a first of its kind Camera app on any platform which not only takes self photos automatically using face detection techniques, as some other apps have earlier attempted to do, but also provides voice prompts to let users move the camera to the right position to fit their faces in a configurable view frame and then prompts when its ready to take the picture, to get that perfect photo. Moreover, it can capture two faces as well, again with real time performance. After that perfect photo, users can decorate their photo with various frames, shapes and captions, including Xmas and New Year’s special shapes, and share via email or upload to Facebook.
App Description:
Concentrate on that perfect pose instead of getting yourself in the frame. No more ugly close-ups, surprised expressions, half faces, face stuck in a corner or fuzzy because of a shake.
Let “Camera ClickMe” take your photo for you and get a perfect photo every time!!
Unlike other apps using face detection technology, which just take a photo without any feedback, this one is unique in:
– letting you define your expected position in the photo – 2 face mode lets you take you and your friend together
– asks you to “smile” before it clicks to get the best picture you would want giving you time to get ready for the picture.
– gives you voice feedback to move the phone to the best position to get the photo to fit the frame you want.
– checks for shakes and stabilizes your final picture
You know you need this if you ever tried taking your own picture for a self portrait or along with someone else from the phone, and realize how difficult it is to position the camera the right way to get yourself in the frame. You can only guess if you are in the frame. Then you have to reach out to click the capture button without disturbing your position in the frame. Most often the end photo cuts a part of your face out, puts you in a corner, has your face too close/big or too far/small or is just fuzzy because of the phone shake in trying to click the capture button.
——– Features ——–
– 2 face mode to capture you and your friends together.
– Stabilization mode to prevent photo shaking.
– Voice prompts guide you to fit your face accurately in a customizable frame.
– Portrait and Landscape mode capture.
– Text annotations for captions with a library of colorful text objects:
– Xmas themed Tags and Caption backgrounds
– Thought bubbles
– Speech bubbles,
– PostIt or just
– Plain text on transparent background.
– Shapes to decorate your photos
-Xmas and New Year’s special shapes, stamps and decorations.
– Emoticons
– Balloons
– Confetti
– Custom text messages
– Face Accessories
– Mustaches
– Beards and Goatees
– Masks
– Sunglasses and Frames
– Ear rings
– Wigs – Many more to try how you appear
– Photo frames: to frame your valuable pictures.
– Camera Roll support: Add annotations, frames and captions to existing photos from Camera Roll.
– Facebook integration: Share your funny captions or your face decorations with your friends.
– Decorate not just self portraits but any photo and share with your friends.
– Use it as a mirror to see how you appear.
– Email your photo creations to your friends from within the application.
How to Use:
———–
Select Face Capture mode or manual Capture or Load from Camera Roll In face capture mode the phone beeps until it detects a face in the frame, after which you are prompted to move the phone left, right, up, down or farther to fit your face accurately in the frame. Once it fits it will prompt you to smile and get ready for the picture. When capturing 2 people, select the Two Faces option. After the photo is taken you can add text captions, shapes and frames and save it locally, email, or publish to Facebook
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Christmas is in the Air

… Photo Captions is ready for it.  Photo Captions 1.1 update is ready for download at the App Store.

This version adds a bunch of new enhancements and has fixes for a few bugs that were reported and requested by the users and also “outrageously” mentioned on the ratings at the App Store. But its not just that. There are over 75 new shapes, frames and text objects including Xmas and New Year’s special edition objects.

Some notable updates:

– Automatic Text captions adjustment to fit the text.

– Design and Customize your own frames with objects overlaid on top.

– Full Support for landscape mode – Object library organized in categories for easy find.

– Flip captions and objects

– Font Colors

– Higher resolution photos

– Much enhanced and intuitive object and caption selection, scaling and manipulation to get fine alignments and placement on top of your photos.

– Faster application load

– Layering for shapes and captions


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Photo Captions Free Ranks

Thanks to folks at Applyzer, we’ve been able to track the ranks of the Apps and see some interesting trends of other iPhone Apps.

Photo Captions Free has definitely been progressing well up the ranks at the iTunes Store. For more than a week now it has been able to hold its position as a top 10 Photography app in the US Stores. That translates to a top 500 app overall. While we would like it to make it in the top 100 overall apps and also see Photo Captions paid version catch up with the Free version, we cant complain with the success so far.

Here are the ranks of Photo Captions Free in the Photography section of the iTunes store in various countries:

Guatemala    1
Phillipines    2
Argentina    3
India    3
Turkey    3
Dominican Republic    4
Indonesia    4
Luxembourg    4
Ireland    5
Malaysia    5
United Arab Emirates    5
Singapore    6
United States    8
Germany    9
Kuwait    9
Saudi Arabia    9
Thailand    10
Hong Kong    12
South Africa    13
Australia    14
Peru    14
Kazakhstan    15
Taiwan    15
Vietnam    16
Austria    17
Egypt    17
United Kingdom    17
Jamaica    18
Moldova    20
Mexico    22
Russia    23
France    24
Greece    25

By the way, a rank of 8 in the Photography section in the US stores is currently translating to around 1500 downloads a day.

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