Waterfox, the creator of Pivot: Unofficial (the name of the Pivot clone app he’s been working on), has decided to make the source code available as an open source project on SourceForge. He says he will continue to develop it himself, but wanted to make the code available to anyone that wants to help develop it.
Archive for the ‘Stickfigure Apps’ Category
A new utility was posted in the DarkDemon and Droidz forums that converts Pivot 3 stick figure files (.stks) to Pivot 2 format. This is extremely useful for those using Pivot because many .stks that have been submitted to Pivot forums were done with the Pivot 3 Beta, which were not backwards-compatible with Pivot 2, so Pivot 2 users could not use them.
Pivot 3 Beta added the ability to attach a sprite (bitmap) as the first “segment” of a figure; if the .stk contains a sprite, this is ignored and the converted Pivot 2 .stk just starts with the next normal segment after the sprite.
Note that this only converts .stk files, not Pivot documents (.piv).
If you’re interested in acquiring this utility, you can download it here.
After a (really) long time since the last release (back in December of ’09), Stykz 1.0 is finally out the door! It now supports importing Pivot 3 .stk files (RC4 and earlier could only do Pivot 2.2.x .stks), has full documentation complete with a minitutorial and lots of hyperlinking between topics. It’s still free (in case you were wondering).
The Stykz.net web site has had a complete revamp as well to coordinate with the launch of Stykz 1.0, and there’s comprehensive release notes in case you want to know the nitty-gritty.
In a related note, DarkDemon.org – one of the main sites for stick figure animators – announced a partnership with the Stykz forums and started a Stykz section and may well do cross-forum collaborations in the future.
If you are not aware, Apple today formally relaxed the guidelines for app development for iOS devices, basically doing a 180 from their previous position just a few months ago. This new change will allow third party cross platform development tools (yes, that even means Flash) to create apps.
This now means that RevMobile can now be used to build a version of Stykz for the iPad or other iOS device. Of course the official release of Stykz 1.0 for Windows and Mac OS X needs to come out first before this can even be addressed, but at least the door is no longer shut to mobile development.
I checked in with Waterfox on the status of the Pivot Clone he started working on earlier this year. Work is progressing (although slowly), but it’s coming along. You can now animate the default stickmen and play the animation within the app. I played around with the opacity slider, which works beautifully and affects only the figure you currently have selected.
I did ask him, though, about how the use of the opacity slider was going to play out when exporting to animated GIF format – as you may or may not know, GIF images (and animations) are limited to 256 colors, so if a lot of translucent stick figures are used, especially against a sprite (bitmap) background, there may need to be some compromise in the output.
I’ll let you know what I hear…
UPDATE: Waterfox said that he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it, and is will be looking into formats like video, animated PNG or Flash after his “base” version is done.
As most of you are probably aware, Apple added language to their iPhone 4 SDK (which affects iPads as well) that precludes development of iPhone/iPad apps with a development tool other than their own (Objective C).
RunRev (who makes the development tool Revolution, which Stykz is built with) had been working on “RevMobile”, which would have allowed Revolution developers to create native iPhone apps, and even had an early alpha of the tool in the hands of testers.
Once Apple put out their SDK announcement, RunRev had a long discussion with Apple to see if they could make RevMobile work within their guidelines. But the bottom line was that they said “No”, meaning Stykz would have to be completely rewritten in Objective-C (or HTML5 technologies) to go to the iPhone/iPad, which may never happen since there are significant differences between Revolution and the Apple-approved tools.
Read the official blog post by RunRev.
Just a few days ago, an announcement was made on the Stykz forums, calling for dedicated testers for the “1.0 Prerelease version” of Stykz. If things go the same way as the previously released version of Stykz (Release Candidate 4), it should only be a few weeks before the official release of Stykz 1.0, which has been long overdue and widely anticipated.
It is rumored that the 1.0 release will include support for importing Pivot 3 .stk files, and that a redesign of the Stykz web site will be done in time for the launch. The Stykz 1.0 release will be for Mac and WIndows only; the Linux version is still in internal beta and will be worked on after the 1.0 Mac/Win release.
Dimp Animator, the Mac-only stick figure animation tool, was being actively developed (with new releases happening every other week or so) until about the end of October, 2009. Development appeared to abruptly stop after Dimp Preview 1.10 was released and there was no official word on what had happened until yesterday when Sijmen Mulder, Dimp’s author, made an official post at Dimpleton – the official home of the Dimp Animator community.
In that post, Mulder explained that he had been in the middle of moving to England for a new job. Good news is that since that is over, he can spend some time working on Dimp. Bad news is that since the job is full time, he won’t get as much time as he has had to work on it.
Regardless of how much time Mulder may have to work in it, Dimp has returned from its hiatus and is now back in development, so hopefully there will be a new release of Dimp Animator coming soon.
It will be very interesting to see where Waterfox takes this… stay tuned!
On the Stykz forums over the past few months, there has been those who asked whether there was a possibility of ever bringing Stykz to the iPhone in some form. At the time, the answer from the lead developer was basically “no”, primarily because iPhone apps generally needed to be built using Objective-C, a completely different programming language than what Stykz was developed in, Revolution.
This might change, however, since RunRev Ltd (the company that develops Revolution), recently announced on their site that they are developing a version of Revolution for smartphones called RevMobile. In fact a pre-alpha version of RevMobile is available for Revolution developers and a blog post over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) shows someone at RunRev creating a simple game or the iPhone using the pre-alpha of RevMobile from initial concept to deployed app in a little over 3 hours.
Combine that with the larger form factor of Apple’s upcoming iPad, and the possibilities for getting Stykz on the iPhone/iPad platform at some point increases dramatically. I’m sure there are other technical challenges to consider, and of course the official versions of Stykz 1.0 for Mac, Windows, and Linux will probably need to be released before any of this is considered, but it would be great to see Stykz running on the iPhone/iPad.
What do you think?