This is going to be a bit of an odd update this week, but I tend to write about what I am passionate about at the moment. I received a iPod Touch for my birthday back in late February, and I was surprised to find some apps that were helpful with Minimate customizing. I am going to take a look at 4 apps today, along with a few bonuses at the end. 🙂
This app is the most directly useful for customizing, because you can design complete Minimate decals, and email them to yourself to print out on decal paper (or soon on white polyester film, which I have grown to love dearly). This app has a set of vector drawing tools that is similar to the basic functions of Adobe Illustrator. You get a pen tool that can create shapes of any size and color. The anchor points and curves of these shapes can be edited anytime. You also get tools to clone, mirror, and scale your shapes. You can have several layers at once, and the RGB color selector is a beautiful thing. The basic version of this app is free, and includes all of the tools listed above. The full version is $6.99, and gives you a few more pen tools, plus the ability to export your files as an SVG which is editable in Illustrator. For those of you who have read this far into this update, I am going to give you a preview of my upcoming Alien Decal Kit, which was partially designed in miniDraw:
This program definitely has a learning curve, but I highly recommend checking out the free version. It comes with a tutorial video that is a must-watch. Let me know if you try it!
Adobe ideas is another vector graphics program, although it is more focused on loose sketching than precise drawing. I have used it to sketch out ideas for my Alien Decal Kit and upcoming dioramas. You get a pencil tool, eraser, and move tool, and that’s basically it. Once you select your pencil you can choose your size, opacity, and color. Then you simply start drawing. You can manage different layers, which makes coloring your drawings a snap. It can email you a vector file that can be imported into Photoshop or Illustrator. And best of all, it is completely free. This app has a really nice user interface that makes everything simple and enjoyable. Give it a shot!
This is a photo editing app that had the best features I have found for the lowest price. It is $0.99, and for me it was a dollar well spent. It has many of the same tools as other photo editing apps, such as image resizing, cropping, rotating, and color management. But where this app really shines is the touch-up tools. You get a clone stamp and smudge stick, as well as spot touch-ups of brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and color dodging and burning tools. Plus it can handle large images where many other apps automatically resize them to a smaller size. When I am in a hurry I just dump all of my unprocessed Minimate pictures onto my iPod, and get them ready for posting when I have time throughout the day. I have also used it to touch up some of my packaging designs. And if you have an iPhone I think this app would be even better for taking quick pictures of your customs, as you have a built -in camera.
I am a big fan of lists. They help me stay as organized as possible with everything I have going on right now. I keep several running lists in Google Docs, and their iPod/iPhone version is great for editing these lists on the go. For Minimates, I keep lists of my upcoming commissions, the customs I want to do for myself, decals I need to design, and just ideas in general. The only problem with this app is that it requires an internet connection.
Here are a few Minimate backgrounds pre-sized for your iPhone or iPod Touch, modified from the posters on the Art Asylum web site: