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I wrote a kids' picture book that I want to make into an iPad app and iPhone app.

(More of a story than a game, but same principles, I guess.)

Here's a sample page: https://img.skitch.com/20120108-bqusir4xt3hhxx5fufhh7pw4wy.jpg

(There are words on each page -- I've just scrubbed them out on the image for this example.)

All the images are in Photoshop.

I want to make an app of the book for iPads and other tablets.

For the app, I'd like to add a little animation on each page. Things like fish changing their expressions. Some interaction. Fish swimming on some pages, and other stuff.

I want to know who I should recruit to do the animation:

The illustrator who did the original images normally doesn't do animation.

  1. Since that illustrator doesn't normally do animation, I guess I need to get an animator on board for the project -- what skills am I looking for in that person?

(Obviously they need to know how to make an animation, but what technology etc will they need to know?)

  1. To draw the different frames for the animation, would I need to employ the same illustrator who did the original images, or would a good illustrator be able to do that, based on the images that already exist?

(The illustrator who did the original images is available, but I'd need to wait a while for her to be able to fit the job in.)

  1. The images don't exist as vector files -- they are Photoshop bitmap. Is this an issue?

Thanks, Richard

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The image sample is offline. Also, bitmap images are a problem, since vector files are a lot easier to edit, transform, deform, etc. –  Gustavo Maciel Jan 8 '12 at 20:19
    
thanks Gtoknu -- i've changed the url -- hopefully the image sample should be there now –  Richard Clunan Jan 8 '12 at 20:55
    
Interesting, this gives a better idea. Ah, you havent the vectors, but the psd is having, for example, the fishes separated in a layer separated from background layer, separated from rocks layer, etc? For example, just moving bubbles will be very easy if they are in separated layers, but this will get very tricky if they are the same bitmap as the background. –  Gustavo Maciel Jan 8 '12 at 20:58
    
I don't think vector vs. bitmap is a big issue. There are a lot of problems that will arise with using vector graphics if the object is very complex and has lots of small details. Bitmaps can be transformed and edited just as well (eg. morphing) and it will still look good if you work with high-res bitmaps and then render to device resolution. –  bummzack Jan 9 '12 at 8:02

1 Answer 1

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TL;DR

what skills am I looking for in that person?

Depends on the extent of the animations you need. Read the rest of the post for more info on that.

To draw the different frames for the animation, would I need to employ the same illustrator who did the original images, or would a good illustrator be able to do that, based on the images that already exist?

I've met a few artists who were very capable at mimicking other artist's styles, so I'd say a good illustrator might be able to do that. You'll need to ask them directly.

The images don't exist as vector files -- they are Photoshop bitmap. Is this an issue?

I don't think so, the image you showed is digitally painted so I can't imagine a vector format even being useful here. The resolution of photoshop files and their separation in layers are more important in this case.

Long Story

I think each artist usually has a different workflow that they're used to (for instance, check this video of Dan Paladin animating one of the boss characters from The Behemoth's hit, Castle Crashers) so most advice I can give will depend a lot on the actual illustrator.

For starters, what type of animation are you really looking to have? Do you want fully animated characters (e.g. Disney style) or you just want some pieces of the image to move, and small parts of the images to change? For the first approach, you'd obviously need someone who is very talented and capable of adapting your old illustrator's style. For the second approach, most decent illustrators should be capable of handling it. Provide that sort of info when looking for the illustrator, and show the assets you already have.

Whether the images not being in vector format is an issue or not, that depends on the workflow of your illustrator. Some are more used to working in vector format, while others use a more traditional painting method. But looking at your image, I don't see how it could be vector anyway, so you'll probably want someone who's more into digital painting. Either way, it helps if your source images have an high quality / resolution.

It would also be very helpful if your source images are separated into layers, so that portions can be edited at a time without affecting the rest of the picture. If the images are not separated into layers, your new illustrator will need to be skilled enough to repaint over the old picture.

The bottom line I think is that you will need to discuss your requirements over with each candidate, making sure to show them everything that you currently have and what you seek, and they should be able to tell you what their capabilities are.

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