A 25 Year Quest To Build The Perfect Drawing App

Spriteville’s logo is a red jellyfish based on the shape and color of upper atmospheric sprite lightning; it’s done with bitmap graphics and resembles an alien from Space Invaders as homage to sprite-based arcade games I played in the 80s.

Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

— Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

PART I — WHAT IS THE PERFECT APP?

PART II — HISTORY OF SPRITEVILLE

Spriteville lets you paint with physics to create animated scenes
Notes from 4/28/1992 for an “Ink Editor” with spline-based curve smoothing and built-in “typesetting” functions like auto-scaling, auto-kerning, etc.
Pen user interface notes exploring an offset cursor “without obstruction by hand or pen” that enables “precise pointing in applications where pen tip is too large”
More notes about expanding highlight regions for pen input and object snapping
Still one of my favorite logos that I have designed
Thread let you create hyperlinked sticky notes
My “Drag-and-Link” direct manipulation gesture to create hyperlinks
GIF made with custom drawing keyboard prototype

PART III – BUILDING SPRITEVILLE

Spriteville’s feature map and user interface components
“Wheatfield with Crows” animation task made in 45 seconds with Spriteville. Composing with a palette of physics-based sprites lets you quickly create dynamic art that imparts whimsy, character, and personalization beyond static photos, videos, or GIFs.

REFLECTIONS

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rokamo.medium.com Co-creator of Spriteville, Dynamic Art, http://spriteville.com / Co-founder of Celly, Emergent Social Networks, http://cel.ly

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