New Version (1.7.3) – iOS “V-Cam” Update Released!

So the v-cam update for iOS was actually released about two weeks ago. Surprise!

No but really, it was. I was away at the time and had numerous reports of MP4 exporting not working for users since the update. As a result, I put off making this post until I had things corrected.

That time is now. As of right now, there are updates for iOS Stick Nodes Free and Pro users on the App Store, so check it out and let me know if everything is good.

Stick Nodes iOS

Changelog

Here are all of the changes that came to iOS in the 1.7.2 and 1.7.3 updates.

  • Major fix for MP4 exporting issue, also added button to use the old method in case any issue is still present (Pro only).
  • Fixed crash when exporting a single-frame looped animation.
  • Some other minor fixes.
  • (1.7.2) V-Cam added! Double-tap to enable Camera Mode.
  • (1.7.2) The “Stop” button now resets zoom to 100% (instead of double-tapping like before).
  • (1.7.2) Added onion skin to v-cam to see where it is in the previous and next frames.
  • (1.7.2) Increased size of the scrollbar for frame thumbnails.
  • (1.7.2) Added background color/image functionality to Create Mode.
  • (1.7.2) Improved MP4 exporting (Pro only).
  • (1.7.2) Added 40+ sounds (Pro only).
  • (1.7.2) Changed FPS limit to 60.
  • (1.7.2) Background images can now scale in the x and y direction.
  • (1.7.2) Increased maximum zoom from 500% to 800%.

Next up?

Well, next I need to get Android users updated to 1.7.3. There won’t be any significant changes from what you guys already have but there will be a few bug fixes and tweaks. My favorite bug on Android right now is exporting an MP4 at a width that isn’t a multiple of 16, it skews the video.

After that I begin work on the next “major” change…

New Version (1.7.0) (iOS On July 30th)

Edit (July 30th): Version 1.7.2 was uploaded to the App Store last night. As of right now, I can’t tell you exactly when it will be available for download. Unlike Android, Apple has to manually approve every update. In the past, this has taken about 2-5 days. The last update (1.6.3) only took a few hours, though.

Stick Nodes iOS

Basically what I’m saying is to expect the update at any possible moment. Hopefully soon!

Will post here when the update is live as well as on the Facebook and Google+ pages!

I am also aware of a bug in Android where exporting an MP4 at a width that isn’t a multiple of 16 causes the video to come out skewed. This will be fixed in Android’s 1.7.2 update coming out soon!


Edit (July 12th): Version 1.7.1 was just pushed out to all Android markets. Nothing major, just some tweaks. The main purpose of this update was to include better analytics tracking behind-the-scenes so I can more easily track down any bugs concerning MP4 exporting. There were a few minor changes though, as listed below.

Changelog for version 1.7.1

  • The “Stop” button now resets zoom to 100% (instead of double-tapping like before).
  • Added onion skin to v-cam to see where it is in the previous and next frames.
  • Increased size of the scrollbar for frame thumbnails.

The iOS version of this update will be released soon!

Below is the original post for the release of 1.7.0.


So the 1.7.0 update is finally released (on Android)! This update has a lot of minor additions and changes, but the biggest one is the addition of a v-cam!

What is a v-cam?

Some of you may be unfamiliar with the term v-cam.

I believe it was a term coined by a popular Flash Actionscipt object that would essentially act as a camera, a virtual camera, for animations. This would allow the animator to move it around and scale it to simulate a real camera rather than having to move all of the objects in the scene instead.

Stick Nodes camera vcam

The GIF above illustrates the v-cam in action in Stick Nodes. In Stick Nodes, you need to double-tap the canvas area to enter into Camera Mode. When in Camera Mode, you can move and scale the camera as you wish. Clicking away from the camera’s bounding box or double-tapping again will exit Camera Mode.

This double-tap replaces the “double-tap to return to 100% zoom” functionality. I don’t feel like many people were using that, but if you were, I plan to re-add the feature to the Stop button (tapping the “Stop” button will return you to 100% zoom starting in 1.7.1).

Changelog for version 1.7.0

  • V-cam functionality added! Double-tap to enable or disable Camera Mode. In Camera Mode, you are able to essentially move and zoom the “camera” rather than having to move and scale each stickfigure!
  • Added background color and background image functionality to Create Mode, will make tracing possible!
  • Improved MP4 exporting (Pro only). MP4s should export faster and in better quality (only if you have Android 4.3 or later, if not, the old method will be used).
  • Added over 40 new sounds (Pro only). Look for the majority of them beginning with the words “Effect”, “Hit”, “Voice”, and “Monster”.
  • Changed FPS limit to 60. Any FPS over 20 will automatically disable tweening, though.
  • Increased maximum zoom to 800% from 500%.
  • Background images can now scale in the x and y direction past the bounds of the animation.
  • Many other minor tweaks and fixes.

If you noticed, the MP4 export process has been greatly improved (for Android users with Android 4.3 or later). This new process exports MP4s incredibly fast and at great quality!

I plan to bring this over to the iOS 1.7.0 update if it is possible, it is the one thing holding up the iOS release of 1.7.0.

What about iOS?

Well like I just mentioned, I need to look into a way to improve the way MP4s are exported on iOS devices. If I can find a way to speed it up like Android, I will have to work on that for a few days. That will be the only thing holding up the iOS release of 1.7.0. No estimated date yet, but it won’t be too long.

What’s next in 1.7.1?

That’s a secret. 🙂

Okay, that’s all from me. Everyone go create something cool with the v-cam.

Might I recommend a Madness animation animated at a non-tweened 24 FPS, using the v-cam for an awesome cinematic feeling?

Do it.

Coming Soon in 1.7.0

So, April came and went, no 1.7.0. What’s up?

Better yet, what new features will 1.7.0 even contain?

Keep updated

Firstly, just to let everyone know in case you don’t for some reason (why!?), follow Stick Nodes on Facebook, Google+, or on Twitter to get more frequent updates and community-based content than just these monthly update posts. Stuff like inspirational animations, best-of stickfigure uploads, and other relevant Stick Nodes news is posted every week.

Okay, back to 1.7.0 stuff

So, the plan for 1.7.0 (and the subsequent 1.7.1, etc…) versions are intended to get new features into the app, rather than just fixes. The first update, 1.7.0 contains one of the most-requested features for Stick Nodes. What is it? Well, I’ll let this first screenshot show it off.

Stick Nodes vcam Stick Nodes fps

Animating with a camera, or vcam as many of you call it, will make animating more cinematic experiences much easier. Instead of moving everything to simulate the camera moving, you can actually just now move the camera, as well as zoom it in and out.

It’s not ready yet, but it is partially functional and I can attest to how great it is. It really opens a whole new realm of possibilities for animating in Stick Nodes!

The second screenshot shows off another requested feature. The FPS limit has been raised from 20 to 60. Now there’s no need to “hack” the app into playing your 24 or 30 (or 60) FPS animations. Note that tweening isn’t possible with any FPS higher than 20, as the app simply doesn’t refresh fast enough to display such a high framerate (61+ FPS).

Edit: Want to see the v-cam in action? Check out the animated GIFs I posted on the Stick Nodes Facebook and Google+ pages!

So what’s holding it back from release?

I’m also revamping the MP4 export process. At least I’m trying to, it’s a bit technical and difficult to get working. I’m hoping to get rid of those color artifacts that I notice on some videos from users (on Youtube). If this also increases the speed of the export process, that’s a bonus, but I’m not sure.

I’ve also been busy lately with other stuff, but I hope to get 1.7.0 released soon! Stay updated with the social media links above.

New Version (1.6.3) – iOS “Sounds” Update Released!

(Edit: March 14th, this update has been pushed out to Android users, too.)

There. Now all of you iOS users can stop bothering me. Here’s that “sounds” update you all wanted to much.

Go check out the App Store and look for an update to Stick Nodes and Stick Nodes Pro!

So what does this mean?

Well, for one, iOS users are now actually a version ahead of Android users. How did that happen!? (Android users you’ll be getting 1.6.3 in a day or two, though it doesn’t introduce much other than some fixes and some added sound effects).

iOS 1.6.3 changelog

  • SOUNDS have been added to the Pro version! Also included are a bunch of sound clips to get you started right away! Look under “Frame Tools”.
  • Exporting GIFs and MP4s no longer locks up your device.
  • Added an option to display onion skin on top (will help when animating stickfigures in front of other stickfigures). Look under “Project Tools”.
  • Removed “Play” and “Stop” buttons from under “Animation Tools”, use the buttons to the right of the frame thumbnails instead.
  • Added functionality to permanently delete projects, stickfigures, and sounds off of your device from within the app.
  • Open/import lists are now always alphabetized.
  • Fix for potential crashes when saving large projects/stickfigures.
  • Fix for when a stickfigure wouldn’t save properly.
  • Fix for when MP4 export would crash if exported at odd-numbered dimensions.
  • Fix for potential weird color artifacts in MP4 exports.
  • Many other minor tweaks and fixes.

So there you have it, iOS users can now go create animations just like this one I made announcing 1.6.0 all those months ago!

Can’t wait to see what you guys make. If you upload to Youtube, make sure to include the words “Stick Nodes” somewhere in the title/description so I can find your stuff!

Have fun!

What’s next?

Well, I have to get the Android version of 1.6.3 out. That will take just a day or so though.

After that, I’ll probably take a few days off of Stick Nodes stuff to explore some ideas I have for a new game project. But don’t worry, I already have big plans for Stick Nodes 1.7.0!