Indie app developer Animo Apps has released an animation kit for iPhone that hopes to fill a gap in a largely template-driven market. Plays – which is currently free and launches on the App Store today – allows creators to customise type, choosing from a range of fonts and colour sliders, and animate it by selecting from a bank of animation effects.
Users can also upload logos, create 3D text animation, alter the background with a colour or imported photo, and export the content in a range of social-ready formats.
James Hogwood, who is creative director at Livity and creative partnerships director at the app company, says the idea was borne from playing with other content creation tools, which he says are “blunt, if you’re into crafting. They promised the idea of creativity and freedom of self-expression, but they are largely template-driven and limited. We set out to build an animation tool tied to typography, and that is still the core of the experience. But we have progressed, we’ve been developing Plays as a more holistic tool across all types of animation."
The app currently features three packs alongside its core customisation tools and each offers an entirely different set of fonts and transitions. James explains they plan to work with type foundries, animators, designers, artists and other creatives to build more packs in future.
It differs from other apps such as Weird Type by Zach Lieberman and Molmol Kuo, in that it isn’t generative. James explains this is to give their creative collaborators control over their packs, so they can maintain their unique visual style, which isn’t entirely achievable with generative design.
“Our team are creatives of different kinds,” says creative director Peter Dickinson, “and coming from a motion/design background, nothing we found ever gave us the possibilities or the toolset that satisfied our itch to make better animated content on mobile.” Plays, therefore, aims to offer a “set of tools that helps [creators and makers] reimagine what’s possible in their short form content”.