Fotoo... Mobile of the Day, 26th April 2015
What did you want to accomplish with the app?
We wanted to create a simple, fun and quirky app that would let people record a moment of fun in their day. An app that enables the user to weave those moments into a short and sharable story, which can be done in two formats, video or photo.
At Growl, when we sit down to develop an app we have one mantra, it must be fun! We work alot in the childrens content space, marrying education with entertainment and wanted to add a storytelling app to our offering, Fotoo is the first step in that direction.
We currently have 9 themed animated mask packs available for users ranging from steampunk, love, hipster to a Game of Thrones inspired fantasy pack.
What technical challenges did you encounter and how did you solve them?
There were many technical hurdles! There is a lot going on in the app. From live facial tracking, to green-screen backgrounds, stop motion style video recording, and of course the gorgeous hand drawn and animated props!
Trying to put all of that into a mobile app and be responsive, was quite a challenge.
We had many sleepless nights trying to get the video and audio to sync up whilst keeping the performance at a steady framerate to make sure it was responsive.
So a lot of tweaking, testing, trial and errors and copious amounts of caffeine! In the end we managed to design what we feel is a beautiful app, with a simple interface and a lot of smart things happening under the hood.
What did winning the FWA award mean to you?
We have always admired the site and the projects that you feature, so it is truly amazing to earn a FWA recognition.
We view the work showcased on FWA as a creative benchmark, inspiring us to design and develop to a higher standard, so the reaction in the office once we heard we had achieved an FWA award was magic!
For the tech side we used a face recognition library called Beyond Reality Face. We also used Sketch UX for user interface design.
For the design elements we used Mischief, Photoshop and good ol’ pencil and paper.
Fotoo started off as an idea to to add more fun to the child-oriented events we organize for our kids edutainment brand AppyKids.
We create our graphics with the most traditional of tools - pencil and paper!
Once we animate the graphics we use our in-house model, Sabi, our lead developer! to test everything on.
In the initial version of the app, the user interface had many more buttons.
We refined and simplified the interface with each update; gestures replaced buttons, thereby cutting down on the clutter and leaving a clean, user-friendly interface.
We add a new pack every month.
The next pack is a cult favourite, a Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling pack.
You can create awesome looping 3 - 15 second stop motion videos, which are perfect for Vine and Instagram.
Our founder’s 2 year old daughter has become the star of our video campaigns with her lions roar!