Sketch'd is the world's first iOS application that allows users to draw anything they want, animate it with their fingers, and share that animation instantly with others as a looping video– or as we like to call it, a "sketch". Users can also take a picture and turn that into a drawing which can be animated the same way.
So. We have a working prototype and are ready to take it to the next level.
This is our story.
We love drawing and creativity.
Our interest began with simply loving to draw and share art with others. Yes, this was one of those 'weekend project' ideas that turned into an actual, real possibility. We then looked and looked and looked, but there wasn't a fun and easy way to integrate animated drawings into current social networks. When we asked others what they thought, they agreed. Now, because we love drawing and creativity, we have done the research and brought together a competent, gifted team to build something that we think creators, animators, and every day users will enjoy.
It's obvious something is missing.
It's no secret– today's apps are turning over a new revolution. They're essentially the new websites of our world. The current app market is growing faster than ever before. But, we've noticed there is a spot missing. There is a great community to share photos– that's Instagram. There is a wonderful community to share music– that's Soundcloud. But where is the excited and inventive community to share animated drawings? Why isn't there a fun and memorable app experience that allows people to share video-like drawings that they have drawn with their own fingers? We set out to solve that problem with Sketch'd.
Drawing + animation + video + social
It turns out that when you were young, you used pages and pages of paper to draw things and show them to your parents. You showed them to your childhood buddies with great excitement. Sometimes, it was the only thing that could make you smile. Walt Disney brought you the greatest animation experiences of all time. He was, in a few words, the Mickey Mouse. When YouTube came about, you shared millions of videos with your friends online. Drawing + animation + video + social was built into your genetics all along.
With Sketch'd, we are taking what you know and love, creating something new, and making it elegently simple for you to be a part of. The best part? It's all done by your fingers and a little thing we like to call 'drawmagination'.
The time to democratize the animation industry has come. We've got the team to do it.
We decided it was time to push the rules around and take the animation market into a different world; flip the usual animation methods upside down. We started from scratch and collected a dream-team together. In the past year, we have bootstrapped quite a bit. Our team went from plan to plan, concept to concept, and then arrived where we are now: at the final prototyping stage. It's time to show the creative industry and all of the upcoming creative paper-thinkers that there is an easier way to do business.
Sketch'd: Creation and personalization combined.
When we sat down at the drawing board, the first thing we delved into was the market. Would this app fit inside the current market? How many users could we bring on in the first year? What's the number one problem we can solve? Numerous questions ran through our minds.
To find this out, we put it to the test. We started asking around. We asked animators, creators, and avid app users what they thought. We asked them about what they thought was missing in the app space. The biggest answer was clear: an easy way to animate and share drawings through an app, as well as a new fun way to personalize their social networks. We also found that there was no way to take a picture of a drawing, animate it with your fingers, then proceed to share it easily with others. From there, we realized we weren't just creating another socially-connected application, but a brand new way to personalize social profiles.
Using many pages of paper for animations is so last century.
Let's face it. The animation process hasn't been changed much since it was invented. The current multi-paper, scan-to-computer system is outdated and it wastes trees inside the environment. In 1906, J. Stuart Blackton released Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. It was a three-minute long animation. Since then, the world has developed computers for this, as well as methods to scan pages of drawings. An old attempt to speed up the process at that. Westworld, 1973, marked the first time computer-generated images were used. The equipment to produce animations of high calibre is still expensive and only available in larger movie studios. We've found that animation apps do exist on the App Store. The problem is: these current apps are either buggy or don't do what they are meant to do. Furthermore, they don't make it easy to share the creations made within. We are innovating an easy way to create drawings, animate them, and then share with others as a looping video. It's time to get Sketch'd.
Excellent art evolves from inspired creators, designers, and most importantly- Millennials.
Today, Generation Y is the speediest at picking up new technology around the world. It's obvious that today's Millennials are going to create the next big 'thing'. With Sketch'd, our main target markets are designers, creators, people who like to draw, video-sharing fans, brands, and...you've guessed it. Generation Y. We've imagined from the start that many younger designers and creators will begin to use Sketch'd once it is launched. For all we know– the next Walt Disney could come about just from using our app. Just take a look at how many stars have come out of YouTube and it only takes a minute to realize how powerful Sketch'd could become for Millennial animators.
Power for advertising is in the genes.
Ground up, we've designed Sketch'd to be great for brands and fan outreach. We've come up with a drawing system that allows for a choice between turning a picture into a drawing, or starting from scratch and drawing with a fresh start. Take a minute and imagine a company with a large amount of fans. That company signs up for Sketch'd, creates an ad out of a drawing they've spent weeks creating on a piece of paper, and shares it as a sketch with their audience. Because we have built a feature into Sketch'd called "Re-Sketch", this will allow brands to have a massive advertising reach. With the tap of a button, that company's fans can "Re-Sketch" the animated drawing and turn it into a completely different beast. Think about the possibilities when a company with 1 million fans shares an ad through an animated drawing on Sketch'd. If 28,000 people were to "Re-Sketch" that ad– 28,000 re-created versions of that animated ad would be publicly viewable. The power to advertise is in the genes.
Ease-of-use that's beyond the usual.
Integrating ease of use has been important to us since day one. With Sketch'd, we have put thought into the design and usability of the app in itself. Upon building the login screen, simplicity was key. In the current prototype, sign-up and login is done through Facebook and a temporary account. The final version will allow for both usernames + e-mail addresses, Facebook, and Twitter for sign-up and login.
With that in mind, Sketch'd has a clean news feed interface that splits the posts into groups of four as you scroll down. Depending on how testing and feedback goes during this campaign, we may switch this to a single view news feed with larger posts.
Create your own. Be your own.
The profile was no different. When thoughts started brewing about how the profile would work, we innovated not only something that would be eye-catching, but something that would be naturally useful. The profile allows you to slide the circular picture back and fourth to reveal or hide the profile information. We also designed the profile with quote enthusiasts in mind. Directly attached below the profile information is a place for your own custom quote.
But wait! It doesn't stop there. Customization in the creation world is very important. We made the profile on Sketch'd so that you can even change the background image. All that's needed to edit any part of the profile is a press of the edit button in the top right corner. The cool thing? When the profile information is hidden, the whole background image is viewable.
And so the drawing begins.
The Sketch'd drawing process was made from the start to be unlike any other. The minute you enter the drawing screen, it becomes apparent that you can create just about anything– and with plenty of room. Create your imagination. Show your skills. Innovate with art.
You not only get plenty of space to draw, but also a space to create and personalize your sketches. We've thought of a slidable drawer that is easily accessible from the right side of the screen. Just drag, slide out, and boom. You've got– Color Choices. Pencil Sizes. Tip Textures. Everything.
It gets even better. Our team even invented a completely new way to animate drawings. All you have to do is select a set of dots at the bottom of the screen, then drag them to the desired parts of your drawing. You get to design the parts that move.
Here's the really fun part! It's time to throw the old animation process in the trash with this one. Make a plan in your head about what you want your sketch to do. When you move the dots, it records. When you stop moving them, it stops. The great thing is, no more wasted pages of paper and no more frustration. Let's put that in perspective once more:
Move dots. It records. Simple.
Time tracking made easy.
We're solving a huge problem. Animations take forever to make. Plus, with the current process, it's extremely hard to know how much time has actually elapsed while creating animations. With Sketch'd, we've fixed this and implemented a large digital display clock at the bottom of the recording screen. No matter how many times you move the dots and make your sketch move, we've got your time covered.
Drawings from your mind. Drawings from real life.
We wanted to take the whole process one step further. Drawing anything you'd like is cool and all. But what about photos? Once you take a photo with Sketch'd, it's instantly transformed into a drawing that can be animated with the same process as a regularly created drawing. Take a photo of anything. An already made drawing, a tree, you name it. Once you're finished, all you've gotta do is make it move with your fingers, then share your sketch with all of your friends.
Sharing is caring.
Our society is so connected. Messages that used to take days to reach their receiver can now be received in seconds. People are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 24/7 sharing news with their friends. Getting their "likes" and comments. Why isn't there a largely popular community for animated drawings in the form of videos? The answer is simply this: it hasn't been done yet. Sketch'd allows you to create your drawing and animation, then instantly share it as a looping video on various networks of your choice. Not only can you share your sketch through your Sketch'd network, but you can share with Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, and Tumblr right out of the box. We've also implemented the ability to save your sketch to the camera roll. Want to load it into iTunes? No problem.
Just a smile and re-sketch away.
Everyone likes to smile. What if when you saw an animated drawing that made you smile, you could actually smile? With Sketch'd, we've added a way to do this. Smile at others sketches, people smile at yours. All from the press of a button. We also thought through the process of someone seeing another's sketch. We realized that we needed an incredible way to let people expand on other's sketches. This is how the term "Re-Sketch'ing" was born. If you see someone's sketch that you like, all you have to do is press the "Re-Sketch" button. This then puts their sketch into the drawing screen and allows you to add anything you want. You can then take that sketch through the same animation process and create a totally different animation from what was done before. Before each post, you can decide whether or not you would like your sketch to be "Re-Sketchable".
Being featured is no longer a hard task.
We've noticed another problem: There are many great artists out there with so much talent. To always be seen– that's not an easy feat in a large network of people. This is something we pondered on how to fix for a while. With that thought, we've made it so no matter how many people are on Sketch'd, the featured page will be really fun and easy for everyone to be a part of. (And you can be in a big way when Sketch'd launches if you go look at the rewards!)
See new trends. Find great art. Explore creativity.
Finally, an easier way for creatives to be noticed– and new art to be found.
On top of being able to easily see new trends and explore creativity, we've also made this really useful. When you tap "Featured", you instantly see a beautiful map of aggregated, animated sketches from the network. Depending on a few facts and how many "Re-Sketches" a sketch has, it shows up on this screen. The ones with the most "Re-Sketches" appear larger than the ones with smaller amounts. If you see one that you like, all you have to do is pinch your fingers to zoom in. When you zoom in, the UI scales your movements and brings the sketch to the foreground in fully animated form.
Searching for your friends and types of creations is just as great.
Our project isn't just about us. It's about putting rewards into your hands too.
When we were brainstorming about the rewards, we wanted to make sure to give you the best possible rewards for the best value.
Be sure to checkout the rewards section! There are plenty more cool rewards waiting for you.
The timeline of execution: where your money is going.
To us, it's not only about design and building a great end-product. It's about execution too. We've planned this out really well. Once it is clear that we will be funded, the train to take Sketch'd out of the prototyping stage and into your hands will begin full speed ahead. Below, we've listed a timeframe for everything we will be doing once funded.
Funding happens: Further building and testing of the animation/drawing system, search system, and featuring system.
Late-July to mid-August: Continued building and testing of the animation/drawing system, search system, and featuring system. Start of design and infrastructure of backend server system.
Mid-August to early-September: Finish off building and testing of the animation/drawing system, search system, and featuring system. Continue building out the backend server system.
Early-September to late-September: Building out of backend server system continues. Further building of the profile system, "Re-Sketching" system, "Smile" system, and comment system begins. Polishing of UI and further design of sharing system begins.
Late-September to mid-October: Beta testing begins. Building out of the backend server system finishes. Further building of the profile system, "Re-Sketching" system, "Smile" system, and comment system continues. Polishing of UI and further design of sharing system continues.
Mid-October to late-October: Beta testing continues. Extensive tests of server system begin and finish. Further building of the profile system, "Re-Sketching" system, "Smile" system, and comment system finishes. Polishing of the UI and further design of sharing system finishes.
Estimated Submit to App Store Date: October 22nd, 2013.
Estimated Launch Date: October 31st, 2013.
The costs explained:
As you may know, developing great apps isn't cheap. While we have a team, we can't do this without some extra help. We need your funds to continue development of the animation/drawing system, search feature, commenting feature, smiling feature, sharing feature, and sketch featuring system. On top of that, we need to build the backend server system. This will ensure that the Sketch'd network runs smooth no matter how many users are on board. Furthermore, we also need to clean up the user interface and further design the overall experience to run without a hiccup when we launch. Below, we have written a basic list of the four main costs. We have also linked a neat article on Stack Overflow which describes a lot more about how much great apps cost to develop.
Development costs in basic list form:
Building and finishing of animation/drawing system: $15,000
Search, comment, smile, sharing, and featuring system: $15,000
Kickstarter: What we need now, is you. Here's why we do.
We can't deny it– we need your support. With your help, we can further show that the animation world needs a change. With your funds, we will be able to further improve the graphics of the app, hire more developers, perfect the animation system, design the network to be extremely nimble and receive viable feedback. Your help and support will allow us to bring the app out of the prototyping stage and into your hands.
Prove to our community that we can do this, show the world that we really can flip the animation world upside down.
Now all we need is for you, yes you, to prove that this can work. We need you to help us show the world that we really can flip the animation world upside down and change the game. Share this project with others and take our hands on the big adventure to make Sketch'd a reality. Show everyone that there is finally a way to create animated, sharable drawings in the form of fun, looping videos.
LET YOUR IMAGINATION BEGIN.
Risks and challenges
We have worked extremely hard to find an amazing, talented, and hard working team. Our goal when we found this team was to bring together an army that could show the world there is a way for anyone and everyone to have fun and easily be a part of the ever changing animation industry. Every day, we put our hardest efforts into working on Sketch'd. When funded, the biggest risk that this project entails is getting the app submitted to the app store and going through Apple's review process. Beyond that, the other challenge will be scaling the back-end server infrastructure to run smoothly as our audience grows.
We are building on iOS first. We chose this direction because we feel that iOS is more stable on the user experience side with what we desire to build. We plan on adding Android support later this year, following the launch of Sketch'd on iOS.
--EARLY BIRD SPECIAL--
Get in early! Pledge $25 and we will give you a shout out on Twitter and share your Facebook page AND e-mail you a thank you letter! You can also reserve a username on Sketch'd before it's in the App Store. Get the signature "Elite" emblem on your profile! Plus, you can also have your name, along with your company website listed in the "Backer" section inside the settings of the app AND on our forthcoming "Supporters" page on the website. Not to mention, you will receive the Sketch'd Mousepad and the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper!
--Custom Sketch'd T-shirt--
Pledge $35 and we will send you a Sketch'd T-shirt. Show that you have supported our vision and gain other's interest. Plus, reserve a username and get the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper.
--Custom Sketch'd Stylus--
Pledge $40 and we will send you a Stylus to use with our app. The stylus is made with a custom Sketch'd design. Plus, reserve a username and get the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper.
--Sketch'd Gear Set-- Get all of the Sketch'd gear! You will receive a Sketch'd stylus, T-shirt, iPhone Case, and Mouse Pad! Not to mention, you get to reserve a username and get the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper.
--Artist Level Backer--
Pledge $100 and you can have one of your sketches featured in the app during the first month it is on the App Store. This is an easy way to get the world to see your sketch! You will also receive all of the Sketch'd gear, which includes a Sketch'd Stylus, T-shirt, iPhone Case, and Mouse Pad! Plus, reserve a username and get the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper.
--I Backed This--
Pledge $250 and you will be able to have the signature "Elite" emblem on your profile. This reward also allows you to reserve a username and lets you have the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper. It also gets you all of the Sketch'd gear, which includes a Sketch'd Stylus, T-shirt, iPhone Case, and Mouse Pad!
Pledge $500 and you'll get beta access. You will have your name, along with your company website listed on our forthcoming "Supporters" page on the website. You'll also be able to have the signature "Elite" emblem on your profile. Plus you'll be allowed to reserve your own username and get the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper. You also get all of the Sketch'd gear, which includes a Sketch'd Stylus, T-shirt, iPhone Case, and Mouse Pad!
--Super Presidential Backer--
Pledge $2,000 and you will be allowed to give your two cents on which screen shots people see when viewing the app inside the store. You can also have your name, along with your company website listed in the "Backer" section inside the settings of the app AND on our forthcoming "Supporters" page on the website. You also get all of the Sketch'd gear, which includes a Sketch'd Stylus, T-shirt, iPhone Case, and Mouse Pad! Plus beta access and the ability to reserve your own username. Not to mention, the signature "Elite" emblem on your profile and the custom Sketch'd wallpaper sent to your e-mail. A shoutout on Twitter and a share of your page on Facebook is also included.
--The Ultimate Launch Backer-- We will fly you out and bring you to Atlanta, GA to meet our team and launch Sketch'd with us. We will talk to you about the design process and skills that we have used to bootstrap our way to development. And-- of course you will also receive all of the Sketch'd gear as well as the ability to reserve a username. This level backer is also granted beta access, and gains a shout out on Facebook and Twitter. You'll have your name + company website listed in both the "Backers" section inside the settings of the app AND under the forthcoming "Supporters" tab on our website. Plus, you'll get the custom Sketch'd desktop wallpaper and the signature "Elite" emblem on your profile. Finally, you will have one of your sketches featured in the app during the first month it's on the App Store.
This reward is only available to people in the United States.