Title:‘  Loop
Cost:‘  $0.99
Platform:’  iOS

As a teen, most of my notebooks were full of stick-figure flip animations performing stunts on the page edges.’ ‘  Loop is the digital equivalent of those over-doodled notebooks, allowing users to create hand-drawn, animated loops that can be exported as GIFs.

The app’s interface gives much of its screen space to a whiteboard-like drawing area with a grid of tools permanently situated at the lower edge.

Loop pic 1

The basic tools include three brushes in black, red, and blue that vary in width from ballpoint to brush depending on the speed in which a finger or stylus is used. There’s also an eraser for fixing mistakes (no “Undo” button, sadly) and a button that duplicates one frame at a time.

The toolkit’s superstars are the “Onion Skin” button, which shows a ghost of the previous frame in order to more accurately place the next, and the “Guide Video” buttons that allow users to access videos recorded on the device to use as guides for more fluid animations. These tools help take creations to a new level and introduce users to concepts they’ll need to know if they want to do more than dabble in animation.

Once finished, the loops can easily be exported as GIFs via email, the Loop Gallery (shown below) and Tumblr.

loop gallery

Everything about Loop is bare-bones, including the support (don’t expect much from that “Help” button) but as I recall the best part of drawing flip books was the trial and error involved in getting my stick figures from point A to point B.’  In this and other aspects, Loop replicates that feeling of doing something awesome with very little skill.

For more YALSA App of the Week posts, visit the App of the Week Archive.

About Jen Scott Wills

Jen is the Teen Services Librarian for Boise Public Library's Main Library. Follow her on Twitter @jen1n to read more of her musings on libraries, YA lit, and all things geeky and glorious.

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