iPhone Development begins

May 15, 2009


With great enthusiasm, inspiration,  and a certain amount of healthy fear, I can announce I’m beginning development on my first iPhone app. (pictures are just mock-ups).

I had been considering hard which platform with which to push my animation and code art (Zeno and G-synth) onto, i.e. Xbox arcade, PC,MAC etc.  The first influential factor in favour of iPhone was the amazing success stories arising of independent, often one-man developers creating very cool applications, in a short amount of time, and making an awful lot of money.  Further investigation into Apples unique model of support/development/distribution, and the iPhone’s exponential growth and success throughout the world has me given the confidence and inspiration to give it a whirl.

 The second influential factor, was the device itself.  I’ve had mine 2 weeks.  It’s a beautiful, smart piece of kit.  I’m not one to side with any particular brand or ‘team’ i.e. the whole PC/MAC thing, I find it tedious, there are two camps, the cult like semi-religious following of Apple/Jobbs and the equally tedious anti-Apple haters and naysayers.  Both sides are rooted in their blind love or blind hate, all irrational.  I just judge things on their own merit.  Having used PCs 100% my whole life, I’ve no problems adopting this bite of Apple into my world.


So what will I make?  I’ve too many ideas to be honest, and I want to do all of them.  But I can only start with one.  After consideration I feel it wise and practical to build upon the generative animation code I’ve developed for Music is Math, Metamorphosis and the Swan Lake / Bodysnatchers music visualiser.

The idea is to take these videos, and turn them into real time, endlessly generating animations on the iPhone.  The user can interactively move around, rotate, save a snaphot, zoom in and out of these procedurally generated worlds with touch gestures, shaking the phone will randomly alter visuals.   The Music is Math and Metamorphosis worlds probably wont be audio reactive, but they are designed to be watched with any kind of music – I created these programmed worlds to give the illusion of ‘audio reacton’, happening on a subjective level.  Contrary to what a lot of people think, Music is Math and Metamorphosis are not audio reactive, they just appear to be, which was in part the goal of those pieces.


For genuine audio reaction I’ll create a special feature/world, so you can have the same experience seen in the Bodysnatchers and Swan Lake videos.  These will react to any music playing, or to voice/live sound input.

As I finish writing this, the iPhone SDK has just downloaded onto my new Macbook.  I’m literally about to start.  I’ve to learn Objective-C and iPhone tech, and rewrite all my Processing/Java code.  I’ve also to learn how to use a Mac 🙂


7 Responses to “iPhone Development begins”

  1. Lawrie said

    Oh no! If this comes out half as well as I imagine it will, I may have to bite the bullet and get and iPhone.
    It would be interesting to hear your experiences of switching to a Mac, as well as moving to Objective C from processing, so keep us informed please Glenn.
    Good luck.

  2. ash said

    I have to second Lawrie, please keep us informed about the move. It’ll be interesting to read about the transition.

  3. Yeah for sure, I’ll keep a development diary going on this.

  4. holly said

    the butterflies in the Graphic Synthesiser Demo are hypnotically beautiful.

  5. Curious if you have ever seen an application called spawn and spawnlite..they were created by eod software…and they are somewhat similar to what your trying to accomplish…

  6. Yes actually Spawn lite was one of the first things I downloaded. It’s nice but simplistic. Although I haven’t tried the full app yet. I’m trying to implement my animations as real time interactive worlds. The FPS is my main concern, I’ll have to use OpenGL ES with a hell of a lot of algorithims and particles, there has to be super tight optimisation and memory management. I’m just getting my head around Objective-C at the minute.

  7. […] images, (blog posts 1, 2, 3 and Graphic Synthesiser Demo (3:51), 4, 5) and an iPhone App (blog post 1, 2 and iPhone App Test #1 video […]

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