For February, I decided to do something a little new and donate to a device instead of software. Why not? Anything that makes me a productive artist is welcome in my book.
A couple weeks ago, I discovered the Animation Dock. Created by Tammy Gray Smith and her husband Corey Smith, the Animation Dock turns your iPad into a full-fledged animation desk. For those of you who have never seen or experienced an animation desk, it’s a surface that’s a light table which rotates as needed while drawing. By mounting your iPad on the Animation Dock, it easily becomes a swiveling light table of coolness.
“We want to remind everyone that the simple act of drawing is the only skill you truly need to bring stories to life,” Tammy and Corey state on their website. “This is a product for anyone who loves drawing and animation.” Creating an affordable and accessible device for artists is welcome and generally unheard of in our universe of expensive gadgets and tools. Recently, we’ve seen direct competitors to monopolies like Wacom, producing affordable digital tablets and giving artists affordable options. Animation Dock can be included in the new wave of affordable and essential artistic tools.
Undocked and Kickstarted
This week, Animation Dock went live on Kickstarter as a campaign. For a more that affordable price, you can donate to the campaign and acquire an animation dock of your very own. At first, I was only going to donate a smaller amount to help the project. When I saw the video of the dock in action, I was convinced that I could make room in my heart and home for this ingenious table. Watching the responsiveness of spinning the iPad in the dock while being hand’s free is impressive. Even though my iPad is MUCH lighter than my modbook, I find my wrist that supports the iPad starts to stiffen after hours of use. Having a table that you can attach, swivel and doodle on your iPad to your hearts content sounds like a bargain for only 100 bucks.
What’s the fuss?
The dock is a cost effective solution for someone who already owns an iPad. In the future, they’re looking into branching out and supporting more different sized tablets other than Apple. The dock includes:
- Built-in industry standard ACME pegbar
- 360 degree rotating disc
- Lightbox protective cover
- Easy to use Lightbox app (iPad only for now)
It’s cool to think that you can use the Animation Dock for drawing on paper or your favorite app. For those who use animation apps like Animation Desk or Animation HD, Tammy says that these apps work wonderfully with the dock. You can use any app your heart desires. Plus you have the option to go retro, whipping out paper and pencil, converting your iPad into a traditional light table.
Success, so far
In just 8 hours the Kickstarter campaign was over 52% funded. Because of the overwhelming response, Tammy and Corey have made fifty more docks available for the low “early adopter” donation. As of the writing of this post, they’re two days in and about two grand from their 10K funding goals. It’s great to see other artists, like Tammy and Corey, who see a need and decide to create the solution rather than waiting for a company to fill that void.
I have to say that I’m tempted to also get the mini animation dock so that my cat doesn’t feel left out. Thank you, Tammy and Corey, for making such a wonderful tool and fueling the creativity of others.