October 4, 2011 admin

If 2010 was all about music for Plug-in (it was the year we made ZingZillas, after all), 2011 has been all about art. As you may have noticed from our most recent releases for Nick Jr., Sesame Workshop and Tate Kids, there’s a common theme – and that’s about getting kids exploring their creativity and making some pictures!

You could say it all began with the hand-painting game in Big and Small. That’s where we started to explore how life-like we could make creative art tools for this audience. Making paint that drips and prints that fade was just the beginning though. When the brief for Create from Nick Jr. came through, we knew we had a real opportunity to make art tools that were not only life-like but ones that would truly spark kids’ imaginations.


Paint ‘bombs’ that explode, potatoes you can print with and webcam stickers were just some of things we explored with this interactive colouring book.


Bert & Ernie’s Printmaker enabled us to go even further with mark-making and we really enjoyed creating a print-set that incorporated leaves, flowers, sponges, more potatoes, as well as exploring what might happen if you printed with muppet hair! This app also runs on Android and we’re excited to start to see our first creative apps running on mobile devices.

A huge amount of our work here at Plug-in begins with R&D and creating AirBrush for Tate Kids enabled us to combine our   advanced ‘bitmap drawing’ technology, with our motion control code. This is probably our most innovative art app – it enables you not only to make marks that   emulate the brush strokes of great artists from the Tate’s collections but to do so using your hand, your head, your feet, whatever… literally painting with air!


Children today are not short of digital tools for creative expression – never before has it been so easy for them to make their own music, animation, and films – so we’re very proud to facilitate their visual expression in this way. Our tools are showing the youngest end of the audience that computers are not just for playing games on and they are teaching the older ones that the only limit is your own imagination – and that not only goes for what you draw, but how you draw it.

Of course drawing with a computer is no replacement for taking pen to paper (don’t get Dom started on the importance of actual drawing skills!), so the final project we want to shout about is Inspire Me. Designed for those “I don’t know what to draw” moments, Inspire Me generates a shower of random suggestion of what to draw and how to draw it – and whilst we do sometimes suggest you try using AirBrush – there’s plenty of offline activities too. Why don’t you try one of these:

  • “Use coloured pencils to draw a comb covered in bees” or;
  • “Borrow someone else’s hand to draw your family on the television” or (and this is today’s favourite);
  • “Do a pencil sketch of a golden fish finger on the phone”.
  • If you manage it – we’d love to see the results. We can’t promise to “return any of your pictures” but we suggest our facebook page might be a good way of sharing!