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ELMO'S ART MAKER

Client: Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop wanted some art tools made for their website. Well, if it’s art tools you want, who ya gonna call?! We jumped at the chance to work with some of our favourite muppets, bringing together a selection of art tools to inspire creativity in a young audience. As you already know we’ve built a broad selection of these types of tool in the past in both Flash and Objective C – however this year has been all about porting our expertise to HTML5 and Unity. Following on from our first HTML art tool delivery for Nickelodeon earlier this year, this is also a HTML build.

So where do we start when building a creative art tool? Drawing from years of experience in the area, we know that it is essential to create a smooth experience for the user, and that is what we have done here. The team at Sesame had so many amazing and creative ideas for tools and stickers, it was clear that pagination would be the most important thing to get right early on. Rather than expecting pre-school users to navigate menus and trays, we decided to place the tools into separate, themed canvasses, allowing all of the tools to be accessed from around the sides of the frame!

This elegant solution meant that we were able to theme each collection of tools around a particular setting or a specific muppet. Depending on the canvas choice, the user can use torches to draw colours in the night’s sky, use chalk to make pavement art, create their own muppet, plant a cookie tree and even more!

Next it was a simple matter of populating the canvasses with as many pens, tools, backgrounds and animated stickers as we could get away with. Creating brush tips that look realistic and feel intuitive is a lot of work. Magical touches such as creating chalk dust from the chalk tip really add something here. We also created a selection of ‘magic wands’ that drop copies of images onto the canvas. Use the bubble wand to create a pile of bubbles, for example, and bring the picture to life with these extra special textured effects.

Once the user has finished their picture, it is a simple matter of exporting it using our built in feature and then sharing, saving or printing the image.
We also gave Sesame Workshop the ability to easily create their own canvasses, toolsets, and skins so the creativity will live on! Using their own menu system, we also added the ability to set weekly art challenges to encourage even more art making amongst their audience.

There’s so much variety in this art tool that it’s easy to forget that it was made using web technologies. It’s playable on mobile and desktop browsers. We’re working on bringing even more art tools to your devices in the next few months, so watch this space!

In the meantime, why not take part in this week’s art challenge on sesamestreet.org!

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Plug-In Media Ltd
Studio 6, The Colour Rooms
2nd Floor, 12 Richmond Parade
Brighton BN2 9QD UK

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© Plug-In Media 2018

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