Last week we spent two days in Austria, the ‘home of Tagtool’, seeing and trying out the latest test version of Tagtool for the iPad.
We spent the first morning watching a group of 13-14 year old pupils at BG/BRG Piaristengasse Gymnasium in Krems who had been trying out this new generation Tagtool in a workshop organized by the Krenek Institute.
The students’ live performance, a 4 iPad multiplayer session, consisted of three short episodes on the theme of space travel combining Tagtool animated visuals with narration, music and sound effects. It was very enthusiastically received by the audience of schoolchildren who packed the school theatre – practical proof that this Tagtool for iPad (with its added benefit of having not having a tangle of wires, tablets, pens and gamepads to be dropped, lost or tripped over!) will work really well in schools and with youth groups.
The afternoon we spent in Vienna, testing the latest version of the Tagtool for iPad at the company offices of the developers, Attentive.
I was excited to discover (though it isn’t really possible to see from the photos above) the new features and improvements that have been made since the Tagtool for iPad was announced at the Mapping Festival in Geneva – the simplified control panel, beautiful smooth edges of lines and areas of colour and easy to use animation that even I (who always had problems using the gamepad with the old-school Tagtool) got the hang of almost immediately. I did some ‘bug hunting’ drawing exercises while Maki and Itzi took notes and the developers were looking on, so that they could see ‘live’ some of the little things that will need tweaking and tidying before the release date of the app. But I must say that, bugs apart, it all looks really, really great!
In the evening, after Itzi’s delicious roof terrace barbecue, we went indoors to have our first ‘family multiplayer session’ with Maki and Malu.
Using Dima’s short throw projector, we were able to draw over the whole of the high ceilinged living room wall as well as the wedge-shaped sloping section made by the angle of the roof – this was a most interesting ‘canvas’ that presented all kinds of possibilities for both drawing and animation. I took the photo above using my iPad as camera: the three photos below are iPad screenshots.
While we (Frances, Maki, Nikoleta and Iink) were sitting at the dining table drawing and animating using our iPads, Malu was sending Instagrams, Tweets and making video clips of the session on her ‘phone……..welcome to the wonderful new world of Tagtool multiplayer sessions!
The following day we spent at the OMA office in Tulln doing some more more drawing and ‘bug hunting’. Although I was working in daylight our short throw projector produced a really big, if rather pale, image on the office wall….
…but of course this photo of my iPad and the screenshot below shows a much clearer and brighter image.
Here is another one of my drawings projected on the office wall….
….and below, the ‘real thing’ on my iPad.
After the bug-hunting session in the office, once darkness fell it was fun-time (with real bugs!) outside in the courtyard. It didn’t take long to get the projector set up in readiness for our outdoor late-night session.
The old, honey-coloured walls of the Wassergasse with their odd angles and uneven textures proved to be an ideal surface for this multiplayer iPad session (and one that in recent times also has seen some vintage old-school Tagtool sessions!). Soon Maki and I had the whole wall covered so I stopped drawing for a moment to take these (not very bright) photos with my little camera….
…and this slightly better shot of the drawing on my iPad.
Then Dima joined the session and the three of us continued to draw together (joining in is so easy with the iPad….)
More photos of this session (and better quality than mine!) can be found on the Tagtool facebook page – below is one that I particularly like as the projection seems to be almost standing out from the wall.
This new generation Tagtool should be in the App Store by August but to get all the latest information about the Tagtool for iPad, do check out the new Tagtool website and sign up for their newsletter!