Guest Post: Developing eBooks with Kwik 2

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Greg Pugh is the owner of GP Animations, the company behind the Colin Turtle book series. His books, “The Perfect Pillow” and “Floating Fun” have sold thousands of copies worldwide for the iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire. Recently, Greg was an alpha tester for Kwik 2, a Photoshop plugin that allows designers and illustrators to bring stories to life without a single line of code.

To celebrate the upcoming release of Kwik 2, Kwiksher is hosting an August promotion. If you’re working on an extraordinary story, want to be highlighted in the Kwik 2 PR launch, and are interested in an interview with  Kwiksher and Corona Labs, enter the contest!

GP Animations started out as a place to showcase my Flash animations and graphics portfolio. When Adobe integrated AIR for Android and iOS into Flash, I took an interest in mobile app development. I eventually also learned Objective-C and created my first children’s book app, “The Perfect Pillow.” I wasn’t thrilled writing so many lines of Objective-C to accomplish the smallest tasks, so when I discovered Corona SDK and the Kwiksher Photoshop plugin, it felt like they were created just for me.

I was instantly hooked on Corona and Kwik when I was able to completely re-develop “The Perfect Pillow” in less than a day. When I heard that Alex Souza from Kwiksher was looking for alpha testers for his new Kwik 2 software, I was very eager to help. I had a second children’s book written, but had run out of motivation to complete it as an app. After seeing all of the new features Alex had planned for Kwik 2, I knew I wanted to turn the idea into a finished product as soon as possible.

One problem I had in the past was choosing a sprite sheet generator to integrate animations into my apps. There are a lot of great ones available and I’ve reviewed many of them on my blog, but I wanted one that would integrate with Kwik 2 as seamlessly as possible. Thankfully, Alex was already working with Andreas Löw, owner of Code’n’Web, to integrate a Kwik 2 publish setting into TexturePacker. So now I was able to draw my animations in Flash, export them as .png sequences, import the images into TexturePacker, export for Kwik 2, and have them fully programed into my app without having to write any code. 

Don’t get me wrong though, I still love writing Lua coding manually because it creates a more customizable experience. Alex had this covered as well, with his external code feature in Kwik 2. I had some code I was testing using TextMate and Corona SDK that I thought might be interesting to have in my book. With Kwik 2, I was able to copy that code, paste it into Photoshop, tell it where I’d like it to run on the page and it was instantly in my app.

Being able to utilize Corona, Kwik 2, and TexturePacker has made being a one-person studio easier than ever. It’s really amazing how their tools make it possible for anyone to get into the app development industry. If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you on my blog.

-Greg Pugh, GP Animations

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This entry has 4 replies

  1. Romanetti says:

    Thanks Greg, thanks Inna
    very interesting…
    I’m going to test Kwik 2 as soon as possible
    Is there a “Perfect Pillow” iphone version or it is only avalaible on iPad?

    • Greg says:

      When I first had the idea for a children’s eBook app, I noticed that the other apps on the market were only for tablet devices. I figured this was because of the larger screen size, since it would be easier to read. I have tested my books on smaller devices like the iPhone 4 and HTC Thunderbolt, and although they will run, the experience isn’t quite the same. That’s why I opted to to only support the iPad and Kindle Fire. Also, I don’t have access to the iPhone 3, so I’m not sure if it could even handle a book app well.

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks Greg.

    I’m looking at republishing Conner the Cockatoo a title that I created b4 I got diagnosed with cancer and had to take a couple of years out.. I wasn’t really looking forward to recode for android and kindle etc. and you’ve given me some light. I’ve also got a few other books in preparation so I think this is what I’ll be looking at using.
    So is Kwik2 more advanced than Kwik?
    I’m still recovering from a Jaw replacement so the meds are still making me a little spacey so srry about any silly questions.



  3. Greg says:

    Hey Chris,

    Kwik 2.0 is like Kwik, but it adds much more functionality. Menu navigation, physics, external code, etc. You can even make games in Kwik 2.0 now, not just books.

    I hope you are having a speedy recovery and your book get republished soon!

    – Greg