Looom for iOS makes animating like playing a musical instrument, now with major update

It’s exactly how musicians would want to think about animation. Time loops, free or bpm-synced, and you explore visual rhythm through lines, shapes, colors, and improvisatory gestural doodles. Looom is a total gem of an app – and this summer’s update transforms it into a serious and approachable pro tool.

The big breakthrough in Looom is letting go of first and last frames. Each thread has an independent length and speed – like overlapping loopers in audio. It’s also all vector-based, not pixel-based, so it’s resolution independent – an “infinite canvas” as the developer puts it. It’s nondestructive, too – and you can experiment and tweak the way you do with music loops and patterns and synths.

Also, in case you’re worried about another disposable iOS toy – everything in Looom is saved as SVG, so you can bring your improvised animations into any tool you want. Since it’s all vectors, you could go wild with looks here and come up with something aesthetically really different than what you see in the demos.

Version 1.6 is an innocuous version number, but it adds just the stuff that makes this tool easier to approach and more powerful for serious work. It now has unlimited frames, so you aren’t limited by length, and a grid and tons of gestures to work quickly:

  • Unlimited frames
  • Background grid
  • Background image
  • 2-finger tap to undo
  • Pinch to reset transform
  • Double-tap pencil to toggle eraser
  • Option to step after finishing each stroke
  • Option to add frame after finishing each stroke
  • Finger drawing line width variation
  • iPad mini support

“Weave Time”, from the 1.5 update, shows how this works like a looper app / functions musically. There’s even beat sync:

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I could see this being a perfect companion to setting up live visuals, VJ loops, AV shows, and music videos, precisely because of that musical style. This is how I imagined working with drawing and animation as a kid. It’s liberating in how it brings you back to that.

The software is the creation of Finn Ericson and Eran Hilleli, who say they’re “inspired by musical instruments and early video games.” Yep, our people.

US$9.99 on the App Store:

Looom: Animation Playground

Official site:

https://www.iorama.studio/ (and they do make music apps, too, actually)

Check the eye-popping example gallery:

https://www.iorama.studio/gallery

There are some great demos plus tutorials online to get you started with this one, including a complete class. Have a look – iorama is the developer of the app; the others are fans:

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