App

All the simplicity of iMovie but for hand-drawn animation. We’re slightly smitten with Folioscope.

Price: Free
Version: 1.4
Size: 10.6 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Developer: 1Button SARL

Download Folioscope on the App Store

The iPhone is a valuable tool for creatives. Many owners use image, video and music editing apps, but decent iOS animation tools are rare.

Folioscope is a fun app that makes animating easy. You can quickly sketch out animations, and share them with friends.

Creating animation

Creating stickman animation in Folioscope

Creating stickman animation in Folioscope

When you open Folioscope you can create a new animation, or view videos made by other people. Starting with a blank square, you draw your first frame using a finger or stylus.

So far, Folioscope is just like any paint program. You have access to a Pen, Eraser and Paint Bucket tool and can adjust brush widths and patterns.

It lacks the complex drawing tools of an app like Procreate or Brushes Redux, but detail isn’t what it’s about. After you’ve drawn a still image, you get to add an extra frame.

Instead of getting another blank sheet, you see the previous drawing in purple. This is a guideline, so you can draw the same picture again (with a slightly different position).

One frame at a time you build up an animation. A slider is used to skim back and forth through the stills you have created.

There is also a Back Layer and Front Layer to work on. The Back Layer is used to add a still background, while the Front Layer is used for your animated figures.

The quality of what you create is limited by your drawing skills, and it’s by no means Pixar’s Renderman or Adobe After Effects. But, for sketching out simple animations we found it very easy to get started with.

Sharing and viewing Folioscope animations

Sharing animations in Folioscope

Sharing animations in Folioscope

Your creations can be shared with other people, both in the app and via Mail, Messages, Facebook or Twitter. Signing up for an account with Folioscope enables you to save animations the folioscope.co website.

It is also possible to create animated gifs from your images. These can be shared in apps like Mail and Message. You can also generate video files, which can be shared or saved to your Camera Roll.

Folioscope also sports a Twitter-like service. You can view animations created by other users, based on Timeline, Rankings or Featured. Folioscope runs contests such as Epic Fight, Superheroes and 3D.

This community vibe provides a lot of inspiration, and you can follow your favourite users, star animations or reshare them.

The only glitch is that Folioscope is ad-based. Every time you open the app you are shown a full screen advert for an app or video to watch. We didn’t find the adverts too intrusive, but it’s a shame that dedicated users cannot pay to work without interruption.

Folioscope review: amazing animation app for iPhone
A slick animation app that makes it easy to draw and share cartoons.
For
  • Slick interface.
  • Great sharing functionality.
  • Free to use.
Against
  • Built-in advertising
4.5Overall Score