The app lets you trace over or draw on a photo, or sketch freehand. It records your strokes as you are drawing and then automatically turns them into a 15-second video.
I have a Jot stylus, but I’m still pretty bad at writing on my iPhone’s touchscreen, let alone drawing. Thanks to SketchVid’s tracing feature and a photo of Crispin Glover, however, I was able to render a recognizable portrait of my favorite actor and imaginary husband in a few minutes.
If you are a talented artist to begin with, SketchVid lets you share how your creations come to life. I love watching art process videos on YouTube, and I can see illustrators and other visual artists using Sketch Vid as a marketing or educational tool for their Instagram accounts. The app can potentially have a wide appeal, however, and I also bet children would have lots of fun “finger-painting” animations.
SketchVid was created by Saeed Ghaferi and Arfan Chaudhry, Toronto-based mobile app developers and friends. One day Saeed drew a sketch and sent it to Arfan.
“Arfan pretty much didn’t believe that Saeed made the sketch,” the two said in an email. “That’s where the idea sparked from. Why not create an app where strokes for sketches are recorded and turned into a video?”
The two decided to focus on Instagram because the photo- and video-sharing network is “a great medium for artistic people to show off their talent in a new way,” they explained.
While there are other apps that record sketching videos, Ghaferi and Chaudhry wanted to make one that was specifically for Instagram. The app lets you crop photos into a square and automatically renders animations, no matter how complex, so they fit within Instagram’s 15-second time limit.
SketchVid is currently available for free on the iOS and premium features are available for purchase in-app, including extra drawing tools. I found that the app already creates smooth animations, but its developers plan to upgrade it so it delivers higher quality video. An Android version is also in the works.
Check out some of Ghaferi and Chaudhry’s favorite animations below.