Looom for iOS renders animation like playing a musical instrument, now with a major update

This is exactly what musicians would like to think of animation. Time loops, free or synchronized in bpm, and you explore visual rhythm through lines, shapes, colors and improvised gestural scribbles. Looom is a total gem of an app – and this summer’s update turns it into a serious, accessible business tool.

Looom’s big breakthrough is to drop the first and last frame. Each thread has independent length and speed – like overlapping loopers in audio. It’s also entirely vector-based, not pixel-based, so it’s resolution independent – an “infinite canvas” as the developer puts it. It’s also non-destructive – and you can experiment and tweak the way you do with the music loops, patterns, and synths.

Plus, in case you’re worried about another disposable iOS toy, everything in Looom is saved in SVG format, so you can incorporate your improvised animations into any tool you like. Since these are all vectors, you can go wild with looks here and come up with something aesthetically very different from what you see in the demos.

Version 1.6 is an innocuous release number, but it just adds what makes this tool easier to tackle and more powerful for serious work. It now has unlimited frames, so you’re not limited by length, and a grid and tons of gestures to work quickly:

  • Unlimited frames
  • background grid
  • Background picture
  • Tap with 2 fingers to cancel
  • Pinch to reset transformation
  • Double tap the pencil to toggle the eraser
  • Ability to take a step after completing each move
  • Option to add a frame after completing each stroke
  • Finger Drawing Line Width Variation
  • iPad mini support

“Weave Time”, from update 1.5, shows how it works as a looper app / works musically. There’s even beat synchronization:

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

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

$9.99 on the App Store:

Looom: entertainment playground

Official site:

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

Check out the stunning sample gallery:

https://www.iorama.studio/gallery

There are great demos as well as online tutorials to get you started with this one, including a full class. Take a look – iorama is the app developer; the others are fans:

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