What’s Next for iPad Creativity

This is my vision for the future of iPad creativity

Here is Shade, our upcoming shader tool, and my paint app running side-by-side. I’m painting on the left and my surface in Shade is updating in real-time

FPaint and Shade interacting live

This is all going through the iOS file system. How cool is that?

The Components

First, I needed a painting tool that could write to the iOS file system. So I made one called FPaint, short for “File Paint

I’m going to do a follow up post about FPaint because it has one exciting feature I want to tell you about

But what you need to know for now is that FPaint is a painting canvas written in Codea, exported to a native app, and it aggressively saves your chosen document to the file system as you paint

Second, I modified Shade to allow for assets to be selected by reference. This involves using UIDocumentPickerViewController to present the user with a window into their file system. The URL of the document they choose is passed back to Shade, and then Shade attaches an NSFilePresenter to monitor that file for updates

Whenever the file is updated, Shade updates its internal texture representation of that image. This feeds through the graph and the result is magic

Next Steps

We will be incorporating this functionality into the “Texture Asset” node in Shade, which can then be piped into any texture nodes on the graph. The real work will involve setting up the infrastructure to correctly access security scoped resources, monitor files on disk, and so on

This demo was the result of an afternoon spent hacking this feature to get it working as quickly as possible. It won’t make it for Shade 1.0 (or into Codea until the next major version)

But — it’s my vision for iPad creativity that I wanted to share with you

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