Looom, not a typo, this wonderful app deserves the extra ooooh. I remember reading about Looom before it was released and then following along when it did become available, only to then realise that my ipad was so old that the app would not function, major doh. Then Covid, lockdown, new app for mind maintenance – then finally I’m Loooming. As a web developer, interface designer and all round software enthusiast, I was blown away by the user experience. Intuitive and just beautiful, a genuine pleasure to just use it.

Looom is essentially a flip book tool. Draw a frame, move the playhead wheel, draw the next frame etc etc. What makes Looom so unreal? Timelines which are usually represented in software as horizontal lines are handled with the use of “threads” – rotating wheels. You can have up to 5 threads – each of which can have it’s own duration and frame rate – say whaaaaat. Masking, onion skin, eraser and the ability to reorder, duplicate and transform threads are all included.

An initial thought was that the limited duration and inability to import images or trace were limitations. But this is not a traditional animation tool in any way. It is a beautiful piece of software that encourages play and experimentation. Did I mention that you can draw with the play head on? This gives the result of crawling ants, or biology, or wind, of water and is extremely therapeutic. Animating for all it’s joys can be a tedious exercise, but Looom brings a genuine sense of relaxation to this user. 11 out of 10.

pixelshifter
Presstube – James Paterson

Eri Shimozono

 
Below you can watch a great video that introduces the Looom app and very quickly shows you what I am ranting about. Looom is made by the very clever people at Iorama Studio.
 

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