Ben is a lifelong Nintendo fan who likes to build websites, and make video games. He buys way too much Lego.
I’m really pleased to announce my latest project – Brush Ninja. Brush Ninja is a browser based animation app. It was inspired by a project we used to run at work – and so I thought I would write a little about how it came to be.
I work for Miniclip – and we’re an online games website. We also work on other projects though. We have a very successful smartphone division – and we experiment with other projects from time to time. One of the projects that recently ended was Sketch Star. It was an animation tool, built in Flash, that allowed people to create animations online.
Unfortunately it wasn’t successful enough for Miniclip and so it was closed – there’s more about the Sketch Star closure on the Miniclip blog.
For a while I had been keen to make my own version of the site. When it was first created Sketch Star was very simple – and as it got older more and more features were added making it quite a complex beast. I always felt this was a shame – in my opinion the earlier version had much more creative animations. It was very much a case of limitations encouraging creativity – and this was something I wanted to get back to.
Fast forward to the closure of Sketch Star in April this year – and my own ideas for an animation website started stewing. My plan was to build something much simpler than Sketch Star had become. A few brushes, a dozen colours, and a handful of brush sizes. Perhaps other things in the future but that’s enough for now – and the goal will always be to keep it as simple as possible.
Before starting work on Brush Ninja (which at the time didn’t have a name) I was nervous that Miniclip wouldn’t want me to develop this as a personal project since it could be considered competition – however having spoken to my manager – who then checked with the CEO and the legal team – they gave me the green light to work on something myself. So – a big thank you to Jeremy, Rob and Brian at Miniclip for allowing me to work on this.
Forward a few more months and the Brush Ninja splash page is now live – along with a timelapse video showing an animation I made:
Brush Ninja is a html5 animation tool. The main advantage of html5 over flash is that you can create animations on your smartphone or tablet – something I think would be awesome. Who needs a Wacom tablet?
At the moment the site is simply the video and a form for subscribing to newsletter updates. I am still working on the site behind the scenes though and hope to start opening it up to people later this year. If you’re interested then it’d be amazing if you would sign up on BrushNinja.com.