What is a digital e-book interactive picture book and what is some good software to make one?
Inspired, I did some research, but I didn’t write my findings down except in the form of bookmarks, then I got distracted learning about other things. Issuu is a great place to find illustration student thesis workbooks by the way. I’ll put some links to ones I found at the bottom of this article.
A digital interactive picture book is a children’s picture book in digital format with interaction like a video game. They are also referred to as interactive e-books. Tablet touch and swipe controls make them easy to use for children. Music, videos and sound effects can be added. Some books also use augmented reality and 3D models.
I came to the conclusion the following skills would be needed.
Story writing and Illustration are of course the most essential aspects. Other skills needed include animation, basic game development and sound design. More complicated or custom interactions need some coding knowledge. If you were going to do the augmented reality or include 3D, you would also need knowledge to create 3D assets or access to 3D models. The most complicated Interactive e-books are like video games based on picture books.
Often there is also a physical version of the picture book and the app is a companion or updated version of it. I found a good guide to what goes into making an interactive picture book here: Kotobee Guide.
I researched specialised software that can make digital interactive picture books. Most made to be easy to use with drag and drop functions and less emphasis on coding. Essentially they are very simplified game engines for a particular purpose. You could also use game engines to make them if you had the knowledge, so I’ve also listed some of the main ones. I also surmised you could make an online interactive picture book using HTML 5, so I’ve listed some software for that as well. Here are some links:
Specialised Software for creating interactive e-books
Digital Publishing Software designed to enable you to create interactive content such as ebooks, native iOS and android…www.pubcoder.com
Little Fox and Big Bear Little Fox and Big Bear are two very special friends and who have many exciting adventures…www.tigercreate.com
Kotobee is a technology suite providing interactive ebook creators and solutions suiting any individual or…www.kotobee.com
Unity, the world's leading real-time engine, is used to create half of the world's games. Our flexible real-time tools…unity3d.com
Fungus Unity plug-in for story games
Fungus brings your game to life by making it easy to add colourful characters and gripping storylines to your Unity 3D…fungusgames.com
As used to author Heaven's Vault, 80 Days and Sorcery!: produce interactive scripts by writing in pure-text with ink…www.inklestudios.com
You don't need to write any code to create a simple story with Twine, but you can extend your stories with variables…twinery.org
Squiffy is a tool for creating interactive fiction - that is, multiple choice games that focus on text and story…textadventures.co.uk
Quest lets you make interactive story games. Text adventure games like Zork and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy…textadventures.co.uk
HTML 5 animation and interactive software
Design interactive animations with cutting-edge drawing tools and publish them to multiple platforms with Adobe Animate…www.adobe.com
Tumult Hype is the HTML5 creation app for macOS. Animations and interactive content made with Tumult Hype work on…tumult.com
NodeFire Responsive Animator: Create HTML5 effects such as banners, slideshows, buttons, drop down menus, complex…www.nodefire.com
Flash developers created animations in visual tools for ages. In a brave new world of html5, in order to create fast…aphalina.com
Introducing Hippo Animator, professional HTML animation software designed to replace web plugins like Adobe Flash…www.hippani.com
Create engaging HTML5 animations without coding skillsatomisystems.com
Create responsive HTML5, Flash and interactive multimedia without scripting. Opus Creator gets you productive today…www.digitalworkshop.co.uk
MotionArtist allows you to tell a story in motion, whether it be a comic, a business presentation, or an animated slide…my.smithmicro.com
H5P WordPress HTML 5 interactive content plug-in
H5P empowers everyone to create, share and reuse interactive content - all you need is a web browser and a web site…h5p.org
WP Draw Attention
This article was written as an introductory guide for anyone interested in this topic and to make a record of this research which took a lot of time to do. I would rather concentrate on the illustration and art side of things, but I hope this is useful to anyone who wants to make an interactive e-book from scratch someday. That would be no small task. I decided if I ever took on such a thing I would rather work as part of a team. I’m certainly interested in the format and hope to work on one in the future.
Disclaimer: I’m not being paid or sponsored to write this article (or any other I’ve written up to this date unless you clap on one of my member only articles here on Medium).
I’m an Illustrator and I have a blog and website at thimblefolio.com if you want to see my work. I would love for you to take a look.
More Links and further related reading
For more try searching for “professional practice idea book Thesis Book Illustration Practice MFA MICA” on Issuu.
Mica Illustration Practice MFA Idea Book Jia Liu
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Kaixin Wang ideabook
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Born To Be / Tianxing Wan Thesis Book
Cinyee Chiu / MICA Illustration Practice / Thesis Book 2016