iphone app - VK

psonice's picture

So, I made an iphone app (my 9th now!) - VK: Video Kaleidoscope. Live video effects, guess where I learned to do that :)

All the effects were written in QC actually (they're pure GLSL, so glsl patch + video input = dream dev environment!), then converted to ES (on an iphone, glsl is almost the same except you must state what precision everything is, like "mediump vec4" instead of just "vec4", which is a pain).

Here's a video I made from it (by attaching my phone to a camera with cardboard):

It's on the app store here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/vk-video-kaleidoscope/id422201845

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dust's picture
Re: iphone app - VK

nice cardboard trick. i downloaded it and itarget. i'm thinking if i set a goal for myself it will put everything into motion.

i have been wondering how one would go about doing real-time video type effects on the iphone. yeah nice the shader is a great approach.

i havent uploaded any iOS apps yet. i have a few personal ones i'm working on and i'm on a few company teams working towards some things that haven't yet happened.

i did how ever upload an app to the mac app store i made with qc.. more or less to just test the process of integrating qc plugins into an application context. it went smoothly i all ready made an update.


i got another one right now its a tool i wish i had when i didn't know how to make my own tools. think im going to stick to tier 1 level even though it seems most apps on the mac store are more expensive than the iphone ones ?

psonice's picture
Re: iphone app - VK

Yeah, realtime video stuff isn't quite so easy as with QC. You have a choice of pure software, or GLSL. The CPU is a bit slow for software, and getting the image data from the camera already takes 30%+ CPU time. The GPU makes more sense, but then copying texture data to the GPU eats the rest of the CPU time because of the odd texture format the GPU uses. I'm really looking forwards to that new A5 ;)

Interesting that you picked itarget - that was my least successful app by quite a long way. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, and it's quite useful. But it just didn't sell. Did you find it useful?

I'll try your splatterpaint app later, bit busy now. It reminds me, I have my own unfinished QC based paint app. And no time really to finish it.. what to do with it?

Oh, and would you mind leaving a review? That would be really helpful. I'll review yours.

dust's picture
Re: iphone app - VK

Well I haven't tried itarget yet, I need to make some goals first.. I'm just a firm believer in positive energy and making goals, so to me I thought if for anything it will set a goal into motion by simply using the application. I guess the mentality is kind of like when people write them selfs a check they want to cash in the future. Supposedly that kind of stuff helps people attaining goals and what not. So for those purposes I would find useful. I mean I'm not a sales person trying to meet quotas and stuff but I thought it might help.

Yeah I did make a review for vk. Don't know if it went live to the store or not I did it through the application not iTunes. I will have to upload some more apps to determine what is successful or not for me. Right now I'm calling my app successful because I successfully got it on the store and enough people downloaded to pay for my developer account and web site. I havent broke even or anything would still need to factor the cost of a computer. I guess successful is subjective though.

Got a a new one to push through that I'm thinking will do better. It produces a nice image and is actually a tool that people can do commercial work with so I'm hoping it will do better.

Which app of yours do people seem to like the most ?

psonice's picture
Re: iphone app - VK

iTarget is mainly for setting financial goals, although you can use it for anything number based. I'll use it plan my goals for earnings from apps at some point, but at the moment the income is too unpredictable for it to make much sense.

Most successful app? "True NightVision", by quite a way. That's another realtime video app. Also my most controversial one.. it doesn't do full nightvision of course, but it does enhance the video a lot (as in you can see fairly well when the regular camera app just shows black). I explained that as clearly as I could in the description, but it seems a lot of people don't read beyond the app name :( The people who did read it like the app though. And I think it is the best nightvision app on the store - most just turn the screen green, so instead of black you get solid green!

No sign of your review yet.. did you type in a message and submit it? I've just purchased your paint app, will have a look + review it a bit later.

Measuring success is hard for these things. With true nightvision, my goal was to pay for the iphone 4 I had to buy to test it. It did that. The secondary goal was to pay for all the development time, and it did that too \o/ After that, comes actual profit, which is the real measure of how successful it is I think.

VK so far is selling quite slowly, much slower than I had expected :( My marketing so far isn't looking all that successful too. I'm not sure where the problem is.. is it just that few people are interested in an app like this? Or am I selling it to "the wrong people"? Or is there something I'm missing? Any suggestions?

dust's picture
Re: iphone app - VK

Now true night vision is actually a pretty good idea. Obviously knowing there isn't real night vision on the cam, you identified an improvement and made an app for that. Now with vk it is equally as impressive to me a developer but what is cool technically to a developer doesn't mean it is as equally cool to the general masses. So from a marketing standpoint I guess you sort of need to put your self into someone elses shoes. Or the shoes your marketing to. I downloaded the app because it was yours and you write brilliant brilliant effects that are pushing the boundaries of what the device can do. Most users do not understand this type of thing though.

I understand the success of night vision. Its like yeah I downloaded a flash light app, eveyone knows at somepoimt they need to use the mobile as light for what ever reasons, could I have made my own flash light app yes biut thats not the point. Your idea of enhancing the video cam so you can get an image out if the dark is great for anybody like me that doesn't have an iphone4 with flash or what ever but with vk, it's different. Who uses kaleidoscopes ? Well I had one as a child and so does my daughter. The kaleidoscope provides a child with a different way to look at the world so subsequently they will play with it for longer than you or I would. So seeing you asked I would say try marketing it to the parents of children maybe ? I mean marketing to the developer type of person is cool and I'm sure it works for some but if you look at the bigger picture. There are only so many of us (developers) and way more of them (users).

I have been part of the iOS dev program for two years now, and primarily like to use the program to make programs I like and subsequently make them only for me, so I don't upload them. so I understand it's not an easy task to put your self in someone elses shoes when writing a program. Particularly when you don't have a large team and monies to test and throw at focus groups to get dome feedback.

Some other feedback i have is I am unable to write a review for vk. I have from my iPod sent the review 4 to 5 times. I push the send button which is part of the app store application, so I'm not sure if I need to download it to my computer for me to be able write a comment or not ? Honestly though I wrote and sent you a comment right after I downloaded it to my pod. I couldn't download it to my iPad it wouldn't let me, obviously I don't have a cam so that makes sense. I will go syn my iPod to iTunes and see if I can nit write review.

I am impressesd though. I tried making a native vj type of app last year and was able to cross fade some clips but ended up getting frustrated working with video on iOS so really o think its just a waiting game till I will be able to do what I want to in regards to reptile video on the device. So I would say your ahead of the game now and it can only get better.