Making of “The Artist Mortimer”

Here you can read a brief summary of the making of The Artist Mortimer app. This app is based on our DYO framework, built by us for writers and illustrators to help build their own apps. The writers/illustrators can prepare a lot of the artwork, music, sounds and interactivity themselves. We can build the app around this already prepared content, saving time and money. For a sharp price you can have your own high-quality app.

The first thing we did was to build the DYO framework. This empty app contains all you need for a good storybook app: Voice-recording, word highlighting, interactivity highlighting, Retina graphics prepared, parent section, page selection, and more. A solidly build app prepared for future expansion, this empty app can now be filled with content.

For this first app we received the original artwork from Bo Zaunders a great photographer, storyteller and illustrator. The Artist Mortimer is a sweet and short story that was never published, because it actually was never finished. The story contains 18 pages. Each page has its own interactivity, animations, sound, and voice.

Bo Zaunders recorded his own voice in Dirk Kennedy’s professional studio. Each section in the sound recording was cut and converted to the appropriate format, and each word was timed so the word when spoken would light up in the text.

Below you can see one of the original scans

The first thing we did was to clean up the scan, and resize it to the correct format for iPad Retina graphics. When this was done, we started to cut out the parts we wanted to animate. The image below shows you what we have taken out the original drawing.


Things taken out of a digital picture leaves a blank spot. This has to be filled. It can be a tedious task, but luckily the artwork we received was easy to fix. See below.

Everything we took out had to be dissected, in order for us to animate arms, legs and other parts. See below.

Each character or animal has its own animation; the child, for example, jumps up in the app, moving its arms and legs. Each part has to be separate.


In the end, each of the 18 pages contains its own animation or interactivity. Here you can see small previews of each page.


For each page we needed different sounds. We added two different music tracks, one for the start page and one for the actual story. Each page has its own voice. When the actual book part was finished, we needed a nice start menu, so we designed a menu that fitted the content, is easy to use, and fun to watch.

This is just a small selection of all the things that you, or we, have to do to build your own app. We hope this helps you decide to let us help you build your interactive storybook.

For more info about our DYO Develop Your Own Framework please read here.


The Artist Mortimer, the first “Develop Your Own”-based app, is now available in the appstore for iPhone and iPad and Android 

Free for a limited time. Get it while it lasts.