In an earlier post, we interviewed Hanoch Piven, illustrator and children’s book author, about his brand new iPhone app, Faces iMake. The Teaching Palette has been testing Faces iMake for several days and below is our review.
Faces iMake is a collage portrait creator with a clean, user-friendly interface, which makes it great for primary students to navigate.
The catchy music (you can turn off the music in the settings) accompanying the app encourages a happy mood while choosing colors, head shapes and objects for your portrait. A wide range of objects, grouped into different categories — such as food, tools, toys, kitchen, school, buttons, letters — provide the app-using artist a plentiful palette. You can even favorite your favorite objects for quick selection the next time around.
One feature we found helpful was that you can save finished portraits to a storage gallery where they can be assigned to a contact, saved to your iPhone photo album, emailed to a friend, or shared via Facebook. Or you can re-select your saved portrait and continue working on it.
As part of the interface, users can rotate objects after placing them on their portrait and easily layer objects above or below one another.
The only feature that seems like it is missing is the ability to scale objects, but as Piven explains, “It would have been very easy to scale objects up and down, but I wanted to have limitations that are real life limitations.”
The app’s included video art “lessons” are a great way to get started, and they’re presented in a style much like Piven’s own hands-on workshops.
Overall, the Teaching Palette gives Hanoch Piven’s Faces iMake app two thumbs up. It provides an excellent way to explain assemblage and portraiture as an art form. And it’s a lot of fun to play with.
One disclaimer, Faces iMake unexpectedly quit on two of our iPhones during testing. A simple restart of the iPhones solved the problem. From what we understand, an update is coming soon to prevent this minor glitch altogether.
Watch the demo below to see how this app works.
Can’t see video above? Click here.
While many of us still have limited iPod Touch and iPhone access, here are some classroom/student integration suggestions:
- Use your personal iPod Touch or iPhone and project images under a document camera for the entire class to see.
- Create a list of great iPhone apps for your students to try at home. An earlier post offers some great art app suggestions.
- Talk to your school administrator, perhaps s/he would be willing to pilot an iPod Touch or (if you’re very lucky) a classroom set. Or try writing a grant. You never know unless you try! For a list of grant opportunities, click here.