A&E Television Networks was so pleased with the app created for Paranormal State, they signed on for two more. The Life After People app was created to be available with the launch of the TV series in April 2009.
To put the app in context, it’s probably helpful to know a bit about the TV show. The show describes what Earth would be like if humans ceased to exist. Scientists figure out what would happen to buildings and other man-made objects, how animals would evolve without humans at the top of the food chain, and how plants would thrive. High-quality 3D renderings accompany the narration, helping to complete the hypothesis.
The app was created as a companion to the TV series, but adding some fun features to make the app really worthwhile. The “companion” part of the app is essentially an interactive photo gallery–users choose a location, and swap between “today’s” image, and what the image would look like X-number of years after people. There is also a feature to send a postcard image for promoting the app.
The main feature of the app is what is called the “photo ager”. It allows users to choose a photo from their iPhone’s albums, or take a new photo with the camera, and put “stamps” on their photo to make it look like it’s been around long after mankind was able to upkeep. The stamps are cracks (various cracked surfaces including wood, plaster, brick and glass), plants (trees, vines, etc), dirt (textures to give some grime to the look), and miscellaneous objects (animals, rusted objects, etc).
How it was done:
Photoshop & Illustrator–I got to rock my Photoshop skills again in this app. Most of the app is pretty straight-forward, but the “stamps” took the bulk of my time to create. I tweaked photos and created vector images, then adjusted each one to look as realistic as possible but also trying to add the “CGI” look that the series has in their 3D renderings.
collaboration–I worked with engineers to figure out the best approach for making the stamps doable (the basic “how do we do this?”, while also keeping quality high and app crashes low)
design–I created all graphical elements and components that make up the app
UI design–I worked with the Product Manager and Engineering team to create the UI
digital video–I created a demo video (filmed, edited, storyboarded and directed)