Inspiration

Selfies are classically a snapshot of a particular moment, so I wanted to extend that moment. Originally I planned to make a timelapse of my entire day into an animated gif capturing a snapshot from the webcam every 30 minutes or so during my work day. I decided that was a little niche so I reduced the capture time down to a few seconds to add just a little extra to the moment of capturing a selfie.

How it works

The project is a node webkit packaged app for OS X. It opens the users webcam when the app is opened, then when the large "Make it" button is pressed 5 frames are captured from the webcam and converted into the gif image format. Then a save button appears and the user can save the gif to their filesystem for sharing on social networks.

What I learned

This was my first experiment using node webkit packaged apps. My day job is fairly varied and I spend most of my time either writing Spring java applications or using front end web tools such as angular for a large scale chat service. So it was was a different set of concerns for me to take into considering building this tool for desktop users. It could be argued that this tool is much more suited to be a mobile app as it is much easier to capture a moment using a mobile phone than pointing a laptop webcam at a situation. This is true but I wanted to quickly prove the concept on desktop and expand my skills into a more challenging environment for myself before porting to mobile, the desktop is more suited to the original time-lapse idea that the project stemmed from.

What's next for Animated Selfie Maker for OS X

  • Social sharing is my top priority to make it super easy to share your selfie to all the main social networks.
  • Settings to control how many frames to capture and at what speed - this will allow the quick selfie to be expanded into a timelapse if the user wishes.
  • Filters - Add Instagram style filters & shapes to the animated selfies to make a more interesting creation.

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