As our team is made of two computer scientists and two artists, we often debate the nature and purpose of art. We all believe that art is a powerful way to to express consciousness, to connect with others and ultimately to cause change -- therefore, we believe that by creating an easy-to-use public platform we can encourage all people to be creators within their communities. Creating and sharing visual designs can be an effective tool for self-empowerment and increase of empathy, especially for those stuck in "non artist" self-conceptions and those socially barred from participation in the fine art world.
What it does
Imprint allows any user to learn to create artistic compositions in a layer-at-a-time printmaking style from a library of hand-curated visual elements, post images publicly to their location, view all images posted to his or her account and interact with others' creations by liking.
How we built it
We built the iOS application using Swift and XCode. The back-end was developed using Node.js, Express, and MongoDB hosted on an Amazon ec2 instance. We created a REST API with Node and Express for the front-end iOS application to use. We store the created images along with the user's name, the date, the latitude and longitude where the image was created, and the users who liked the image.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into challenges figuring out how to pass data between the iOS front end and the API on the back-end because the data needs to be formatted very specifically and we needed to pass a lot of information back and forth. It became confusing to keep track of the various endpoints and structures needed to handle each request. On the iOS side, we faced challenges going between different tool sets. In some instances, SpriteKit best served our purposes while UIKit worked much better in other cases, but passing information between the two proved difficult. We also had trouble figuring out how to get the image that the user created into a usable format and finding a way to send it and storing it in the database.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our goal for this hackathon was to create a product that excites and challenges us while fully utilizing our diverse skill sets. With backgrounds in iOS app development, communication design and illustration, and web development, we were uniquely equipped to create a texture-based mobile app game reliant back-end APIs. We are proud of our individual accomplishments and things we learned over the course of this hackathon and also proud of our team's final product.
What's next for Imprint
We would like to improve the reliability and functionality of the app before moving onto goals like including tutorials on principles of design.