Have you ever wanted to get Disney character autographs digitally on a tablet or smartphone? On a recent trip, I gave myself the challenge of figuring out how to get an autograph book on my iphone (it works for Android too). (Get your free download of this autograph book in our newsletter).
Right when I got home, I started looking for a stylus that I thought would work for characters (they like the big, fat pens) so I could try it out on my next Disney trip, in October. I ordered one stylus that I thought looked big, but when I came, I was disappointed that it was a similar size to a regular ballpoint pen. I was determined and started searching different terms on Amazon and was thrilled to find this:
I then went searching for an app to use. I found an app that is made specifically for this, but it wouldn't allow me to easily get an image from my photostream to have the character sign. I downloaded several different drawing apps and found one that I really like. It's available for iPhone, iPad, and Android too. It's a free app and you will only need the basic functions that come with the free version. One thing to note is that images saved from the app will be 960px by 640px, which means they will print up at about 3in x 2in at 300dpi.
I had asked Britt of Britt-ish designs (also a team member) to create a 4×6 printable autograph book that I could give away to newsletter subscribers here. This is what she sent me:
Yeah, it's super cute (see how you can get it below)! I unzipped the folder and added it to my Dropbox account.This made the images available on all of my devices through the Dropbox apps.
Here's how it worked
First, I saved the images to my iPhone photostream to make them easy and fast to access. Open the Dropbox app and select one of the pages:
I saw this screen and tapped on the saving button in the lower, right corner:
Select “Save to Photo Library”
Then, go into the app. I like to use a black medium marker, so I choose those options:
Then it's time to add a page so I'm ready to go when I encounter a character. Tap the Open button and it will take you to your photos, where you can select the page you want to use:
It adds that image as a new page in the app:
Now, just tap the colors box to clear the screen and the page is ready to be autographed:
How did it work?
Here are a few videos we took, so you can see for yourself (thanks to my sister, Sara for the videography). Kudos to the characters for working with me and making it work. The iPad is heavy and even though it fit in my bag nicely (the bag you see in the video), I started resenting it toward the end of the day. The iPhone, super light, compact, always with me…but not always the easiest thing for the characters to sign. After Jessie signed my phone, I didn't have the heart to ask any more characters to sign using my phone.
I will say that Pinocchio had just as difficult of a time signing my iPad as Jessie did on the iPhone. There is definitely a technique to getting the tip of the pen on the phone or tablet (and not using the outer edge). Some characters would try and push harder, but that won't make it write better…it's just the angle thing. I do think that a Kindle Fire or the new iPad Mini would be the perfect size for the characters and lighter for me (but my son's Fire doesn't seem that much lighter than my iPad 3).
Here are the results from the videos above:
Here are the results from the iPad (I'll have to ask my sister what happened to those videos 😉 ):
Then, when you get home, you just upload the character pages with signatures on them to use in a Photobook, on a digital scrapbook page, or even print them to go in a regular, old-fashioned scrapbook. 😉
If you would prefer the traditional pen and paper method of getting autographs, you can upload the images from this cute autograph book anywhere that prints 4×6 images and have them printed. You could leave them unbound and pull one out of the printing folder each time someone needs one, or go ahead and put them together in a book using your favorite binding method.
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