AlterEgo, Core Animation and Divide & Conquer


Today AlterEgo has gone live. AlterEgo provides stunning cool effects for iChat and Photobooth.

Core Animation

AlterEgo is heavily using Core Animation for all kind of things. Be it the Coverflow effect (check out the developer samples for a good start on that), morphing buttons, blurred backgrounds and more.

After the initial problems I fell in love with Core Animation. It’s incredible fun to fine tune your UI (with minimal development effort if you know the concepts and problems :). In pre-Core-Animation times you typically sub-classed a control class and tweaked and adopted the UI that way or you implemented a custom NSView. Now with Core Animation a great number of things can be done by applying filters on existing controls and by using one of the CALayer subclasses.

Some things don’t work as expected (at least not as I would expect) and I spend countless hours on occasional flickering in animations or other wired things. I’ll write some blog entries about the things I found out and how I solved problems. So stay tuned if you are interested in that.

Devide & Conquer

I developed a number of Mac applications until today. What makes AlterEgo different is the fact that I haven’t done it alone. I have a partner who works with me on that. We split work, gave each other feedback and together decided about features and the UI.

I worked in big teams in previous jobs and this kind of working together was missing when I did Sofa Control or Searchlight. So I’m very thankful to have a partner to do AlterEgo. We’ll see what the future brings. Right now it looks very bright.

More to come

Right now a friend is working on a major update of Searchlight. It will be great. And a totally new version of Composition Builder is on the road with incredible new features.

So stay tuned for more great things in the near future.

2 Responses to “AlterEgo, Core Animation and Divide & Conquer”

  1. OsOnG Says:

    One common example of Core Animation usage is in Apple’s iChat instant messenger. Animation is used to “inject” a freshly logged-in friend into your active buddy list.

  2. Scott Says:


    I’m not sure that this is true. This is certainly an example of where you could use Core Animation, but I don’t think iChat was re-written in this respect to use Core Animation (since the functionality has been there for longer than CA has been around)