All posts by John as Tinrocket, LLC



Waterlogue is a photo app inspired by Moleskine watercolor journals, urban sketching, artist’s journals and en plain air painting.

The technology developed for Waterlogue transforms your photos into spontaneous, unique, and brilliant watercolor sketches that look like real paintings.

Waterlogue distills your environment down to its essence—just the way an artist would—and turns even an on-the-fly snapshot into something luminous and sublime.

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Waterlogue Landing Page & Site

The Waterlogue website was created with RapidWeaver and various RapidWeaver add-ons. The goal was to create a landing page and support site that was fast to create, responsive, modular, and easy to update.


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Treble—introduced in version 2.0; Hero shot

Percolator combines unique visual effects processing with a beautiful, retro, coffee-themed user interface (UI) and refined user experience (UX) design. The mosaic technology used in Percolator is based on a proprietary circle packing algorithm.

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Inktensity—introduced in version 2.2

Inktensity—introduced in version 2.2

Released six months after the 1.0 release, Popsicolor 2.0 is a significant update to my illustration-inspired photo app. The app is currently at version 2.2.

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Popsicolor 1.0—By the Numbers

I’ve been putting off this post until Popsicolor 2.0 shipped; version 1.0 was developed so quickly and minimally that it may have required a leap of faith for some users. I wanted to make sure I could pay back the feature debt I owed them by shipping a free update that lived up to the potential that inspired them to buy the first version. Popsicolor 2.0 shipped in December, 2012 and has been well received. Thank You for your support!

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Timeline Software

I created a cross-platform timeline component for BlackBack Technologies Mac and iOS forensic analysis tool, BlackLight.

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What Makes an App Successful?

Over the past year, I’ve developed a brief list of the essential qualities that I think make an iOS app successful. Much of it might also apply to “product development” in general, but it is based on my experience as both as an App Store customer and iOS app developer selling in the iTunes App Store. I was able to leave my salaried full-time job in 2011 and have been supporting myself by developing and releasing my own apps.

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Popsicolor Landing Page

The Popsicolor website was created with RapidWeaver and various RapidWeaver add-ons. The goal was to create a landing page that was fast to create, modular, and easy to update.

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Introducing SideTrack

Developing a Todo List app is the last thing I want to do:

Todo List apps are highly personal pieces of software with ardent, devoted users. There are dozens of great applications out there already and I think it would be hard to come up with a new, original app that could stand out.

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Why Doesn’t Every iOS Photo App Support High-Resolution Output?

This content first appeared as a forum post on I am maintaing a copy on for periodic updating. Head to for discussion of this topic!


“Full resolution” support in photo apps is an active topic with iPhoneographer’s. I’m starting this thread so developers and users can talk about why it’s wanted, developers can talk about why it’s not always possible, or—oops—why they thought it wasn’t important!

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Popsicolor Icon

Created in Illustrator and Photoshop.

April 2, 2013; Updated with new texture for Popsicolor 2.1

Popsicolor Icon 20 @512px WHITE

Popsicolor 1.0

Currently an App Store “New & Noteworthy” selection for iPhone and iPad storefronts.

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Noise Reduction & Simplification

I developed a two-pass noise reduction and shape simplification algorithm for my forthcoming iOS app.

Real-time Comic Book Rendering

I developed a sophisticated comics video filter that runs on the iPhone in real-time. To give the app a test run, I shot some footage at lunch one day and edited it in iMovie on an iPhone. The Magical Apple-esque Music is courtesy of iMovie. This work is currently ongoing.

Patent Pending

Portraits: Communications of the ACM Magazine

One of four generative paintings made with my algorithmic painting software that appeared in the February, 2012 issue of Communications of the ACM.

The photos were provided by each subject and varied in quality. This image, a studio shot taken by a photographer, was the best.

Percolator Landing Page

The Percolator 2.0 website launched at the same time as Percolator 2.0 and involved the combined efforts of many.

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Percolator Video

I produced and animated the commercial-style video that appears on

Music is by Thomas Gromer of Polarlight Sound. (Thomas composed the very cool music for the Things for iPad video.)

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Natural Page Shading

I’ve made a few visual improvements to the Leaves framework while putting together a friend’s book app. Leaves will let you add book-like functionality to your apps, letting you load in a PDF and get page turning interactivity. It’s not as advanced as iBooks — the pages remain axis aligned when turned, and double page spreads are not supported, but it’s open source and works pretty well out of the box.

YouTube Preview Image

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Experimental iOS App: Pixel Art Meets Global Illumination Rendering

This experimental iOS Graphics app is ½ old-school 2D pixel editor and ½ 3D global illumination renderer. I developed a ray casting algorithm that uses low- resolution depth and color maps to produce a high resolution rendering with subtle lighting and shading.

From left to right: depth map (user created), color map (user created), depth + color (used for final render), global illumination rendering.

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Henri Icon

Icon, logotype and concept for a BW iOS photo app.

Photoshop and Cinema 4D.

Percolator Icon

Created in Cinema 4D and Photoshop.

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Icon Study: Album Cover Art Photo App

Icon study for a Mac and iOS photo app. Created in Cinema 4D.

Double Across for iPad

I designed the graphics and interface skins for an iPad game designed and developed by Sol Robots.

Double Across is a crossword-style puzzle board game that lets you play with up to five other people, or with “famous author” AIs.

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TableToTree 1.1

TableToTree is a simple tool designed to solve a common data workflow problem: you have a spreadsheet of data that need to convert to an XML file as a data tree, i.e., for use in web programming.

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Rocket Launch Demo

This project explores the Unity 3D environment.

The rocket model is a stock placeholder (Redstone missiles don’t burn solid rocket fuel), and the launch vehicle is unmanned. My main focus so far has been getting realistic particle effects for the rocket exhaust. 

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Painty's node-based workflow.

Painty’s node-based workflow.


  1. Of, coated with, or soiled with paint: a painty finish; painty overalls.
  2. Having a crudely or clumsily painted surface: The stage set consisted chiefly of painty scenery.

I am developing experimental, stroke-based rendering software—affectionately known as Painty. The software takes a photo, 3D rendering, or some other image as input, perceptually deconstructs it, then rebuilds a new image as a sequence of brush strokes.

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Happy GO Driver!

I produced this iOS game in collaboration with illustrator Peter Hamlin. The object is to keep the traffic flowing by controlling the traffic signals. Angry drivers and wrecks will obstruct your progress.

Level 4.

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HyperDither 1.3

HyperDither is an OS X image processing utility that converts color or grayscale images to 1 bit black & white using a sophisticated dithering routine. Specifically, HyperDither implements the “Atkinson” dithering filter.

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Herman Miller Materials Selector Algorithm

Working with Michael McGinn Design Office (MMDO), I developed a layout algorithm for Herman Miller that organizes swatch search results by color clustering. The relative position of the swatches is maintained, regardless of the density of the results.

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SuperGraphics Framework 3.0

SuperGraphics is a vector graphics code framework for REALbasic that supports multiple output options (CoreGraphics, SVG, PDF, etc.) through a single, unified, easy-to-use API. Supported effects include Bezier curves, gradient fills, transparency, etc.

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Herman Miller Materials Program Automation

In April, 2009, Herman Miller launched the Herman Miller Materials Program, a collection of over 1,600 materials organized in 16 volumes. The Materials Program was developed by Michael McGinn Design Office (MMDO).

Working with MMDO over a period of several months in 2008, I created a desktop application to automate the production of the thousands of printer mechanicals and review and sign-off sheets that were used to support the efficient print production of the volumes.

Swatch layout uses Kohonen self-organizing maps (SOM).

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SuperSpriteSurface Framework 2.0

The tile surface supports intelligent redrawing of only the visible area.

SuperSpriteSurface is a free class framework for REALbasic that provides a savvy, modern alternative to REALbasic’s built-in SpriteSurface control:

  • OpenGL-based
  • Fast collision detection
  • Several sprite types (group, tile, text)
  • Reusable sprite behaviors
  • Font texture creation tool
  • Supports Mac and Windows

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