Compelling design, beautiful animation & delightful interactions

Hippotrix are part of D fie foe who have been finding creative solutions with their partners for 15 years. Our team have led cutting-edge education projects with London Southbank Centre, English National Opera, Scottish Ballet and facilitated seven films with young people “Welcoming the world” to the London 2012 Olympics.

Our development company brings this insight to our app products with all software development, animation, design and game play now created in-house

Meet the team

Simone

Simone

Producer and play designer

 
mud wrestling or knitting?

“Mud Glorious Mud” – there’s nothing quite like it for planting, and I love working in the garden here in Scotland whatever the weather. So I’d choose wellies over knitting needles every time!

wallowing or marathon running?

I love getting things done, but swimming upstream is not for me, so after a hard day, I’d prefer to unwind at a pilates session or with a glass of wine!

confronted by a hippo, what would you plea?

“I know all about cleaning kids teeth, so let me just pop home and get an electric toothbrush, and I’ll help get yours shiny and bright. Then after, I can tell you all about a tooth fairy that exists – just for hippos”

river horse or ugly swine?

River horse of course!

and also…

Designing playful apps for kids with the launch of Hippotrix is an effective culmination of my creative and production skills; an opportunity within the digital explosion to pool my moving image education experience. The arrival of the iPad alongside the iPhone has been a stimulating presence within our family and confirmed the potential of this new technology for me. Media education is important and encouraging young people to understand the world around them through digital media is key.

Jonathan

Jonathan

Director and animator

 
confronted by a hippo, what would you plea?

I’d probably try Max’s staring trick first.  Then if that didn’t work I’d try a couple of jokes. Then maybe a bit of dancing.  Then just runaway fast.

wallowing or marathon running?

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and that can occasionally be an excuse for taking too long over things. However there is something wonderful about spending time crafting an animation, and then seeing it come to life – especially if you weren’t sure if it was going to work.

mud wrestling or knitting?

Having a young family means taking a day off to go windsurfing alone is no longer an option; so music, a movie (at home) or working in the garden (with the kids running around) is how I chose to spend my leisure time!

river horse or ugly swine?

I do look better with a bit of sun on me! So I am trying not to work all the time and get out and play more.  It’s a problem when your job is fun but it is mostly computer based.

and also…

I’m a filmmaker who has worked in commercial and education settings; mixing up live action, traditional animation and CGI to create cutting edge, cross art-form work. I’ve always liked bringing things to life with animation, and now making these visuals come alive within apps is even better (better because you see the user controlling what happens, whereas in film, the director decides the outcomes for their viewers) So, launching Hippotrix to build educational and entertaining apps for children feels like a really exciting progression.

Ben

Ben

Doctoral researcher

 
wallowing or marathon running?

Research can be a bit of both – I love wallowing in books, but a three-year PhD is a real endurance event. Given the choice, I’d go for a lovely wallow right now.

confronted by a hippo, what would you plea?

The pygmy hippos at Edinburgh Zoo are very cute, but a full-size four-ton beast would be a tougher proposition. Maybe the best thing would be to climb a tree as quickly as possible!

mud wrestling or knitting?

Two small children at home means mud, mud, mud and quite a lot of wrestling wellies on and off. When I’m not wrangling wee ones, I relax by cooking and going to the theatre.

river horse or ugly swine?

With this amount of facial hair, I doubt anyone can tell either way…

and also…

I’ve worked in theatre and dance for the last decade, and have recently chosen to explore the exciting world of Theatre for Early Years with my PhD. There’s so much crossover between apps and theatre for young children – every day at Hippotrix produces another connection which enriches both my doctoral research and the work I’m doing here.

Stephen

Stephen

Illustrator & designer

 
confronted by a hippo, what would you plea?

I wouldn’t argue: I’d run. Real hippos are supposed to be pretty dangerous. Meeting a cuddly toy hippo would be okay, though, I think. I had a toy crocodile when I was a kid, and although these animals are usually snappy, he never gave me any trouble.

mud wrestling or knitting?

These can be dangerous too, especially if the needles are sharp.

wallowing or marathon running?

This morning I went jogging along the river Rhine for five minutes; and that was enough of a marathon for me. As for wallowing in the Rhine, it would be too cold – even in summer. A Jacuzzi in my flat would be nice though.

river horse or ugly swine?

Hippos don’t make good pets. Pigs are a safer bet, even ugly swine. If you want one, be careful to purchase a miniature breed. I heard that some pet shops sell tiny piglets that grow up to be massive porkers.

and also…

I am a designer and trainer with an art school and languages background, based in Cologne, Germany. Working with Hippotrix is great because it combines visual and educational challenges. One of my obsessions is “trompe l’oeil”, so I was very excited about this app being “realistic”. However, for me, one major aim of design (as with teaching) is to try and communicate everything as clearly as possible. And making things easy is sometimes very difficult!

 

Brian

Brian

Musician

 
mud wrestling or knitting

Seeing Hippos rolling about in the mud looks like great fun but it’s definitely a spectator sport for me (imagine rolling about with one of those great beasts)!  I guess you could say I’m more a knitter of notes than scarves and much prefer doing it with my feet on dry land.

wallowing or marathon running

I’m probably one of the laziest people I know and if things didn’t have to get done I’d probably be hibernating with the bears.  To combat my lazy streak I get myself down to the gym as much as possible to make sure I don’t turn into a bear.

confronted by a hippo, what would you plea?

I’d get out my Magic HarpTM and play my putting-angry-hippo-to-sleep tune entitled Hippo Hip Hop ’til you Drip Drop! And, if that didn’t work, I’d leg it!

river horse or ugly swine

River horse (bear) most definitely!

and also…

I’m a composer who believes that music serves to connect us with ourselves, each other and with life.  I compose music for concert hall, film, television and interactive media including apps.  Everyone should have the opportunity to experience themselves and life through music and what better way to begin than to build interactive music into educational apps for our little ones.