How To's

All I see are a bunch of squares on the screen of the iPad... That means that it is doing what it is supposed to be doing.
The software makes a catscan of an image and displays it column by column. A human eye will not see a holograph, just a bunch of squares. A camera will capture the changes in light which will generate the holograph as you move your iPad in the X or Z axis of the camera.
You either need a DSLR camera on long-exposure mode, my free webcam software, or an app called Magic Shutter for your iPhone.

Steps to make holographs: Start by dimming the lights. Select your holograph(s), set options, and then tap 'Make!'. Your data will take a few seconds to process and is ready once the loading screen has gone all to black.
Once the screen is black, start your camera doing the long exposure, then tap the screen anywhere with 1 finger and slowly move it in the X or Z axis (videos below) to record your holograph. It may take you a time or two to get the hang of it.
I usually set the brightness of my iPad to about 10-20% in a dim room, if your image bleeds or is too bright, just mess with the brightness settings in your iPad's Settings.
You can feel free to watch the 2 videos below for X-AXIS and Z-AXIS to see a picture-in-picture of how the webcam sees it VS how the human eye sees the holograph.

How do I use the 8bitapp webcam software? First: Go download adobe AIR on your laptop with attached webcam. Note: I have only used it on built-in webcams running on Mac OS-X, Ubuntu, and Windows Vista.
Second: After you verify adobe AIR is installed, go to and find the link for the 8bitapp webcam software. Download and install it.
Last: Dim the lights around you or be outside in a dark place. Open the webcam app and follow the instructions.

How to use the X-AXIS OPTION This option is found in the OPTIONS menu.
As you can see in the video, you will use the X-AXIS option to generate your holographs off of the ipad traveling in a direction following the X-AXIS of the camera.

How to use the Z-AXIS OPTION This option is found in the OPTIONS menu.
As you can see in the video, you will use the Z-AXIS option to generate your holographs off of the ipad traveling in a direction following the Z-AXIS of the camera.

How do I find my Photos and Drawings after 8bitapp processes them? In the main menu, there is a folder icon. That is your Photos and Drawings area.

How do I control the holograph during MAKE mode when the screen is all black?
Tapping anywhere on the screen with one finger will start, skip to the next frame, or restart a holograph (if only 1 holograph is selected).
Tapping anywhere on the screen with three fingers at once will exit back to the main menu.

Do I need a DSLR Camera with 8bitapp? No. You may download the 8bitapp webcam software for free from and use your built in webcam on your laptop to capture the exposure.
There is an app for iPhone called Magic Shutter which will also capture the long exposure. I have seen some examples that it works well with 8bitapp.
Regarding using a DSLR: I will say that the exposures are smoother and sharper with a DSLR. When I shoot with a DSLR I use a Nikon D80 and usually use the bulb mode or manually adjust the time the shutter is open to 30 seconds. Check google for tutorials for your own camera.

How Do I use my own camera for light painting? It depends on the camera make and model. I recommend searching google using the terms "Light Painting tutorial [insert your camera name and model here]". I actually used these terms for my Nikon D80 and found many great tutorials, even some video tutorials on YouTube. Awesome!

How do I animate my still holograph shots into a moving animation? With many of the vintage 8bit characters, you can chain together many single holograph exposures and create a stop motion animation. When I do this, I typically use Photoshop and use the Window->Animation options to tediously put together an animation. That being said, there are probably more elegant solutions.

Why is 8bit Paint Mode so Limited? 8bit Paint was created simply to have something to display some quick fonts and 8bit logos or characters you compose. The hardware is gradually catching up to the software so an iPad 2 runs it more gracefully, and by the time we have iPad 3 I can finally unveil the full paint mode. It's ready, the device just cant handle it...
If you want to do a piece with more than the limited features you get from 8bit paint mode, I recommend using Photoshop, then saving your image onto DropBox ( iPad also has a DropBox app (it's all free).
From within the DropBox app on your iPad, you can then save images on your iPad and generate holograps by uploading you images in 8bitapp with the 8bitapp 'PHOTO' option.

Why do I have to move the iPad so slow to generate my holograph? This app is pretty data intensive to say the least. It literally reformats any image, pixel for pixel, into a dataset that the tiny processor on the iPad can handle. In a handful of years when the processing power has increased we should be able to generate holographs with similar methods to the naked eye at an affordable cost.