Photoshop World 2014 on Storify (Day 3)

Well, all good things really do come to an end. So, with the conclusion of this year’s Photoshop World in Vegas, I too will bid adieu to this whole Storify thing.

For now.

Until next time…

(Of course, you can always relive the rest of the conference here: Pre-Conference Day, Day 1, Day 2)

 

Photoshop World 2014 on Storify (Day 1)

Yesterday, I posted a Storify collecting some of the public tweets and Instagram posts by Photoshop World attendees using the hashtag #PSW14. So I thought I’d continue that today, with some of the Opening Day goodness that goes on. I will update this post later and I’ll add new ones covering tomorrow and Friday. So stay tuned!

If you’re currently attending the conference, be sure to use #PSW14 in your posts and you, too, might be included in an upcoming Storify!

 

Kickstarter

My newest web fascination is Kickstarter.

I’m by no means an early adopter of the crowd-funding site, which has been around since 2009, but after recently discovering it, I’m pretty close to hooked on it. If you’re a creative person looking to fund a project, it’s definitely a website worth looking into.  Coupled with the power of social media, it’s no surprise to see successfully-funded projects raising five, six and even seven figures by enthusiastic people like you and me, eager to see someone’s vision become a reality.

As a creative person whose first steps in the art and illustrative world were comic book-based, this also gives me ideas for how I may be able to take a few things “off the back burner” and try to finally make them real. So for that burst of inspiration, I say thanks Kickstarter!

Kickstarter projects are all independently created, meaning if John Doe has a really cool idea for a film, Doe and his team will produce that film (if successfully funded). Kickstarter is a platform to let people know about it, but the site does not take any role in the development of that work.  For a project to be made, it must be successfully funded – meaning that, when a creator posts their project, they set a financial goal.  If that goal is met, they go into production.  If it’s not, then the backers’ donations are returned and the project gets no funding. Kickstarter calls this “all-or-nothing funding” and on the website says that, to date, 44 percent of projects have met their goals. Learn more about how Kickstarter works here.

From technology to games to art, there is a wide array of projects to choose from on the site.  As a comic/graphic novel/film fan, I’ve tended to lean towards those projects while casually searching the site, but not exclusively.  Thanks to social media, I’ve also discovered a few interesting things outside of those categories.

Here are a few current projects I’ve discovered:

ART STORY

This is an animated feature film that Disney veterans Aaron Blaise and Chuck Williams want to produce. They’re seeking $350,000 to get this made, and from what I can see of the film so far, it looks impressive.  Of course, this taps into a few of my passions – animation, film and art history. I’m not yet a backer, but expect to be soon.  The story is about 11-year-old Walt and his grandfather, known simply as Grandpa, and their adventures after they magically get sucked into some of history’s most famous works of art.

Learn more from Aaron and Chuck in the following video:

 

POWER-UP POKER

What happens when 8-bit power ups are added to Texas Hold ‘Em?  That’s the question that led Casey Ayers to create Power-Up Poker, which seeks to put a new twist on one of the world’s most popular card games while at the same time tapping into nostalgia with its 8-bit Nintendo-esque flavor. Casey needs $17,000 to fund this endeavor, which has a week left in its fundraising period.

This particular project, of which I am a backer, is one I might not have found by casually searching the site, as it falls outside of my general search categories.  But thanks to Twitter, I learned about this project from Casey, who is a fellow #NASASocial alum.

Learn more about Power-Up Poker from Casey himself:

 

SPIKE LEE

Most Kickstarter creators are unknowns. But once in a while, you’ll find an  established professional like Zach Braff, a TV show like Veronica Mars or, currently, a filmmaker like Spike Lee turning to Kickstarter, which I find pretty interesting. It’s a truly creative community on Kickstarter, which is pretty cool. Spike is looking for $1,250,000 to fund his next Spike Lee Joint. If you back this project for $10,000 you can even sit courtside, front row with Spike at a New York Knicks game in Madison Square Garden. As of this post, there are already three $10,000 backers.

 

What cool Kickstarter projects have you discovered?  Have you backed any?

 

YouTube Capture

So, a funny thing happened while I was tweeting about my last blog entry, in which I looked at Instagram and Vine video and wondered why YouTube wasn’t yet in that space.

Twitter user @emeyerson pointed out that YouTube did have a similar app available:  YouTube Capture.

So, while Vine and Instagram video have gathered significant buzz in their short lifetimes, YouTube Capture – at least in my circles – has remained relatively invisible.  I’m not really sure why that is (I may devote a separate blog to that later), but I was excited to learn this tool existed and I have begun using it to compare to those other, more popular social-video-sharing apps.  Here are my initial thoughts and observations.

THE GOOD

YouTube Capture gently reminds the user to record their video in landscape mode.

First and foremost, YouTube Capture does what I wish Instagram and Vine did: It shoots video the way  you expect to see it. Or, at least, the way you expected to see it before those square-video apps came along.  When the app is open, on-screen icons will adapt to the screen depending on if it’s in portrait or landscape mode.  But if you try to record video in portrait mode, the app gently reminds you to turn your phone 90 degrees, as seen at left.

This function is known as “Landscape lock” in the app.

YouTube Capture 2Knowing that, one might try to outsmart the app by simply turning off “Landscape lock,” which you can certainly do.  Before you do, though, YouTube Capture gives you the message seen at right, gently reminding you that if you do this, your video will suck.

Kudos to you, YouTube. Kudos.

Another aspect of this app I like is it does not limit you to six or 15 seconds.  You can record as long or as short as you wish.  I will admit that six and 15 second-videos do force you to think creatively, but in a number of instances are just not enough to get the job done.

I’ve produced a variety of digital videos in my career and am trained to think about video in the one-to-two minute context.  While I have had some fun with Vine and Instagram, I also need the option to record longer.

Another thing I really like about this app is the Soundtracks feature.  Once you’ve recorded with YouTube Capture, you can choose from a selection of moody music to go along with it. Once you select a track, you can also adjust its volume so it doesn’t drown out your main audio.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD

As much as I do like the ability to record longer videos in YouTube Capture, I wish I could edit video in the app like Vine and Instagram do. In those, you can incorporate multiple shots into one video simply by tapping.  YouTube Capture doesn’t offer this option, meaning anything you shoot and share has to be recorded in one take. Hopefully, in-app editing will be available in a future iteration, because that function is probably one of the main reasons Vine and Instagram have become so popular.

THE JURY’S STILL OUT

I’ve had mixed results with the social sharing from YouTube Capture.  It seems to communicate really well with Twitter.  It also links up with Google+ pretty well, EXCEPT for the fact that the video thumbnails all look like some trippy emoticon on top of a gradient, as seen below.

YouTubeCapture on GooglePlus

There were also some issues playing video in the Google+ iPhone app, although simply upgrading the app to its latest version seems to rectify that.  Still, YouTube, can’t we do something about those thumbnails?  Or, if there’s something I can do on my end – some setting I might have missed somewhere, perhaps? – please let me know.

(Because these crazy emoticon faces are really starting to creep me out.)

As for Facebook, the results have been inconsistent. I tried sharing several videos with Facebook, but only saw one of them actually show up.   And that video does not appear on my timeline, but went into my “Recent Activity” module on my profile. It did receive a ‘like’ from a friend, so I know that it was at least seen by some others, but it feels hidden and buried inside my profile. In all fairness to YouTube Capture, though, I’ve also found Vine video to be inconsistent when I try sharing it (I haven’t shared enough Instagram video with Facebook to comment on it).  Since that may be a FB setting I haven’t uncovered yet, I will not yet hold that against YouTube.

Thankfully, videos recorded in the app are also stored to your camera roll, so a workaround for that is simply uploading the video directly to Facebook once it’s been shot.

Speaking of Facebook, I would also like the ability to share with one or more pages that I administer, from the YouTube Capture app.  When I initially linked my accounts, I only had the option to link my personal FB account to it.  Assuming that my previously-noted sharing issues with FB are resolved, I can see some enormous benefit with being able to share to a page as well.

THE BAD

YouTube Capture is only available on ios devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch).  Depending on which online site you believe, an Android version is coming, but I couldn’t find an ETA for it.  I find this curious, due to the union of YouTube and Google and considering the Google Play Store services Android devices.  So, I have to believe it’s only a matter of time before it does come to Android devices.  Still, the clock is ticking, YouTube…

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

First and foremost, I’m continuing to test and use the app.  But so far, I like what I see.  A lot. In the immediate future, make this app available to Android users. In the near future, if YouTube could incorporate some in-app editing capabilities, I would be ecstatic.  Thanks again to @emeyerson on Twitter for pointing this one out to me.  If you enjoy sharing video, this is definitely an app I’d recommend you download and try out.  And please, let me know what you think about it.  Tweet me at @carnolddesigns, comment here or email me at chris@carnolddesigns.com.