Creating quick and easy videos with Adobe Voice

 

I saw this tweet earlier in the week, and had a look at the list. It's a good list, and the thing which really caught my eye was Adobe Voice. It allows you to create an animated video which sits somewhere between a normal video or screen-capture, and a slidedeck on autoplay. I decided to sign up and have a go, and it took only about half an hour to create this video with it.

It's a very new product, coming out in May of this year. Hopefully the video above shows you how it works and what it can do - the reason I feel like it could be so useful for libraries is that it allows you to explain fairly dry and complex information in a visual and engaging way. Some types of video, particularly stuff about databases and online things, really don't lend themselves to the 'person talking either to or off camera' school of video-creation - and screen capture can sometimes be a little dull too. I feel like this is a nice hybrid - the 'animation' element keeps things moving, and you can use screengrabs if you like too. You need neither a micrphone nor a video camera to create an effective video. You don't have to master complicated software (and even Camtasia, which I think is ace and very easy to use, feels complex compared to Voice).

Like a lot of new tools coming out these days, it makes things look very smart without the user having to know about anything except providing useful content. There are lots of different templates - here's the same video as above, using a different theme. Notice how it recolours the icons to fit the new theme.

Transient
Transient

You can also choose different layouts - I chose a side-by-side theme but there are four other options.

So have a look and see if it could be useful to your library. In summary:

(The Cons list looks really big when they're side-by-side but that's only because the cons take more explanation!)

Pros

  1. Solves an existing problem! I love tools which do this
  2. Free
  3. It's an all-in-one solution. When I create slides I have to go to iconfinder for icons, flickr for images and PPT to actually make it - Voice does all these things from one place
  4. Looks great
  5. Extremely quick to create something useful
  6. Conveys information well - it's not just pretty, it's effective in what we need it for

Cons

  1. iOS only
  2. You can't, at the time of writing, have more than one layout (or theme) per video, which would be nice
  3. In fact there's very little flexibility in how you layout each slide, once your theme and layout are selected - but this is also its strength. It's idiot proof. You'd have to go out of your way to make something bad with this tool
  4. At the moment there's no option to upload to YouTube - they have to be hosted on Adobe's own site and embedded elsewhere. That's fine, but having a video which isn't on YouTube always seems like a massive waste of an opportunity...