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Ricketts Glen State Park. Benton, PA

One common link between my illustration, photography and multimedia work is they all involve different forms of visual storytelling so I’m always keeping an eye out for new and effective ways to create and share these stories.

This past week, I discovered an interesting way to share visual stories using a new iPad/iPhone app from Adobe, called Adobe Slate. While it’s useful to have programs that give you total control over the creative process with unlimited options and customization, there is definitely a place for simple straight forward apps that produce high quality presentations in few minutes instead of several hours.

I downloaded Adobe Slate App (free) and gave it a trial run.   It takes about 5 min. to become familiar with the app.  While being a new release with some rough edges and room to grow, I love the speed and simplicity.   I accessed my photos from a visit to Ricketts Glen State Park (Benton, PA).  The photos were on my iPad and a few sitting in my Dropbox. Within 15 min. I had a finished presentation I could share with others.

[Link to Adobe Slate presentation]

This is not just another PowerPoint style presentation app.  It creates a full-screen, seamless, continuous (vertical) scroll of still images and text.  Visual storytelling at the viewer’s own pace.  Adobe has another similar App (Adobe Voice) that allows for the addition of audio and made to export as a video.

Pros:

  • Very easy to learn in a few minutes.  No tutorials needed.
  • Several design templates to choose from which will give a unified look to your presentation. The templates set the font, color and make subtle adjustments to the basic photo transitions.
  • It’s free with several in-app purchases.  At time of this writing the in-app purchases were not yet available.
  • Photos can be imported into your iPad/iPhone from a wide variety of sources (Lightroom, Dropbox, directly from iPhone/iPad, Creative Cloud).
  • The project is saved on the Adobe Cloud (free storage space) and can be shared directly to Facebook, Twitter, email, html coding to embed in website, etc.
  • Can be viewed by anyone with an Internet connection.  No special app or software needed.

Cons:

  • Can’t create paragraphs for text.
  • A few minor limitations on framing/cropping of imported images and how they are viewed between vertical and horizontal format. Not a big deal.

I expect many of the app’s shortcomings to be addressed with future updates.  Will wait and see.  I’m guessing that the in-app purchases will be additional design themes to choose from or extra features.

I’m already thinking of many ways I could make use of this app, for those times when I may only have a few minutes to spare and need to produce professional looking results, quick and easy.  I like that!