Voice Tips & Tricks: Drop-In Animation

Even though Voice automatically incorporates unique motion graphics with every theme, the drop-in animation effect allows you even more control over how your images or icons appear. Drop-in animation makes it look as if an object dropped down or rose up onto a page, and is a great way to add an element of surprise within your story. You can use this trick to show different steps in an explanation of a concept or just use it for dramatic effect on particular points you want to emphasize.

Voice Community Manager Rikk Flohr explains the secrets of drop-in animation in this week’s Tip & Tricks video, showcasing how a teacher could explain Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing with an animated astronaut:

Every Voice theme is unique to ensure that each of your videos is different – which means that drop-in animation works within certain themes:

Side-by-side drop-in works the best in the following themes — Simple, Dayglow, Swing, Signal, Colorful, Film, Playful, Ginger, Valencia, Candy, Satin, Schoolbook, Opportunity, Relaxed, Impact, Tradition, and Technical.

Icon over image drop-in works the best in the following themes — Simple, Dayglow, Spotlight, Valencia, Argyle, Bullseye, and Vivid.

We hope this tip helps elevate your Voice! If there are other features you’re curious about don’t hesitate to tweet us @adobevoice, or contact Rikk at getvoice.adobe.com/support. We’re always here to help!

Fun Friday: A Man Walks Into a Bar…

Tomorrow is National Tell a Joke day, and we’re not kidding around. To inspire you to be the life of the party this weekend, here are two of our favorite joke-telling Voice videos.

You might know what happens when a man walks into a bar…

But what about a horse?

Do you have a favorite joke? Share it on Twitter using #toldwithVoice, and we might showcase it here or in the Explore feed within the app for others to enjoy!

Voice Tips & Tricks: Pan and Zoom

Have you ever wanted to pan across an image in your Voice videos, and then zoom in on a specific person, place or thing a la Ken Burns? Even though Voice automatically adds unique animations to your videos, there’s a simple trick you can use for a little dramatic flair.

Watch as Voice Community Manager Rikk Flohr explains how to get the pan and zoom effect he used for his Voice video — a postcard from his Hawaiian vacation:

In addition to highlighting a specific person or object in a photo, pan and zoom is great for walking people through different elements of a diagram, or calling attention to a small detail that might have otherwise been overlooked.

We hope this tip helps elevate your Voice! If there are other features you’re curious about don’t hesitate to tweet us @adobevoice, or contact Rikk at getvoice.adobe.com/support. We’re always here to help!

Fun Friday: Pay it Forward

Did you know there’s a way to increase the value of everything you own? It’s a lot easier than you think. Check out this great Voice video, with an uplifting message:

We’ve started organizing our t-shirts to donate! We hope you’re inspired, too.

Want to get your Voice featured in our Fun Friday series? If you mark your Voice video public and use #toldwithVoice, it might be showcased here or find its way into the Explore feed within the app for others to enjoy!

Fun Friday: Free for Dinner?

What are your plans this weekend? If your calendar is open, a Voice video is a great way to round up friends for an adventure! Watch this fun invitation:

As for our weekend plans? We might just see you at Quincy’s – those lobster rolls sound pretty good to us!

Want to get your Voice featured in our Fun Friday series? If you mark your Voice video public and use #toldwithVoice, it might be showcased here or find its way into the Explore feed within the app for others to enjoy!

Storytelling Advice from the Book Doctor

Wondering what your next Voice video should be about? We’ve been refreshing the Explore feed with great stories for inspiration, and there’s a wheel of templates with questions that help you get your story started. We also thought it would be fun to share advice from the experts and hear what they have to say about story.

Meet Michelle Richmond, who has been helping people tell great stories for most of her life. So far, Michelle has authored six books: two short story collections, and four novels. She also offers consulting services to help beginning writers approach their first projects and find success. Here’s Michelle’s Voice video promoting her business, the Book Doctor:

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We’re impressed with your success as an author! Have you always been interested in writing?

Michelle: I knew that I would be a writer from a young age, but wasn’t sure what form it would take. I studied journalism in college, got my MFA and started teaching creative writing and publishing novels and short story collections. I don’t teach at the university anymore, but I still lead small group classes so I can keep in touch with the storytelling process and see the excitement of writers who are just learning their craft.

How did you approach using Voice?

Michelle: For the Book Doctor, I knew what my message was, what I care about, and what I want my audience to know. If someone is writing a book, I can help, and if they’re scared I can help them get past it.

After deciding each point I wanted to make, I added pictures and icons and then moved the various pieces around. That’s actually the way I write a novel and teach creative writing, also – you should begin with a sense of discovery and say what you feel deeply needs to be said. Then treat it as a series of moving parts, and put those parts together to tell your story in the best way possible. With Voice, with the touch of a finger you can move pieces around and create a story as you go.

How can Voice help a new storyteller?

Michelle: Every story needs a beginning, middle, and end. The different templates in Voice allow you to choose what kind of narrative you want to create and choose the best structure. The “Tell What Happened” template, for example, is a very clear, seven-step guide for telling a story. The prompts lead users through who, when and where, what happened, how it ended, and reflection. One of the things I always tell writers is that, after a story’s final action, you should leave the reader with something to think about, give them a moment to reflect. That seven step template is a very effective way to tell a story in a short period of time, and is a terrific place for someone to start.

What are the most important elements of a good story?

Michelle: A good story should build logically, but at the same time take the reader somewhere unexpected – you have to seek honesty, and avoid predictability. A reader can tell if a story feels false somehow, or if it’s trying too hard to convince you of something that isn’t true. There has to be a sense of reason, and yet an inability for the reader to predict where it’s going to go.

What further advice do you have for people trying to tell an engaging story?

Michelle: Play and explore! You do your best work when you’re not thinking too hard. There’s always going to be a point where you have to really think things through carefully – but when you start you should allow yourself a sense of play, until that inspired moment when you start figuring things out.

Interested in reading Michelle’s work? Visit her website. You can sign up for Michelle’s writing classes and one-on-one critique here.

Fun Friday: First Words on the Moon

When we were kids we all learned “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” were the first words Neil Armstrong said after Apollo 11 landed … but we just discovered it might have been something else!

As we approach the 45th anniversary of that historic moon visit, we think it’s time to set the record straight. Curious? Check this out:

First Words on the Moon - Adobe Voice

Luckily, the first person heading to Mars has a few years to think of what to say…

Do you have any fun facts to share using Voice? If you mark your video public and use #toldwithVoice, we might showcase your video here or within the Voice app.

Voice Tips & Tricks: Let Transitions Linger

Interested in making your Voice video more unique? There are a few simple tricks that can add more visual variety to your stories. We’ve heard your questions and feedback — and want to help you discover everything Voice can do — so we’ve created a series of short videos, outlining features in the app.

Voice automatically adjusts how long to show pages in your video based on the length of your voice recordings. So you can make a great video just by talking and picking photos! But what if you have a page with a photo or text you want to linger on? This week, Voice Community Manager Rikk Flohr explains how to increase page duration, allowing you to let your audience take it all in:

We hope this tip helps elevate your Voice! If there are other features you’re curious about don’t hesitate to tweet us @adobevoice, or contact Rikk at getvoice.adobe.com/support. We’re always here to help!

Voice Wins Awards for Educational Impact

Tech_Learning_Award

When we set out to build Voice, we hoped it would democratize storytelling for everyone — empowering students to express themselves, and educators to easily create more engaging content in the classroom. Last week we were honored to receive Tech & Learning’s International Society for Technology in Education “Best in Show” award, deeming Voice as one of the most impactful technologies for education. We were also thrilled that teachers around the country included Voice on last month’s MindShift list of “Apps that Rise to the Top.”

While we’re always happy to receive accolades, we’re even more excited to see students and educators using Voice in the classroom.

Watch as one educator, Mr. Lynne, presents future students with his fun approach to teaching. The Chalk theme in Voice animates like a chalkboard, making it great for the classroom:

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And even though tests can be nerve-wracking, outlining the directions in a Voice video can set a more positive tone:

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Do you know any educators who are using Voice in the classroom? We’re always looking for inspiration (#toldwithVoice)!

Fun Friday: Happy 4th of July!

It’s time for family get-togethers, hot dogs, and fireworks! Whether you’re spending this weekend exploring a new city, socializing at a backyard party, or just hanging out at home, we hope you have a fun and safe 4th of July holiday.

We’ve enjoyed watching your vacation stories throughout the summer. Here’s one of our favorites, a family’s trip to Italy:

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We would love to hear about what you’ve been up to during your time off! If you mark your video public and use #toldwithVoice, we might showcase your vacation story here or within the Voice app.