There has never been a more important time to share your story through visual content.
And today with smart phones we can do so with a device that is in our pocket. Most weekends I test out new apps (or now to me) and this weekend an iPhone app I checked out and really like is the free Shadow Puppet app which enables you to narrate a story to images that you have on your iPhone or iPad.
I really like the fact that the app is also available to use on older – dare we say vintage iPhone such as the iPhone 3GS.
Yes we can tell stories through video however sometimes the focus on an image can be far more immersive.
You can see my demonstration of using the app below – or watch it at this link.
How To Use Shadow Puppet App To Create And Share Your Digital Story
Some of the ways I could imagine using Shadow Puppet would be to provide a short summary of a recipe to accompany my Cooking With The Kids series, tutorials and feedback from my clients, tips videos that I create for students on my courses profiling new visual content marketing tools I want them to be aware of, the opportunities are endless.
As an alternative example to mine here is a story created by Westby Fisher MD a cardiologist demonstrating a new heart rhythm monitor.
In summary Shadow Puppet works as follows:
- Select images or photographs from your camera roll on your iPhone
- Crop the images and order them to develop your visual storyboard
- Record an audio voice-over using your iPhone for each image
- As you tell your story you can zoom in and out of the images and highlight parts things you want to bring attention to
- Once you have created your digital visual and audio story with Shadow Puppet you can share it by text, email, Twitter or Facebook directing people back to a link on the web to watch it – you do not need to use Shadow Puppet to be able to watch the video
- Embed your Shadow Puppet on your website or blog as I have done here.
Additional Features I Would Welcome In the Shadow Puppet App
I cover a few of the features I would like to see in the app in my review video, but a more complete list is here:
– The opportunity to download and save the recorded story to your camera roll so that you can import it into other platforms – for example using Shadow Puppet to create video content you can then share and play directly in Vine or Instagram. I always want to retain an archive my multimedia content – I hope Shadow Puppet is around for many years to come but those of us who have been using digital story telling tools for some time that sometimes platforms disappear or are acquired and then closed down.
– Enabling the app to be available in an unbranded version – at this time your videos created with Shadow Puppet have their logo on them – I would like to see this option available as an ‘in-app purchase’
– The ability to delete the audio recording from one image rather than having to record the whole story again – this would be especially helpful if you wanted to make a copy of a previously recorded story and then change audio content at a certain point for example customising a video for someone
– The option to turn your Shadow Puppet into a video that could be uploaded to YouTube (including in an appropriate aspect ratio) – if you are creating a story I think we want to have as many options for sharing it as possible. I know this is not necessarily relevant for personal use of Shadow Puppet which the developers feature as examples on the blog for the app, but it is essential for those of us wanting to share stories about our business
– The option to change the transitions between images rather than having to set it once for the whole story
– The ability to navigate and follow a publically shared Shadow Puppet profile and follow their updates – I know some multimedia apps also provide a newsfeed in-app of publically shared content and a search function to enable the discovery of content creators
– The option to create a custom url for your Shadow Puppet profile – then you could easily refer people to it and promote it
– The ability to enable or disable comments under a publically shared video on the web so you could put additional information if you wanted to – for example adding a short decription and a url to advise people where they can find additional information. For example when I created my video I did not know the url I would want to refer people back to to read this review, so having comments open would enable me to add information next to my video when people look at it online
– Additional social sharing funtionality on publically shared content – at the moment only Facebook and Twitter are available – LinkedIn and Pinterest sharing options would be welcome additions
– The option to add or change an image for your Shadlow Puppet profile – I opted not to add an image to my Shadow Puppet profile when I created my account in-app – but now I can not find a way to add an image. I have emailed the developers so hopefully they will provide an option to do this
– Making Shadow Puppet available for android devices – as so often happens the developers have taken an iOS first approach and I know I would like to use this on the android phone I have been testing or enable my kids to create content on their android phones.
Additional iPhone apps To Explore For Audio and Visual Storytelling
You can check out these other apps:
Speaking Photo – a free and paid version that enables you to add audio to your photo. I tested the free version – you can not import images from your camera roll – you can only add audio to photographs you take with the app. I also found it buggy and when trying to re-record my audio, I could only get it to restart by deleting the app from my phone and re-installing it. If you hit this bug make sure you check your settings on installing the app otherwise it will start recording as soon as you take the photo.
Skqueak app – a free app which allows you to zoom, add sketches and audio to your images – though I don’t like the fact you have to create an acount before you can start using it
Disney’s Story App – I have not been able to test this as I can not access it through my local iPhone app store – but it enables you to bring images and videos together using themes and music to creat family stories – this is one of the target markets for Shadow Puppet.
What other iPhone or android apps do you like for digital storytelling making content from audio and images?
Photocredit for image with pens Andrea Joseph