Parallax Scrolling for the masses? Here’s two solutions/developers to watch @shorthand_ | @storehousehq

I was at News Rewired late last year and at one of the sessions a heated debate flared up about the NewYorkTimes Epic multimedia story “Snowfall”.

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Matthew Ingram of GigaOm argued that the entire story was an overindulgent fad and that that the move into this immersive long form storytelling was not being driven by what the audience/readers want but instead by the aspirations of designers and multimedia reporters. He cited the Guardians story FireStorm also.

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For my part I have to admit I was blown away by both – in part by the sheer scale and depth of the stories but also by the really stunning visual aesthetic they had created with Parallax Scrolling. In a quite remarkable revelation the Guardians head of multimedia special projects, Francesca Panetta, confided their FireStorm story had taken three months to shoot, edit, code and compile!

At the Q&A session that followed I took the mic and defended the form as being in its infancy and that this experimental phase is very important for introducing a new paradigm. I stated that the turning point would be when a simple, template driven Application was developed to make the process of compiling a Parallax Scrolling multimedia story simple and intuitive…

At the same session Ben Fogarty, executive manager with Startup “Shorthand” presented a demonstration of the product: a template driven Application for creating Parallax Scrolling multimedia stories :) Shorthand is still in private BETA but the latest iteration of their website gives a good taste of whats to come.

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On the longer 5 or 10 day Mojo courses Ive run over the last year I always included a session on photography to allow you to leverage stills, audio, video and text to create a multimedia narrative – If you are using an iPad to create your story then I have another App to check out for you. Launched in the last few days STOREHOUSE is a free App for iPad which also allows you to create immersive Parallax Scrolling multimedia stories. I love the interface and the extremely easy and intuitive UI. I compiled a story in 15mins with no difficulty – Give it a go, the results are excellent!

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For now the only limitations I can see with Storehouse is that the stories you make are retained within the storehouse ecosystem. To view a story after publishing it you must have the App installed. You can use up to 50 photos or video clips but the videos can be no longer than 30 seconds in length. Fonts are limited to 3 at the moment but presumably the current free version is an LE edition to create and inspire a dedicated user base. If and when they decide to monetize it I think (and hope) that for a pro version you could export your story as an entire HTML5 page or maybe as an embeddable iFrame or similar.

Either way with immersive content, gesture based interactivity and parallax scrolling, multimedia storytelling just got a lot more interesting and accessible.

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About vjmentor
Innovation Lead, RTÉ | VJ & MoJo (Mobile Journalism) Trainer -Circom Regional | Photographer | HDSLR shooter| Views are strictly personal, not those of my employer.

One Response to Parallax Scrolling for the masses? Here’s two solutions/developers to watch @shorthand_ | @storehousehq

  1. Dinko says:

    Glen…

    Why is it called Parallax? (afair parallax is old term describing different movement speed of planes/levels making illusion of 3D space)
    Anyhow, just wanted to say that you can see Storehouse made stories outside their eco sys, in any web browser without app…
    BTW check out Flowboard (app for iPad)…

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