Everyone with a cool new idea or vision wants a concise and beautiful video to illustrate their story and broadcast it to the world. But, oh, right — you suck at all things visual and just learned how to make something move in After Effects. Adobe's new iPad app, Voice, is there to hold your hand in the making of presentation videos.
The story you tell with Voice, available for free in the App Store, will consist of a narrated explanation of whatever it is you are presenting, coupled with appropriate artwork, your own photography and text — all swirled together with seamless animations and set to music.
To get started with Adobe Voice, you will need a free Creative Cloud account, but not a paid subscription. Launch the app, choose a type of presentation, and Voice guides you through a clear-cut process of telling a story in the easiest way possible, telling you what to say according to preformed structures. It then gussies things up by letting you choose content from a giant sea of content accessed from the Cloud. The app is more than just a library of illustrations, music and motion graphics. It actively assists you when you don't know exactly what you want to say or how you want to say it.
The demo that Adobe gave us really did seem rather idiot-proof, but left us wondering if it was homogenising things a bit too much. How many people will have to use Voice before the internet is swamped with monotonous pitch videos all bearing the Adobe Voice "look?" There's a reason that people like to avoid using templates in content creation programs — they all end up looking too slick and pre-made. It's possible for a tool like this to be TOO simple, robbing your creation of any kind of uniqueness.
Adobe's safeguard against the app devolving into repetition is the Creative Cloud, where all the content libraries are stored, ready to be continually updated with new materials for its users. They also could open up more customisation and options in future versions of Voice. Let's hope so — because as it stands there are some glaring omissions, like the ability to import your own video clips.
Providing access to good design for people without technical skills is a growing trend, with services like Squarespace all looking to save the internet from becoming a pit of aesthetic despair, as it did in the era of MySpace and Geocities. Voice is certainly targeted at a more niche audience, appealing mostly to people launching a small business, raising money for a cause, or marketing a new product. But for some it looks to be a nifty way to get an idea across with the minimum amount of know-how.