Comic Touch – iPhone App of the Week

March 2, 2010

Comic Touch – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will also work on the iPod touch.

This week’s App is Comic Touch

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Make your photos come alive by giving them the Comic Touch. Add balloons to give your subjects thoughts and words. Add captions to describe the scene or give the photo a title.

Use the PhotoBooth-style warping effects to add some fun. Turn people into caricatures of themselves or give them bizarre expressions. Endless fun!

Share your creations via email or save them back to the Photo Library for even more sharing options.

£1.79 and a free Lite version

To be honest the iPhone is not really the best tool for working with images and graphics (no mouse or pen) however there are plenty of image manipulation and graphical applications in the App store.

I am a fan of Comic Life from Plasq and have used it quite a few times to create comics to support training. Plasq have produced an app for the iPhone that does something similar but for images (or photographs) on the iPhone.

You can take an existing image or even better take a photograph, and then comicfy it!

You can add a caption, speech bubbles, enhance the image and then save the image, e-mail it, or upload it.

What makes this work over some other comic apps on the App Store is that it is a simple app, there are other comic apps available with more features, and I will cover some of these in a later posting.

One of the advantages of this App is that you can create comics on the fly on the phone. You don’t need to worry about booting up a computer or having the right app on the right computer, etc… you can take the image with the camera, comicfy it, and then share it. This is what makes Comic Touch (and other similar apps) such a powerful tool.

So you don’t want to pay £1.79 then there is a lite version that is free. Comic Touch Lite.

The main difference is in the free version all the comics you make have a Comic Touch watermark.

So why would you use comics to enhance learning?

Comics can be used in many different ways to enhance and enrich learning activites, as well as other processes in the college. Think of it as just another medium to get a message across to learners.

  • Rather than have a written list of instructions for a particular activity, create a comic that as well as text has images that support the explanation of the instructions.
  • Create a comic of how to find help and support in the Library or Learning Resources Centre.
  • Add captions and speech balloons to a photograph to make a informative poster.

Basically to add variety to learning resources and handouts. To catch the interest of learners, engage them with what may be considered boring material. Learners can use the App to create stuff, storyboard videos, posters, etc….

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Comic Life for Windows

November 27, 2007

I have mentioned the beta of Comic Life for Windows quite a few times now. So it’s nice to tell you that Plasq have now released the full and final release of Comic Life for Windows.

Comic Life

Comic Life is one of my favourite applications and certainly is one of the easiest ways of making comics for use for print and online.

A 1000 seat educational licence for Comic Life is only £511.77 which is quite good value if you ask me. A 25 seat licence is only £101.95.

I will probably get a licence for my institution for staff use at least and for student use if required.


My Top Ten Applications for e-Learning

September 17, 2007

My top ten applications which I use to create and support the use of e-learning are…

Keynote – a superb presentation package, not matter how many times I start creating a presentation in PowerPoint, I virtually always end up in Keynote. The latest version (iWork ’08) is a real improvement on the previous version and I will admit I do like the audience going “ooh” when I use the cube transition.

Toast – not only a superb disk burning piece of software, but extremely capable of converting a range of video file formats and doing it well. Another useful video conversion tool I have started using is VisualHub.

EyeTV – though Windows Media Centre (and now Vista) has a much better interface, the versatility, the editing and exporting functionality make EyeTV the only real choice when it comes to recording and editing television. Combined with Toast and VisualHub you suddenly can record, edit and watch that video wherever, whenever and on whatever you want.

Dreamweaver – steep learning curve, but if you need to get your hands dirty with HTML and websites then this package is perfect. Though I do like Dreamweaver, I know with web tools such as WordPress and Drupal tools such as Dreamweaver are becoming less essential than they were in the past.

Fireworks – For manipulating images for the web then I go with Fireworks every time. Can also be used to create simple animated gifs. I do use PhotoShop, but for web image editing I always start Fireworks first.

Firefox (with Safari a close second and Flock in third place) – I can’t work with non-tabbed browsers, so on the PC it’s Firefox all the time, on the Mac I mainly use Safari. Safari with it’s .mac integration allows me to share my bookmarks over multiple computers and over the web. Now Safari (in beta) is available for Window and I like how Safari for Windows looks almost exactly like Safari for the Mac. Flock is for me relatively new and I do like the integration with online tools such as Flickr, del.icio.us and WordPress.

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Comic Life for Windows – Third Beta

September 17, 2007

Comic Life IconPlasq have launched their third beta of Comic Life for Windows.

Here is Comic Life Windows beta 3! Please UNINSTALL your old version of Comic Life BEFORE INSTALLING the b3 version. Remember it is still a beta. So remember anything can still go wrong! We do try our best to make it as reliable as possible – but as it is a beta, we do ask that you are cautious and don’t recommend using it for time-critical work in case anything goes awry.

You can find the download, new beta serial number and release notes in this forum post here.

I do like Comic Life on my Mac and I am pleased to see a version for Windows.


Comic Life for Windows!

July 10, 2007

Comic Life IconI am a great fan of Comic Life which comes free on most new consumer Macs and was pleasantly surprised to see that Plasq are working on a version for Windows.

The second Comic Life for Windows Beta is now available for download – with ongoing thanks to our encouraging and patient beta-testers. Thank you all for your kind words and helpful feedback!

This latest beta includes many small improvements relating to installation, usage and stability.

You can find the download, new beta serial number and release notes in this forum post here.