All About Vine

I’ve been taking a bunch of videos lately just playing around on my phone, and really enjoying it. Something to nourish my constant attempt to absorb my environs; especially the endless stimuli in New York. When talking it over with my friend, Laura, she suggested I get the recently released Vine app from Twitter, which she herself had just begun trying out. Man, am I hooked.

So what does any of this have to do with the world of Pen & Oink? It made me think about things. How more and more we are communicating with images.Text a friend: “Where are you?” You get a self portrait of her in return wherever she is at that moment: the gym, a messy desk, shopping, a picture of her dinner etc. It’s a world of links and pictures, with things like Instagram and Pinterest (I haven’t tried out either of those yet) and now the video app Vine. Generally this kind of technology talk makes things seems even more grim for the world of books. Am I too optimistic in seeing this as good sign for childrens books, which have been communicating through images all along?

A Vine video is 6 seconds long. Doesn’t sound like much, but you can do quite a bit in 6 seconds. And the best part is that once filmed it will forever loop, making the action over and over. It’s super easy to use. When your finger is on the screen it’s filming when it’s not, it’s not. When you finish the 6 seconds (you see a bar across the top of the screen that fills in green as you shoot your footage). This allows for all sorts of creative things to happen. And each time I do one, I sort of see where my brain went lazy, where I could have made it better and get excited for the next one.  It can be uploaded to Twitter or Facebook and the original (un-looped) video can be found in your camera roll.

I also see see the Vine app as a chance for novices to try their hand at stop motion animation. Something which otherwise seems like a monumental time consuming task. With a few minutes and a few objects, one can work out the basic building blocks of the medium. You also get an idea of just how much work and skill is involved in the real deal!

There are plenty of people doing inane, boring, or low quality stuff. * But there are a few people doing GREAT stuff: @YellDesign does great stop motion animation generally with food. @pinot does incredible animation often involving his children. Vine users do not post everything to Twitter so it is really worth checking out the app.

Another great thing: the sound quality is surprisingly good, you can pickup up a really interesting array of sounds that can mix together quite nicely when looped. There is also a warmth about it. Not only in the smiley face that suggests you “say something nice” when you are in the comments section of someone’s video. There is something more personal about it. When you follow people, you get an idea of their day, their life. The simple things: you can see where they go; objects they surround themselves with; music they listen to; what they eat. (Make sure to hear these videos! Turn the sound on, upper right hand corner of video. Vine is polite so the sound is automatically turned off in Twitter but in the app itself, the sound is automatically on).

The downside: it can be quite clunky when uploading videos. Though, It might be my old phone. For best results, I turn off all my other apps, so nothing else is running when I want to work on a video. It also works smoother when you are connected to wireless. It’s also a bit tricky to find people. But you can look at editors picks and different hashtag categories to find people.

I hope to do some stop motion animation in the near future that is worth sharing with you. For now, I have a lot of footage of me walking and the subway roaring through the station.

Do any of you use Vine? Anyone you love following on Vine? Do tell!

*I’ve heard a lot of chatter about porn on Vine being an issue. Maybe I’m just unlucky, but I’ve never seen any.

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