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How to make materials visual

Visualization extends narrative and increases reader engagement. When the text is supplemented by a photograph, infographic or gif, the reader does not have time to get bored, hangs on the material longer and better understands the meaning of the article.
A picture is generally better perceived than text. It is instantly read and evokes emotions. Therefore, the general rule: do not describe in words what can be demonstrated in a photo or video.
Let’s see what applications and services will help to avoid unnecessary words – and what effect can be achieved from simple pictures using these tools.
Interactive
Want to tell more about what is shown in the photo? ThingLink makes a static picture interactive. Tags are added to the photo or video with additional content. The reader moves the cursor over the icon and in the pop-up window sees a text comment, links to details or multimedia. That is, it does not just cast a glance at the picture, but opens up several marks, receives details and delves into the story.
The tool is universal. It is difficult to imagine a theme where it does not apply.

Thinglink
Another tool that makes a picture interactive is Gigapixel. This is a bonus to the StoryMap JS interactive geographic maps that we wrote about at the dawn of WSBB. Gigapixel allows you to “travel” through the details of the image.
Attention! This requires a VERY BIG picture. Look in action and see why.

Story Map JS
Another cool Knight Lab development, JuxtaposeJS, is a photo slider. It allows you to compare two pictures – “it was / became”. If you want to show how something has changed over time or as a result of some events – for example, a photo before retouching and after or a city street before repair and after – use JuxtaposeJS.

JuxtaposeJS
Animation
Let’s go back to the usual size of the pictures. Any still image can be animated and turned into a gif. In most situations, this means some kind of ironic decision, but no one restricts the author’s imagination. You can and should use gifs if you are talking about abstract things that are difficult to illustrate. Think about what associations you have?

Zoom, Enhance!
Here, for example, is our editorial director in a horror GIF from the Zoom, Enhance! This is usually done with cats and babies 🙂
Product Hunt, by the way, published an excellent selection of gif-applications from which you can grab if not the visualization tools themselves, then ideas.
Loop
Short looped videos (or again gifs) add dynamics to the material and add variety to the reading experience. Most often, cobs are used as gifs with sound to present the situation in a funny way. They can be used in the case – to demonstrate something. Why talk about how the microscope works, if you can show it? It is short, simple, convenient. For example, Hi-Tech Mail.Ru uploads such videos to Coub.

Coub
Coub is an incredibly cool service for creating looped videos. They are convenient to create and easier to look for, and another important plus is the multitude of Russian-language or Russian-oriented commercials.
The closest foreign service to Coub in terms of meaning is Vine. He is looping square videos. In the application, you can only cut the length of the clip and overlay the background audio recording. Therefore, to create such videos, it is better to choose Coub, and to find the right material, you should see what is already loaded in Vine.

Vine
There are other solutions.

Giphy
In the simplest case, these can be gifs found or uploaded to Giphy. If you like to draw analogies with popular TV shows and films, then this is right here is yours.
Playbuzz suggest using bookmarks in the video. This focuses on the key points of the video or simply splits its content into equal parts. The format is called Videosnaps. It would be very cool to use such a service for long presentations such as those that suit Apple. A couple of clicks – and you found the desired fragment.
It’s worthwhile to decide in advance whether you want to deal with sound or not. It is better to play it safe with subtitles and not rely on musical or sound accompaniment, unless, of course, they do not constitute the essence of the material.
Broadcast
During major events or emergencies there is nothing better than direct inclusion. And here are some simple solutions.
YouTube offers a selection of live broadcasts, which varies depending on the location you choose. Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep track of when the broadcast you want is replaced by advertising or studio chatter.

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