3D animations

Donny Claxton Speaks At Central Texas Learning and Technology Summit

Donny Claxton Speaks At Central Texas Learning and Technology Summit 

Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, I had the privilege of presenting during the Austin and San Antonio Chapter ASTD conference entitled the Central Texas Learning and Technology Summit.

The focus was on mobile learning and the technologies that make it all work.

My presentation, after more than 20 months of use of iBooks Author and building eBooks as well, was about eBooks and Books For iPad: what one can do with them and how to make them.

A copy of my presentation is available for download from a public link on Dropbox. If you have an iPad, you’ll need to download the file first to your computer and then load it into iTunes before syncing it to your iPad.  (And of course, you must be running at least iOS 5.1 and have iBooks 3.)

Donny Claxton speaking in San Antonio during an ASTD conference on mobile learning.

Donny Claxton speaking in San Antonio during an ASTD conference on mobile learning.

Even I was amazed at some of the presentations and developments taking place in the world of mobile apps and technologies. It’s inspiring to see some things that we only could have dreamed about a few years ago are quickly coming to fruition and even are already behind the curve, even though they’re likely still very much ahead of most.

George Saltsman from Abilene Christian University, who helped lead us into the development of books for iPad also spoke about changes that are coming in the pedagogy of education, while Dr. Robbie Melton from the University of Tennessee’s Board Regents showed off some amazing new gadgets and apps that are changing the workforce around the world.

FROM MY PRESENTATION, you will see a discussion about many of the amazing widgets and products we’ve built for books for iPad and a healthy discussion about whether or not we should even continue to call these products “books.” Also discussed are some of the variations and differences in this emerging field of technology, like the difference between EPUB 2.0.1 and EPUB 3.0 and what those two things mean to someone trying to decide on an eReader or an author trying to figure out which platform they should be publishing their materials on.

After my presentation, I was flooded with requests for more information, business cards and LinkedIn requests.

If you have any questions about how to make an eBook in EPUB or an interactive book for the iPad using 3D animations, movies, interactive timelines, puzzles and more, please reach out and let me know.

 

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The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

The Print To eBook Conversion–A New Way To Look At ‘Books’

At Claxton Creative here in Dallas, we’ve done a number of print to e-Book and iBooks Author-generated conversions and one thing becomes immediately clear throughout this process–the print to e-Book conversion process shouldn’t be a matter of just replacing the print copy into digitized form.  No, it should be much, much more.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

eBook v. iBooks Author

On top of that, we take things a step further than most competitors we’ve seen online.  Yes, the EPUB formatted book can be read on many more devices than those built with iBooks Author, which only work on iPad and iPad mini.  However, the functionality of a book made with iBooks Author versus one in an EPUB 2.0.1 or even the “new” EPUB 3 format leave a world of difference in between.

We’d like to bang someone in the marketing department at Apple over the head for their lack in marketing the difference between the two. In the video below even, we’ve shown you the contrast between 3D imagery in an EPUB 3 book and that of Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.  As we like to say, a book for iPad made with iBooks Author is like being in a museum where you’re supposed to touch everything.  Using 3D in an EPUB is like trying to play ping pong on a 1970s Atari on a black and white TV.  (Sorry Atari, but that’s pretty accurate. For clarification purposes, Atari was ahead of the time then.  EPUB 3 isn’t.)

Working With Print Authors

We often are approached by print authors who are ready to make a digital book and our first question to them is how much video do you want to add to your book?  We ask that knowing that our recommendation to them truly is going to be to make a book for iPad because the functionality, the file size, just the look is so much more alive and vivid than anything we have yet to see on a Kindle or Nook.  We have a potential client we’re trying to help understand this concept as she wants to do a series of YouTube videos and put them on a website for free. It’s our recommendation that instead they be added to a book for iPad because it will help make the book even more spectacular than what we already are talking about.

Besides, why give something away for free when there’s going to be high production costs and, more importantly, you can include it in your book for iPad and make some money back from it?!?!

Are You Wanting To Convert From Print to Digital?

If you’re ready to convert your book there are a series of questions you should be asking yourself.

  • What visuals can I add to my book to make it come alive?  This means video and still, hi-res pics.
  • Your book (for iPad) should include video. What videos could we shoot for your book to add a dimension that is presently missing?
  • What interactive charts or graphs would you like to include in your book that your printer said would cost too much to print and they didn’t want to expend the extra pages to include? We can do that on one page now, at a high resolution and they can be very cool.
  • What website pages would you like to have embedded in your book and let your readers visit without ever leaving your book?
  • If you could add digital magic to your book, what would you like to add?

If you know the answers to some or all of those questions, then we’d like to talk to you about making a book for iPad, and of course, doing an EPUB version.  Yes, more people will be able to get your book from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but the one they get off Apple’s iBookstore will be the one that will make most people’s mouth’s drop and want to know what you can do next.

Let’s talk.

Press Club of Dallas Book For iPad–Making the $$ Work

Press Club of Dallas Book For iPad–Making the $$ Work

press club dcAttached is the link to my book for iPad, which was my presentation to the Press Club of Dallas on March 2, 2013.  Feel free to download the book. Once it’s on your desktop, drop it into iTunes and then sync your iPad.  The file is about 130 MBs so it will take a few minutes to download.  To use on your iPad, you will need at least iOS 5.1 and iBooks 2.

 

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Congratulations Apple on iTunes U 1 billion downloads

Congratulations Apple on iTunes U 1 billion downloads!iTunesU

At Claxton Creative, we’ve been working to generate content for iTunes U for our clients and studying ways to enhance this ever-expanding form of e-Learning.

Classes on iTunes U are free. That drives some learned professors mad as they don’t understand the revenue model shift. Usually, people pay the school for a seat in a class and class numbers are limited and then there is the sale of recommended books and all.

With iTunes U, that model is changing and let’s just be fair to say there are some in academia who have resisted the shift to this revenue model. That’s probably putting it mildly.

How does a professor make money doing an iTunes U course?  They have an interactive book, preferably one we’ve helped them make for iPad and they use it as the resource for the class. To take the class, a student needs the book for iPad, which can be bought seamlessly through the Apple iBookstore. The more people who take the class, the more who need the book for iPad. Simple formula.  No standing in long lines to register for a class. No meeting with your counselor.  Easy.

It’s also this form of delivery that’s changing the overall method of teaching, and we’ve talked about that before much here on ClaxtonCreative.com. For teachers who do not yet understand, the traditional stand and deliver model of teaching is fast becoming a thing of the past. Self-paced learning, user-centered-learning, are new terms that are catching on in use and meaning.

At Claxton Creative, we are a part of this move to change the educational system for the better and for the future. This is the learning of tomorrow already happening today.

Are you a professor with a tome you need converted to a book for iPad, complete with video, interactive maps, charts and graphs? What if you could have your students using your book and not being able to advance to the next chapter sequence until they have demonstrated mastery?  Yeah, that’s what we can help you make a reality.  And who benefits from that? Your students, and ultimately, your wallet.

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Can You Use Hype To Create A Parallax Animation For An iBook Widget?

Can You Use Hype To Create A Parallax Animation For An iBook Widget? CC Yellow Books Circle 60 by 60 TR 1

For more than a year now I’ve been working on a sister project–TheWondersExpedition.com and trying to help share some fascinating discoveries I’ve noticed in the study of amazing places around the world.

And to begin telling that story in digital book form, and also online, I’ve been in the process of building various forms of art in Photoshop and Illustrator and trying to decide whether files should be straight vector files–(I’d love to be able to do .SVG but iPad won’t support it) or go for Photoshop creations rendered out as .PNGs.

Clearly I want to be able to tell the story of multiple sites around the globe and use the continuous scrolling effect to help share the findings.  Ultimately, this will require creating some sort of parallax-looking animation that makes it look like the world is turning, day is going from day to night, and cool places are popping up into view as the world turns, along with some sort of geometric lines, trig formulas of sine and cosines, and probably a kitchen sink, too. while I’m at it.

That led me to really look at two creative tool options tonight.  After Effects or Tumult’s Hype, now available as version 1.6.0.

Can You Use Hype To Create A Parallax Animation For An iBook Widget?

The answer to me right now is–I don’t know.

What I did tonight was create a Hype file with the dimensions of 2048 px by 1536, the size of an iPad 3 screen/retina screen. Just trying to see the whole screen on a 17-inch MacBook Pro, early 2012, requires me to shrink the View down to 50 percent and to shove my timeline as far to the bottom of the screen as I can stand.  (That’s not a complaint, it’s just the way it is.)

Just for starters tonight, I went ahead and in Photoshop created a round ball designed to rotate from the center point at the bottom of the animation.  I didn’t do the math, but through a process of lines from each respective corner, then a line down the middle and then a line from the bottom center line to the top left and right corners got me a measurement of about 1555 px.  I set the ellipse tool to form a perfect circle by holding down the shift key when I created a round “globe” in a file that was 3710 px by 3710 px. This way, as the globe rotates in Hype from the center spot at the bottom, there will never be a point where the viewer won’t see either blue for the atmosphere during the day, and black for simulated night time. Mind you, I’m not worrying about anything fancy line stars and the moon right now.  I just want to get the global atmosphere spinning. (Later will come additional layers of stuff.)

Trying to create a rotating "Atmosphere" using Tumult's Hype.

Trying to create a rotating “Atmosphere” using Tumult’s Hype.

With a two-layered .PNG the file for just the atmosphere right now is 39 MBs.  HUGE!

And needless to say, when I put it in the timeline of Hype and then set it to turn 180 degrees in 20 seconds, it really made the MBP, with 8 GBs of RAM, start to creep.  At one point, I could see block pixels where there are none, as the earth’s atmosphere turned from day to night.  Not good.

So at 11:30 p.m. on a Monday night, I’m calling it a day to rethink this as I sleep.  I’m beginning to wonder if Adobe’s After Effects isn’t going to be the better place to do this, but then it is destined to become a .mov and not an interactive HTML5 widget.  So I ponder.

Anyone else done this?  Anyone?  Bueller?

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Books For iPad–The Ongoing Training & Maintenance Manual Revolution

Books For iPad–The Ongoing Training & Maintenance Manual Revolution

Books for iPad now are being used for training purposes as well as in the field for things like aircraft and automobile maintenance, and even things like cookbooks.

English: An image of an iPad 2.

English: An image of an iPad 2. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because images, scrubbers/interactive images, 3D animations and even videos can be embedded in a book for iPad, they can be used in the field by technicians and practitioners.

Which would you rather haul around, a 3-inch binder full of technical manuals or an iPad that has the same and regularly updated information with photos and videos?

There exists great potential for books for iPad in corporate training and even maintenance manuals. Picture yourself as an aircraft mechanic working on a jet engine and instead of hauling around a 3-inch binder written by the manufacturer a couple of years ago, you now can have an updated version on your iPad with you all the time and use it whenever it is needed with far less hassle and inconvenience.

Training and maintenance materials in a book for iPad can save time, costs and maybe even lives.

 Do You Have Materials Ready To Process?

We are a publisher of books for iPad located in Dallas, Texas, USA and we are ready to work with your company to develop the right materials to help make your training and maintenance manuals and materials the most up-to-date and innovatively successful tools you can provide your employees. Just complete the manuscript submission process above or give us a call today at 972-863-8784 and let’s talk about how to move your company forward.

 

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Books for iPad and iBooks Author Video

Books for Ipad Now Can Include Video

Another one of the most amazing aspect of books for iPad s the capability brought about by the iBooks Author Video widget.

In our opinion, it’s really hard to decide if 3D animations or videos are the most compelling interactive feature of this new form of book.  Really, at this point, you don’t want to publish a book for iPad without them both.  On one hand you could say leaving out one of these ingredients would be like not putting icing on a cake, but really, it’d be more like trying to make a cake and not using flour or even sugar.

From The Opening Of A Book For Ipad You Know This Is Different

In iBooks Author, a publisher has the option to open a book with a video. The video is actually embedded in the opening trigger mechanism of the book and starts immediately. For Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya, we even added TA-DA music for when the video cues up just to add to the surprise of someone not expecting it.

To play on iPad, videos within the book are specially formatted. In our 2012 book, that allowed for us to add as much as two hours worth of clips from 15 Maya scholars all adding to the value of the book in ways that words and pictures are not able.

Because of the Retina Screen, videos can be HD, but we found saving them at a lower bit rate makes the file size smaller and even on a Retina Screen, you really can’t tell the difference.

iBooks 3 Update

With the iBooks 3 update from October 2012, in the iBooks 3 app, controls have been added for video navigation for the opening video clip. This was a good update as the only way to get back to the beginning of the opening clip before was to either let it finish playing and start over, or exit the book in iBooks 2, then reopen it.  It was a pain and we heard complaints.

Having video in books for iPad shows that Apple has recognized that in our ever-increasingly visually oriented world, video in books is not only logical but also necessary and preferred.

Done right, readers can get more out of their books if they have video references to use.

Thinking Different

The inclusion of videos in a book for iPad requires a different thinking process in writing a digital book.

Before books for iPad, an author would have to focus on telling their story or providing all their information within the text of a book. Now, it’s necessary to understand a little about video production, visual locations, backdrops, ambient noise, lighting and more. And while an author can do these things on their own, this is why a publishing/production company like ours can save time and money, and ensure the product looks as professional as possible.

Ready To Submit Your Manuscript?

We are a publisher of books for iPad in Dallas, Texas, USA. But we can make these books for anyone in any country on the planet. If you’re ready to submit a manuscript for production, please go to the form link above and submit your book today. Yes, you can try to do this yourself, but we look at it like this.  With changes in software, most people now can get access to software like Photoshop, too, but you know what?  That doesn’t mean what’s going to get produced is going to be expert quality.

That’s what we provide at Claxton Creative.  We’ve done several of these books for iPad now, and we’ve worked with the traditional book publishing world.  Add to that our experience in video and audio production, graphics and now 3D animation.

Working with us frees up the opportunity for you as the author to concentrate on telling your story in a new way, and we work on the nitty gritty details and technical aspects.  Trust us, that’s a lot to figure out.

 

 

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Books for iPad, Submit Your Manuscript

We now are accepting submissions for manuscripts for books for iPad. Please complete the form on our site and we will be in touch with you promptly to discuss how to make these amazing new “books.”

German

Wir haben jetzt akzeptieren Einreichungen für Manuskripte für Bücher für iPad. Bitte füllen Sie das Formular auf unserer Seite und wir werden mit Ihnen in Verbindung sein, zeitnah zu diskutieren, wie diese erstaunliche neue machen “Bücher.”

Japanese

我々は今、iPadのための本のための原稿の提出を受け付けています。当社のサイト上のフォームに記入し、我々は速やかにこれらの素晴らしい新しいようにする方法を議論するためにあなたに連絡される “本を。”

French

Nous acceptons les soumissions de manuscrits de livres pour iPad. S’il vous plaît remplir le formulaire sur notre site et nous prendrons contact avec vous rapidement pour discuter de la façon de rendre ces étonnantes nouvelles «livres».

Spanish

Ahora estamos aceptando solicitudes para los manuscritos para libros para iPad. Por favor complete el formulario en nuestro sitio y nos pondremos en contacto con usted a la brevedad para discutir cómo hacer que estas nuevas y sorprendentes “libros.”

Italian

Ora sono, iscrizioni aperte per i manoscritti di libri per iPad. Si prega di compilare il modulo sul nostro sito e saremo in contatto con voi immediatamente per discutere su come rendere questi incredibili nuovi “libri.”

 

Three Books for iPad. Submit Yours

Our three books for iPad. Submit your manuscript solicitation in English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish and Italian. All countries that regularly visit our site.

 

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Books for iPad–iBooks Author 3D Animations

iBooks Author 3D animations set books for the iPad apart from every other kind of book that ever has been made.  That’s not an exaggeration or a snazzy marketing claim.  It’s fact.

books for iPad--iBooks Author 3D Animations

Donny Claxton explains the latest in books for iPad–iBooks Author 3D Animations.

Books for the iPad, and the newly released iPad mini,  include iBooks Author 3D animations, videos, multi-touch interactive images, puzzles, study guide notecards and now, with the release of the iBooks 3 app—social media. All those things are cool.

Today’s post, however, is focused on iBooks Author 3D animations.

Welcome To The Museum Where You Touch EVERYTHING!

In short, you can’t do 3D animations in the eBooks format used by competitors of the iPad. Most don’t have the memory for it and they don’t have the technical capabilities.

The 3D animations in Claxton Creative-published books make reading one of our books like going to a museum where you are required to touch everything. They are absolutely the coolest part about books for iPad and the video below helps show you why.  With our recently released, “What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad,” (Available via free download) our goal is to help educate the public, parents, teachers, administrators, even corporate managers who are looking to improve their maintenance manuals and training materials, about how amazing this new form of book, really is.

One great example is in one of our published works. The 3D animations of Maya and Aztec artifacts in Dr. Mark Van Stone’s 2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya set it apart from any other book ever made or written on the subject. It’s available on the iBookstore and selling well.

3D Animations–Where The “Magic” Happens

With 3D animations in books for iPad, this is where the true, jaw-dropping magic happens. We have been working with working with some incredible 3D developers here in Dallas and if you want to do a book that includes these cool animations, we’d be happy to work with you.

If you want to highlight an object in a book and have it rotate and allow users to pinch it or enlarge it, our 3D animations are the best thing that’s ever been invented for such.

Watch the video below.  If you have a book you’d like to submit for publishing, we’d be happy to set up an introductory conference call and begin the process.

If you have an iPad and haven’t checked out books for iPad in iBooks 3 yet, we encourage you do to so.

And if you haven’t downloaded our free book for iPad, “What Apple Isn’t Saying About Books For iPad,” there’s no time like the present! (Downloading the book takes time and you’ll need to do it over WiFi.  Also must be running at least iOS 5.o and have minimum of iBooks 2.0 on your iPad. It will not download to an iPhone.)

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