How To Vivaloo – Part 1 Designing for Vivaloo

how_to_vivaloo_michael_mcnett_photography_001For photographers just discovering the Vivaloo app for the first time it can be a mind-blowing experience. The sheer power of this technology and what it means for both photography studio as well as clients is staggering. NO REALLY… IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!

If you’re like me, you want to jump in and start seeing just how far you can push the app so that you can create the best photographic and cinematographic experience for your clients. (this is the part where the needle on the record makes that  Scrrrrcccckkkk sound and I talk in a serious voice) first take a moment before you dive right in to try to understand how the app works what it does well and what its limitations are. This way you can use it wisely and get the most out of your credits.

Vivaloo wants you to succeed and enjoy the technology, not feel frustrated trying to get the hang of things or to waste your credits. So I devised a couple tips to set your self up for success

thinkOK it sounds simple but think before you start… Optimally you will be thinking about the vivloo as your shooting. The same way how some wedding photographers shoot for the album well the same holds true for Vivaloo. When you start thinking this way then your finished product will look more intentional and thought out.

Any where you can have a picture you can have a Vivaloo… In the album, on the Save the Date, the strip that prints out in a Photo Booth, even a post on Facebook or a canvas print on the wall. The possibilities are endless.

You do have to now understand the limitations you may encounter in these applications… The first is aspect ratio…

aspectVivaloo automatically will crop your video into the frame of the image you supply… and it is a center crop.

What this means is if you have a video that is 1280 x 720 and you have an image that it is linked to that is a 1:1 aspect ratio then your Vivaloo will crop out 280 on the left side and 280 on the right side so that only the 720×720 will play in the 1:1 picture.

***so if you put a rectangular video into a square picture then only the square in the middle will show a video and the rest will not play

This may not be a bad thing if you don’t care about the right and left side… but if you do you need to adjust either the design of what you are Vivaloo-ing or you need to adjust the image that you are going to upload to show more of the aspect ratio that you want

(Quick Tip: if you upload a aspect ratio that would cause the video to break out of the boundaries of the image you are Vivaloo-ing it may look sloppy. Vivaloo‘s strength is the interactive aspect, instead consider uploading the entire spread or page if its an album. This way you don’t have to crop the video or ruin the layout of your design)

OK so you have designed all your print or digital products keeping in mind aspect ratios and how the moving image will interact with the static image… WHAT NOW JUST LET ME VIVAOO ALREADY!!!

We are almost there, we talked about thinking before you Vivaloo NOW you have to think about after you Vivaloo… there are tons of factors that can effect the quality of the experience that your intended audience will have.
after1. Size of final print is very important for a couple reasons… if the final printed vivaimage is too small it may get missed or not have enough information for the app to pick up (I have successfully used the app with sizes just larger than half a wallet picture but I gotta say I wouldn’t go that small the app is best when its allowed to show off) if the finished size is too small then I would reconsider using a different image or to make the vivaimage a composite of the whole page or spread

2. Consider your printed surface material… The app may get confused if there is excessive glare. Most of the time this is fine because a client viewing an album will know about the app and shift to avoid the glare. Many of us though want the opportunity to use Vivaloo in marketing materials or to sell save the date cards… instances where people will be encountering Vivaloo for the first time and may not use it correctly and just give up with out proper direction… So if you want to use it in marketing materials at a bridal show lets say… maybe you should avoid using a high gloss UV coating when you know the convention center will have bright over head lights that will cause glare…. (***side note I have used Vivaloo with both Fuji Crystal archive Digital Pearl and Kodak Endure Metallic papers, both highly reflective and its worked perfectly this tip is just so your aware)

3. How it will be used… This is hugely important, if you send out a save the date and the natural way that someone holds the card obscures the vivaimage then that would be bad… consider redesigning or using a different image. On a side note Vivaloo is an extremely sophisticated app sometimes it only needs to see a tiny part of the vivaimage to trigger the video… but always set your self up for success.

Stay tuned for lots more tips on how to successfully use the app Vivaloo and creative ways you can maximize this great tool to make more money, earn more clients and impress the heck out of anyone that sees it.