Maya 3D Animation

Animation of the region where the NYT's 'Snowfall' avalanche occurred, created using Maya.
Animation of the region where the NYT’s ‘Snowfall’ avalanche occurred, created using Maya.

This is the program used to build the NYT’s Snowfall animations. There’s a free student download here, and there are tutorials on Skillshare here. And Graham Roberts talks about graphic design for the New York Times here.

Using Snapchat for news stories

This is a neat little example of Snapchat used as a news medium – it’s simple, and it has an unashamedly clear anti-gun stance, but I think it’s effective. Anyway, would love to know what you make of this (see gallery). It’s by the Now This News channel (nowthisnews).

Snapchat’s Discover channel features its media partners, and some of those aren’t great at snapchatting … yet. The Live section is the one I’m most curious about – Snapchat editors curate snaps from people attending an event into stories – they feature new live stories every day. It has amazing potential as a live reporting tool.

The Washington Post (washingtonpost) is *starting* to understand Snapchat’s tone – they’re using young reporters who create stories for the medium, rather than using some news organisations’ approach of just dumping existing web content there.

I’m guessing once legacy news outfits start using a medium that means it’s kinda over. So Snapchat might be totes passé for youngsters now. But I love its news and reporting potential, even if verification might be a little tricky.

It can be difficult finding news channels to follow – Snapchat’s search function is woeful. But here are some I’ve found that are worth watching (in some cases for what not to do). If you’re new to Snpachat, you add these channels by name. Easy peasy.

huffpost
instyle
mashable
newyorkermag
nowthisnews
nprnews
thisisfusion
washingtonpost

Finally, some nice clear instructions for anyone who’s not a practiced Snapchatter: https://medium.com/thoughts-on-journalism/how-to-stop-being-so-damn-uncomfortable-with-snapchat-a43311d6ddcf#.hd8h5l1gg

CC-licenced sounds

“FA-18 Hornet breaking sound barrier (7 July 1999) – filtered” by Ensign John Gay, U.S. Navy – This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID 990707-N-6483G-001 (next). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

A list of links for creative commons-licenced sound effects. Feel free to email more when you find them and I’ll post them here.

Juxtapose JS

The ABC's story about the destruction of the tsunami in Fukushima in 2011. Sliding the divider from right to left reveals the devastation of the Sendai district.
The ABC’s story about the destruction of the tsunami in Fukushima in 2011. Sliding the divider from right to left reveals the wave’s destruction of homes, buildimgs and crops in the Sendai district.

Another simple but beautiful tool from Knightlab at Northwestern University, Juxtapose JS allows you to create image comparisons, such as the scene of a news event before and after it occurs. Building a Juxtapose slider requires only before and after images (.jpgs or .gifs). A template for designing your slider is provided, and once your info is entered the program generates an embed code. Voila!

A similar tool was designed and coded by the ABC and used in an effective photo story about the disastrous impact of the tsunami on Fukushima in 2011.

Juxtapose JS

Tableau Public

Statistics showing Mayweather and Pacquaio's individual form before the big match in May. Hovering over different parts of the graphic prompts boxes to open that show stats for individual fights. Author: Dan Nguyen. (Click on the pic for a detailed interactive view.)
Statistics showing Mayweather and Pacquaio’s individual form before the big match in May. Hovering over different parts of the graphic prompts boxes to open that show stats for individual fights. Author: Dan Nguyen. (Click on the pic to go to the original for a detailed interactive view.)

Free software that turns data into visual stories.

https://public.tableau.com/s/

More examples of interactives built using Tableau:
Dan Nguyen’s gallery
Tableau gallery