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projects on macWith summer still way off and spring only just poking its head out, there’s still time to get some creative juices flowing while stuck in front of your computer. If you still haven’t done anything with last year’s video footage and photographs, here are 4 creative projects you can do on your Mac (or on the Internet), mostly for free.

iMovie Trailers

Jeffry wrote a full tutorial on how to make your own trailer-style movie How To Compile Your Holiday Videos Into A Cool Movie Trailer With iMovie [Mac] How To Compile Your Holiday Videos Into A Cool Movie Trailer With iMovie [Mac] You have lots of short videos from your weekend vacation and you want to compile and share the clips. But you have barely had the time to do it. What can you do? Well, if you... Read More in the newest Apple iMovie so I won’t repeat him here – but here’s one I made earlier:

Okay, so my wife certainly isn’t going to win any Oscars for her performance, but that squirrel was pretty talented and the Prince Charming type character was rather stunning too. It really couldn’t be easier to put together. Just fill in the form with movie details, then click the clip space you want to fill (taking note of  the helpful director cues like “action” or “wide“). Click on the start of the video clip you want to use there, and the appropriate length clip will be placed into the movie.

projects on mac

Photobooks With iPhoto

Photo printing services offer a lot of novelty printouts nowadays, but no one does them quite as well as Apple (and affordable too) – a large, 20 page hardcover book for just $30 can be a really great present or something impressive for the coffee table.

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To start a new book, it’s easiest to begin by gathering together all the photos you want to use into a new album. From the album page, hit create -> book in the bottom right, and your photos will automatically be added to the project.

creative projects mac

Choose the size, style and color scheme:

creative projects mac

There’s an autoflow button that will automatically put all your photos onto pages, but designing the flow yourself is much more satisfying. You can change the page layouts to allow for more photos, and if your photos are sufficiently high resolution then you might even want to try the double page spread.

creative projects mac

If your photo is too low resolution, iPhoto will put a little warning triangle next to it that explains that the printout won’t be as good quality as it could be.

iPhoto can also be used to create fantastic slideshows, calendars, and great quality cards – but personally I think the books are the best project and the final product really is professional quality (though the same might not be said of the actual photos!).

Make a Comic With Comic Life 2

This is a commercial product, but there’s a 30 day trial and they recently relaunched with version 2 of the app, so I decided to revisit it. You can download the trial from plasq.com

There’s a variety of styles built in, but you can also start from a blank page if you like.

things to do on mac when bored

Creating your comic is as simple as dragging in photos and creating text bubbles.

things to do on mac when bored

If you have children, creating comics for the refrigerator or school is a really fun project to encourage creative thinking.

Stupeflix Videos (Internet)

Let’s start with the finished product first. This is what I came up in about 15 minutes:

iMovie trailers are great quality projects, but sadly the selection of movie and trailer styles is limited – there’s no additional packs to buy or download. So I turned to online quick video editor and site Stupeflix. Your first video is free – meaning you get 1 HD video download token. You can make as many movies as you like, but they’ll only be available to download in SD resolution. For unlimited HD downloads, you need to purchase more tokens – but if you’re planning a one-off project (or have a few email addresses to sign up with), there’s a good selection of styles and it’s incredibly easy to put something together.

Personally, I opted for the vintage “1901” style video, which gives all your movie clips a slightly sped-up silent-movie treatment. You can change the music too, but I kept it at default.

The interface is really simple. Once you’ve uploaded a bunch of movie clips (40MB maximum), you can even edit the clip online with simple cropping (you even reverse the clip).

things to do on mac when bored

Add title slides and pictures from the […] button in the top left.

Finally, arrange your clips and titles. Transitions are also adjustable, but the default is fine for this style I think.

The preview takes about 10 seconds to prepare, but considering this is all done online I’m really impressed with how smoothly it all works.

Other Ideas

Videos, comics or books not your thing? If you’re looking for a project but nothing specific in mind, check out the top graphics and design apps in the Mac Store. My personal favourite at the moment is Live Interior 3D, which makes laying out rooms (an obsession of mine) really easy.

projects on mac

Are they any other creative projects you like to do on your Mac? If you’ve made any videos, why not share them in the comments – I’d love to see what you’ve come up with. Do you have any recommendations for other creative projects to do on your Mac?

  1. Aron Zygo
    June 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I have another suggestion for a smaller project , something that can be completed in 5-10 minutes.

    Try a write short graphic micro blog , using http://www.debate365.com. or use ComicPress for a more elaborate graphic blog( for comicpress you will need to go through several days learning curve, though)

    • muotechguy
      June 28, 2012 at 7:53 am

      Thanks for the tip , Aron, though I've got to be honest when I say that site is incredibly amateur looking. The forced use of a cursive font on every graphic makes them literally impossible to read; which is a shame, because they might be quick funny otherwise! I think a meme generator might be better: http://memegenerator.net/create/generator

      • Aron Zygo
        June 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm

        You are right about the amateur look of the site, but I am OK with the font.

        memgenerator is a good suggestion, I will explore that as well, thanks

  2. swayaminfotech
    March 12, 2012 at 4:42 am

    With summer still way off and spring only just poking its head out,

  3. Anne
    March 12, 2012 at 2:05 am

    These are all great ideas for student projects. I particularly like the Stupeflix project because it would be easy to put short bursts of video from a phone together. Thanks!

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