Creativity is a lot of fun for those with that streak. Now add a pinch of learning to it. No, the mix doesn’t turn sour, in fact web apps and multimedia have combined to make learning not only creative but also fun. The result has been that these web apps appeal to the casual set and also those who want to make something serious out of it.
Creaza is a web based tool designed for learners and educators. But spend a few moments with it and you realize that Creaza has scope beyond that. All of it underlined with fun.
What if I gave you four tools that inspire creative, fun ideas – a mindmapper, a cartoon creator, a movie editor and an audio application and asked you to let loose your creativity. I am sure you could come up with a lot of creative and fun ideas. That’s the canvas Creaza gives you to play around with.
Creaza is a suite of four apps for making planning, creating and publishing digital content, or for the fun of it, let’s say digital stories. The four creative apps are :
Mindomo – Organize Your Thoughts
The first step for any creative process is the organization of thoughts or ideas. That’s why you need to start with a mind mapping tool. Mindomo is a Flash based mind mapper. Like any other mind mapping application, you start with a central idea and branch it out to associated ideas, linking them to each other with relationship connectors.
Mindomo is a simple but rich mind mapper which lets you add images, hyperlinks and symbols to beautifully render your thought process on screen. Like a versatile mind mapping utility, it lets you select from a variety of map style and layouts.
Cartoonist – Artwork for Your Thoughts
The hard work of putting your ideas into shape starts with the cartooning tool. Cartoonist is a simple tool with a very short learning curve. The first step lets you select your cartoon theme from the eight provided. For instance you can go for a Manga look or take the one which resembles the classic cartoons of the past. Each theme comes with its own characters, backgrounds and props.
Combine all the artwork in the cartoon editor. You can tell a whole story using sequential cartoon slides. Change the mood of the characters with a single click, change day into night, give the characters dialogues using speech bubbles or do a bit of freehand drawing – just some of the things your creativity can play around with.
The inbuilt player lets you playback the frame where each frame gets displayed for four seconds. You can print out the work or show it on the web.
AudioEditor – Sound Bytes for Your Thoughts
Podcasts have made listening to audio clips cool. The AudioEditor lets you do just that. Make your own audio clips, edit uploaded clips on the timeline or record sound and re-use it, the editor lets you do all that. The audio application also comes with a library of default clips and sound effects.
MovieEditor – Motion Clips for Your Thoughts
If a cartoon is not realistic enough for your story, move to the MovieEditor. The MovieEditor has the same feel and look as other online movie editors (except that it starts with two themes). The Library hold many default video clips as well your own uploaded bits, the Timeline where you drag film, sound, or music clips, as well as your still shots and arrange them into your final movie, and finally the Media Window is the inbuilt player to see how things are shaping up.
Sound effects and special effects have their place on the timeline. The provided media clips might not stretch your story, but the editor gives you the option of uploading your own.
Creaza gives us lots of flexibility to make our own multimedia shows. There are some limitations like the free membership on Creaza entitles us to only 25 MB of storage space for personal media files. But even that’s sufficient for publishing a few stories. The only minus is that the finished product can be shared through a URL – there’s no provision to export it as a finished Flash file.
The full version though opens up many more import and export options for the multimedia content and provides more themes.
Creaza is mostly geared as a teaching aid. The free tools make it easy to translate ideas through easier to understand multimedia presentations.
For instance, take a few cartoons or a video clip and put together a small show on global warming. The cartoon strips can be used to explain anything from eclipses to ethics.
The web application also seems to have collected some recognition for itself as a teaching aid. But its possibilities are limited only by the word we started our post with – creativity.
What uses can you put this tool to? Let us know in the comments.