Unveiling Impressionist: A 3D visual editor for creating impress.js presentations

It's been a while since the last time I blogged about impress.js. That's because after I completed adding a batch of long outstanding feature requests and pull requests, I felt somewhat content with the status of my impress.js fork.

(My fork of) impress.js contains several things that make authoring presentations easier: The Relative Positioning plugin makes author's lives easier as they work on the layout, and Markdown support speeds up the writing experience by allowing to skip writing HTML altogether. But these were still only steps that make life easier for advanced users, that know HTML and Markdown.

For the last half year, I therefore shifted focus to create an easy to use GUI editor for creating impressive 3D presentations. Something for the masses. Today I've come far enough that it's time to unveil the results of this work: Impressionist.

I know there already exists some GUI tools for creating impress.js presentations, but I felt all of them were rather incomplete. For example, I tried one that could only embed images from external URLs, it didn't support actually uploading an image into itself. Most importantly, all of the existing tools simply allow you to layout slides on a 2D canvas. I wanted the exact opposite. I wanted a tool that would help me truly explore the opportunities of presentations in a 3D space. In fact, my latest impress.js blog post on 3D rotations was actually a milestone in the creation of Impressionist, even if I didn't want to reveal it at the time! I'm quite proud of that one, I've never seen such an elaborate use of 3D space in any impress.js presentation before :-)

Finally, a strong principle for me when using presentation tools is that they have to work without network connection. A website like prezi.com or whatever, is not acceptable to me. Wifi service at large conferences famously never works, and also when traveling at customers I'm usually abroad, and can't use 3G due to expensive roaming. So I wanted an impress.js editor that I can install on my own laptop, and requires no network connectivity.

As for what it looks like, it's kind of hard to do justice with text. So I created a pair of Youtube videos instead!

First is shorter with some nice Creative Commons licensed music:

The second is more thorough with narrative:

To understand how to better do marketing in the future, which one of the videos do you think is better?

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