Creative Tools for Ministry: Theotek Podcast #103

If you work on a website for your church or ministry or if you create images, videos or art for worship, then this podcast is for you. We talked about the creative tools that we use and what we think of Adobe’s recent update to their Creative Cloud suite. Plus watch the podcast to find out about alternatives if you don’t like the subscription model of paying for your creative apps.

If you’re interested in the new tools from Adobe, check out their website to learn more. We talked mainly about photography programs Lightroom and Photoshop since that’s what we use most. But the other apps got some love and they added a new subscription storage option.

Alternatives to Adobe Creative Tools for Ministry

luminar 2018

MacPhun does a great job with some of their new apps. They now offers something called Luminar 2018 and it works on both Mac and Windows. Luminar does Raw photo file editing. It has the advanced features of Photoshop and Lightroom built into Luminar. Pre-order for $60 or upgrade from $40. And for HDR tools check out MacPhun’s Aurora package. These are both great creative tools for ministry.

For iPad and Mac users Pixelmator does a nice job. They also will offer Pixelmator Pro which give you a single window interface and it does what it does really fast. It’s not as good at text and Lightroom may do a better job with some adjustments, but the app on iPad and on Mac is a great option.

apple final cut pro
Apple Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro from Apple is an expensive alternative. It’s a one time only fee, but the price is $300. However, that’s 6 months of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. It only runs on a Mac.

lumafusion for ipad
LumaFusion brings professional editing to the iPad and iPhone.

LumaFusion on iPad gives the user a great user interface, a powerful video editor and lets you edit with a finger. That gives me precision editing that I can’t get with my mouse. It includes a multi-track editing interface. You can have 3 tracks for video, audio and images. Then add 3 more audio tracks for things like voice overs or music.

Most people think of Camtasia as a screen recorder. It is, but it also allows for simple video editing with simple titles and call-outs. It’s great for creating videos of software.

On the audio editing side of things Adobe offers Adobe Audition. However, Ferrite is in iOS audio editor that we can use for some great audio projects.

For Windows and Mac, use the free and open source program called Audacity. It’s powerful and simple at the same time. The supporting community makes a lot of plug-ins.

On the Mac there’s Sound Studio by Felt Tip Software. It’s an excellent option for sound creative tools users.

Those who need to create websites might user Dreamweaver form Adobe. However, we mentioned a few alternatives for web design.

  • WordPress is a content management system and a web host, although you can self host using the files from WordPress.org.
  • Rapid Weaver for Mac is the most like Dreamweaver. It’s a piece of software on your Mac that creates websites.
  • Squarespace is like WordPress because it’s a content management system. You’ll have to use their servers as your host and it costs a little.

Our Favorite Things

We’ve got a few more recommendations. We always offer “Our Favorite Things” which are recommendations from the Theotek team. Here’s the list of Our Favorite Things.

Antoine visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. Here’s their own description of the museum.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

bbedit

People who need a great text editor for Mac will love BBedit. Mark Allison recommends it for text editing and for programming.

Rick didn’t recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 he got to test out Accordance Bible on Android because he hates the limitations of Android tablets and Samsung’s launcher. Samsung puts an overlay on top of Android called TouchWiz on his tablet and now it’s called Samsung Experience on their latest phones. Since he does a lot of the training for Accordance, he wanted to share his screen to record help videos for their new Accordance Android app. Samsung doesn’t let you connect an HDMI adapter like other devices. So he found a tool called AirServer Connect in the Google Play Store that lets him share the screen to Reflector. It tricks Reflector into thinking the Android device is an iPad or iPhone. Reflector tricks the device into thinking your computer’s an Apple TV. There’s also a version for iOS and on the Amazon App Store.

Wes decided to “waste time” with his pic. He chose the Stranger Things video game based on the hit Netflix Original series that recently released in season two. It’s a fun time waster on Android and iOS.

kindle fire 10

My pick this week was the new Kindle Fire. I got the 10-inch version, but they offer an 7 and 8 inch mode. It’s faster than the earlier version and seriously fun. You can also install the Google Play Store with some tricks found here. The 10-inch starts at $150 but you can get the 7-inch for only $50 and the 8-inch for $80. They have a durable 7-inch version for kids that starts at $100 and comes with a 2-year warranty that lets you replace it even if the kid drops and breaks the screen. I really love mine.