Tinderbox Forum

Designing a video with Tinderbox

I daily use Tinderbox to take notes. But I also use it when I have to visualize some new projects. These are four screenshots of a recent work: a new trailer for my philosophy workshops : https://vimeo.com/229525580
Using Map View, I explore the way I could arrange pictures, sounds, texts and so on and I write my notes on small windows that I can easily shift from one place of my computer to another. With regard to this, watching my map on a big screen is a real pleasure for my eyes.

The Attribute Browser helps me take an analytical point of view on my work-in-process. Every tag is a keyword around which I can freely associate and the reading of my tags is very suggestive.

Finally, if a lot of work is achieved directly with another tool, this first shaping is very decisive since the click, the Eureka! comes from that primary work.


Wonderful - very informative and inspiring. I think the french map adds a certain je ne sais quoi, a cache, a… oh if only the french had the words for what I’m trying to say … :wink:

Merci a mille fois

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I agree that the demo map is wonderful, stylish, and evocative. Thanks!

And on this point:

One of my favorite aspects of living in Japan for several years came from Nihonjinron (日本人論), essentially “the science of Japaneseness.” A strong element was the idea that Japanese language conveyed nuances that could not be expressed as precisely in other tongues. I always found this delightful, in that the Japanese word for “nuance” is in fact nyuansu, which is pronounced like “nuance” with a U at the end, and is spelled out in the kana that usually denote a word borrowed from a foreign language ( ニュアンス). I once had a Japanese student say that he regretted that Western languages didn’t have a way to convey the meaning of nyuansu – for which, of course, English- and Japanese-speakers alike give thanks to the French!

As we do for this elegant map.

(And of course there are idioms in each language reflecting points hard to convey as pithily on other languages.)


Love the diversions into language. Borrowed Han characters to describe the “theory of Japaneseness.” Transliterated French to denote subtle shades of meaning. Excuse my French, but … c’est du Chinois pour moi!:slight_smile:

Thanks for this practical example of something very close to a “swim lane diagram.”

I’ve just posted a new short article on my blog about the way I use Tinderbox as a video designing tool, from some ideas written down on a piece of paper to the navigation guided by the Attribute Browser :

Two very different experiences whose each is finalized by the following: I write on paper thinking that I will elaborate my ideas into Tinderbox and I visualize my ideas with Map view in preparation for my video editing tool. Tinderbox is therefore at the heart of my work.

I’ve just downloaded a new video about some works I made and this is a screenshot of a map I was working on to achieve that: as you can see on this picture, there are several color codes I use in order to symbolize some elements of this video. For instance, blue stands for sounds and my materials for that work (pictures, drawings, writings, videos…) are disposed at the bottom of my map.

Before starting, I was wondering if there wouldn’t be some new app I could use to write that script. There are several I could work with, but not as flexible as Tinderbox to achieve my goal: thinking freely, in front of my screen, while associating and making connections between ideas, text and images. When I make bread, I use a starter and it has to be good. Tinderbox, for that work as for many others, was an excellent starter.


Wonderful video and map, @dominiquerenauld. Your work with Tinderbox and other forms is always evocative, delightful, and challenging. Thank you for posting.

Amen, times many.

The right tool for the niche task tends to come along when it’s (a) not a niche any more and (b) and there is consensus as to process. The worst utilities are those that ignore either/both (a) and (b).

Open-ended tools are a wonder we don’t teach enough to the wider audience.

Dear James Fallows,
One of my favorite aspects of living in Japan for several years came from Nihonjinron (日本人論), essentially “the science of Japaneseness

I read this article today, August 16, 2020, so it’s too late to ask a question
I would be happy to know the “original” author and original title of this “original” book.
Is it by any chance one of the books published by Harvard University?
Respectfully, WAKAMATSU Kunimitsu (from Japan)

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This would probably have been in my book ‘More Like Us,’ which came out while I was living in Japan, in 1989.

Thanks for your anecdote aboute “nuance” in Japanese. It reminded me of President George W. Bush’s famous statement that the problem with the French economywise was that they didn’t have a word for “entrepreneur” :wink:


Dear Mr. James Fallows,
Thank you for your Information.
One day I will read your book. I am afraid that hesitant to purchase your book at the moment, given the influence of Corona. Please forgive me. Thank you for being so understanding.
Respectfully, WAKAMATSU kunimitsu

Generally, now that you are with concept, video, as a linear visual medium, would suggest you begin to make the scenes and sequences.

Storyboarding. You can use index cards, a keynote presentation, or try this free software:

Delightful! I, in turn, am reminded of when an Italian commented to me that there was an Italian saying “all that glitters is not gold”. I was too surprised to observe that it was a quotation from Shakespeare. Though perhaps he got it from somewhere else …