The candle wax trick

Do you know how to use candle wax when creating mobile concept videos?

Here's a concept about multitasking, clipboards and off-screen touch surfaces that Emmy and I created once. (Yes, the multitasking and touch surface ideas were inspired by Palm Pre.) We wrapped it up as a cute story about a person with a husky voice sending a birthday email to a friend. Like many old TAT videos, this one was made by synching hand movements to a video playing on the device. This is by the fastest way to make a user interface concept look real. 

So why did we use candle wax?

If you touch the screen of a mobile device playing a video, you bring up the playback controls on top of the animated visuals. However, with some candle wax on your finger, it’s possible to fake input gestures without wrecking the illusion. Then it’s just a matter of practicing the gesture timing, which sometimes can be tricky without revealing the candle wax. If you look closely, you can actually see some candle wax on my finger tip in this video.

Nowadays, there are more convenient ways to disable touch input while playing videos, such as using Guided Access on iOS or a Touch Lock app for Android.