It allows for the most creative control!
Here’s a brief overview of it:
If you take the best of Bitstrips, add in animals, add in more flexibility to the physical control of your characters and add in the ability to upload your own photos, you’ve got Pixton. Just like Bitstrips, Pixton has teacher accounts where teachers can host virtual classrooms from where they can evaluate and comment on their students’ works.
When I first started using it, I did not think much of it because the free account does not allow you to create your own characters or let you upload your own pics. It is possible to set up a free 30 day trial but only if you can prove that you are a teacher. Otherwise, you would have to pay to use the more advanced features of Pixton called the Pixton+ features.
I started making a comic with the basic Pixton and the first thing I noticed was the maneuverability of my characters. I could make them get into any position. I could also make them have lots of different facial expressions. I wanted to do a fight scene since I was not able to do that with ToonDoo and StoryJumper, here is my comic:
I chose “city” for the background but found the color scheme too strong, so in the succeeding panels, I played around with different background colors to make my characters stick out more. You can tell by the way I manipulated my characters, that Pixton is super flexible. (Notice how even the tie moves).
Since I was not able to use it, I wondered how flexible their comic creator is. Here is a video that shows how someone can create Homer Simpson. It is not exactly Homer Simpson, but it does look very similar to him. Their character creation engine is very flexible. It would be possible to create a character who looked a lot like me or whomever I would want him to look like.
What else surprised me, is that it only took me about 20 minutes to create the above. Their engine is very easy to use. There was a stronger learning curve in ToonDoo and Bitstrips.
Then, I browsed through their user submitted comic database and came onto this gem:
Notice the amount of detail in each picture. This could not be achieved with other story creators. It is clear that you can upload your own images and that there have to be paint tools to create the effects of the wand and the purple hole. Unfortunately, the basic Pixton comic creator does not have these options. I looked into this and found that the Pixton+ account not only does all that I suspected, but it also allows you to make your own props and share those props with other Pixton+ users. That should mean that there are more props than in Bitstrips. You can also cut out the exact shapes you want from custom images, that means facepics are possible.
As I found all this out, for a second there I was almost at the point of getting out my credit card and paying for an account. It was very fun for me to create my comic, if I had more customization options it would have been even more fun. Students should really enjoy using this creator because they can tell any story that they want. They have creative control.
Pixton costs about $1 per student per two months (and less if you sign up for a longer period). It is a little more expensive than Bitstrips. However, if you are willing to pay $10/month for Bitstrips, might as well pay $15/month for a program that is better.
So let’s take a look at what other teachers have to say about Pixton:
According to this blog, you can even record a voice track over the speech bubbles. Having voiceovers in comic strips is huge. I mean not only are you making stories and typing out dialogues and contexts, but you are also working on your pronunciation as you are recording voiceovers. As a teacher, it would be interesting for me to listen to the students’ pronunciation as I’m reading their comics.
This teacher finds Pixton to be easy to use and extremely customizable. Big surprise there!
Here is a theme based comic strip that one of her student’s submitted:
This comic illustrates the kind of class content related comic strips that students can create.
So far, I think that Pixton is the best comic/story creator out there. Let’s see what happens when I google Pixton vs Bitstrips.
On this blog, a teacher looks at a bunch of comic creators (Bitstrips, ToonDoo and Pixton included), she makes ToonDoo the number one choice and Bitstrips, the number two choice. She does not rank Pixton. Let’s see what she says about Pixton.
When it comes to Pixton, she did not pay for it and only tried the basic version. She says that Pixton offers the most customizability out of all of the comic creators that she has tired. However, she thinks that this is a bad thing. She says that students can be “distracted and overwhelmed.” I find it very strange that she says that and then makes Bitstrips the number two choice. Bitstrips is extremely customizable and if that is a bad thing, then Bitstrips should not be her second choice. Also, I’ve used all three and I was the least “overwhelmed” with Pixton. I personally think that Pixton has the best interface out of the three. She never actually tried Pixton in the class, she just gives her opinion, but her opinion seems a bit dubious.
She made ToonDoo the number one choice. She says that it is the best one and easiest to use. I read some other reviews and realized that this teacher never paid for any of her comic creators. She is not comparing the bought versions of all of these comic creators, but rather the free versions. That puts a whole different angle to her reviews, and I would much rather read the opinion of someone who used the fully licensed versions of all three programs.
I googled some more, but I could not find a teacher giving their opinion after using a licenced version of Bitstrips/ToonDoo and Pixton.
However, I did find something interesting. Pixton has a bunch of user submitted comic strips on their website where the theme is that Pixton is better than Bitstrips. For example, here, someone made a joke about Bistrips and in the comments section, other members agree. Even on the Bitstrips website, some users posted comics that talk about how Pixton is better than Bitstrips. Here is an example. Wow!
So I think that pretty much confirms that Pixton is better than Bitstrips. Pixton has everything that any other comic creator (that I reviewed) offers and more. I will buy the Pixton+ account sometime in the future and that, I promise!