Posting a Video to Instagram

So look what I figured out this morning. 

I am sure I have mentioned before, that Instagram is not exactly my jam. I have been busy focusing my energies learning other things like learning WordPress, Illustrator and Photoshop. But because Instagram is a staple platform in the art world, I have decided to dive on in. 

I am not like most folks who have taken to the platform like fish to water. I have watched how people’s followings have grown or how other’s lay lifeless. So far, I haven’t been too active on Instagram mainly because I can’t seem to find the “secret sauce”.  But this year, I have vowed to change this. Honestly, this has been quite a steep learning curve for me. 

From a ton of researching and figuring out how to do online stuff, I am aware how important video is on Instagram these days. Let’s be honest, I am not at the video stage yet. I hate being on camera. I am more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person. 

But what I have discovered is time lapse videos. The beauty with time lapse videos is that you get the movement that Instagram loves but no one has to see the weird awkwardness of my face on camera. Agreed, it is not exactly personal but it gets my artwork into the online world and gives me something different to post. 

Both Adobe Draw and Adobe Fresco have the option to do a time lapse video. And in fact, these apps just automatically does them for you whether you set it up to do so or not which kind of blows my mind. That means that all my drawing done in these apps over the year has a time lapse video hidden in the document. Cool discovery! I just needed to tap into it and export the video.

Alas, nothing is as straightforward as it seems. I thought I would give you the process, so that you can do the same thing, instead of trying to figure it out for yourself. Also by writing this out, I am hoping it will stay in my brain longer or, at least, I will have a written process that I can refer to in the future.

Anyways, for those who have an iPad with the Adobe Draw or Adobe Fresco plus a Mac laptop. Here’s how I have discovered it works. I fully acknowledge there might be an easier way to go about this but, so far, this is how I made it work. If I discover a different way, I will be sure to let you know. (As I am a Mac girl through and through, I, unfortunately, can’t help you with a PC version. Sorry.)

First, you create your lovely piece of artwork in one of the apps. Once you are happy with your work, in Adobe Fresco, you can simply go to “Publish & Export” to make the time lapse video. Airdrop makes it easy for you to get this file to your Mac.

Fortunately, no matter how long it takes you to draw the artwork, the video is condensed. My drawing took over an hour to create in real time, but because the app only records the steps, my video was only 15 seconds, perfect for Instagram. 

Here’s the little video that was causing all the complications.

Now, Adobe Fresco, creates an mp4 file of this time lapse video, however, Adobe Draw does not. Just to complicate matters as nothing ever seems to be easy, Adobe Draw, makes an m4v file and Instagram prefers under 60 second videos in mp4 file format. This means you need to add another step to work this out if you use Adobe Draw. 

Once you airdrop your file to your Mac computer you can use iMovie to save the m4v file to an mp4 file. Either way, iMovie, a standard program on any Mac, can be used to edit your time lapse video. 

I bet, there are lots of wonderful apps out there to edit your video but I didn’t want to go down that particular rabbit hole trying to find one. But if your file can stay on your iPad and be converted to an mp4 file, it will be a bit easier and you can omit this little bit.

Once your video is edited to the way you like in iMovie, you will need to get the mp4 file back to your iPad, since you cannot post to Instagram from your computer. That would be way too easy. 

Also, just a little FYI, if you happen to use the free version of to schedule your Instagram posts, you cannot post videos to Instagram. With the paid version, you can, but I don’t want to pay for it just yet.

I thought it would be super easy to post directly from Adobe Draw and Adobe Fresco as there is a button for Instagram from the export, but again, so not easy. If you click on this Instagram button, it gives you a little message “Open the Instagram app and log in to share this post. OK” 

When you go to your Instagram app it just drops you. It is super difficult to find the artwork file you just created in Draw or Fresco. Maybe my settings are off but I could not find my artwork file anywhere. Not sure where it goes.

So, I needed to discover a work around to all these little snaffoos, and here’s how I made it work. 

The object of the game is to get your mp4 file into your iPad’s Camera Roll, whether you migrated to your computer to edit or if it stayed on your iPad using a video editing app. (I didn’t use a video app, so I can’t speak to this particular part of the process.) 

Remember, I had my mp4 file on my computer from my iMovie editing, so this is what I did.

I needed to tweak my airdrop settings “Allow me to be discovered by:” in both my computer & my iPad from “Contacts Only” to “Everyone”. For my computer, I needed to go into Finder for the Airdrop. For my ipad, I needed to go into my Control Centre (swipe down from the top right hand corner to pull up the Control Centre) where I found the airdrop icon.

This makes your iPad show up in the airdrop space of your computer. Then, all you need to do is drop and drag your mp4 file from a secondary Finder window on your computer onto the iPad icon in airdrop. 

This puts the file into your “Recents” folder of your Camera Roll which you can access through Instagram to post. 

Just to recap, since my way was a little convoluted, the process is actually kind of simple…

  1. Create artwork in Adobe Draw or Adobe Fresco
  2. Export a time lapse video 
  3. Convert to mp4 file
  4. Get the mp4 file into your Camera Roll’s “Recent” folder on your iOS device
  5. Post from Instagrams “Recent” folder

Done! Whew, that sure was a lot of running around and figuring out but I managed to post my time lapse video to Instagram. Yeah me! Now onto posting this to my blog & then onto other arty things.