Archive for September, 2006

Experimentation with Captivate

While Adobe Breeze produces neat movies that are easily converted from Powerpoint presentations made animation rich with slide animation builds, it packages it into a bulky sets of flash folders with audio and images. Plus, you don’t have the option of packaging Breeze without the player features. I hoped that I could find a quick and cheap way of making sophisticated Flash-like animation without  programming action scripting in Flash. However, I discovered that you can’t separate the content from things created for Breeze from the player. (If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know).

However, I still felt that there was a way to create audio enabled swf’s for posting to the web without the pain of actionscripting. Here’s where I did my best to harness all creative powers to avoid actionscripting in Flash. I can do it, but considering the lack of time for programming and troubleshooting code, I kept going forward.

My next step was to try using Captivate to create slide shows with simple animation. The one drawback to using Captivate is that you don’t have as many creative options (transitions, appearances/exits for objects) as you do with Powerpoint/Breeze. The result of my efforts was a rudimentary slide movie with audio. Essentially, I discovered that ‘you get what you pay for’ when it comes to using shortcuts to create Flash movies. The overall quality is mediocre at best, but on the other hand it get’s the job done for simple content and in a pinch.

I believe that the method for creating animation I described above can be used by developers with limited Flash skills in order to get simple presentations or animations out in in a Flash format.  The can also be used by the same developers when the use of the Breeze Player is not appropriate. I’ve outlined the pros and cons for using Captivate to create movies.

Using Captivate to create audio enabled movies

Pros Cons
Easy to insert or import audio directly to slides Have little control over audio quality. Suggest recording and editing in Audacity, then importing
Animation- Can do simple appearance, exits of objects Animation- is limited to appearance,exit, and pre-made Captivate text and highlight animation
Relatively easy to create and package Output not as sophisticated (customized) as Flash

I’m currently in the process of purchasing a domain address to house all flash movies, audio and other media files. However, I’ve temporarily linked the finished .swf to the image here.

Click the image to view the Flash movie (new browser window will open).



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