The 2017 upgrade to Adobe Captivate Prime Provides an Amazing Experience

We’re continuing our quest to redefine the LMS with the latest update to Adobe Captivate Prime. If you haven’t tried Prime yet, now is the time to jump in and explore. The latest updates are amazing, and I’ve had a wonderful time sharing them with people through the new videos and via face to face demonstrations and early previews.

What has me so excited? Let me break it down.

Learner Dashboard of Adobe Captivate Prime
#1 – The learner experience is flat out sensational

The headlights dashboard is the clear headline. Big round interactive infographics show you which courses are overdue, nearing deadlines and in good standing. A single click calls the relevant courses to the top of the list instantly – making it crazy simple to find the things you should be working on. The other infographic displays your assigned certifications, learning programs and courses. Think of it as a compliance driving wheel. The same interactive selection and sorting are available there.

The Skills Dashboard for learners in Adobe Captivate Prime

The skill dashboard is flat out fantastic. You can easily see the skills your organizational leadership wants you to learn about. Click any one of them to learn all about it. You can explore to see all of the courses that are available to earn that skill, and you can even compare your assigned skill set to the skills of your peers and your leaders – making it an ideal way to better understand how training might impact your career.

Adobe Captivate Prime’s new learner dashboard kicks things off with a sleek new mobile friendly appearance that is totally flexible. You can drag and drop the on-screen widgets to your favorite positions to get the layout that works for you.

Use images and graphics to spice up the user experience for your Learners

The course browsing experience is enhanced with beautiful new photographic images to augment the smart cards. Courses in catalogs can be separated and filtered – making it easier than ever to find what you need. Lending power to your quest is the enhanced search feature. You can search from anywhere and smart filters make the job even more powerful. My favorite new search filter allows you to search your own course notes – to easily recall materials that you left notes on.

#2 One Player to Rule them All – No plugins required!

The fluidic player continues to revolutionize the LMS experience, with support for Word Docs, Acrobat PDFs, PowerPoint, Videos of virtually every ilk and eLearning in AICC, SCORM and xAPI formats. The player makes it possible to blend your learning with support for online learning, virtual classrooms, live face to face training and external activities.

#3 Adobe Captivate Prime is Easy, Automated, and Fun (yes, really)

You can roll out a learning program in under 90 minutes and get to virtually anything in 3 clicks or less. The automation means that you can make the system do those mundane chores for you so you don’t have to fiddle with enrollment for new hires, transfers, relocations or promotions.  You can even automate based on course completions.

The leaderboard and badges help provide motivation and reassurance that the work you are doing is contributing toward your goals and the goals of your organization. The competitive perspective increases engagement and enhances the sense of accomplishment – recognizing the mastery of your learners.

#4 Mobile, just like you

This update adds smartphone support, so now learners can access and use the mobile app for Android or IOS. That means that you can download courses and content onto your mobile phone or tablet and even complete the course or learning program while you are offline. The network smart resyncing will pick back up as soon as your device rediscovers a network – the data will report to the LMS.

#5 Easily extendible

Support for Multi-Tenancy – or many departments, brands, divisions or groups across your organization means that you can set up Adobe Captivate Prime to cover all of your learners and share content, reporting and even licenses across all of those groups. It even handles both internal and external users. Adobe Captivate Prime is flexible enough to meet the needs of the biggest enterprise solutions, and simple enough to work brilliantly even for small businesses.

Sound off below with your own reactions – I’d love to hear how others are finding the new Captivate Prime.

Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) : Smart, Fast & Incredibly Flexible

The latest update to Adobe Captivate, Adobe’s industry leading eLearning authoring tool is packed with solid enhancements that will make virtually any eLearning developer smile, and the team at Adobe brings home another marvel – incredible levels of intuition and automation when it comes to creating fully responsive content for mobile devices.

Adobe is revolutionizing eLearning authoring again with the introduction of Fluid Boxes, a technology that  makes creating eLearning for desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones easier than ever. So what exactly does that mean?

Screen sizes differ. Screen orientations differ. It can be pretty challenging to make the same content fit well and remain interactive and retain its value as training when that content must appear on landscape and portrait oriented pages, realigned and scaled for everything from desktops to smart phones. The 2017 release of Adobe Captivate takes two giant leaps forward in automating this process.

First, it introduces the automated conversion of previously authored courses by adding a ‘Save as responsive’ option, along with a smart sense about screen layout that will anticipate the layouts that are most likely to rearrange well across devices.

Second, it adds a new solution for automatic reconfiguration of screens called Fluid Boxes. To understand Fluid Boxes, you need to first imagine the various items on the screen are each contained in a virtual rectangle. As the screen size changes, the boxes will intelligently rearrange, remove, realign and resize themselves in order to accommodate the different screen sizes and orientations. The Captivate team has taken this even farther, by enabling some elements to maintain static relationships within any box, and other elements to dynamically stretch, scale and rearrange within any given box.

One of my favorite new features – is that you can now preview all of the changes caused by changes to the scale and orientation, live right in the authoring environment. That means that you can simply drag the scale slider at the top of the stage, and watch as the layout you have specified, changes and scales, rearranges and transforms for the varied screen sizes and orientations.

You can also now use the device specific preview menu to rapidly sample the appearance across a wide range of devices. You can even create your own additional device sizes and add them to the list for quick and easy reference to whatever kind of devices you are using.

As you change the scale, you’ll notice right away that text now scales very smoothly from larger to smaller sizes across the various screens. You have more control of this than ever with minimum size limits in the property inspector. You can also tie the size of text elements on the screen together, so that your fonts remain same-sized (or relative same sized) across the entire page, even while scaling. You’ll also find that some of the problems of text overflow have been solved for you by dynamically enabling ‘more’ text within smaller interfaces. The new Adobe Captivate actually lets you lock the size of a text block, and if the text overflows that limit, it will give the learner a ‘more’ button that they can use to see all of the text on an overlay.

Adobe TypeKit in Browser

An image of Adobe TypeKit running in a browser.

 

Fonts play a big part in Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) as Adobe TypeKit integration is introduced to Adobe Captivate. This means that now course authors can use all of those gorgeous fonts without fear that they will be lost in the void of the Internet. If you’ve authored courses for HTML5, one of your frustrations is no doubt that you have essentially been limited to 5 basic web safe fonts. No fancy curls or beautiful serifs. All that changes with the introduction of Adobe Captivate 2017 integration with Adobe TypeKit.

Course authors only have to point to the fonts in their TypeKit library to share the joy of hundreds of amazing fonts with their learners, delivering a consistent learning experience.

Configure CC in Captivate

Captivate has always been about customization – it is the sort of thing that becomes really important when your boss or a client wants something changed and your tool doesn’t allow you to do it. That’s why the enhancements to closed captions in Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) have clearly reset the standards for the industry. Now you can fully format those captions, place them anywhere on the screen, customize the colors, fonts, backgrounds, alignment and more. All fully responsive, the new closed caption editing controls are nothing short of fantastic.

Asset Libraries are the toy in my cereal box, and Adobe Captivate now comes stocked with more than 75,000 assets that you can use to go nuts with including games, images, characters, templates, themes and more. These are premium assets from the eLearning Brothers collection of more than a million incredible resources, and they will give any project a jump start. If that isn’t enough, you can easily jump over to the eLearning Brothers site and grab the other million assets to make your library complete.

If you are an advanced user, there is something fantastic in the 2017 Release of Adobe Captivate for you too. Combine Conditional and Standard Advanced actions, and LOOP! Yes, really. Now you can create a ‘while’ loop in your conditional advanced actions. Combined with object states you could create perpetual motion cycling through a set of different states, or you could use it to check for a change in a variable, even monitor a network status.

While you’re tinkering with animation, check out the new group animation ability. Now you can animate groups, in addition to animating individual objects. I was easily able to concoct a propeller from smart shapes and get it grouped and spinning around a center hub. Group based animation should ease the process of creating more complex animated elements in your learning projects.

There are a number of additional fixes, enhancements and benefits packed into the 2017 update to Adobe Captivate. There is a cool enhancement to application capture that lets mobile users swipe and pinch the screen for a better view on mobile responsive projects, and editable states on master slides.

Get your own copy of Adobe Captivate 2017 right now, simply by downloading the trial right here. If you are a Captivate subscriber, the trial will automatically activate with your Adobe ID. Best of all, you can leave your copy of Captivate 9 on your machine in case you need to use both for a while. If you are not yet a subscriber, consider subscribing to the service – at @$29.99/mo US, its a great way to get the updates – even a full version update like this one at no additional expense. Of course you can still purchase a perpetual license if you prefer.

Secrets of Video Demo Timeline (cpvc project)

Intro

In a first article about timelines, I described the common features: timeline ruler, playhead, eye button, lock button, control panel and the tiny icons at the bottom of the second column of the Timeline panel. This post will explain the more specific features of the Timeline panel in a Video Demo project (cpvc file).

The other posts are for cptx projects:

There will be a bonus article for those who want more: color coding and shortcut keys for the Timelines.

Timeline in a CPVC or Video Demo Project

CPVC-files are created with the Video Demo application packed with Captivate. Those projects are pure video files, they can only be published to a video format (MP4 – H264 codec).  It has a dedicated video editor, which has some panels similar to those in a cptx-project. One of those panels is the Timeline panel, which is not hidden when entering the Video editor, contrary to the newbie UI for cptx-projects.. Here is a screenshot of a typical timeline of a video demo in the Video editor:

CPVCTimeline1

Similar to other video applications, you’ll see one continuous timeline for the whole movie. I will use the word ‘track’ for each horizontal line in the Timeline panel. Immediately after creating a video demo only one track will be visible in the panel, the bottom track labeled as ‘Video/Audio’. This label is automatically attributed to the first track.

The bottom track in the screenshot pointed at with the name ‘Video/Audio’ because contrary to a cptx project, the audio has no separate timeline, but is included in the video track. Another difference is that the bottom track can have several video clips. In the screenshot you see two full video clips and the start of a third clip.

The video clips can be in sequence (clip 1 and 2) without a gap, or separated by one or more static objects. Clip 2 and 3 have a text and an image inserted between them. Those objects were added manually, and they appear in new tracks. Only non-interactive, static objects can be added to a video demo. Similar to the multiple video clips for the Video/Audio track, the other tracks can have multiple objects (which is not possible in a cptx project). New tracks are only added when necessary, when two or more objects overlap in time. In the screenshot you see multiple objects in three tracks. This explains the generic name ‘Objects’ for the tracks (first column). The names of the tracks cannot be changed, customized which is another difference with the object/style timelines in a cptx project. The Properties panel has not field ‘Name’.

Due to the possible presence of multiple items on a track, clicking a dot linked to the Eye and Lock button will affect all the objects on that track. It is not possible to lock or hide one object timeline (or one video clip). That is another big difference with the Timeline in cptx projects.

More specific features are:

  •  Just below the time ruler in seconds, you’ll see diamond icons (and a half icon at the start). Those diamonds indicate the start/end of a video clip. Their color is grey by default. You can click such a diamond, and the color will be green. You can add a transition from the Video Effects panel that will appear automatically in the right docking station.After adding a transition the diamond’s color changes to orange. You can add a transition to the start of the first clip, hence the half-diamond appearing at the start of the Video/Audio Track.
    Diamonds

 

 

  • The orange In/out markers are the same vertical position as the playhead. You’ll find them at the beginning and the end of the Video/audio track. If you want to focus on one video clip, you can drag the In marker to the start of that video clip, and the Out marker to its end. When you use the Play button from the Control panel (or the shortcut key Space bar), the playhead will move only within that video clip. You can also use the Trim command to delete the darkened part by dragging the In/Out markers. If I did that for the situation in this screenshot, only the second video clip would be preserved
    InOut
  • In the Pan/Zoom status (which is the default status of the timeline, visible in the Screenshot images so far) the track with the video clips can have Zoom indicators (loupe icon). They appear when you add a zoom and/or pan effect. The duration of the zoom/pan transition is visualized by the width of the shadow triangle before the zoom indicator.
    In this Pan/zoom status you’ll find under the timeline tracks the buttons ‘Split’, ‘Pan and Zoom’ and ‘Trim’ to be active.
  • The second status, Mouse status can be made active with Edit, Edit Mouse points (use the same work flow to return to the Pan/Zoom status). The ‘Pan and Zoom’ button will be dimmed, inactive but ‘Split’ and ‘Trim’ buttons remain available. In this status the start of mouse trails are visible on the video/audio track as mouse icons(screenshot below): you can select them individually and edit or delete the mouse object.
    CPVCTimeline2
  • To trim away part of a video clip, you have to position the playhead near the location that you want to delete. When clicking the Trim button two black triangles, the Trim markers (In and Out) will appear. The gap between them will be greyed out and will be deleted when you click on the Trim button again. You can drag both Trim In and Trim out markers to select precisely the part to be trimmed. You’ll end up after the trim action with two video clips, and a transition point (diamond marker) separating them.

Trim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color codes?
The objects in the CPVC timeline have no real color coding (for cptx projects, this will be explained in a later blog post): everything is blue, the Video/Audio track is bit different but still blue. A selected video clip or object will be in a more saturated blue.

CPVC or Video Demo slide

You can embed a Video Demo in a normal cptx-project. This can be done either by recording directly from within the cptx-project with the big button, Slides, Video Demo or by inserting an exisiting (raw) cpvc project using the menu Insert, CPVC-slide. The look of such a slide, in the filmstrip and in the Timeline panel is identical to the look of the (old) FMR-slides (Full Motion Recording) that are created in a software simulation for movements that cannot be captured in static slides (like dragging, moving objects). The only way to recognize a cpvc slide is by the presence of the button ‘Edit Video Demo’ in the Properties panel.

cpvcslide

Next post?

Soon I’ll publish a longer article about the ins and outs of the Timeline(s) in a cptx-project: master slides, normal slides, effects….

The Captivate 9.0.2 Update adds insane speed and performance enhancements

I have been working for a while now with the Adobe Captivate engineering team and several customers on a project that should be nicknamed, Project Light Speed. This is a project that normally wouldn’t garner much focus, because the focus of the project was to optimize performance of the Captivate Projects playback on mobile devices, […]

New Drag and Drop Templates Added to Adobe Captivate 9 Assets Library

Guest Blog by: Thomas Reyes-Cairo, Community Manager at eLearning Brothers The drag and drop interaction is often a stalwart staple of standard eLearning courses everywhere. And why wouldn’t it be? It provides an opportunity for your learner to visually make associations about everything from terms and definitions to steps in a process. We think Adobe […]

3 New Knowledge Check Interaction Templates now available!

Guest Blog by: Thomas Reyes-Cairo, Community Manager at eLearning Brothers Adobe Captivate 9 is filled to the brim with amazing functionalities, all of which pool together to make intuitive eLearning courses. Some of the great, commonly-used features include Advanced Actions (and the perhaps lesser-known Shared Advanced Actions) and variables. We’re always excited to dive into […]

New geolocation enabled scenario and interaction templates added to Adobe Captivate assets

Guest Blog by: Thomas Reyes-Cairo, Community Manager at eLearning Brothers International audiences have been on our minds a lot recently. In addition to the recent update of over 20,000 new international cutout people to the Asset Store, we’ve taken an interest in the geolocation features of Captivate 9 for our templates. First introduced with Captivate […]

Advanced Search Options and New Games added to Captivate Assets Library

Guest Blog by: Andrew Vass, Product Development Manager at eLearning Brothers As you may have noticed, we spent some time this last weekend upgrading the Assets portal for Adobe Captivate 9! We’ve included a few new features that will help you to find the templates and assets you’re looking for quicker and download them even faster […]

Adobe & eLearning Brothers add 70+ Scenario Interactions to Captivate 9 Asset Store

We’ve just released four new templates into the Captivate 9 Assets library. These interactions are branching scenarios that are themed around the many ways we communicate: mail, computers, tablets, and phones. The included assets come with over 70 total scenario interactions that will help your learners to distinguish good decisions from bad ones. Each one […]