Disable fast forward and skip options

Hi,

I am very new to Captivate and looking for some help. I have created training using seminar recordings (mp4) files. I created an intro (text only) slide and then inserted the video in the next. The last slide is a simple 1 question quiz so I can record employees watched the whole video.

The issue: I am not sure how to set the video up so employees can’t fast-forward or skip to the quiz slide. I am very new to Captivate so the more step by step your answer is, the better!

Please help, and thanks!

PS: did I mention I haven’t launched the site yet and the day is approaching? I may have to re-design the content and upload it again.. ugh.

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YouTube Learning: Investing in educational creators, resources, and tools for EduTubers

YouTube gibt bekannt, dass es 20 Millionen Dollar in Bildung und Lernen investieren will, genauer, in YouTube Learning, „an initiative to support education focused creators and expert organizations that create and curate high quality learning content on YouTube“. Weitere Details finden sich in diesem Artikel. Dabei denke ich gerade daran, das YouTube & Lernen ja ein schönes Thema für einen Artikel wäre: über Lernvideo-Entwickler und Lernende, über Lernvideo-Formate, Lernvideos für Schüler, Studierende, Sportler usw., Edu-Channel, Bildungsanbieter auf YouTube, Geschäftsmodelle, usw. Es könnte natürlich immer nur eine Momentaufnahme sein …
Malik Ducard, YouTube Blog, 22. Oktober 2018

Bildquelle: Christian Wiediger (Unsplash)

Ich habe die ARD/ZDF-Onlinestudie 2018 gelesen, damit ihr es nicht müsst

Eine sympathische Überschrift! Gelesen hat die Studie, eines der jährlichen Standardwerke zur Internetnutzung, Dennis Horn, ARD-Experte für Digitalthemen. Seine Stichpunkte:

„Erstens: 90 Prozent der Deutschen sind online. …
Zweitens: Die Internetnutzung pro Tag ist extrem stark gestiegen. …
Drittens: Video schlägt Text schlägt Audio. …
Viertens: Die Videostrategie von Facebook und Instagram geht auf. …
Fünftens: Die Konkurrenz für Fernseh- und Radiosender wächst. …“

Dennis Horn, WDR.de, 10. Oktober 2018

Bildquelle: http://www.ard-zdf-onlinestudie.de

Presenting Event Video with Portable Network Graphics and JavaScript

Play

Click to Play Project

Some time ago I pitched a presentation design to a potential client who worked in video post production. Though they ultimately went “in house”, I really liked the final design as it relied heavily on their award winning videos and graphics. This showcase presents an Adobe Captivate 2019 presentation based on that design.

Central to the design was including a video player within the presentation. While experimenting with the graphics and video, I found that the content of the background graphic really drove the best position for the video player in order to get a pleasing effect. In the end, I found that three positions for the video player worked for all background graphics: middle-left, middle-center and middle-right.

With the design in mind, I set to work creating the Captivate project. However, getting the project to reflect my design resulted in some challenges in terms of both the control and “look and feel” of Event Video. I’m sure there are other ways of putting this material together, but the solutions I found are below.

Portable Network Graphics (PNGs)

I really wanted a “clean” design, with subdued controls, in order to focus on the graphics and video. This presented the first couple of challenges. First, I couldn’t find and onboard Skin that looked and functioned as I wanted. Second, while video playback is likely optimized for the specific requirements of Captivate, I didn’t want the “black bars” (a.k.a. Letter Box) to show.

A search of the Adobe forums and web provided some suggestions, including using a streaming service that allowed more control over the interface. In the end, I remembered a brief comment from a discussion thread that basically suggested covering the black bars up with a graphic frame. My solution was similar, though I used a large page-sized PNG with a window cut in it. This allowed for a very slim video frame.

Controlling Playback with JavaScript

While the effect I got with the PNG overlay looked good, using an Event Video without a skin resulted in a couple of issues that needed to be addressed: the video automatically played when entering a Captivate slide and without a skin there were no playback controls.

Dealing with Auto Play: If you use an onboard Skin for playing video, you are given the option to disable “Auto Play”. However, if you don’t use a Skin, the video will automatically play when the user navigates to a slide. The solution I found was to “pause” the video on slide Enter using JavaScript in an Advanced Action. To make it work, however, I needed to delay the execution of the JavaScript using the “Delay Next Actions By” method to allow the video to finish loading, otherwise the pause script wouldn’t work.

The downside of the “Delay” method is that when you enter a slide, a short amount of video is played resulting in movement within the playback frame and an audio “pop”. My solution involved editing the videos so the first couple of seconds were occupied with a still image with no audio track.

JavaScript Code for Pausing Video Playback

document.getElementsByTagName(“video”)[0].pause();

Creating Playback Controls: The general method used for the playback controls involved using a smart shape as a button and then adding JavaScript to the button as an action. A good overview of this technique is documented by Adobe and presented in a video by Paul Wilson.

My twist was to call an external JavaScript function and use the Pause-Play button’s ID to control playback and change the button state. The upside was I didn’t need to create an additional variable in Captivate.

JavaScript Code for Pause-Play Button

//Video Pause-Play Toggle Button

function videoPausePlay() {

//Retrieve ID of pause-play button and assign to variable

var v_buttonID = this.document.activeElement.getAttribute(“id”);

//Retrieve TagName of the video

var video = document.getElementsByTagName(“video”)[0];

//If video is paused, play the video and change the button state

if (video.paused) {

// Play the video

video.play();

//Show the state with the “pause” icon

cp.changeState(v_buttonID,”Pause”);

}

//If video is playing, pause the video and change the button state

else {

// Pause the video

video.pause();

//Show the state with “play” icon

cp.changeState(v_buttonID,”Normal”);

}

}

Rewind, on the other hand, was a bit more problematic. While rewinding the video was pretty straight forward, managing the state of the Play-Pause was an issue since it was no longer the “active” element. My solution was to use an intelligent naming scheme for all video control buttons and then piece together the Play-Pause ID in JavaScript.

For example, all Play-Pause buttons in the project started with “g_playPause” and ended with a text string corresponding to the presentation section (e.g., “g_playPause_maven”). Since I used this scheme on the Rewind button, as well, I simply “sliced” the “_maven” text off the Rewind button and added it to “g_playPause”.

JavaScript Code for Rewind Button

//Replay

function videoReplay() {

//Retrieve TagName of the video

var video = document.getElementsByTagName(“video”)[0];

//Construct name of playPause button

var str1 = “g_playPause”; //Common text to all Play Pause buttons

var str2 = this.document.activeElement.getAttribute(“id”); //Rewind button ID

var str3 = str2.slice(8); //Slice off text that identifies presentation section

var v_playPause = str1.concat(str3); //Construct name of Play Pause button

// Pause the video

video.pause();

//Show the Play-Pause button state with “play” icon using constructed name for button

cp.changeState(v_playPause,”Normal”);

//Rewind to Beginning

video.currentTime=0;

}

Conclusion

In the end, the Captivate project came out very close to my intended design. I’m sure there are other solutions that would have worked, as well. But this one worked for me. I really enjoyed creating the original proposal for my client, and this version, as well. I’m “all about the graphics” and this particular design really capitalized on graphic and video content.

References

Jeremy Shimmerman  | Turn off ‘autoplay’ on embedded(event) video when it has no playbar skin

Paul Wilson | Control Event Video with JavaScript

Chris Ching | HTML5 Video pause and rewind

Matt West | Building Custom Controls for HTML5 Videos

Media

NASA GSFC Conceptual Image Lab | Bennu’s Journey

Walt Feimer and Michael Lentz (Animators)

Macrovector – Freepik | Laptop tablet desktop mobile 

NASA.gov | Searching for Signs of Life on Mars

NASA.gov | Shields Up! (Dynamic Earth)

Aries Keck,  Patrick Lynch and Greg Shirah (Visualizer)

NASA.gov | Maven Targeting Mars

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Updating a video published as HTML5 on a server

I just changed a few words in the cptx file, and I don’t want to have to update all of the folders and files associated with the video if I don’t have to . Can you tell me which file(s) needs to be updated on the server when  you just change text in the CPTX file?

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How to Make Animated Gifs from Video

how to create animated gif

Some people asked how I created the animated .gifs similar to the ones I gave away for free in this recent blog post. So today I’ll share a simple way to create them.

Start with Animated .Gif Software

There are a number of tools to create animated .gifs. I’m going to focus on just one for this post.

Screen2Gif is free and you don’t need to install it. Just run the .EXE file. It’s a great product and I use it all the time for quick demos or some of the animations I use in the blog.

I’m not going to do an exhaustive overview, so I recommend downloading the app and playing with it a bit. It’s intuitive and easy to figure out. As a side note, if you do use it, I encourage supporting the developer.

Understanding the Cover Image .Gifs

Cover images are mostly decorative. And because of the responsive nature of the Rise courses, the cover image gets cropped based on the screen’s aspect ratio. That means what you see in portrait won’t look the same in landscape.

animated .gif responsive design

The key is keep the cover images simple. Animated .gifs can become very large files. The more visual information on the screen, the larger the file size. And if the file is too large, it’ll take too long to download and ruin the effect and experience.

Stick with fewer colors. Solid backgrounds are good because you don’t get that blocky color striping that you get with pictures.

We’ll look at two ways to create the cover image animated .gifs. One way is by recording something onscreen and the other is to import a video.

Record Screen to Create Animated .Gif

The easiest thing it to play a video and record the screen. Then do some basic editing. Since the animated .gif is decorative, you just need something simple. The key is not to have a massive file. The more you record, the larger the file.

View the animated .gif tutorial on Youtube

Once you have a recording, figure out what you want and where to cut it. Again, I look for something simple that looks good looping. Subtle movements or repeating animations (like a spinning gear) work perfectly.

It does take some messing around. I usually do a basic edit and then save the file to see how large it is. Then I play around with more edits and image size to find the right balance between quality and file size.

You’ll have a lot more luck recording vector images that are solid versus photos. The less the screen has to change from one frame to the next, the better quality you’ll get and smaller file size.

For the .gifs where the quality doesn’t look as good, I set the cover images’s overlay color darker. This way the text really pops off the screen and the animation quality isn’t as much of an issue. That’s what I did in this example where there were so many colors it just didn’t look as good as I wanted.

Import a Video to Create Animated .Gif

Screen2Gif makes it really easy to import a video. It breaks down all the frames and from there it’s just a matter of editing it to what you want.

Just like above, play around with different settings to see what gives you the right balance between file size and quality. And keep in mind, they’re header images so subtle movement is fine. For this overhead desk video, I just focused on the pencil moving and cut out hundreds of frames.

View the animated .gif tutorial on Youtube

Bonus tips:

  • You won’t get crisp images because the file size needs to be manageable. I try not to go over 1.5 MB. That’s why you have to play around with settings that strike the right balance.
  • You need to test different dimensions, but I generally keep the images somewhere between a 16:9 and 2:1 aspect ratio. There’s no golden rule. It’s mostly based on what you are showing. The image is going to crop based on the screen, anyway. I make different versions and modify the image size to see what I get for file size and quality.

animated gifs from vector videos

  • Solid and/or fewer colors is best. There are a lot of free or inexpensive ways to create simple vector-based animation videos. That’s what I did to create these two headers above which you can see in these two examples: Call Center and Team Meeting. I inserted some animated characters and published a video. Then I made the .gif from the video. Because I’m not building a big animated explainer video, this only took a few minutes to do and looks decent.

Animated .gifs add some flavor and visual novelty to your courses. And as you can see, they’re easy to create.


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Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

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How to Create Videos in PowerPoint

create videos in PowerPoint

One of my favorite features in PowerPoint is saving the PowerPoint slideshow as a video. That means anything you put on the PowerPoint slides (from animations to slide transitions) is output as video. With some creativity, you can pull together some pretty slick explainer-type presentations with a tool most of us already have.

Today, I want to show something simple that may give you some ideas for your own training videos.

Create Videos in PowerPoint: Examples

Before we get started, here’s a cool example from Duarte that Microsoft included in the PowerPoint 2010 template pack. The Duarte team created a great presentation that showed off what could be done with the new features back in PowerPoint 2010. And as you can see below, their presentation translates to video, as well.

Create Videos in PowerPoint: Slide or Slideshow?

While the example above was an entire slideshow that included some cool animations and effective transitions, you don’t need to create whole presentations. You can publish single slides, too.

And the slide doesn’t need to be normal slide content. It could be a single video. And that video can be formatted using the PowerPoint features.

That means you can insert video into a PowerPoint slide, make some simple edits, and then output that slide as a video. Pretty slick when you think about the possibilities.

And that’s the trick I want to share.

Customize Framed Videos in PowerPoint

Why do videos need to be rectangular? Why can’t they have frames or display as shapes? That’s all possible in PowerPoint.

Here are the basic steps to create framed videos in PowerPoint.

  • Insert a video on the slide.
  • Add whatever effect you want for the video.
  • Size the video to fit the slide.
  • Save the video as MP4.

Here’s a demo of some of the videos in a Rise.

Click here to view Rise demo.

As you can see, there are some neat things you can do, especially considering that you are doing all of this in PowerPoint and not required to use a more sophisticated video application.

Now it’s your turn.


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Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

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Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Interactive Video Captivate 2019 Already a Gamechanger

Adobe Captivate 2019 is a game changer for those of us who do a lot of video in our elearning courses. I have been using video extensively since 2011 for role play, content presentation and questions based on video content presented.

The simplified interactive video work flow using overlay slides and bookmarks, gives you the ability to enhance the video presented with additional content and question slides.

With the new approach to interactive video in Captivate 2019, how I work with video has changed dramatically.

Here’s how it used to work.

The original video workflow was to add object video and rely on the learner to use the video controls to start and stop the video content. There really was no way to stop video playback to introduce additional slide content or question slides. This was generally done after the video was viewed.

The workflow changed with slide video and the edit video timing tool. You could place a video on a slide and use the edit video timing tool to break the video content into clips on different slides. You could then add content slides and questions slides in between the video segment slides. On failure last attempt in question slides you could send the learner back to video segment slides for remediation using jump to slide or go back to a frame on a given slide with advanced actions. This was time consuming and required extensive knowledge of advanced actions and micro navigation based on frame count. And the actual video play back suffered because of the load time on each slide, with the loading spinner, breaking the continuity of the presentation.

Now with Captivate 2019.

The new work flow for interactive video in Captivate 2019 changes all that by placing a video on a single slide.
Using overlay markers along the slide timeline / video to display pop up content and question slides on top of the paused video. You can change the opacity of the slide to create an interesting visual effect. Remediation is much easier by using the failure – last attempt in a question slide to jump to a labelled bookmark on the slide / video timeline (reminds me of the frame label concept in Animate / Flash.)

The benefit to the learner — a much cleaner user experience and fluid presentation of the video with pop up content slides adding additional information and questions to engage the learner on the content presented.

If you have already tried interactive video, you may be getting the positive feedback that I have received with a new course just developed. This feature has had immediate impact on course presentation.

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