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In Captivate 5 Essential Training, author James Lockman demonstrates the core features of Captivate 5, the popular tool for authoring e-learning content such as interactive presentations, click-through simulations, and customized assessments. He shows how to import and sync PowerPoint presentations, add interactivity, and incorporate audio, video, and voiceovers. The course also includes tutorials on assessment reporting and integrating with SCORM-compliant learning management systems. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this lesson, we'll explore adding video to our Captivate projects. We're going to be using the Chapter 6_ e file that we created in a previous part of this chapter. Please open it now and then go to the last slide. Right-click or Ctrl+Click on the last slide, and then Insert a new Blank Slide. We're going to insert some video on this slide. While we do that, I'll provide some best practices for encoding video for your Captivate projects. We insert video one of two ways. In this lesson, we're going to look at inserting a self-contained video file that will play on the slide by itself.
From the Insert menu, choose FLV or F4V File. Captivate can only display Flash video, and again, that's the FLV format or the F4V format. You might be wondering, well, where do I get these kinds of things? I don't understand that. That's okay. Captivate will allow you to convert other video formats; however, for the moment we're going to be using strictly the FLV or F4V format. Flash video files can live either on your own computer or be deployed on a web server somewhere else.
In this lesson, we're going to be using a video file that's on your computer. We'll browse to it shortly. I'd like to discuss for a moment, however, the already-deployed-to-a-web-server, Flash Video Streaming Service, or Flash Media Server option. If you have video that's stored on an outside server and you know the complete URL to it, then you can enter it there. That video must be a FLV file if it's going to be an HTTP call to it. Or if it's going to be a media streaming service, it needs to be a fully qualified folder name that can pick up that service, and it must use the RTMP protocol.
This means that if you're using a service like YouTube to stream your videos, you're not going to be able to pick up those videos using this method. You're going to have to get your hands on the actual FLV file, or the direct path to it, to be able to use this option. That having been said, let's use a video file on our computer. We'll browse to the Movies folder. That's in your Project folder, in the Chapter 6 folder, and you'll notice that there is one F4V file there.
It's called Amaryllis. Select it and then open it. Now click OK to import the video. I shot this video in high-definition. I did my editing in Premiere, and then I exported it to 800 pixels wide so that it would fit in my project. It's important when you're working with your video editing software to be aware of the usage size for that video. I knew that I'd be using it on slides that were 800 pixels wide, so I encoded it that way.
If I make it bigger, it's a waste of time, and it's not going to increase the quality of the result. Secondly, no matter what your video editing source is, you've got to be able to export it to this FLV format. I said earlier that I use Premiere for my video editing. That has a direct connection to the Adobe Media Encoder and also can export FLV and F4V files on its own. If you don't have Premiere, and you have another part of the Creative Suite, or the Technical Communication Suite, or Captivate--and I know you have Captivate-- then you also have the Adobe Media Encoder.
You can use the Adobe Media Encoder to transcode your video from whatever original format it's in into FLV and F4V. Just be sure to be aware of the final size of your slide so that your video will match it when you import it. When we import an FLV or in F4V file onto our slide, you'll notice a few things. First of all, it has its own player. This means that the video will appear as an object on your slide. I also know that this video is over two minutes long, but take a look at the Timeline.
The Timeline is still at three seconds. That means that the slide doesn't know the duration of this video. I have to ensure that the slide stops so that the viewer has a chance to actually see the movie. When they're done, they can continue. This means that we need to put a button that will allow us to continue after we've watched the movie. Let's put a button on the slide now. Select your Button tool, drag it down into the lower right-hand corner, change it's caption to "Continue when finished," and that's all we need.
Just slide it to the left, so that it fits. Let's put a text caption on the top, so that they know what this is. Insert a text caption and not Condensed. I want Bold. Its Caption type should be Transparent. Select your text and type in "Amaryllis Care", and we'll put that on the top of the slide. Hit Escape when you're done editing and drag it up. Perfect! Let's preview our results.
We're going to preview from this slide. There is our video, and you notice that it's not playing. It's not playing, because in order to play the video you've got to actually push the Play button. Here is the Play button. We'll watch just a brief amount of this video. (James: So now we're going to talk about taking care of our amaryllis for the winter.) (James: An amaryllis is a plant that's a bulb, as you can see here.) (James: And they sit inside of pots, usually small pots about the size of the bulb.) And that's enough of that for now.
You can watch the rest of it at your leisure. The controls that are on this particular skin for the video have a Pause button, a Stop button, a Play button, and the ability to turn the audio on and off. Let's look at the preview now. The last thing I'd like to look at is the controls that we have over how the video displays. Select the video itself, and then under the General area, you can see that we have Auto Play and Auto Rewind as choices. If you want the video to play without the user having to push the play button, then of course turn on Auto Play.
There are a few skins that you can choose, and you'll get a preview of them by picking them here. Each of these skins has slightly different controls. So haloSkin2, for instance, includes a scrubbing bar, and then haloSkin3 includes all of the controls. Let's leave this with haloSkin3 and enable Auto Play. That having been done, let's save our file as Chapter 6_f.
Importing FLV and F4V files allows you to create an object on your slide that the user can interact with directly. There is another way that we can present the video, and that's to put it on the slide. We'll take a look at that in the next lesson.
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