Making Instruction Movies of Apps Made with Rev on a Mac
stephenREVOLUTION at barncard.com
Fri Aug 17 15:35:47 EDT 2007
I've spent a lot of time on this recently.
After trying various apps, I settled on this setup:
A logictec USB headset $40
iShowU software $20
Quicktime PRo (had it already)
Your idea of pre-recording the audio (perhaps even have a script to
read) is a good one. Increases the production values radically.
iShow-U has a LOT of features, as if I wrote it for myself...you can
now PAUSE it and delay start it. They seem to come up with upgrades
I've also found that a high-quality mic and preamp don't necessarily
translate into better audio for this kind of thing. My classic RCA
77-DX microphone that sounds great on a saxophone sounded like
crapola compared to the USB mic for voice. This was a bit of harsh
news for an audio-oriented guy.
You should know that you can easily edit cuts-only audio and video
with the hidden features in Quicktime Pro, which every developer
should have anyway...this means you could ramble through your
presentation, then clean it up later. I'm also considering writing a
voice-over utility in Rev.
Also going to a DVW like iMovie will bog you down. Don't consider
going to that kind of editor unless you want to spend more time and
diskspace than really necessary.
What format to save?
After much experimentation I'd suggest using the Quicktime Apple
Animation codec used in iShowU, which makes the cleanest screen image
for the smallest sizes. The default frame rates can be changed to
match the 'action'. This also makes a nice 640 x 480 viewable size
How to deliver?
I first thought I'd deliver the docs from within the application, but
the size of the movies really impacted the download size. nope.
And I wanted the ability to update the videos whenever needed. So I
put all the movies into a protected directory within a website.
Then I tried streaming directly to a player using http:
Kinda worked ok but I really didn't like the delays and performance
at the time.
So then I came up with an simple caching scheme that would check for
the existence of a movie in a user's local documents folder, and if
not there, would download and play it. In finalizing that part of
the project I got the movies to stream properly so now it's offered
as an option, local or streaming.
However in hindsight, the best player for this may be the built in
web browser in Rev. This way one can deliver movies in any format,
that streams and caches wonderfully and you can surround the player
with live info.
The RevBrowser is really great - handles on all that web stuff. Brilliant.
Final note: after editing in Quicktime, don't forget to 'save as
self-contained file' or you will have errors when you move movies
that have been edited. The base movie can depend on other files
unless you do this - very important. Movies that play on your system
may not if moved if you don't do that.
>I like Rev's movie instructions for Rev. I would like to make
>similar movies for a Rev-made app I finally getting 'done'.
>The plan is to make the audio part of the instructional video first.
>Then, as the audio plays (elsewhere, but where I can hear it), use
>some (hopefully inexpensive) software to grab successive window
>shots as I demo how to use my app in real time with the audio.
>I need ideas and the software to get the (screen) window shots
>(video) of my app.
>Suggestions much appreciated. For now, I practice to rrolling my
>rrrr's in prep for doing the audio.
s a n f r a n c i s c o
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