Making Instruction Movies of Apps Made with Rev on a Mac

Stephen Barncard stephenREVOLUTION at
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 can 
now PAUSE it and delay start it. They seem to come up with upgrades 
every month.

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.
>Blair Morrissey


stephen barncard
s a n  f r a n c i s c o
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