View Full Version : Best approach to use for software animation?

05-24-2002, 04:08 PM
I am building a product demo where user just watches (no typing, etc.). As the cursor moves around and screens change, I want to display popup windows that describe what's happening (may also add voiceover as well at the end). I want to have a "pause/continue" button at the bottom so they can stop the animation if they need more time to read the text or view the product screens. So the question is how best to do this.

Last time (about three years ago?), I used tons of AppCam resources combined with text objects that appeared and disappeared at the appropriate times. But editing the timing of complex AppCams to end up with the right delays, etc. is beyond painful -- and it becomes almost hopeless when you compound that by trying to synchronize the AppCam movements with a bunch of popups appearing and disappearing. I made it work, but there just HAS to be a better way than investing hundreds of hours to get five minutes of demo animations done.

I looked at Camtasia, but the problem there is that you have to get the delays just perfect in "realtime" as you record the sequence.. there's no way to increase the "hold time" between actions later. Also, there's no way to add the popups later while the video is running. So unless I'm missing something, Camtasia won't cut it either.

The only other thing I can think of is to simply do a ton of screen capture "snapshots", and add the cursor movements and popups as separate actions later on. Haven't looked at this approach too carefully yet to determine pros and cons.

Do ANY of you have any advice on the least painful way to achieve what I'm trying to do? Any opinions welcome!!


05-28-2002, 10:56 AM
I would recommend looking into the screen capture and cursor movements.

Event Objects can be used to assign cursor movements at specific times within the demo. These are easy to use because they can be edited by simply opening the properties and changing the timing of the Event.

The screen captures can be placed one on top of another or in separate scenes. Also, if you have screen captures that are all the same sizes, you can use a Set Content action to set the content of the AutoShape Object to the screen capture at a specific time instead of using multiple AutoShape Objects.

Buttons can be placed in the scenes to offer a Pause Demo or Continue Demo action to allow the user to pause and continue at their pace.

Another thing that is nice about using the objects in DemoShield is that they can be easily layered. Therefore, if you want to place a text object on top of another object to offer a description to the scene.

I hope this helps.

05-29-2002, 07:06 AM
Kim -
Thanks for the suggestions. I'd pretty much concluded the same thing, but wanted to be sure there wasn't something I'd missed before I invest the kind of time this is going to require!