4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2007 7:28 PM by johndaigle

    Captivate Movies Initiated from within RoboHelp 7 Look Blurry or Fuzzy

      RoboHelp 7 allows you to begin Captivate movies from directly within RoboHelp, but the result is that the published movies look blurry or fuzzy. To reproduce this, follow these steps:

      1. Open Robohelp 7 and create a new folder in your Project Folder.
      2. Right-click and select New > Adobe Captivate Demo. Captivate launches.
      3. Record your movie, save it, and then close Captivate. The output files publish to the RoboHelp folder you created.
      4. Generate the help file and look at the movie -- it looks blurry.

      The problem is that RoboHelp resizes the output graphics. I meticulously measured image sizes to verify this.

      Here's the solution: Don't start Captivate movies from within RoboHelp 7!

      To insert a Captivate movie:

      1. Open Captivate and record a movie. Then publish the output to a convenient folder.

      2. Open RoboHelp and create a new folder in your Project Files, right-click it, and select Import.

      3. Select the .htm file of the Captivate movie output. When you import this file, RoboHelp grabs the accompanying flash files.

      2. Generate your help and look at the movie. It looks crisp and clear, as it should.

      I'm thinking that some QA for RoboHelp 7 was skipped. This is a major flaw.
        • 1. Re: Captivate Movies Initiated from within RoboHelp 7 Look Blurry or Fuzzy
          johndaigle Level 4
          Hmm. I'm not having the same experience, Tom. I've done quite a few of these and just did three tests a minute ago to make sure. I created a Captivate Demo from within RH, applied a custom playbar skin, added images, and a title slide. Everything works as expected and looks sharp as a tack.

          Then, I did one in Full Screen mode and then resized it to 640x480 in the topic pane and both size tests look quite sharp even though it was squished down from 1024 x 768 to 640 x 480 in width. Obviously, as in any screenshot, the more you resize an image, the less sharp it will be. In my test, I used colorful photographs and even rich PowerPoint gradients to see if there was pixelation. No problem. I was quite surprise how well it looks.

          Could you explain a little more about what you are capturing? You are also welcome to send me the project if that will help diagnose the problem.
          • 2. Re: Captivate Movies Initiated from within RoboHelp 7 Look Blurry or Fuzzy
            Tom_J. Level 1
            Thanks for trying to replicate the problem. I'm not sure if I'm doing anything different than you described. My screen demos have text captions, some full motion recording, a play button, and other usual features.

            I looked at the image sizes of the captivate videos played from RoboHelp versus those played separately, outside of RoboHelp. RoboHelp changed the screen size by about 35 pixels. Hence the fuzziness.

            I just deleted all my fuzzy videos, republished the content, and imported it all the old-fashioned way. (Plus I couldn't send you the files anyway due to confidentiality.)

            I did try to replicate the problem by creating a new little video, and it looked fine. So there must be something I did in the process that confuses RoboHelp. I'll keep an eye out for it.

            One little note for readers: never try to delete anything from the RoboHelp project folder through Windows explorer. RoboHelp has a CPD file that keeps careful track of everything in the project folder. When you remove content manually, trying to trick it, the CPD file gets very, very upset. :)
            • 3. Captivate Movies Initiated from within RoboHelp 7 Look Blurry or Fuzzy
              Question: does the CPD file get mad(!) if you delete something from another folder? I've got projects in a few places, and now I'm curious to know what might happen if I deleted something from a different location. I tend to use Explorer to delete things.

              • 4. Re: Captivate Movies Initiated from within RoboHelp 7 Look Blurry or Fuzzy
                johndaigle Level 4
                Hi, JJG10101
                I guess "it" does get mad

                Ever wonder how RoboHelp automagically updates the path to files when you drag and drop a topic from one folder to another *in the Project Manager*? Well, all this info and a lot of other data about the RH project is kept in the CPD file (which is an Access database).

                So, the rule is: Whenever you want to Delete, Move or Rename a file in your project, you must always do it within the RoboHelp interface so that the database is kept updated. If these actions are done outside of RH in the Windows Explorer it has no way of knowing what's going on behind its back.

                Fiddling with files in the Windows Explorer is easily the most common cause of broken links.

                As to your comment about files in other projects. Actually there is no "linkage" between files in one project and another (unless you've inserted a FrameMaker file by reference). So moving files from one project to another would not be a good idea.

                Naturally there exceptions to everything. For example, you could copy a CSS file from one project to another as a way of "importing" it into your project. By copying it to your project, it will show up as an available style sheet in topic properties so you can assign it.

                Another exception might be if you wanted to share a Glossary with a colleague. For example, you could send them the "yourproject.glo" file and they could paste it to their project folder. However, they would need to first delete their project's default .glo file and rename the one you sent them to the name of their project.

                So, while there are exceptions, it's best not to mess at the Windows Explorer level.