12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2008 10:14 PM by spritc

    Best Frame Rate?

    spritc Level 1
      Can anyone recommend the best frame rate for Captivate projects, if the final project will be delivered in FLV format and delivered via a Flash Media Server?

      Any advice or comments welcome.

      Cheers,
      spritc.
        • 1. Re: Best Frame Rate?
          CatBandit Level 3
          Hi there spritc. Captvate's default fps is 30, and I've never had a good reason to change it based on output. My suggestion would be to leave it alone, and see if the FLV after conversion needs any further changes. In other words, season to your taste, but I think I'd leave the default as the starting point in the experimentation ... I should add that I have no experience with Flash media server, though I have worked with FLV.
          .
          • 2. Re: Best Frame Rate?
            spritc Level 1
            Okay Larry - I'll stick with 30fps for now. Quite frankly all this technical stuff is a little baffling to me. Trying to understand framerates, bitrates, interest rates, etc.

            But - on we go.

            Cheers,
            spritc.
            • 3. Re: Best Frame Rate?
              CatBandit Level 3
              You said
              quote:

              Quite frankly all this technical stuff is a little baffling to me. Trying to understand framerates, bitrates, interest rates, etc.
              As Larry the Cable Guy (no relation) says, that's funny, I don't care who you are, that there is funny!

              And if it makes you feel any better, it's true, too. For the record, FLV does a good job for me, and all I know about it is that after years of the world telling me that SWF (Flash) files were "streaming", suddenly - with Flash 8 - we had to have FLVs instead, for *real* streaming. Were we lied to then, or are we being lied to now? LOL - well, I can vouch that FLV is screamingly fast when played from the web.

              But keep in mind that FLV cannot execute action-script commands like those used in click-boxes and buttons in interactive Captivate projects, as I understand it. So if your Captivate movie is a straight-line demonstration, it will probably convert to FLV and play, but if it is interactive, I think you will not be a happy camper if you convert your CP project output to that format. Still, what do I know ... I could be wrong, and there are those who actually feel good telling me how often - and how terribly wrong. But I still love her~

              Larry
              • 4. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                spritc Level 1
                Well as Ron White says, "You Can't Fix Stupid". And that's how I feel here (and I'm reminded by 'her' sometimes too).

                Seriously you've highlighted the dilemma I am having. For straight demonstrations, the FLVs seem great to me, so far. But I want to intersperse quizzes throughout my content. So presumably those have to be delivered as SWFs? So can that be done - can FLV's be streamed around the occasional SWF? And does it have to delivered all via a Flash Media Server, or can alternatives like wowsa be used?

                If it's just you and I talking here, it may like a couple of chevy drivers trying to figure out how to open the door of a lamborghini. Just standing there scratching our heads and dreaming of the impossible.

                I wonder where I can find some thorough help understanding how to best deliver interactive and non interactive content, quickly to users all over the world?

                Cheers,
                spritc.
                • 5. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                  CatBandit Level 3
                  LOL! My *Chevy* is a restored 1968 American Motors *AMX*, which is allowed a heated spot in the garage, while *her* car sits outside in a snow-bank ... a point of at least minor contention. But she puts up with it, to her everlasting credit.


                  Seriously, I have put a ton of fully interactive Captivate SWFs up on my various web-sites without a problem. My favorite current design-plans include creating all my projects in Captivate and publish them as SWF/HTML ... BUT ... I create *presentation characters* (to replace a live presenter) and insert them *into* the Captivate action as FLVs (INSERT > FLASH VIDEO).

                  That allows me to use all the capabilities of Captivate's *normal* SWF/HTML output (including Question Slides and User Interactivity like click-boxes and buttons), while the *presentation characters* inserted into the Captivate slides can be wordy and as heavy in explanation as I wish because they are FLV files, which don't appreciably slow down the rest of the presentation.

                  You can see the effect at my badly ignored Captivate *Tips* site (click the link in my signature). In that case, the character *Dave* is actually an SWF inserted into the Captivate project as an *animation*, but current iterations of the Media Semantics *characters* I use are output directly to FLV video files instead of SWFs. Hope that makes sense to you.

                  May the Force be with you ~
                  Larry
                  • 6. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                    spritc Level 1
                    '68 AMX - Nice. I'm sure it deserves all the heat you get for it.

                    So you're website may be badly ignored, but not completely. I've checked it out and consequently investigated Media Semantics quite thoroughly. Thing is I will be doing the opposite as far as I can tell.

                    Firstly my simulations will be 1220x800. Before your jaw hits the desk, I must explain that I am providing indepth tutorials for a CAD application with quite a complex interface, which needs to be shown in it's entirety and my entire audience has the screen real estate to deal with it.

                    So to deal with the obvious bandwidth issues (as well as security issues), I need to convert my files to FLVs. But for interactivity, I need to supply the quizzes in SWF format. I just need to find the best way to deliver it presumably via a streaming server.

                    Do you have any advice on this part, or should I just go hunting around the Adobe website, or the likes of www.flashcomguru.com?

                    Cheers,
                    spritc.
                    • 7. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                      CatBandit Level 3
                      Interesting. Actually, quite fascinating. Yours is the rare case where over-large backgrounds are not over-large at all. I've seen the same with 3D modeling of an engineer's (rolling machinery) project, because the recording area couldn't be scaled down without losing the relationship of one 3D part to the other side of that same part when it was rotated. But I digress.

                      Can you (1) get the *tutorial* (demo) completed and converted to FLV, then (2) create a new Captivate project in which to (3) insert the FLV, followed by (4) normal Question slides?

                      The whole thing would then be published from Captivate as a SWF/HTM, but because the *demo* part would be an inserted FLV file, the streamability wouldn't be impaired to any degree. Is that reasoning making sense - I can see it in my mind's eye, but hope I'm transmitting it accurately ...
                      .

                      • 8. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                        spritc Level 1
                        Hey yes -

                        It makes perfect sense, but it begs the question: If it is delivered in SWF format, can it be streamed via a streaming server?

                        And would the SWF need to be downloaded to each user's computer? While such caching may help delivery to multiple users at the same location, it may also open up a whole bunch of protection issues?

                        Again, I am just trying to get a grasp on how these things work. Thanks for sticking with me.

                        Cheers,
                        spritc.
                        • 9. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                          CatBandit Level 3
                          To your first question, I'll have to (kind of) beg off because I know little about the world of servers, streaming or otherwise. I think, though, that a *streaming* server acts as a *push* engine, actively forcing (pushing) content down-line to the requester. While a *normal* server just makes the content available as a static document, but it is up to the requester to *pull* it down to their machines local drive. That said, I will stop there and leave further discussion of the Flash streaming server up to the experts at that technology.

                          As to the question of whether the content has to be downloaded to each users (leaving apostrophes off due to this malfunctioning Adobe board) machine, the answer is almost certainly yes. As I understand the Internet mechanism, the difference between pushing or pulling technology is the method used to get it there, not whether it needs to be received to be read by the end-user.

                          Your insinuation that perhaps only a single copy needs to be downloaded to any users machine to be shared with others on the same LAN is correct, I think, but maybe in a different way than you meant. All files are cached to a \\Temp folder (directory) when received. In most cases, you can find them in your \\Temporary Internet Files\ on the local drive.

                          So when you have watched all the content of a Captivate SWF (or any other document), you - or more accurately your IT Administrator) can retrieve it from the temp files and freely distribute it to others as they wish. I don't know if there is a way to avoid the caching of downloaded content, but off-hand I think not.

                          Hope this is some light on the subject - I am getting dangerously close to being out of my depth, but have shared what little I know.

                          Larry
                          • 10. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                            spritc Level 1
                            Your advice is appreciated Larry. I think I will research into delivering FLVs and SWFs separately, as I would prefer to make it as hard as possible to copy the content. Even if they come from different servers, it would be better than simply giving the content away.

                            From what I can tell I can use an Adobe Streaming Server offered by many firms which I believe is an expensive option, or I can use a less expensive streaming server alternative, such as Wowza still offered by plenty of firms.

                            And only a few of those firms will host my static web information (and SWFs) as well as the streaming service. It's a little like finding a needle in a haystack unless you have a PhD in Server Seeking, but what other choices do you have when failure is not an option?

                            I'll let you know how I get on, but I am open to any other ideas from anyone who has more experience in this area, or indeed has that elusive PhD.

                            Cheers,
                            spritc.
                            • 11. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                              CatBandit Level 3
                              spritc,
                              In my recent wanderings I watched a pretty informative screen-cast in the Techsmith community. It is not directly tied to the main theme of this thread, but does hit on at least one related issue.

                              It covers the first, most basic question that nearly all of us ask when we first started tackling FLV (when Flash 8 was introduced), that is, *What is the difference between SWF and FLV?*, and *When should I use one - or the other?*. Happy viewing.

                              Click this link to go there now!
                              • 12. Re: Best Frame Rate?
                                spritc Level 1
                                Hi Larry

                                Sorry about the delay in my response - we just had a baby boy and have been burning the midnight meconium.

                                Thanks for the link to this interview. It was indeed interesting and confirmed that FLV is the best way to go for me.

                                I am still trying to find a good delivery provider and am currently talking to the helpful people at Edgecast (www.edgecast.com) and I'll let you know how I get on.

                                Thanks again.

                                zzzzzzzzzz,
                                spritc.