6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2011 6:57 AM by Tom Tantalus

    Software simulation - prefered method to produce, record, test etc

    BennyRick Level 1

      Hi all.


      I'm new to this, and am currently on my first of MANY projects with Captivate.

      So its a little like being in the matrix.. lots happening, doging bullets and going into SLOW MOTION when the bullets fly by..

      So I'm at the moment focusing on software simulations.

      I want to ask if anyone is willing to talk about this, im sure this is personal and often privliged secrets but if you want to answer, I will apprecaite it.


      I want to know what the prefered methods are for creating a project simulation. Basically I just started doing it with the following steps,a nd now I have a bunch of thoughts that perhaps I should do it differently, hence I have many pro's and cons flying around in my head now on the best way to do it..



      Project Work method


      • Draw up topics to talk about


      • number and put 5 or so dot points for each


      • Expand to a paragraph with written detail


      • Make some notes by each expanded point on where I will be on the screen and what I will have open


      • Start software simulation


      • Enter narration mode and screen capture mode (FMR).


      • demonstrate the software based on section I am following in notes above, add extra points while doing this where needed.


      • Try not to stuff up each 2min section


      • Close session and edit as necessary..


      This is the general work flow... however I had some problems and have had to delete all my audio on my slides completly due to other issues which I wont go into just here. So now im re-recording, however I find it hard to recapture what I was exactly thinking previously, though I know what I was doing, I paused and occasionally went off topic during the simulation, and so now without the speech, I can see what im doing, but if I record again my voice to the slides, there are pauses taht I dont know what to say in as I cant remember.


      So this is why im realising that I obviously have not done this right.  So any thoughts about this would be much appreciated.

      I was thinking I should perhaps just do the tutorial straight off step by step with no pauses, then re-dit and add pauses to the slides where I want to say something extra as needed, but then just commentate what is happening and why per each slide....(im explaining HTML BASIC webpage creation)


      Appreciate any thoughts sincerely, please if you offer an opinion, respond with more than a 4 word reply, im only new to this after all

        • 1. Re: Software simulation - prefered method to produce, record, test etc
          RodWard Adobe Community Professional & MVP



          There is no real right or wrong way to do this.  It really depends on the result you're trying to achieve.


          For what it's worth, here's my workflow for creating a software simulation (demo):

          1. Design the task flow by writing down the steps required to perform.
          2. Check these steps with the Subject Matter Expert to make sure I haven't left anything out.
          3. Open Captivate and record the simulation following my steps. No recorded audio at this point.  I only use FMR very sparingly to show sections of a task that are impractical to replicate using straight static captures (e.g. rollovers, flyout menus, scrolling pages).  Manually capture anything that doesn't get picked up by Captivate automatically (it doesn't see some screen changes).  Save this file.
          4. Open the capture file, Save As to create a copy, and then edit this copy to tidy up saved capture screens and delete the ones I don't need, change text in automatically generated callouts etc.  Working on a copy ensures I can go back and get the original slide if I delete too many by mistake.
          5. Recapture anything that was missed to didn't turn out right the first time and then splice these screens into the main demo.
          6. Open up my Captivate template that has the opening title sequence as well as all the look and feel components (e.g. skin, TOC, end slide).  Import or copy and paste the capture slides into the template-generated project.
          7. Write my voiceover script for each slide into the Slide Notes area.  Get this script approved by the client or SME.
          8. Record the voiceover audio for each slide, making sure that it sounds seamless from slide to slide.
          9. Time the on screen captions, highlight boxes, images, or animations to coincide with the correct parts of the voiceover.
          10. Name the key slides in the presentation with an Item Name, then generate the TOC so that it picks up these names (untick the boxes for unnamed slides).
          11. Polish the presentation until it shines and everything is as perfect as I can get it.
          12. Publish the output.
          • 2. Re: Software simulation - prefered method to produce, record, test etc
            Lilybiri MVP & Adobe Community Professional



            Please, I'm not a native English speaker, so I hope to be able to explain my thoughts correctly and not to offend you.


            This is a Captivate forum, with users of that particular application (sometimes also integration with other eLearning Suite apps) trying to help each other. I do think your question is not only about the use of apps, but about how to prepare a project of eLearning or Instructional design, which is totally different. There are a lot of blogs around that do treat that subject, but I'm afraid this is not really the right place for it.


            As for the Captivate practical side: OK there. Start by telling us which version of Captivate you are using, because there are quite a lot of differences between the last version (5) and previous versions.


            You are talking about bullets? Do you want to make a presentation, why not start in Powerpoint then and convert to CP later on? Is this an eLearning course? Because later on I read something about software simulation. Do you want a demonstration or a training (which means more interactivity, an aspect where Captivate IMHO is superior to its concurrents)?


            Some advice if you did read my answer up till now, and are not yet cursing me. Start by creating a short training simulation for just an small part of what you want to explain. Do not add audio at the same time, just capture (after some rehearsing) what you want to explain and do use Automatic mode, Demonstration or Training (I prefer the latest). Before starting the capture, prepare the application you want to capture and think about the resolution of the window to be captured. Watch the result after capture, you can edit it and/or delete slides, add slides. Add audio later on, prepare slide notes to have some guideline while capturing audio. The slide length will normally be adapted to the size of your audio clip. Perhaps you will have to edit the synchronisation of audio with objects. Watch the result again, preferably Preview in Web browser. That way you will get some feeling of what Captivate can do, and how to do basic manipulations.


            Think this answer is already more than a couple of words, and sorry if you do not like it,



            • 3. Re: Software simulation - prefered method to produce, record, test etc
              BennyRick Level 1

              Thankyou very much Rodward and Lilybiri for the replies, it is all constructive and I am considering and pondering what you have said, cheers!.


              To clarify, for Lilybiri, I am using Captivate 5. I am strictly doing a software simulation mode on this, and as i am NEW and have not used captivate before, I posted in the "getting started" part of this site, cause I figured this was the place for "beginner" questions which are not very advanced or anything.  I choose not to use any other blog, because I use adobe, and want the best forum around, which I think is right here for adobe people, well thats my opinion, and I like it here lol.


              Dont worry, im not at all offended by anthing, your trying to help and i apprecaite any thoughts presented.


              The purpose was explained well by Rodward.  I am interested in the the work flow people use when using the captivate program, I mean the process, or you could say the step by step method used from start to finish.


              Cheers, for your insights, BIG HELP :-)

              I like to see that you have such an emphasis on quality Rodward.

              • 4. Re: Software simulation - prefered method to produce, record, test etc
                RodWard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                If you want to see what my software tutorials turn out like, there are some examples on the Portfolio page of my website: http://www.infosemantics.com.au/portfolio

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Software simulation - prefered method to produce, record, test etc
                  BennyRick Level 1

                  oops I forgot some questions posted by Lilybri..



                  To answer what I am doing this software simulation in Captivate 5 for, my description is as follows..
                  This is for an guide to writing basic HTML with a focus on structure with such general topics as:- Doctype, <head> and the usual tags inside this, Body, Div Tags, and linking  styles from the CSS file to the Div tags and finally making sure it validates.. that is the focus of what im doing.  I have a general information guide at the start to explain html and links and pages etc, then I go into a step by step focus on the parts of the html page which are important.

                  Finally I create a basic page and put in the tags and stlye elements we have just spoken about, and validate it at the end with http://validator.w3.org


                  I will check for soem other project flow type blogs however, i think I really need to focus on that better than I am currently also, and then apply that to what im doing....


                  anyway cheers again..

                  • 6. Re: Software simulation - prefered method to produce, record, test etc
                    Tom Tantalus

                    With regard to creating audio: I like to use TTS. This forces me to write down and allows me to save the text. This not only prevents me from "not knowing what I said last time" but also allows to show the text in closed captions (which is helpful when in some cases the generated voice does not sound as it should in order to be understood, which seems to be a special problem with Loquendo non-English voices).