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Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:20 pm   Post subject: Presenter / iSpring SDK / ActiveSWF

If I want to start with a PPT and then generate a SWF with a number of features not supported by Presenter (such as buttons and event handling), what would be the best way to use these products to efficiently transform & modify a presentation?

I am pretty sure I would not want to do everything in ActiveSWF directly, but there does not seem to be a documented way to move data from one tool to the next.


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Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:10 am   Post subject: Re: Presenter / iSpring SDK / ActiveSWF

iSpring Presenter/SDK convert PowerPoint files to Flash format. Active SWF is one of the components used by iSpring products to create Flash movies. However, at the moment there is no any documented and supported way to obtain the intermediate representation of the conversion data for manual or automatic processing by third parties.

By the way, could you please describe the extra features you'd like to implement in more details. Perhaps, there is a chance to achieve the same results without "hacking" the intermediate files of iSpring.


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Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:16 pm   Post subject: Re: Presenter / iSpring SDK / ActiveSWF

Extra features... So far...

    Pausing playback in the middle of a slide
    Altering the timing of animation events
    Altering content of outline/thumbnails
    Making triggers/buttons work
    Using AS to implement dynamic animations

While I can understand that Presenter needs to provide a "simple" interface for users, I think it could fairly cleanly expose some of the internal operations & allow end-users to directly adjust behaviors and functionality.

Presenter does a large number of things brilliantly -- compared to competing products -- but it's awkward that there are some shortcomings and no essentially work-around mechanism to "hack" it.


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Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:43 am   Post subject: Re: Presenter / iSpring SDK / ActiveSWF

GArrow wrote:
Pausing playback in the middle of a slide

Most of iSpring players provide play/pause button allowing viewers to pause playback at any time of the slide.
It is also possible to add a mouse driven animation in the middle of the slide using PowerPoint. Slide playback will be paused in the middle of the slide until user clicks slide background.

GArrow wrote:
Altering the timing of animation events

You may alter timing of animation events with the animation pane in PowerPoint. Just use the "Show advanced time line" feature.

GArrow wrote:
Altering content of outline/thumbnails

Outlines can be changed with the Presentation Explorer.
Thumbnails indicate the content of the slide and in most cases contain actual information.

GArrow wrote:
Making triggers/buttons work

iSpring supports trigger animations since version 5.0. In most cases trigger animations are converted flawlessly. We constantly work on improving the animation/triggers conversion quality. If you encounter any difficult cases where iSpring doesn't convert the trigger animation properly, we will be happy to investigate the problem and provide the solution improving the conversion quality.

GArrow wrote:
Using AS to implement dynamic animations.

Won't the creation of the AS2 Flash movie and its further embedding into the PowerPoint slide let you achieve the same results with less head ache? Just create an AS2 Flash movie with Adobe Flash, embed it in a PowerPoint slide and just convert the presentation.
It will be much simpler that examining the intermediate XML files, injecting your own code and then trying to assemble everything manually.

Just take a look at the following presentation containing two quite complex embedded flash movies:
http://www.slideboom.com/presentations/ ... ion-sample

GArrow wrote:
While I can understand that Presenter needs to provide a "simple" interface for users, I think it could fairly cleanly expose some of the internal operations & allow end-users to directly adjust behaviors and functionality.

We believe that such low-level features are out of scope the product functionality. The product is mainly designed for non-technical people (teachers, for instance) who don't need such 'hacking' functionality.
I am sure that this feature would also increase workload of iSpring support team.

GArrow wrote:
Presenter does a large number of things brilliantly -- compared to competing products -- but it's awkward that there are some shortcomings and no essentially work-around mechanism to "hack" it.

Since the required feature is out of scope of the product functionality I suggest making it as a custom project. Please contact our sales team for more details.


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Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:20 pm   Post subject: Re: Presenter / iSpring SDK / ActiveSWF

Aleksey Malov wrote:
GArrow wrote:
Pausing playback in the middle of a slide

Most of iSpring players provide play/pause button allowing viewers to pause playback at any time of the slide.
It is also possible to add a mouse driven animation in the middle of the slide using PowerPoint. Slide playback will be paused in the middle of the slide until user clicks slide background.


I do mean pausing by the presentation; not the user.

I want to have a single slide, which has an audio track and associated timings for animation click events. But I want to pause in the middle of that playback and wait for the user to actually click (or press Play or whatever).

Based on your comment, I've tried adding various additional animation effects with various triggers, but none of them have the desired effect.

But... good news

I realized that I could approach the problem another way. Instead of using a single audio track and trying to pause playback, I could break the audio up and associate the audio with the individual animation events -- they will then naturally pause and play based on the animation event timing controls.

This seems to work correctly and Presenter translates the various animation timings nicely.

Breaking the audio up into smaller pieces is not a big deal. Indeed, this also will address the comment I made elsewhere about randomization of audio file names. By performing the association within PPT, I can directly refer to the files in their natural location, and not have to inspect the internals of Presenter at all.

This also means I can keep my complex slides as single slides, and thus solves the problem of having extra slides cluttering up the outline & thumbnails. It's win-win.

I'd recommend this approach for users with complex timing goals.


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