Making presentations into movies

Well, I have finished and delivered my virtual worlds presentation, and by all accounts the feedback was very positive. So now I am contemplating how I might take the presentation, with all its video, pictures, meaningful use of transitions, and the accompanying talk, and make it available for people to download, or even view online.

Given Andy Piper's troubles in negotiating this exact same problem, I am giving this rather more thought than I had done previously - it clearly isn't as obvious as it seemed. Exporting a presentation and adding audio should be simple on a Mac with all its media capabilities. That wasn't Andy's experience, though.

Unfortunately there's no audio recording from the event itself, and so in order to produce a downloadable version, I will be required to reprise the talk that accompanies the presentation.

Here are my options for making a downloadable self running presentation, with audio:

  1. Run through the presentation, using Snapz Pro X to simultaneously record the audio and screen capture the slideshow video;

  2. Record the audio track separately. Listen to the recorded audio track, while clicking through the slideshow, and capturing it with Snapz Pro X. Use Quicktime Pro to join the audio and video together;

  3. Record the audio track separately. Export the presentation to a Quicktime movie allowing five seconds per slide. Either export it in a video format that will be editable in iMovie or Final Cut Express, or convert it to one post facto. Finally, edit it to extend the stills so that the slides fit in with the audio track.

Keynote is very good at exporting. You can export presentations to PDF; to Flash movies; Quicktime slideshows and movies; Powerpoint; and other things.

Hence, superficially, the most attractive of these is option 3. However, there are difficulties in exporting slideshows to Quicktime that have movies in them. For example, where there is a delay in a slide to allow time for a movie to play, the delay in the exported version doesn't begin until after the movie has finished which doesn't work at all well. Also, in my slideshow, there are a couple of instances of running movies having other things fade in on top of them. Without having proved it, I suspect that, in the exported version, this is going to happen after the movie has stopped, which also won't be as intended.

Option 1 is probably not going to work that well, because the idea that I might get the talk right in one large take, at least without an audience keeping me on my toes, seems a little improbable.

So, even though I'm not mad about option 2, it's starting to look like the least painful way to do it.

Apple! If you're listening, here are my suggestions on what you could do to make all this much easier:

  • Fix Keynote Quicktime exports so that slides with movies in them work properly;

  • Enhance Final Cut Express and iMovie so that they can edit at 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768 - standard computer resolutions as well as standard video resolutions;

  • Enhance Keynote to give it a presentation recording mode. The user would give the presentation, and Keynote would generate a Quicktime movie of the presentation, complete with the recorded audio track.

I'll post again, if and when I've managed to do this!

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