Notes on the Demonstration Movies
Note that I am by no means any kind of expert in Flash or Swish programming Ė in fact, these were my first Flash/Swish attempts. More information & help can be obtained in various forums, such aswww.flashkit.com. The files on www.web-vo were created on Swish 2.0, an inexpensive program which creates "Flash" compatible animations. Swish can be downloaded at www.swishzone.com. Swish 2.0 seems to be an excellent program, however I have no "Flash" experience, so I canít compare the programs. I chose Swish simply because it fit my budget, as an amateur web animation programmer.
The two movies (Modem & High Speed) are very similar, The opening scenes were prepared differently in order to demonstrate differences in connect speed techniques. Iíve avoided a "preloading" message in the presentation, instead using other techniques to force the viewer to be occupied during preloading.1. "Intro Text Crawl"
I used the opening text crawl primarily to stall for time Ė to allow the flash/mp3 files time to load for the following scene. At the same time I was able to communicate important information.
2. "Damned if you do"
3. "Hosting Company" Advertisement.
I placed that segment at its location (the beginning) because the following scene required a considerable amount of time to preload. Forcing the viewer to "play around", to discover the different sounds they get when rolling over the buttons eats up valuable preloading time. The "High-Speed" version uses higher quality sound files.
4. "Statue of Liberty"
I used two music loops for the background, and a simple text crawl to demonstrate how to use a voice-over to help deliver a message. The "High-Speed" version uses mp3 files encoded at higher bit-rates, in stereo, while the "Low-Speed" version is in mono, at lower bit rates.
5. Desert Ecology
The "High-Speed" version sound track was one I already had on hand from a previous "non-internet" project. I inserted the complete sound track segment and prepared the visual scene to follow the sound track. Iíve found that itís almost impossible to force "synchronization" of the visuals with a long sound track. Different computers play the visuals and effects at totally different rates. However, if the visuals and sounds allow for some slack, an effective presentation segment can be prepared.
The "Low Speed" version sound track was created after realizing that synchronization was too far off at modem download speed. I chopped the sound track into segments, and created a sound effect loop from the beginning of the original scene. The loop runs continuously, which helps to mask the fact that the rest of the audio track starts and stops, being triggered by the completion of the visual effects.
6. Learning "Math"
I created this scene from scratch, to demonstrate how old-fashioned "multimedia" presentation techniques can be applied to Internet presentations.
Years ago, before video projection systems became common, companies would produce extravagant multimedia slideshow presentations, using sometimes hundreds of slide projectors, along with, what was at the time, very sophisticated presentation technology. While video has in the last few decades, replaced this format, many remember these presentations as being far more effective, in terms of emotional content, than many of todayís video presentations.
It is my belief that these presentation techniques can be applied to Internet presentations to create shows that are enjoyable, sophisticated, and extremely moving. (I didnít try that here, this is just a technical demonstration.)
I started creating this segment intending to produce a strictly "High-Speed" version, but I found that with just a few changes, it would play almost as well at 33.6K, so it ended up producing it as a low-speed version, only.
I used two short background music segments, and repeat them alternately, in order to reduce downloading time. The music is allowed to "Pause" momentarily to enhance the "Dramatic" effect. The voice-over is spaced-out, filled in with the music segments. This gives the illusion of a continuous stream of music and narration.
When I get time, I hope to produce a similar "High-Speed" only version using similar techniques, with High-Definition images, to demonstrate more fully what kind of emotional impact can be created.
7. "Our Hero"
I created this to demonstrate how narration can be used to enhance an interactive "learning" experience. The natural pauses in the presentation allow the information to "sink-in" while allowing for high quality audio, even at modem download speeds.
Of course, voice-over has been used in animated sequences as early as synchronized sound became practical in the movies.
Voice-over can provide the story, as well as humor in a sequence.
I Hope you enjoy the presentation.