Getting Started with Video and Animation for STC Summit 2014 #stc14


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YouTube has transformed popular culture. Video is everywhere. Technical publications groups need to innovate or they will be left behind. One way to innovate and engage customers is through using video or animation. But creating video or animation is not a simple process. To illustrate the complexities of this approach to innovation, we must journey from the “ordinary world” of documentation, to a new, “special world” of media production. On the way, we need to overcome several obstacles: getting management approval; finding guidance and mentors; creating a pilot; testing the process; learning video editing; losing allies and staff; and facing technical problems. To be successful, we must fight back with workarounds and new ideas. Only then can we reach the reward of our journey by publishing our video and animations.

authors: Mary Martyak and Cynthia Chin-Lee, describes how technical publications groups can integrated video and animation into their documentation.

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  • CYNDI:I’m a Manager of Documentation at Oracle Corporation in Santa Clara, CA. I presented at the STC Summit many years ago on Contracting as a Technical Writer and was a former VP of the STC Silicon Valley. I led a panel on the topic of video and animation and other rich media for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2013. In my spare time, I write and have authored seven books, one career book for adults as well as six children’s books with multicultural themes ( I recently gave an STC Webinar with Lisa Kuder on “Using Video and Animation: From Storyboard to Finished Product.”Mary:Mary Martyak is a Senior Manager of Documentation at Oracle Corporation in Burlington, MA. She has worked in the publications field for over 30 years, with experience as a staff senior editor at Sun Microsystems, NEC Corp, and Computer Design Magazine, as well as a contract technical writer or editor at several major computer companies, technology magazines, Silver Burdett Ginn Textbooks, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has taken the leap with her group this year in developing videos for Oracle's products.Cyndi:We’d like to get a show of hands on the experience of our audience:How many of you have done extensive video?How many of you have some a few videos?How many are you are planning to do videos?How many are just thinking about it?If you have experience with video, please feel free to interject with your comments. We will have a Q&A Session at the end but if you have something to add, please raise your hand. We’d like this to be more of a conversation than a lecture.
  • CYNDI:YouTube has transformed our current culture; people expect video and animation to explain new products and ideas. You used to have to buy air time as in TV infomercial. Now that’s changed with the Web and YouTube. We have video everywhere, including in docs. My son has had his own YouTube channel since he was 11 where he creates his own videos on his gaming.Chinese proverb: engaging the user means the user will have a higher rate of retention and higher satisfaction.We all want to keep up with the competition. So we did a web search on Oracle’s competitors in hardware: Dell, HP, and IBM.All of them to a certain extent have animations and video.
  • CYNDI:The photo of the skunk is a reminder that doing animation and video has been a “skunkworks” project for my team. A not-so-secret project that upper mgt did not initiate but something started from the ground up.---I’ll explain how we producedanimations and video, which are now published as part of our company’s product documentation. In our case, x86 servers that are used as both standalone servers as well as integrated into high-end, multi-million dollar engineered systems. Our story is exciting to us, but to put another spin on our journey, we’ve chosen to divide our work into the 12 steps that are often applied in myths and fairy tales. You’ll see the relationships as we begin our talk. Credit for this paradigm goes to Joseph Campbell, who was a mythologist and writer who traveled the world studying mythological stories from various cultures. Partly based on Carl Jung’s archtypes, he analyzed the structure that is common to most myths and modern stories. He described this story structure in the 1949 book, “The Hero With a Thousand faces.”--- To modernize the steps, Christopher Vogler, a Hollywood film producer and writer, pulled insights from Campbell’s work and simplified the story structure into 12 steps, which he uses to analyze screenplays. He wrote about these steps in a the book “The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers.” --- Our presentation uses the 12 steps identified in “The Writer’s Journey” to follow a Pubs manager and team, who are advocates of using video or animation to supplement standard technical documentation. The journey encounters several transitions along the way. Hopefully, our journey will provide you with guidelines to anticipate and prepare for obstacles and ordeals you might encounter as you begin your work with video and animations.
  • CYNDI:Here are two examples, of an animation and a videos created by my group. The first one is a simple animation of removing memory from a server. This was created by using the CAD data designed for creating the product and the same data used by the illustrator to create the illustrations for the docs. The animator used Right Hemisphere’s software Deep Exploration to create it.The second video was only partially created by my group. We worked with Product Management to write the storyboard and script and then we worked with Oracle Brand and Creative to produce it in Oracle’s professional studios. I was a last-minute fill in to be the host because the director of engineering who was supposed to be the host wasn’t able to fly to California due to Hurricane Sandy.
  • CYNDI:We publish our doc sets online on the web. You can see the list of docs as well as a section called Animation where we post the animations. We also link to the animations from within the manuals. For example, if we have a procedure on Replacing a DIMM (memory), then we have a link to the animation. We do this in two stages usually. In the first stage we publish the docs and the animations. In the second stage, the writer adds the link to the appropriate animation. This could be done in one stage but writers are often rushed at product release and many of them do it in two stages.
  • MARY:To set the stage, think of a person who is to become a heroine, and who is about to set out on a journey. She is first in her Ordinary World, her customary environment. However, the heroine is restless and is looking for something of interest to do. An idea, or goal, occurs to her. She knows she can develop the skills and expertise to reach this goal. In this step, the heroine provides the information that supporters need to know about whythe journey should be taken, and what the goal of the journey is. She explains that a problem exists that needs to be corrected for the benefit of all.Think of the movie Star Wars, when you see Luke Skywalker as a bored farm boy looking for an adventure. He knows he wants something more out of life. This is his Ordinary World.In our Ordinary World of documentation, we have document sets. These might be traditional book-style manuals, posters, printed quick start guides, online help, or topic-based documents. Writers use structured authoring tools to create these documents, which are then published as PDF, HTML, print, and possibly other formats like epub or mobi for mobile devices. But we thought we could develop more engaging types of documents for our customers. We did our due diligence and investigated what innovations our competitors are employing for their documentation. From this research, we saw how animation and video was being used on YouTube for product documentation. The idea to integrate this media into our product documentation clicked. We began to see “what is” (the current state of your documentation) vs. “what could be” (addition of video or animation) in terms of benefits to the customers and others in our organization.
  • MARY:The next step in our journey is the Call to Action. In a myth, the hero, or heroine, has realized that a problem or challenge exists. She knows that something must be done to correct the problem. --- Go back to Star Wars. This is the step when Princess Leia, leader of the Rebel Alliance, sends a holographic message to Obi Wan Kenobi. She asks Obi Wan to help her in the fight against the Galactic Empire. Obi Wan then asks Luke to join in the adventure and fight against the evil empire.--- In our case, the Call to Action to leave our ordinary documentation world came from a media designer with whom we worked to develop illustrations that show customers and field service staff how to replace server components. As part of our illustration development process for our documentation, our engineering teams provide us with the 3D computer-aided design (CAD) files that are used to design the servers. We then transfer these 3D files to the media designers to use when creating our document illustrations. --- This media designer was familiar with creating animations, and knew we were looking to expand how we delivered our documentation. He said that the CAD files could also be leveraged to create animations. The data required to create the animations was embedded within the 3D files, and it was “free” because there was no monetary cost to access the data. ---We again researched our competitors’ documentation to see how they were using animations or videos. We found that yes, the competitors were using both animation and live-action video to convey more information about their products.
  • MARY:In most myths, the hero now has doubts about the journey and starts to Refuse the Call. This is a natural reaction of either the hero or others on the journey about taking on something new—it is the fear of the unknown. They realize that on the journey they will encounter challenges that might be difficult to overcome. This is a temporary phase during which the hero or others might say no to, or resist the journey. To overcome this phase, the hero must find the reasons that justify the journey and its challenges. He must convince others to approve the journey so that an expected goal can be met.--- Remember in Star Wars that Luke at first refuses Obi Wan’s call to the adventure, and returns to his aunt an uncle’s farmhouse. But there, he finds they have been murdered by the Empire’s Storm Troopers. Because of this, Luke is no longer reluctant. He is now motivated and is eager to take on the adventure. --- As we considered starting our animation project, we realized that there were risks inherent within the journey. We knew that new processes had to be established and new skills learned. It would have been easy to reject the project at this stage and resist going forward. We knew that even positive changes might involve uncertainty. But we used our resistance to gain momentum by showing that the current state of documentation was not OK, and that it could be improved with the addition of video or animation. We discussed how adding animations would benefit the customer experience when using the products. We also discussed the risks in terms of people resources, physical resources, time and money. We thought about the phrase “no pain, no gain.” But we were determined to push on, so we went to our director with our idea. He asked us to find other individuals or groups within our organization who would benefit by us achieving the goals of the journey.
  • CYNDI:The heroine in a myth often meets a mentor, and she is provided with even more reasons to not refuse the journey. This mentor has experience or knowledge about similar journeys and helps the heroine get over fears about what is to come. The mentor gives advice about all aspects of the journey and can help the heroine plan out how her ideas will be accomplished. --- The mentor, like Obi Wan, is living evidence that the journey can be survived and will be fruitful. Obi Wan gives Luke his father’s light sabre as a tool to use along the journey. But the mentor can only take the hero so far. The hero must create a plan for how to accomplish his goals.--- Our mentor was the media designer who demonstrated how an animation could be created using the 3D CAD files and with an application called Right Hemisphere Deep Exploration. His experience and advice helped us to plan the project and set a course of action, which we used to develop our project proposal. We also found an encouraging training manager who became both a mentor and an ally. She had experience creating animation, video, and interactive media. Another mentor and ally included my manager and software director who encouraged us to pursue this project, helped fund it, and advised me when we hit problems.--- Other mentors appeared: the software training group had a lot of experience with Camtasia and we found many other doc groups within Oracle who had experience in video.--- We looked at our options for staffing the project, as well as the hardware equipment and software that would be required to complete the project, and added that information to our proposal.---When you look for a mentor, seek out peoplewithin professional organizations, or in other parts of your company where multimedia is being used. Review what the mentor has previously done to produce video or animation. The mentor can share her experiences, goals, and skills that will help you move past any obstacles you encounter.
  • MARY:This is a proposal we used to initiate a video project as an adjunct to the standard product documentation. Within this proposal, we addressed our objectives for the project and proof of concept that our ideas could be successfully developed and managed to produce the videos. Since the cost to complete the new work is of great importance to management, we outlined a budget to purchase the hardware and software we would need.
  • MARY:Then, we listed the staff that would be involved in the project and their roles. We explained that our “sister group” on the west coast would be our mentors. We described how we would determine, with the recommendations from our field service personnel, what content we would produce as video examples of common tasks our customers perform. Finally, we gave an estimated start date and projected when the videos would be released on the documentation web site.
  • CYNDI:Here is a list of prices for video editing software. We looked closely at some free packages (Oracle Productivity Kit) and then at Camtasia, which was the most popular software package being used at Oracle. Another ally (Systems training) uses Adobe Captivate but it seemed too expensive and more than we needed.
  • CYNDI: At this step, you are ready to start the adventure. You have convinced yourself and others that it is worthwhile to cross the boundary from the status quo of the “ordinary world” into the “special world.” You are now committed to the journey and are leaving your comfort zone. But you need to prepare for what’s ahead on the journey.--- Look again to our Star Wars myth. In Star Wars, the space ship blasts off with Luke and others onboard. A course is plotted, and the story really gets going. In another myth-like story, the Wizard of Oz, this is when Dorothy starts skipping down the yellow brick road. Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Lion make plans to meet the Wizard. The journey to the special world is beginning.--- We were now ready to get more specific about our project. We had to communicate to management what was at stake and the reasons to adopt the proposal and our unique perspective. We needed to develop a plan, which we called a “concept document,” that detailed the content of each specific animation, including its objectives, a conceptual overview, its title, its main topic or task, estimated time length, and all components to be integrated, such as illustrations, slides, narrations, soundtrack, closed captions, and so forth. We identified people resources and managers for various parts of the project. We created the concept doc and the other team members reviewed it. Once agreed on, individual team members volunteered to do the various tasks that they would encounter as part of the journey.
  • CYNDI:This is a concept document for a video which shows the objective, timing, components, and overall concept of the video. It also includes the main topic, conclusion, and required resources. This is a document that gets the conversation started. After doing a few videos, it may also become more of a boilerplate.
  • CYNDI:The hero has crossed the threshold and entered the special world. Her skills are tested as she meets both positive and negative forces. She makes allies and enemies. The hero trains for a tougher adventure and builds more skills required for the journey.--- In Star Wars, this step is taken during a break when Luke is in the cantina. Luke forges an alliance with Hans Solo, but also becomes an enemy of Jabba The Hut. As the movie progresses, tests and challenges will come, and Obi Wan teaches Luke about the Force as Luke learns to fight blindfolded. The laser fights with Imperial Fighters are also tests that Luke must pass successfully.--- For our animation project, we contacted other documentation teams to be our allies. However, those teams refused to join us as they were busy meeting deadlines, or dealing with authoring tool challenges, or other issues of the “ordinary documentation world.” We knew we wanted to cross-over from ideas and concepts into pre-production work. Together with our training manager and media designer allies, we recruited a small group or writers to work with a contract media designer to create animations for an existing product called the Sun Server X2-8. We decided to work on an existing project so we would not have the deadline pressure of a new product. Our team cooperated and developed into a productive working group. Their creativity was fostered as we made first attempts at writing the storyboards and scripts. We soon realized that there was much planning and multiple iterations of work to be done…reviews, revisions, and more reviews. Our realized we could endure a lot of challenges. We produced a final set of animations that we published on our corporate documentation web site. We now knew we could produce animations to augment our traditional documentation for the Sun Server X2-8. But we knew we weren’t finished yet. We proposed to develop a second set of animations, for a new product called the Sun Server X3-2.
  • CYNDI:After the Concept doc, the next document is the storyboard with the segment name, text and titles, animation and effects and the visual. It’s important to add the visual so you can see what will be on the screen.
  • CYNDI:Here is a sample script. Note that text in parentheses is not narrated. Indented text is read by a second voice. We wanted to have two voices so that we have both a male and female voice. Our business unit is heavily male-dominated and we wanted to be inclusive. Also, having two voices gives the video more interest.
  • MARY:In a myth, the hero now transitions into the “innermost cave” or “heart of darkness,” a dangerous place, where the object of the quest might be hidden. The hero has dark moments to get through and might be discouraged. He wonders if he will pull through the journey unscathed. But often, relationships are deepened, making members on the journey stronger. The hero is proactive and completesthe challenges presented to him.---In Star Wars, this is the point where Luke and Hans Solo are sucked into the Death Star, from which they need to rescue Princess Leia. ---Ourteam was now engrossed in producing the animations for the Sun Server X3-2. But then, like in a myth, we reached our “innermost cave.” We encountered problems in our processes, skills, scripts, and media output: like not having a script template; disagreements sometimes arose between writers; and writers sometimes did not have the patience to work with the video editing software. The work could be tedious and repetitive. We had to revise the storyboards several times for technical inaccuracies, which meant more animation revisions for the media designer. The team became discouraged that the project might not be completed. But we resolved to move on. The team honed their skills and we improved our processes. For example, we agreed on the title and end snip. The title slide is an Oracle Powerpoint template and the end snip came from Oracle Brand. We moved from not knowing how or what to do, to being flexible using the Camtasia software, video camera, microphone, and other tools. We took new approaches, like adding background music and creating closed captioning. The team was willing to take creative risks and accept that they might not have all the right answers at this time. They moved from phobias of new tools and processes to seeing what could be done. We worked hard and could envision the final product.
  • MARY:Now the heroine faces one or more ordeals and a critical moment when she confronts her greatest fears. The heroine is challenged to overcome significant impediments to progress that could lead to failure and not completing the journey. The heroine needs to face her fears and obstacles and is then transformed into a stronger heroine. --- In the movies, this step is often when the hero is at the brink of death. In an Indiana Jones movie, Indiana has a great fear of snakes, and is shoved into a pit full of snakes. With skill and perseverance, he survives the ordeal. In Star Wars, it is when Luke, Leia and company are trapped in the Death Star and Luke is almost brought to death by a tentacled monster. In E.T., this is when E.T. appears to momentarily die on the operating table. But the heroes do survive the ordeal, are revived, and are more motivated to continue their journeys.-- In our animation production, we were not “out of the woods.” At a critical time in our development, our ordeal came, or should I say many ordeals. Our schedules were pulled in and some of the writers on the animation project needed to return to work on standard documentation. To make matters worse, we lost two important allies. The training manager resigned, and the contract media designer was fast approaching the limit of hours he could work for our company, even though the animations were not complete. We also lost the freedom to use our Deep Exploration animation software since the Right Hemisphere company was bought by SAP, an Oracle competitor. We found more technical errors during script reviews, which meant revising the animations, re-recording the narrations, and re-entering the narration captions. Tensions on the team arose. As the team leaders, we tried to redirect their tensions into part of a productive, creative process. We let the team help determine how to overcome obstacles. We kept the team motivated by reminding them that the goal was in sight.
  • MARY:The hero now knows his reward is within reach, and will soon take possession of it. Having beaten monsters and survived near-death experiences, he knows he has earned the reward. He understands the significance of the ordeal.--- In a myth, sometimes the “reward” is knowledge or experience that leads to greater understanding or reconciliation with hostile forces. In a sequel to Star Wars, The Return of the Jedi, Luke is reconciled with his greatest enemy, when he learns that Darth Vader is also his father. --- Faced with daunting obstacles, we shifted our focus from the Sun Server X3-2 hardware animations to a software project we had begun in parallel with the hardware animations. That was when we moved to doing live video. A few of the writers wrote a concept document, script, and storyboard on how to use a system management software application. To secure support for the project, we approached the software director with our plans. Impressed with our initiative, he approved the purchase of our first video editing software, Camtasia. One writer used his personal video recorder to record live-action video of the software task screens as they appeared on the host system. We used Camtasia to import screenshots. We showed the draft video to the software director as proof of concept. He liked it, but thought it needed more polish. We assured the team that the goal was in sight.--- We contacted the corporate brand and marketing department asked if we could use their studio with its professional lighting and sound equipment. They politely said no, but offered to produce four 3- to 5-minute professional videos for us for $10,000. We told the software director the price, and surprisingly, we were able to get the money. Our writers wrote the scripts for the four videos along with help from product marketing, and the videos were produced by the corporate brand and marketing. Those videos are now published on YouTube and on the Oracle Media Network web site. We again had a reward.
  • CYNDI: In myths, the hero is newly energized and is committed to finishing the journey and achieving her goals. This is when the hero often is racing toward a new location or is involved in a chase scene to get to a new location where she can announce that the reward is in hand. In a movie storyline, vengeful forces might now chase the hero, who they see as having stolen a treasure. In Star Wars, this is the chase scene when Luke, Princess Leia, and others escape from the Death Star with the plans to bring down Darth Vader. The success of the software videos re-energized us. With one license for Camtasia video-editing software, the team was re-committed to completing the Sun Server X3-2 animations. Once again, we reviewed the script and animations for technical accuracy. We checked the narration against the script. We checked that the animations were synced with the narrations. We verified that the captions corresponded to the narrations. We ensured that soundtracks were in place appropriately.
  • CYNDI:The mythologicaljourney is nearly over. All knowledge and skills that the heroine has learned are put to a test. Any final ordeals or challenges are overcome.In the movies, this is when the hero might face a final challenge, but emerges from the special world back into the ordinary world. He is now transformed into a higher-order being by having gone through the experiences of the journey.For us, only “final touches” of the hardware animation work were left to be done, such as adding the front and back matter, rendering of the final file output, managing the publication of the files, and archiving the files. Anything that could negatively impact the final output was rectified. After months of work, we published the Sun Server X3-2 animations on our corporate documentation library web site, and we enjoyed this accomplishment as our reward. We had gotten very far with our animations and video work. It was no time to give up. We had developed two sets of hardware animations and one set of software videos. With a new vision, we approached my hardware director, explaining that we wanted to continue, but that our priority would be for video production. To gain his backing, we put together a budget for a video camera, lights, microphones, hard drives, and more Camtasia licenses. Because the market for hardware and software for video editing is so competitive, we were able to purchase this equipment with an approved budget under $3500.
  • CYNDI: In the myth, the heroine now fully understands why she needed to begin the journey. The heroine has her reward and can show others what she has accomplished. In the movies, the hero’s journey would have been meaningless if he did not bring back the promised “elixir” or reward. This reward helps all in the ordinary world in a very special way. In Star Wars, Luke’s reward came when he defeated Darth Vadar and destroyed the Death Star. Luke has become a full Jedi, and Obi Wan says, “Remember, the force will be with you, always.”Now, we have the required hardware and software for video production. Most of the writers are involved with multiple software and hardware video projects. We are currently sharing the knowledge we have gained on our journey with other technical publication groups who want to produce videos. We still have obstacles to overcome, but we are well on our way.
  • MARY:Next we have some tips,links to resources, and examples of published videos and animations that you might find helpful when you start your own journey to producing video and animations.
  • CYNDI:It’s good to have an understanding of how much time it takes to produce a video and that post-production may take 45% of the time! This is the time-intensive video editing part when everything is assembled. This editing work takes the most patience and it requires writers to learn a new tool so the learning curve can be steep. Since docs are still are main deliverable, we have to be patient with writers who are making their regular deliverables and also trying to learn a complicated tool.Some people suggest signing up for a class or viewing tutorials on We haven’t taken that route because we are lucky to have some experienced video people on staff.
  • CYNDI:We aim for 2 minute videos because viewing drops off quickly (check with YouTube analytics). Pure information should run shorter than procedures. So TechSmith suggests 1 to 3 minutes for informational videos and 4 to 6 for procedural videos.
  • MARY:This slide lists some of the important traits of a good animated or video tutorial. All of these points relate to ensuring that the information can be easily understood by the user.
  • MARY:This slide describes the traits of a good narration that is embedded in an animation or video. Likewise, these points all relate to ensuring that the narrated text is simple and easily understood by the user.
  • MARY: When you produce your videos or animations, you should consider whether your work needs to be compliant with accessibility or localization requirements. For accessibility, you might need to follow guidelines that are specified in the federal 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which provides information about how to make videos, captions, and audio descriptions accessible for all users. This means that any user can use the video and understand its content. This federal act is designed to increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern communications, and for other purposes. For localization, you probably need advice about your company’s requirements for translating customer documentation. Although Oracle has localization requirements for standard documentation, the company is still developing its requirements for localization of videos and animations. Currently, our team is not translating narrations or localizing the video or animations. However, if you use Camtasia, that software can generate closed-captioned script files that can then be submitted to your translation group, edited, and re-imported into Camtasia to generate closed captions in non-English languages.
  • CYNDI: Check quality of the video and audio. Equipment matters (microphones, recording software, lighting, tripod, dpi and size of frame). We publish both HTML and mp4. We do closed captioning on HTML but found that it doesn’t work for mp4 (for Camtasia). Mp4s are large and are downloadable for viewing later if no web connection.
  • CYNDI:Videos are a lot of work and deserve to be seen. Because it is a newer format, you may need to publicize their existence. Here are some ideas, including social media.
  • MARY:Groups at Oracle have produced several types of videos for a variety or products. We welcome you to take a look at some of these videos. Here are some links to animations and videos produced at Oracle by different groups.
  • MARY:There are many resources you can find on the web about how to develop animations and videos. Here are just a few resources you can go to to find more information about the process for creating animations and videos.
  • CYNDI: Questions and Answers
  • Getting Started with Video and Animation for STC Summit 2014 #stc14

    1. 1. Cynthia Chin-Lee and Mary Martyak
    2. 2. Why are we here?  Video is everywhere and can be part of your documentation  Innovate, or be left behind  Remember this Chinese proverb: “Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.” Where we will go… The Ordinary World  Call to Action  Refusal of the Call  Meeting With the Mentors  Crossing the Threshold  Test, Allies, and Enemies  Approaching the Innermost Cave  The Ordeal  Seizing the Sword  The Road Back  Resurrection  Returning With the Elixir 2#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    3. 3. A Journey to Producing Video and Animations  Here is a story…  About how a doc team delivered their first video and animation as part of their customer documentation. Based on…  The Hero With a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell (1949)  The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, by Christopher Vogler (2007) 3#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    4. 4. Animation (animated illustration) vs. Video (live action) 4#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    5. 5. Video Library 5#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    6. 6. The Ordinary World  What is vs. What could be…  What do I want to convey…information, instructions, or entertainment?  Other companies are doing this. Will it give me a competitive advantage?  Will it be easier to follow and more interesting than standard documents?  Will it help the customer to understand how a product works?  Will it help to maintain the product and reduce service calls?  Will I be able to update content quickly via the web? 6 Team is unaware that something is missing or there is an opportunity to do something new. Why should I do this? #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    7. 7. Call to Action  Animation  Use when you don’t have access to the real product (hardware or software)  Use when it is more cost-effective to use 3D CAD model of the product from engineering, no overhead (object is high cost)  Video  Use when you have access to the real product  Use when it’s more cost-effective to complete in-house vs. contractor, depending on staff skills 7 A unique idea is spawned, but my world becomes unbalanced. #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    8. 8. Refusal of the Call  Why invest in the project?  Will enhance (not replace) the documentation  Ongoing demand for alternatives to standard docs  Customers don’t like to wade through a lot of documentation to find solutions  Demos for customers increase awareness of products  Fill the gap between marketing materials and product documentation  Customer and employee training can share best practices  Get feedback from customers and employees  Find allies from other groups who support the project:  Service  Marketing  Product management  Customer training  Employee training, etc. 8 Management is skeptical and the team is resistant to adopt the project. Change is hard….How can I convince them to invest in this project? #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    9. 9. Meeting With the Mentor  Where to look -- Attend an STC conference. Look for other groups at your company who are using multimedia. Look on the web for advice.  Develop a video project proposal. Include:  Purpose, benefits for viewers, and ROI  Audience definition  Concept and task overviews  Accessibility and localization requirements  Required hardware and software  Budget  Project duration  Contributors 9 I need a mentor with experience, valuable insights, and magical tools to help me on my journey and to overcome obstacles. Sample Video Project Proposal #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    10. 10. Sample Video Project Proposal 10 Page 1 Objectives Proof of Concept HW/SW Resources and Budget #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    11. 11. Sample Video Project Proposal 11 Page 2 Staff and Roles Mentors Video Procedures Schedule #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    12. 12. Video Editing Software  iMovie (Mac) $15  Windows Moviemaker (free)  Techsmith Camtasia ($299)  Adobe Captivate ($899)  Avid Media Composer ($999) 12#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    13. 13. Crossing the Threshold  Develop your ideas for the project  Write a concept document  Required resources  Project owners are assigned (who manages what?)  Present concept to Pubs team for validation, then to management  Pubs team and management approve concept  Resources assigned for future project phases (who does what?) 13 I’m committed to this idea and ready to jump in. How do I begin? Sample Video Concept Template #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    14. 14. Sample Video Concept Template 14 Video title Script and storyboard writer Objective Duration Video components Topic overview Main content Conclusion Staff #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    15. 15. Tests, Allies, and Enemies  Production preparations:  Storyboard developed  Script developed  Acquire resources  Plan schedule for production work 15 Pre-production work begins. What are my first steps? Sample storyboard Sample script #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    16. 16. Sample Storyboard 16#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    17. 17. Sample Script 17 Script title No. of lines in script Front matter Procedure overview Main content #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    18. 18. Approach the Innermost Cave  Production work:  Owners are assigned for:  Shooting video/screencast  Creating sequences  Capturing screens  Creating image files (jpg, png, etc.)  Creating and revising front and back matter  Recording audio narrations  Creating captions  Reviewing prototypes 18 Team is determined to push the idea forward and begins to work on new skills to be successful #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    19. 19. The Ordeal  What can go wrong?  Schedules are moved in  People resources are lost  Script is technically incorrect  Tools are missing or inadequate  Recording locations not available 19 Some tasks are accomplished, but results might not work out as expected. How do I keep the team motivated? #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    20. 20. Seizing the Sword  Take possession of what you have earned so far  What has been accomplished is clear and the goal is in sight  Realize the significance of what you are doing  Share your accomplishments outside of your team  Celebrate the team’s efforts 20 As more attempts to get it right are made, improvements are implemented, but setbacks also occur. #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    21. 21. The Road Back  Assembly, integration, and proof:  Owners are assigned for, and resources are available for:  Reviewing the script text (is everything technically accurate?)  Reviewing the script implementation (did the video or animation capture the storyboard correctly?)  Comparing the audio narration to the storyboard  Comparing the closed captions to the audio narration  Verifying the audio narrations are in sync with the action  Soundtracks are applied appropriately  Revising any facet of the video or animation, based on reviews and comparisons 21 Using their honed skills and tools, team pushes the idea forward and are victorious. #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    22. 22. Resurrection  “Finishing” of the final product  Owners are assigned to:  Attach front and back matter  Render final file output  Manage:  File transfers  Publication  Archiving of files 22 The journey is almost over. Problems are mastered and the idea comes to fruition. Any final ordeals are overcome. #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    23. 23. Return With the Elixir  The video or animation is complete and published for customers on:  Corporate documentation web sites  Corporate marketing web sites  Corporate training web sites  Corporate media sites  YouTube  Facebook  Twitter  Blogs 23 The video or animation is published. Videos or animations are adopted for future products within your organization. The “ordinary world” becomes a better place. Sample animation Sample video #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    24. 24. Production phases and the finished product How long should it be? What makes a good tutorial? What makes a good narration? Accessibility and localization File and publishing considerations Be an evangelist Oracle videos and animations Resources and more information 24#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    25. 25. Production Phases and Finished Product Production Timeline Concept 10% Pre- Production 10% Production 30% Post- Production 45% Finish 5% 25 Finished Product Structure Proportioned Scale Branded Opening ~6 sec Front Matter 5% (~10 sec) Intro and Conceptual Content 20% (~36 sec) Main Topic Content 60% (~110 sec) Conclusion 10% (~20 sec) Back Matter 5% (~10 sec) #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    26. 26. How Long Should Videos Run? 26#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    27. 27. What Makes a Good Tutorial?  Informs user who the audience is, and purpose of the video or animation  Provides user-friendly, concise, clear content that is easily understood  Includes instructions that are succinct, explanatory, and easy to follow:  Focused on essential features and one task  Easy-to-follow solution for a particular task  Short, sequential steps per screen build into a full procedure  Terms and images are consistent  Tutorials can be developed and compiled into a library of related tasks  Refers to additional, related documentation  Recaps the tutorial, shows user what the task accomplished, and points user where to go or what to do next 27#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    28. 28. What Makes a Good Narration?  Narrations complement the video or animation action  Appropriate style:  Use simple text; avoid complex, rambling sentences  Use fluid, conversational voice  Use simple declarative sentences with pictorial nouns and action verbs  Use active voice  Address the second person, “you”  Keep a reasonably slow pace so that users can absorb context and understand actions 28#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    29. 29. Accessibility and Localization  Accessibility  Captions in Oracle technical videos are a requirement  The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) has guidelines for:  Captions  Audio descriptions  Not necessarily so: As long as videos or animations have a counterpart in documentation, the accessibility requirement is satisfied. Confirm this with your accessibility representative.  Localization  Oracle is currently not translating narrations or localizing video or animations  Camtasia software can generate closed caption scripts files that can be submitted to a translations group, edited, then re-imported to a Camtasia project to generate closed caption videos in other languages 29#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    30. 30. File and Publishing Considerations  File considerations:  Video or animation use a consistent format and output is good quality  Audio levels are consistent and output is good quality  File format runs on a variety of browsers and platforms  PC, MAC, Unix machines  Firefox, Chrome, IE browsers  File size is not too large for target publication  Publishing considerations:  Upload restrictions  Findability  Download capability  Supported file formats  User comments 30#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    31. 31. Be a Publicist  Promote your videos or animations in:  Corporate newsletters  Corporate YouTube  Oracle YouTube --  Corporate Media Networks  Oracle Media Network --  Facebook  YouTube  Twitter  Blogs 31#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    32. 32. Oracle Videos and Animations  Oracle Server Documentation Sites:  Sun Server X4-2 animations  Sun Server X2-8 animations  Oracle Learning Library:  Sun Server X3-2 animations  Oracle Endeca Information Discovery YouTube:  Oracle Endeca Information Discovery Product Demos  Oracle Endeca Information Discovery Screencast Series  Oracle NetBeans Media Library:  NetBeans IDE 7.4 Overview  Setting Up a GitHub Repository Using NetBeans IDE  Oracle Cloud Marketplace:  Oracle Cloud Marketplace Tutorials and Videos 32#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    33. 33. Resources  General production  Wikipedia:  Camtasia tutorials:  To create, edit and produce videos:  Accessibility:  21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) 33#stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation
    34. 34. Comments Thanks for attending! 34 Q & A #stc14, How to Get Started With Video and Animation