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Creating narrated videos
for user assistance with
software
Dr. Martin Block FISTC
EntroStar unit

• Security market
• 2-door controller
• Entry and exit reader for each door
• For mass market, not just sp...
EntroWatch (supporting software)

• Windows 8 look-and-feel
• Intuitive
• SQL database
• Detects devices at startup
• lice...
Help facility in EntroWatch
Searchable
Help tool
HTML files
held in SQL
database and
‘indexed’
when
database
created

Shor...
Help pages (no video)

Initially
thought
videos for
all topics

Found to be
impractical,
so videos only
for important
or c...
Help pages (with video)
More
complex
topic with
a video
Initial drivers
Synched
soundtrack
imperative

Videos to
supplement
written
instructions

Do away
with need
for training

...
Proof of concept (1) – Tools/Deliverables
Tools:
Animation/Soundtracks – ‘Debut Video Capture
Software’ by NCH Software.
E...
Proof of concept (2) – Problems
Technical author (!)
Aero theme
Mouse work
Synching animation/soundtrack
Time/effort/resou...
Proof of concept (4) – Final concept
1. Assemble list of topics requiring videos.
2. Write scripts for videos.
3. Record s...
Scripts - concepts
Statements
rather than
steps

Drive videos,
giving them their
pace

Delivered with an
appealing voice

...
Scripts – first stab
Too
much
like a
recipe
with
large
steps.

Too
‘cold’.

Same
phrases
within
and
across
scripts
(boring...
Scripts - Final
Soundtracks
Done in private

Recorded prior to
animation

On-thespot
retakes

Used ‘Call-take’
microphone

Gaps between
st...
Preparations (1) – Cut up soundtracks
Preparations (2) – Demo setup
Three
EntroStar
units
monitoring
six doors,
each with
an entry
and an exit
reader

Biotech
c...
Preparations (3) – Demo setup
Twenty
staff in
fictional
company

Jobs,
names,
dates of
birth...all
made up

Remsdaq
staff:...
Video production
‘F’ keys configured to
start/end recording
Avoid abrupt
movements

Judge gaps by
whispering
script as you...
Video editing - overview
Video editing – detail
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TCUK 2013 - Martin Block - Creating narrated videos for user assistance

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TCUK 2013 - Martin Block - Creating narrated videos for user assistance

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TCUK 2013 - Martin Block - Creating narrated videos for user assistance

  1. 1. Creating narrated videos for user assistance with software Dr. Martin Block FISTC
  2. 2. EntroStar unit • Security market • 2-door controller • Entry and exit reader for each door • For mass market, not just specialists • PoE/PoE+ • BACnet-enabled
  3. 3. EntroWatch (supporting software) • Windows 8 look-and-feel • Intuitive • SQL database • Detects devices at startup • license is free
  4. 4. Help facility in EntroWatch Searchable Help tool HTML files held in SQL database and ‘indexed’ when database created Short, snappy Help topics Videos to support key topics
  5. 5. Help pages (no video) Initially thought videos for all topics Found to be impractical, so videos only for important or complex topics
  6. 6. Help pages (with video) More complex topic with a video
  7. 7. Initial drivers Synched soundtrack imperative Videos to supplement written instructions Do away with need for training Enhance web presence eg YouTube Produce inhouse (good learning) Get with the times! Selling point for product
  8. 8. Proof of concept (1) – Tools/Deliverables Tools: Animation/Soundtracks – ‘Debut Video Capture Software’ by NCH Software. Editing/Compiled Videos – ‘VideoPad Video Editing Software’ by NCH Software. Deliverables: AVI files accessible via hot-linked icons at foot of some Help topics. One third of topics ended up with videos.
  9. 9. Proof of concept (2) – Problems Technical author (!) Aero theme Mouse work Synching animation/soundtrack Time/effort/resources
  10. 10. Proof of concept (4) – Final concept 1. Assemble list of topics requiring videos. 2. Write scripts for videos. 3. Record soundtracks (*.mp3 files). 4. Cut up scripts into snippets. 5. Prepare for video shoots. 6. Create animation-only videos. 7. Bring script snippets and animations into editing package. 8. Add in title sequences. 9. Match script snippets to animation. 10. Save as compiled *.avi files.
  11. 11. Scripts - concepts Statements rather than steps Drive videos, giving them their pace Delivered with an appealing voice Variety of text to avoid repetition Warm text, with introductions and sign-offs
  12. 12. Scripts – first stab Too much like a recipe with large steps. Too ‘cold’. Same phrases within and across scripts (boring). No clear start and end.
  13. 13. Scripts - Final
  14. 14. Soundtracks Done in private Recorded prior to animation On-thespot retakes Used ‘Call-take’ microphone Gaps between statements
  15. 15. Preparations (1) – Cut up soundtracks
  16. 16. Preparations (2) – Demo setup Three EntroStar units monitoring six doors, each with an entry and an exit reader Biotech company
  17. 17. Preparations (3) – Demo setup Twenty staff in fictional company Jobs, names, dates of birth...all made up Remsdaq staff: permission obtained for use of pictures Database later used by Remsdaq sales and marketing
  18. 18. Video production ‘F’ keys configured to start/end recording Avoid abrupt movements Judge gaps by whispering script as you go along Allow time for intro piece and end piece Prepare EntroWatch with a ‘negative’ setup Dummy runs Pace speed of mouse Balance perfection with realism
  19. 19. Video editing - overview
  20. 20. Video editing – detail

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