Sunday, August 04, 2013

Capacity focus, 74: Using MS PowerPoint (in Kiosk mode), Windows Movie Maker etc. to -- relatively "easily" -- create video content for the web

In this post, let us briefly look at possibilities for "simple" creation of video content, starting with the much "easier" matter of using multimedia presentation software such as PowerPoint.

Recent versions of PowerPoint presentation software have the capability to directly generate video files in various formats from kiosk mode automatically scrolling presentations, complete with audio narration. Open/Libre Office Impress has similar capacity to export to SWF, which is a flash format. (From this other formats can be generated using a video converter.) Windows movie maker has the capability to accept audio and video clips, sequence them in a storyboard or a timeline mode, and create a video. Something like Audacity can be used to capture and manipulate sound files. Screen capture software can be used, where CamStudio is apparently a useful free for download. And once we are in a reasonable format, there are video conversion utilities -- e,g. Freemake and VSDC converters -- that will generate other formats as desired, sometimes, with ability to trim video clips.

With the exception of PowerPoint (which is often already on a Windows PC that has MS Office), these packages are free for download.

In addition, there are some free for download fairly capable nonlinear video editors, including Lightworks and Blender at the high end, and things like VSDC Video Editor at the low end. Where also, I have seen that several reasonable capacity commercial products that normally retail online for US$60 - 80 or so can be had at low cost -- about US$20 [I am waiting on one such as we speak] -- if you are willing to drop back a version or two and a year or a few.

Here's one way to go that treats slides as static visual aids for audio:

And another:

(NB: Visual Bee is controversial, it may host malware, beware. Not needed to do what is needed.)

This one uses CamStudio to record procedures on a screen, with explanatory audio (and, the accent seems to be South African, if you are curious):

Of course, it is possible to set up kiosk style automatically sequenced slides, and to embed animations and video etc. But first, do the simple things to get basic proficiency.

Setting up auto-scrolling Kiosk mode:

And, here is a collection of possible PPT --> Vid techniques:

Finally, here is another that will save animations and sound without adding an annoying watermark:

(The freebie converter app is here. Step by step is here.)

Okay, next time, let's look at a home brewed multimedia video creation machine. END