First Multimedia Experiences

I took my birthday off last week without actually meaning to. I just felt like I had nothing to say, and so appropriately said nothing.

Thanks to the past few days, I have something I’m sort of willing to jabber on about- teaching myself how to play with a presentation program. Fortunately, I love to learn and I have an oversized determination streak.

It all started when I thought it would be nice to not only create this blog and book, but to create something for visual/auditory learners. (Eventually, I’ll get to the haptic learners, but for right now I’ve almost bitten off more than I can chew.) I’d always planned to create a video using Impress, OpenOffice’s equivalent of PowerPoint. (I had to start somewhere, and it’s on my computer.)

Not too long ago, someone reviewed Beyond Bullet Points, and I thought it was as good a place to start as any. Before this, the closest I’d ever been to PowerPoint were a pair of presentations I had to create in grad school several years ago. I’d never opened Impress. I got the book from my local library, sat down and started reading, making notes and creating the tutorial as I went.

The most complicated part, it turned out, wasn’t creating the presentation in the format presented in the book. Translating PowerPoint into Impress was easy. It wasn’t creating the expressions (OOoMath uses a format very similar to LaTeX, which I use to write expressions for Dead Bunny’s blog.). Creating a storyboard and script have even been fairly easy. The hang-up came when I learned not all off OpenOffice’s packages had been installed. This led to all sorts of repeat work in Impress because certain edits weren’t being saved. (We’ll hopefully have this one fixed later today. Thank goodness for the friendly, helpful OOo forums!)

I’ve started working on animating the tutorial (meaning I’ve started fidgeting with the slide timing. There are only two actual animation sequences anywhere in the tutorial.) The next step from here will be to replace my dying microphone (not a pleasant discovery), take a deep breath, push past my stage fright, and record the narration for this thing. Then I’ll get to find out how complicated incorporating audio into Impress is, and how hard it is to sync the slides and the narrating.

If all goes well, I should hopefully be sharing a link to the tutorial by August, and you can tell me if I learned well.

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