With Adobe Captivate 4, you can publish your Captivate project directly as an AVI file. This enables you to create demos using Captivate and upload them as AVI files on media sharing websites like YouTube etc. There are a few points which you need to keep in mind before proceeding with publishing your projects as AVI.
- Any media encoding process requires a considerable amount of processing power. Publishing to AVI is no different, because it converts the project SWF to AVI using some encoder (more on this in the next point). So, the best result would be seen on a decently powerful machine. I would recommend to close other heavy processes running on the machine before publishing to AVI.
- While the speed of conversion partly depends on the available processing power as well, the quality of output and compression are completely Encoder dependent. Captivate uses DirectShow technology to get encoder from the system. On WinXP, we have a default encoder ‘Indeo Video 5.10 Compression Filter’ works pretty well. On WinVista, we have only one default encoder which works and that is Cinepak Codec by Radius. However, it is not a good option as it takes longer and produces a bigger file. The recommendation would be to use a good encoder, such as XviD. XviD is freely available and can be downloaded and installed easily. Klite Mega Codec pack contains XviD, and some other encoders like DivX which can also be used. We have seen good results with XviD. A point to note here is that a few encoders like ‘Uncompressed’ and ‘MJPEG converter’ are not recommended because they do not do any compression and the resulting file can take up huge amount of disk space(can go up to a few GBs).
- The size of the project in terms of runtime, as well as the size in terms of disk space used also determines how much time will it take to publish a project to AVI. For a normal demo project it roughly takes 1.5 to 2 times the runtime of the project if the above two points are followed. By normal project, I mean a project demo project which contains some audio in the form of narration, fmr slides, mouse etc. A heavy project which contains a lot of animations, text animations etc will convert a bit slower than normal.
- It is not recommended to convert projects which are greater than 800×600 in resolution. As the resolution increases, the conversion process will slow down because it will requires more processing power.
- Most of the encoders do not accept odd numbers as project width or height in terms of resolution. This means that if your project resolution is something like 455×450 or 640×479 or 425×315 etc, you’ll get an error message as ‘Error Occurred’ and the publish will abort. A quick solution would be to resize your project to have even numbers as the project dimensions.
If you keep the above points in mind, publishing your project to AVI can be as easy as publishing to SWF. Just that it takes more time. Hope this helps all who wanted to share their captivate demos on YouTube. Happy publishing!!