September 8, 2010

FMR SWF Edit

Till Adobe Captivate 4, Full Motion Recording (FMR) SWF editing feature existed as a separate application outside captivate.  With Adobe Captivate 5 this feature has been integrated within captivate.  This feature supports the following operations – trimming of frames from an FMR SWF, inserting FMR SWFs in to another FMR SWF, splitting of FMR SWFs and merging a set of FMR SWFs. All these operations could be undone and redone. Note that this FMR edit doesn’t modify any of the other objects, such as audio etc, on the slide as this feature is designed for editing of FMR SWFs than FMR Slides.

UI components

FMR Slide

These are slides which have FMR SWFs as their background.  These slides can be easily identified by the special icon attached to these slides in filmstrip as shown below (with a red circle around). These slides can be created by creating project using “record new project” menu and chooses “Full motion recording” as recording type. These slides can also be added to an existing project using Insert => recording slide menu. If an FMR SWF is readily available, then inserting a blank slide and changing the slide background to the SWF using the property inspector would create an FMR slide. Please note that FMR slides can’t be created by copy pasting/drag dropping FMR SWFs on to a blank slide.

 

Figure 1

Property Inspector (PI)

On selecting an FMR slide, the FMR edit options in the property inspector become available as shown in the figure 2. Here user can select among different editing options such as trim, insert and split and select different parameters for a given edit operation.

   

Figure 2

Time line

On selecting an FMR slide, few changes can be seen in the time line.

  1. Based on the selected edit operation, different black markers are seen along with the play-head in the time line. On selecting trim operation, 2 black markers – one for starting point for trim and one for ending point for trim become visible (as shown in Figure 3(a)). On selecting the insert or split operation a single marker becomes visible (as shown in the Figure 3(b))
  2. A red line appears in the time line indicating the duration of the FMR SWF in the slide. After FMR edit, the length of red-line in the time line changes to depict the result of editing. The black markers can’t be moved beyond the red line on the time line.

                          

Figure 3(a)                                                                                        Figure 3(b)

 

Edit operations

Trimming frames

Select the “trim” option in FMR Edit “Options” dropdown in the PI (Figure 2). Then specify the starting point, from where the frames need to be trimmed, and the end point, till where the frames need to be trimmed, either by keying in the value in to “Trim from” and “To” fields or by dragging the mouse on these fields to adjust the same or by placing the play-head at appropriate position on the timeline and clicking the “Snap to Playhead” buttons in the PI thereafter. On pressing “Trim” button, the operation is performed and the timeline is updated accordingly.

Inserting FMR SWFs

 Select the “insert” option in FMR edit “Options” dropdown in PI. Specify the point at which the FMR SWF needs to be inserted by keying in the value in “Insert At” field or by dragging the mouse on the field to adjust the same or by placing the play-head at appropriate position on the timeline and using “Snap to Playhead” button in the PI thereafter. On pressing “Insert” button, a dialog would appear in which all the FMR SWFs in the library are listed. The preview of these SWFs is also available in this dialog. In addition, a browse button enables the user to select a FMR SWF file from any location. Note that only FMR SWFs of Adobe Captivate 5 (or upgraded to Adobe Captivate 5) are accepted, selecting any other SWF to insert will throw an error. Note that if an FMR SWF is inserted from outside the project, that SWF is NOT brought in to the library as a resource.

Splitting FMR SWFs

 Select the “Split” option in FMR edit “Options” dropdown in PI. Specify the point at which FMR SWF needs to be split by keying in the value in “Split At” field or by dragging the mouse on the field to adjust the same or by placing the play-head at appropriate position on the timeline and using “Snap to Playhead” button in the PI thereafter. On pressing “Split” button, the FMR SWF is split in to two. A new FMR slide is created with the second part of the SWF as its background. Note that the objects in the original slide remain intact and do not move to the second slide.  

Merging FMR SWFs

This option appears in the right click menu when multiple FMR slides are selected in the filmstrip.  On merging, the FMR SWFs from all the slides get merged to the FMR SWF of the slide with the lowest slide number irrespective of the order of selection. Note that the objects in the merged slides do not move to the destination slide.

Changes in Library

In the library, after each of the edit operation, new FMR SWF files named “previousname_1.SWF”, “previousname_2.SWF” etc. become available in the library and the original file will NOT be available anymore. For e.g. if the previous name of the SWF was fullmotion1_1.SWF then split operation will create two SWF files named fullmotion1_1_1.SWF and fullmotion1_1_2.SWF.

Error messages

There three important error messages that one encounters while using this feature.

  1. “The input file is not in the FMR SWF format” – This error message is shown when user tries to insert a non-FMR SWF in to an FMR SWF.
  2. “The height/width of the input file is not the same as height/width specified for the project” – This error message is shown when user tries to insert a FMR SWF whose height/width do not match that of the destination SWF file.
  3. ”Cannot merge the files as the sum of the frames in the resultant SWF file will be too large” – This error message is shown when user tries to insert/merge FMR SWF files resulting in a SWF file whose frame count is greater than the frame count limit put by the SWF format (16000)
Posted by Subrahmanya Kumar Giliyaru4:25 PM
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  • Hanneke Portier

    I just figured out when you ‘trim’, you only trim the video part. If you have an audio channel, you have to edit that separately in the ‘Audio’ panel. You can not ‘trim’ both video and audio at the same time. This makes it hard to synch….

  • Fnorelli

    How come when I split the slide, the audio doesn’t also split? Same when I trim the slide. Only the FMR gets trimmed, but the audio remains at its original length. How do I trim both audio and FMR at the same time?

    • Giliyaru

      As of now this feature is only about editing FMR SWFs. Could you send your requirements (editing FMR SWF and audio together) in an e-mail to “wish-captivate@macromedia.com” so that we would consider this for our next version.

      Subrahmanya
      Adobe Captivate Team

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