Guest blog post by Erik Lord. Erik is an eLearning professional with over 20 years of experience. He is trained as both an instructional designer and developer, and is an Adobe Community Expert.
Before we discuss interactive video in Adobe Captivate 8, we need to discuss a little bit about HTML5 video.
While HTML5 video has its advantages — such as cross-platform and browser-native support — it still lags in respect to previous, plugin-supported video. One such disadvantage is the limited support for cue points.
With plugin players such as Quicktime and Flash, you could set cue points in your video that your authoring software (if capable) can hear and respond. And where it is possible, Captivate does not yet support such a feature.
Why would you want to do that anyway? Interactive video is why! With proper cue point and authoring tool support, you could enhance a training piece by not only showing video of how a procedure should be done, but ask users specific questions during playback (as cue points fired) AND actually have the video stop, waiting for a user’s response.
Now, while Captivate doesn’t support cue points specifically, it does have the advantage of allowing you to place a video on the actual Captivate timeline as “synchronized” video. With the video playback extended along the timeline itself, you can match other Captivate components with that playback.
So not only can you time captions and callouts with the video, you can also overlay click boxes.
How to Develop Interactive Video in Adobe Captivate 8
If you are at all familiar with Adobe Captivate 8 and know how to place various interactive elements on the state, then this process is simple. The biggest caveat; it doesn’t work with event video. In brief, Captivate can integrate two basic types of video – Synchronized and Event. Adobe’s help site has a nice summary of features supported by these two types. However, note that Synchronized video does not have to be multi-slide. You can have individual synchronized videos on each slide’s timeline though only one such video per slide.
Overall, as mentioned, the process is simple for those familiar with Captivate:
1. Identify the video you wish to use and place them in the same folder as your Captivate project (or a subfolder).
2. Import the video into the Captivate library.
3. Drag your video to the desired slide.
4. In the resulting dialog, the File Path will already be defined, leave Video Type at “Progressive Download,” no URL (leave it blank), and ensure Show Video On is set to “Stage.”
5. Choose whether you want this video to play entirely on one slide or across multiple slides. (Hint: if you have one video with multiple steps for the student to interact with, select “Distribute video across slides.” Otherwise, it may be easier to manage if you have one video per slide. Plus, shorter videos will likely download quicker than one long, high-MB video.)
6. Select OK and place your video and click boxes as needed.
See an example project here.
You can also download the source Captivate 8 project file as well.
Extra Bonus Tip
Properly placing your components on the stage has a big impact on how your slides work. When the play head reaches the end of a Click Box, playback will pause waiting for your click. Be sure to time the end of the Click Box in correct relation to where you want to pause the video. Additionally, the default behavior of a Click Box is to “Jump to the next slide” after it is clicked. You’ll want to change that to “Continue” in order for the rest of the video to play after the feedback appears on the screen.
In the example project, we show still shots of the videos’ first frame as soon as the slides containing the video begin.
This is to allow the video itself time to load underneath the still. After the user clicks, the still is removed from the stage — showing completion of the video playback. This may not always work for you, depending on the video you’re using.
Use the HTML5 Tracker to ensure all of your project components will be supported on mobile devices.