Tips & Tricks
I'm encountering some synchronization problems between my Windows® Media
files and my slides - what are some possible reasons for this?
o Synchronization problems can occur with longer clips: If you capture a
long clip at a bit rate below 48 kbps and then publish at another low bit
rate, the audio synch can degrade over time. This is because the audio
filter used by Producer upsamples to 48 kbps then downsamples to the
target bit rate which can cause errors. A workaround is to capture using a
profile with at least 48 kbps audio or adding a transition to your video,
reducing the long video runs.
I'm creating content that is viewed by users running Windows NT4 clients. They
find that they can't navigate around within the Table of Contents. My Windows
XP/2000 users have no such problems. Why is this?
o Customer feedback and Microsoft testing on Producer version 1.0
identified some technical limitations triggered when viewers using the
Windows NT4 operating system attempted to navigate through a Table of
Contents. Producer version 1.1 (released in June, 2002 and available on
this CD) addresses these limitations, but a byproduct of the remedy is that
viewers on Windows NT4 will not be able to "seek ahead" or otherwise
navigate through the table of contents even if that content resides on a
Windows Media Server. Viewers with NT4 desktops will be able to navigate
through the TOC if the content is played locally or from CD.
I’d like to add quizzes and surveys to my Producer presentations. How can I
pause and restart the media player to accomplish this?
o Many people have asked how to incorporate quizzes, polls or other forms
of interactivity in a seamless fashion with Producer. This can be done
through the use of Producer’s HTML track. We’ve provided two ways for
you to get started:
1. Below you will find two .htm files that include code that will pause
and re-start the player. You can modify this code to suit your
needs. While there are many ways to author .htm files to
accomplish this goal, for our example here we use the onLoad
command. Note: Microsoft Producer will load the HTML pages at
the beginning of the timeline but they will not be displayed until a
template with an HTML section is loaded into the templates track
on the timeline. Spacer.htm is a blank HTML page that is used to
delay the load time until the beginning of Submit.htm. Submit.htm
pauses the player so a viewer can take the quiz, then it restarts
the player when the viewer clicks the “submit” button on the quiz
page. (You will need to expose the HTML for approx. 5 seconds on
the timeline to give it enough time to load properly.)
HTML Sample Code
2. If you prefer to create your own .htm pages here’s some code you
To “Pause” the Windows Media Player: <body
leftmargin="0" topmargin="0" marginwidth="0"
To “Start” the Windows Media Player:
I want to synchronize some PowerPoint® slides that contain AVIs embedded in
the slides. When I import the PowerPoint file, Producer doesn't recognize the AVI
file. How can I do this?
o Producer has an option that will separate embedded audio/video files from
the slides in which they were embedded. From Producer, navigate to
Tools/Options/General and click the checkbox next to the phrase
"Separate audio and video from slides on import".
Can I include all of Producer's output in a frameset and then add other frames
o Yes. To do so, make sure that the HTML file that contains the IFrame
hosting your Producer output is in the same directory as the ASX file.
I'm getting error messages when I try to capture or import audio/video content,
any ideas how to troubleshoot?
o Typically, import and capture errors such as these are due to faulty
DirectX installs. Try manually re-installing DirectX v8.1 to see if that fixes
things. To do this free up space on your system drive (if necessary) and
go to http://www.microsoft.com/directx/.
There are missing graphics when I import some of my PowerPoint files, what
should I do?
o Verify that you are running the latest version of Producer (currently
version 1.1). Producer 1.0 didn't recognize more than 50 elements on a
given slide. Producer 1.1 resolves this issue.
o If the suggestion above doesn't work, View your PowerPoint deck as HTML
and see if it displays the slide properly. If it doesn't display properly as
HTML, Producer won't be able to display it properly either.
How can I distribute the Producer templates I create?
o A Producer template consists of an individual folder that contains all the
necessary files to display that template properly. On this Resource CD
you’ll find 11 new templates and we’ve provided two options to install
them - either of which you could use for the templates you create. First,
we’ve used the WinZip application (found at http://www.winzip.com/) to
create self-extracting executable files that automatically provide a dialog
to install each template in Producer’s templates folder. Users need only to
click “Open” and “Unzip” in response to the WinZip dialog and the
templates are automatically copied into their Producer templates folder.
You could provide this same functionality for your users as well. The
second option is to have your users manually copy the templates from the
location that you’ve stored them to their Producer templates folder, which
is found at c:\Program Files\Microsoft Producer\1033\Templates\. (If
Producer is installed somewhere other than the program files folder, locate
the producer installation and install in ..\Microsoft
Slide best practices:
What are some keys to ensuring my slides will be easily readable to my audience?
o Slides should only emphasize key points
o Limit to 4 lines per slide at 32 pt font
o Limit to 6 words per line -32 pt font (28 at an absolute minimum)
o Ensure that the colors and format used are designed for display
o Condense information
Video production tips*:
Leave enough "safe space" around the speaker's head to avoid cutting off any
part of the body when viewed on-screen. One way to do this is to mentally divide
the screen into four horizontal sections, and make sure the speaker's eyes line up
with the top third portion of the screen.
Ensure that you have the proper exposure setting on your camera. You might
want to consider using your camera's manual settings to "up" brightness/iris one
stop over the factory setting.
It is advisable to always use tungsten lighting to illuminate the speaker. If you're
shooting in a room that contains fluorescent lights, place a green color correction
gel over your tungsten lights (this will match the fluorescent lights).
*Courtesy of http://www.cyberfilmschool.com/