Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jing, swf and Prezi

I've been enjoying a lot of success recently with Prezi (as you can probably tell from my various Prezi posts). However, I've been wanting to jazz them up. Then I came across the following Prezi by Bal√°zs Turai on 'Animations in Prezi'

This highlighted that Prezi loves .swf (Shockwave Flash) files, often simple, yet fun animations.

This started me looking for fun swf animations to put in my Prezis. The easiest thing to do is copy and paste from other Prezis (using ctrl C and ctrl V on your keyboard rather than right-clicking - Prezi works on Flash which doesn't like right-clicking) such as the one above e.g. the Scientist with the microscope. I then started looking further afield and came across a few problems:

1. Trying to insert swf files I already had from e.g. student projects didn't seem to work
2. Using swf files obtained via Firefox as explained in Lancelhoff.com didn't seem to find their way into Prezi
3. Doing an Advanced Google search for swf brought up pages that were totally Flash and I couldn't use Firefox as described in #2
4. So far I haven't found any decent creative commons banks of cool swf animations either.

If anyone knows the solutions to any of the above please let me know.

However, then I remembered Jing makes swf files in video mode. Fantastic! Jing will screen capture a particular area as an instant image (jpeg) or over time as an animation (swf). Now for example I was able to capture a Voki (animation not sound for some reason) as a swf and insert in my Prezi. (In my ineptness I can't seem to upload my swf into Blogger, so see final product at the end. Of course it would be easier if one could just embed a Voki (or anything else for that matter) in Prezi as you now can with YouTube). The great thing is swf animations play in a loop so they are great to have as introduction shots in Prezis (so not having sound via Jing for whatever reason is a good thing otherwise there would be various looping audio too).

So until I find a great bank of swf animations I'm making my own using my on screen action and Jing. Here is my latest example including swfs via Jing from Voki and a student sample of work: