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Subject:Re: Integrating movies into documentation From:Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca> To:TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 14 Jan 2010 00:26:39 -0800
There is a plethora of new technologies that have yet to be tried.
While I was documenting a manufacturing process in 2007, I discovered
an application that our company couldn't afford: Acrobat 3D. Wow. Here
I was, authoring work instructions in Word with imported 2D
representations of 3D CAD images, and for just a few hundred dollars
we could instead create frames for 3D CAD images the user could zoom,
rotate. and disassemble at their leisure. The geek factor would have
been way up there.
Colleagues of mine create screen casts they distribute internally, to
show the SMEs how to use an authoring/system design tool (for lack of
a better term). The screen casts are embedded into DITA topics and
published on the intranet in an info center. While I can vouch for the
content, script, and demonstration, a few points stand out for me:
1) The average technical communicator tends to be more introverted
than most, and needs to be coached on their presentation voice.
2) Most offices are not well-suited for audio recording. Either the
background noise is too great, the walls are too resonant, or there
are too many interruptions to make a smooth recording.
3) Most companies focused on developing a product cannot afford the
proper equipment and software to produce these videos professionally,
so they lack the polish of professional titles and background music.
4) More on background music: remember to seek appropriate licenses to
use music clips or stock audio. It would be a good employee retention
activity for companies to provide time for the musicians in our midst
to record music for presentations.
5) Most techcom created videos don't observe the 3 second rule I
learned when a production school shot my old band's video almost 20
years ago. The human eye can only stay focused on one scene for about
3 seconds, so change the screen or merely shift the camera angle
often. Talking heads cause fatigue (unless we're talking the band,
then they're all right!)
The above notwithstanding, I believe that if a picture says 1000
words, a video speaks 10000. I'd like to use more video.
Tony Chung: Creative Communications
Email: tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca * Web: http://tonychung.ca
Skype: tonychung.ca * GTalk/MSN: tonychung -dot- ca -at- gmail -dot- com
Twitter: @techcom * Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tonychung.ca
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