After being introduced to the super cool www.xtranormal.com (basically, it makes CG animated scenes using text to speech) and playing around with Wondershare PPT2Video (which, shockingly, outputs Powerpoint files as videos) I thought about redoing my lecture notes into videos with a host talking the kids through them. This wouldn't be for my classroom but instead for my website for review and for kids who missed class.

I currently have all my notes there in google doc format but that loses all animations and I'm finding the kids aren't getting much out of it except a ton of writing. They are missing the story-telling part of the lecture which is really what makes it work.

So, my vision is to put the notes into video format and have a picture-in-picture view of the narrator in the corner telling the story as the video plays.

My question is has anyone seen or done anything like this before? In playing around with it this week I'm loving the results but not loving the amount of work going into it (setting all my ppts to timers and writing the scripts mostly). If this has been done before I'd like to see the results. If not, I'll chug on ahead. I simply can't deal with my lecture notes being lifeless when the rest of my site is animated and interactive...

Tags: avatar, powerpoint, xtranormal

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It might be easier to use a widget like voki (not sure of the recording length), an avatar, or a video podcast. Im not sure what software you have available, but garageband is great!!!! (mac) It is also very easy. If the Voki works you could use it for the storytelling (or any avatar program), then you could have links to the side to your notes you already have prepared.
Check out my post at The Innovative Educator about a teacher named Lou who is using this tool. You can email him at llahana@schools.nyc.gov. He may have some ideas or be interested in collaborating with you on this.
Take a look at authorstream web based power point presentation platform.
Share your PowerPoint presentations on iPods, iPhones and YouTube or download them as video! authorSTREAM lets you embed presentations in your blog or website, or you can share them on iPods and even on Youtube.


Uploaded on authorSTREAM by arulforyou
Uploaded on authorSTREAM by ucfwebcttest
Thanks but those still don't have the animations. Just makes them pretty lifeless in my view. I'm going forward with my method. I did a first draft last night and I'm quite happy with it. I'll post it to something or other tonight.
This ppower point presenation from authorstream might be more of what you mean.


Uploaded on authorSTREAM by Eyeful
There are 3 tools that I know of which are designed to do just that. The first 2 allow you to sync the slides with the video so that the students can go back to a particular slide without having to watch the entire presentation over and over.
a) Omnisio (acquired by Google): this one has to be viewed online. (Scroll down to the third topic on this page.)
b) VCASMO -- but I'm not sure if you can create a live presentation yet. I have emailed them about that. This can be launched from a thumbdrive. You can download the files free.
c) Voicethread -- you can put in a PPT document and the video your comments alongside it. You can also "doodle" on the screen. They store online or you can purchase the download version of your file.
Interesting, thanks.

Here's what I've created. I'm happy with it but I'm not sure I want to do it for all my lecture ppts. It would take months!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y-svkL6zdo
I made the animated scene with xtranormal, but can't figure a way to embed the code into powerpoint. I have mac office 2008. I have the embedding code, but can't figure a way to embed on mac. Did you use wondershare to get the picture in picture? Or am I missing something with embeding code because of it being a mac version?

:)Once I saw yours I had to try it:)
I used Wondershare to output the PPT as an wmv and then use xtranormal to make the "host" avatar. Then I downloaded/converted the FLV from xtranormal using Pazera's converter. Once I had the two video files I used Adobe Premier to the do the Picture-in-Picture.

You can save one step by simply adding the host as a video to your powerpoint but then you don't get to post it to youtube. I've tried out some new things (mostly green screen) and I'm really, really happy with the results. I think this will help my students who miss my lectures a ton. I've always had the problem of how to get them caught up and just copying the notes didn't do much.

Here's what the latest ones look like: http://mrroughton.com/refnotes.aspx

I have to say I'm having a ton of fun (but it is a ton of work too!) and xtranormal is incredible. I can't wait to see what other people do with it.
One more question: How did you download the xtranormal avatar? I must not be looking in the right place.
It isn't built in to xtranormal, I use the same program I use to save videos from Youtube, which, for me, is the DownloadHelper plugin on Firefox.
I'll definitely investigate xtranormal and Wondershare as well. What had come to my mind as a possible tool (not necessarily a solution but way inexpensive, easy to use and super fun) is Homeboy. I look forward to seeing your end results!

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