Screen Recording - Action-Fine-Tuning for Mouse Movement?


I'm using a screen recording in step-by-step Try mode, and attempting to make adjustments to show mouse-overs (and the highlights that occur when these mouse-overs happen) on dropdown menu items in an app, all prior to a click on an item that is in another position further down the menu.  Adustments are needed because SL does not capture/create a slide unless a click is made (unfortunately) -- my question is whether I should expect the approach I'm taking to work or not, or whether this is beyond what the tool is currently capable of, or if I'm just missing something (I've reviewed the documentation and tutorials on this, but this particular issue is not addressed anywhere that I can see).

I'll boil my use case down to this: 

The recording consists of an initial click on a a menu item in the app's ribbon, then a move to another menu item in the ribbon that has a dropdown sub-menu, then a slow mouse-over on each of the the first few sub-menu items in the dropdown to show what they are (without clicking them, but just to show them highlighted and with the tooltips that appear), and then finally a click on an item further down on the dropdown.

As you'd expect, there are two related slides that result: one for the first menu item clicked, and a second for the drop-down menu item that is clicked.  My approach to include the mouse-overs that occured prior to the second click was simply to use Action Fine Tuning on the full motion part of the first slide so that instead of stopping right after the first click, it would continue on to show the recorded mouse moving across the ribbon to the dropdown, and then the mouseovers on the menu items, and stopping just before the point of the second click.. 

The problem:

When playing the frame that was edited, or looking at the complete published output, the mouse becomes invisible during the extended fine-tuned portion, and only the higlighting of the items being moused over is seen. Then, when the second click is ready to  occur, slide #2's mouse object takes over and the mouse re-appears (with its original path that no longer matches up).

The strange thing is I actually got this to work once, but have not been able to make it work other than in that one place.  In that one successful attempt, the mouse was visible for the portion that I extended with fine-tuning, the mouseovers showed fine, and the mouse object's path on Slide 2 actually adjusted itself automatically to pick up where the mouse position in the extended fmv on Slide 1 left off!...  That was great, and that is what left me thinking this should work in a repeatable way wherever this technique is done. But, I've tried it in another place on that same recording, and have tried it on new recordings where I was essentially doing the same thing with the same apps. I've tried it with web pages with dropdown menus and in MS Word using menu items in its ribbons, and the results are always the same --- the mouse is invisible in the extended fmv portion, and the mouse object on the following slide does not adjust to match where the prior slide's fmv left off --- in the one case where the mouse WAS visible, the mouse object's path on the following slide DID adjust to match up where the fmv's mouse position left off.  (fmv =  the "screencast" clip in the timeline)

I could conclude that the Action Fine Tuning is not meant to handle mouse movement before or after the capture, but, like I said, this did work for me once!

Wondering what guidance or insights others might have that have attempted this, and wondering what staff thinks in terms of whether this is meant to work or not.

Note: I also tried intermixing print-screen manual snapshots at the point of each mouse-over, and although the mouseover highlights showed up, the cursor remained stationary and did not track the recorded mouse location at those points.  Also, note that when I view the full-motion video in the Fine Tuning editor, it does show the original mouse movement correctly throughout.

If this could work, it adds a powerful dimension to what step-by-step recordings can show, since a lot of interactions with apps involve what is revealed when mousing-over things, for previewing effects, seeing tips, and so on.  Of course, using the full video recording mode would allow everything to show, but that defeats the purpose of using step-by-step for better editing/timing control and for smaller file sizes.

Thanks for any insights on this...


3 Replies
Doug R

Hi Sebastian,

I did finally come up with a workaround option for the problem I described above...  Not a complete solution but it met my minimum needs.  I've only used it in View mode, however.

The use case  was to use the SL-created simulated mouse action to show the mouse moving over a main navigation item that would then highlight due to the hover and drop-down a page selection menu, and then show the mouse moving from that hover position down to a particular item on the dropdown menu and clicking it..   Pretty basic, but as described above, SL will not capture this type of sequence automatically because it only captures "click" events...  Again, the idea here was to find a solution for hover-driven sequences without resorting to a full motion video of the whole thing... 

Basically, the "trick" to make this work was to make a duplicate slide of the one that had the captured action. On the first slide of the two, I would fine tune the "screencast" clip on the timeline so that the slide ended with the mouse  having just reached the hover position, having caused the hovered-over item to highlight and the menu to dropdown into full view. The target mouse position was manually adjusted to be over this hover point.  
Then, on the second side (the duplicated one),  the screencast is tuned just to continue showing the same image the prior screen ended with, without it changing, and the target mouse position was moved down to the item on the dropdown that needed to be clicked..

SL will automatically, then, make a mouse move animation on the second slide that shows the mouse moving from where it left off on the prior slide (the hover position) down to the item on the dropdown where the click then occurs.

As a result, I got the seamless 2-step mouse sequence I was looking for over this 2 slide sequence:  the mouse moves from an initial positon to the hover position over the main menu item, which then shows the dropdown occuring, and then the mouse moves down to the desired item on the dropdown and clicks it... The entire sequence uses SL-generated mouse action, without the need to rely on the original mouse path  at all.

Not the easiest of methods, but it does seem to work reliably, and there doesn't appear to be any other reliable way to do this.

I hope the next version of SL will be capable of automatically capturing hover-driven events as well as click events, since so much of the interaction with many web pages and apps involves hover-driven responses that need to be included in simulations.

I've attached the stroy file for this basic 2 slide sequence in case you want to get more insight into how I did this. 

Hope this helps.

- Doug   

Sebastian Carvajal

Hi Doug,

Nice trick!!  I finally got it to work. I am using it inside an interactive simulation and just found that this solves many problems I had. 

The zoom is something I am not allowed to copy from one slide to another, but using the duplicated slides, fine tunning and the SL-cursor, you can have everything working just fine. It is time consuming, but as you say.. works reliably! 

Hope the next version of SL solves the cursor and zoom issues.

Thanks for your quick reply