Adobe CS5 + Articulate Integration?

Hello, I currently develop courses using Studio'09 and am looking to add more animations and visual effects to our courses.  I have decided on the Adobe suite but have no idea how to integrate this with Ariticulate (as we will continue to use it).  Can somebody shed some light on how this is done and what I should be aware of before I purchase the Adobe software?  Any personal experiences would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank You

6 Replies
David Anderson

Hi Niall,

First, good question on general workflow and tool integration. For a lot of users, they find everything they need in PowerPoint, especially in later versions like PPT 2010.

Which Adobe programs are you considering integrating into your toolkit? Is it more around Illustrator for custom vector graphics? Or After Effects for video production? We have a lot of users who work in multiple programs, so please share a little more around the tools you're considering.

David Anderson

Hey Niall - I totally understand and the good news is those programs will work well with Studio '09.

Illustrator - you can  save your artwork as .png, .emf and .wmf files. Depending on the complexity of the paths, a lot of the files will import flawlessly. Once imported, you can ungroup the files and make any modifications. Filters and complex mesh effects won't translate, but the overall paths will.

After Effects - another good program to complement Studio '09. Studio accepts .mp4, .flv and .swf files so you can export any After Effects project files using one of those video formats.

A great job aid to keep handy is this one on file sizes in PowerPoint, Quizmaker and Engage.

Those programs really work well and I know a lot of our designers perform image editing and video work in 3rd party programs like what you're using. In most cases, .png is the preferred image format you should export from in Photoshop and Illustrator.

I hope that helps and hopefully some others jump in with their best practices.

Niall O'Malley

Hi Dave,

Thanks for that job aid, definitely something helpful to hold on to.  

You mention that "a lot" of files will import no problem.  This tells me that it may be limiting.  Can you give me an example of a path that would be complex, that I might have an issue importing?  I'm trying to determine what limitations, if any, I can expect when working between these two platforms.

Niall

David Anderson

Hi Niall -

Sure. Files that won't import into PowerPoint and Studio '09 products are files such as source files (.psd, .fla, .ai and so on). So, in Flash for example, you can open your. psd file and retain Photoshop's layers. That makes sense because those programs are from the same company.

I don't really think of that as a limitation since those source files won't import into other programs such as Microsoft Office products.

But Studio supports the common image formats (.png, jpg, .gif) and video formats (.mp4, .flv and .swf). So, if you're working in Illustrator, you can save your artwork as .emf or .wmf and import into PowerPoint, ungroup and make any necessary edits. Not every file opens the same so if you're working with the gradient mesh and other advanced Illustrator features, you'll see some changes to your .emf in PowerPoint. In those cases, I'd save as a .png and work from the final image format.

Common workflow for working in Illustrator and After Effects would be to design your art and video files and then output to image or video files that can be inserted into your course. Similar workflow to working with a blog or web site in that you're preparing your assets in one phase and assembling them in another phase.

Robert Kennedy

As an added response, Niall, there are two other things to consider:

1. you prob need to make sure that you have the proper codecs on your computer as you may be working with an After Effects file from a camera or something of that nature that causes the file to be exported to an flv but without the proper codecs for play.  I have run into that previously. 

2.  FLV files can be pretty big if you are not careful so watch file size and bandwidth.