Summary: General article discussing possibilities for full screen viewing in Articulate software. Reference only. By adapting the Actionscript of Flash movies and inserting code in the hosting HTML file, the user can right-click to view a Flash movie full screen.
Difficulty: Medium to Advanced
Note: This article is more for information and reflection. No specific steps are provided to produce the results seen in the demos below.
Flash 9 has been around for a few weeks and already we are seeing some significant changes in the way it is acting with our movies. HD is on its way real quick. Look at these examples to see what your videos will be like very shortly. Isn’t that definition fantasic? Gone are the days when we were squinting at the screen , trying to make out what was happening amongst all those blurry pixels.
Another interesting new feature of the Flash Player is the Full Screen mode. With some Actionscript 3 in the movie and a few changes to the HTML of the launch page (or via a dedicated player), you can now right-click on your video and view it full screen. How many times was I frustrated by the lack of a full screen mode in Flash ! While Windows Media Player has been playing in full screen for a long time and Quicktime too (if you had the Pro version), with Flash you had to content yourself with a mini-screen. Today, if you have an appropriatedly coded Flash file, that is over.
This article on the Flash Developer Connection site explains in detail how it works.
So I tried to figure how I could get this to work in Articulate. The Actionscript in the Articulate components is pretty complex so I looked for roundabout ways of doing this.
Web Object in Presenter
One way of doing this is to import your Flash file via an HTML page as a web object. First you need to mess about with the Actionscript or find an encoder that does this automatically for you (I did the latter) and then change the HTML page with an editor or get that same encoder to do that for you too. Change the html file name to index.html and you’re away. One drawback as always, with the web object, is that annoying white line you get around the object. However, there are ways to get rid of it in Internet Explorer if not in Firefox, and the result looks quite good.
Here is a demo I did with the trailer of a British film “Brideshead Revisited”. Remember it looks better with IE. Also, note that this was encoded at a high bitrate of about 1000 kps so it may stop and start if you are on a slow connection.
We don’t have a web object in Engage, so we can’t do the same as we do in Presenter. One thing about the Full Screen feature is that it only works (at present) when the movie is in a dedicated player or an HTML page, so embedding is not possible just yet. When you import an Engage movie, you have three choices and generally when references are made to the _root level, as this kind of movie does, then Engage will force you to use the “In a new window” mode. Now it so happens that if you do this, AND make the appropriate changes to the zoom.html in the engage_content folder (which basically involves pasting code and renaming), it does work. So Full screen presentations within Engage are now possible.
Here is an example with the same trailer.
If you have access to the SDK forum, then clicking this link will send you to a thread where Flávio Fusuma showed how one could adapt the Presenter interface to get it showing in full screen, a kind of variation on a theme. (You need to be a Platinum member to have the SDK and gain access to the forum).
Of course, in time, we would hope to be able to get a Full Screen mode with a click of a button, for both the developer and the user, so if you think this would make a neat extra to the Articulate software, make sure you make that feature request ! Meanwhile, we go on hacking!