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Image©2013 ABS Play Movie icon
Advanced Movie Tip

When you insert a movie into an IntelliTools Classroom Suite® activity page, the first frame of the movie displays when the page opens. Part of the background picture is hidden by the movie.

Have you ever wished you could have a movie appear when it is played, and then disappear so that the entire background picture can be seen? Here’s how!

Usually you activate a movie on the page with the Play Movie action in a toolbar button or in Page Actions. But we want to go one step further and have the movie display ONLY while it is playing. To do that we can call on one of the advanced IntelliMation® actions, Set IntelliMation Time.

The IntelliMation Time Machine
The IntelliMation timeline can do much more than control animation. It can be used like a time machine, to jump forward in time to a point where something new is on the page and then travel back in time to a point before that object appeared. That’s exactly what we want to do with our movie!

Image©2013 ABS Screenshot of the Play Movie button actions dialog
Actions In The Special Play Movie Button

The Goal
I used this trick in building the Sofie’s Adventure story about a baby sea lion. For this activity, I wanted each movie to appear when the page opened, play, and then disappear. I also wanted to provide a button that users could click on to play the movie over again as many times as they wanted.

Special Play Movie Button
On the pages where a movie would play, I used Page Actions to display a navigation toolbar with a special Play Movie button. You can add a button to a standard Page Arrows toolbar to do this. If you also plan to use the standard Page Arrows toolbar on some pages, change the name of the toolbar with the added button.

The toolbar button Play Movie should have the following actions:

  • Set IntelliMation Time 5
  • Play Movie
  • Set IntelliMation Time 0.

A little later, you will find out why we are setting IntelliMation Time
manually, rather than using Play IntelliMation. For now, keep in mind that unlike what you’d see in a regular IntelliMation, these actions mean the user never sees the timepoints between 0 seconds and 5 seconds.

Image©2013 ABS Screenshot of the Page Actions dialog
Page Actions Selecting Play Movie Button

Setting Page Actions
In my activity, I had a standard Page Arrows toolbar for pages without movies, and I called the toolbar with the extra movie button Page Arrows Movie. I used Page Actions to control which of the two different navigation toolbars would be displayed on any given page. Your activity might have more or less than two toolbars, but this set of actions will still work.

In Page Actions, be sure you have:

  • Hide All Custom Toolbars
  • Show Toolbar “Page Arrows Movie”
  • Select Button “Play Movie”

This set of actions makes certain only the correct toolbar is displayed. Notice that since we began by hiding ALL the toolbars, you could easily add a new toolbar to this activity with minimum editing. You would only have to add a Show Toolbar (new toolbar name) action on pages where it needs to be shown.

I included the action selecting the Play Movie button because I wanted the movie to play automatically when the page opened. If you only want the movie to play when a student clicks the Play Movie button, you would omit the Select Button action.

Image©2013 ABS Screenshot of page with movie inserted at 5 seconds.
Movie Inserted At 5 Seconds

Adding The Movie at 5 Seconds
I made certain the toolbar with the Play Movie button was showing before adding a movie to a page. When using IntelliMation, it’s always a good idea to get everything that should be on the page set up before beginning to construct animation.

Next came the sneaky part: I used Create IntelliMation to open the IntelliMation timeline, and clicked the 5 seconds point. Anything added to the page at this later point will not be displayed at 0 seconds. Of course, there is nothing special about 5 seconds. You can pick any point later than 0 on the timeline when you try this trick.

Making sure you are at 5 seconds on the timeline, choose Insert Movie from the menu and navigate to your movie file. Follow the usual steps to position the movie, adjust its settings and lock it in place.

The next step is to click the 0 seconds point on the timeline. Like magic, the movie will disappear! But we know it is still there, hiding 5 seconds into the future.

Image©2013 ABS Screenshot of page at 0 seconds
Movie Is Hidden At 0 Seconds

How It Works
Now you can see why we used those two Set IntelliMation Time actions in the Play Movie button. The page opens with the background picture fully exposed. When the button is clicked, either by the Page Actions or directly by the user, the first button action moves the display to the situation at 5 seconds, where we stashed the movie. The first frame of the movie appears on top of the background.

Next, the Play Movie action starts the movie, which plays to its end. Then the button’s final action, Set IntelliMation Time 0, changes the display back to the situation at 0 seconds. The movie is hidden again, and once more you can see the entire background.

This trick is especially useful with larger movies such as 640 x 480, since the movie would cover a large part of the page background. You even can have multiple movies on the page!

Take It Further
To play multiple movies, you must create several different buttons to play movies you have inserted at several different IntelliMation times. Just be sure to also open a point between each two movies and delete whichever movie shows, or you’ll get multiple movies overlapping!

Take It Home
I’ve made a PDF version of these instructions you can download, and there is an online version to use in presentations. And just to make your Play Movie button look fancy, the download also includes a Play Movie clip art to use.

Application needed: IntelliTools Clssroom Suite, Acrobat Reader.
Subject area: Tip.
Level: Author.

Downloads-Tutorial (1.5 MB) Hide and Show Movie tutorial to print. Also includes Play Movie button art. Acrobat Reader.

Online Link-Tutorial

ICS Hide/Show Movies Tip online Hide and Show Movie tutorial online, ready to present to a group.

July 9th, 2013 at 5:11 pm


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