Articulate Replay: A Review
Articulate Replay is the newest member of the Articulate family. So what is it? And why do you need it?Over the years, there was always one recurring question asked by delegates regarding our Articulate Studio ‘09 course: “How can I use Studio for software training?” And the answer was always a little disappointing – Take a series of screenshots…Use an Engage Process or Media Tour interaction…Use another tool to capture a video etc. There was nothing within the Studio suit that made it quick and simple.
Until now. Enter: Articulate Replay!
Articulate Replay essentially does one thing, and one thing well – Screencasts! Replay creates a movie of what happens on your screen, with or without a voiceover. There are also a number of additional tools/features that you can use to enhance these screencasts.
Become a movie star!
Replay not only records what’s happening on your screen, it can also record your webcam at the same time, creating a “talking head” that can be used to introduce or emphasise parts of the recording. Use your knowledge and reputation to add credence to your screencasts, or let your SME add the voice (and face) of authority to the recording.
Don’t get me wrong, it takes practice and, unlike Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, very few of us are ever ready for our close ups. But don’t dismiss the idea completely – Remember, we rarely see ourselves as others see us (Check out Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketch” campaign for proof: http://youtu.be/XpaOjMXyJGk.) So if we can stop being our own worst critics for just a moment, try adding your visual to your course. It will benefit the learner and boost your screencast to the next level.
If you do get stage fright, what other options are there? First of all, you don’t have to record with the webcam. Switch it off if you want to. Stick to your screen recording and voiceover if you want; or skip the voiceover altogether.
That said, the fact that Reply can record two videos at a time means it’s a dual-track recorder. So if you don’t use the second track for your webcam you can use it to import other videos or images that can be mixed in with the main track. Use this to blend in your photographs, product data or process information. You can do this with virtually any video, image or audio file, as many times as you want. Mix and match and have some fun with it!
Getting the mix right
Getting the mix right in Replay is simple and easy. A clear, intuitive interface allows you to mix the tracks together in real time. You can even jazz up your course by creating PiPs (picture-in-picture effects) with a single mouse click!
The last helpful feature I want to mention is the “Lower Third”, so called because it appears in the lower third section of the screencast frame. Things you can use the Lower Third for:
- Introduce yourself, or your SME, during your talking head appearance
- Add captions over the video to highlight key points
- Add a logo to brand your video
Remember, the Lower Third sits in the foreground, so depending on how you use it and how long you display it, you may obscure parts of your video. But play with it and see how the inbuilt animation effects add a little style to the process.
Once you have your Replay project complete, you’re just a few clicks away from publishing an MP4 file. The beauty of this is that you can easily load the output into Articulate Studio (Presenter, Engage or Quizmaker), Articulate Storyline or even another product entirely. You can use the output wherever you use MP4s: Websites, YouTube, LMSs etc. The options are endless!
So there you have it! Now you can turn yourself and your software into movie stars! Articulate Replay – Quick, easy and effective.
Any questions, comments or concerns? Feel free to chime in. And don’t forget to share this with someone you know who could use a little eLearning!