Feature Idea: Movie/Slideshow Mode

ki
kingsinger
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:23 am Post

The more I've played with Scapple, the more I've really enjoyed its simplicity and free-form nature. I've used Freeplane a little bit and I like it too. It's definitely more powerful than Scapple in some ways. But it's nowhere near as fluid to use. Scapple's ease and fluidity is a real strength.

Anyway, I know it's probably outside the boundaries of what it was intended to do, but as I play with Scapple more, it strikes that it could be a really cool tool for doing certain kinds of lectures and presentations--much the way that a some people use a white board for a similar purpose.

To really pull that off well, though, I think you'd need some sort of slide or movie mode. So you could build a whole diagram/map in Scapple, adding notes, connections, etc. Then, you could go into this movie/slide mode, take things back to the beginning of your creation process, where the screen is blank, and then step through one note at a time (perhaps pressing the space bar), building the map up to it's completed state as you give your presentation.

Best,

KS

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Spitfire31
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:18 pm Post

As you point out yourself, the idea of adding pseudo presentation features to Scapple are rather, er… un-Scapplish, you might say. ;-)

However, you can implement your idea easily enough. Just complete the map and then take screen shots as you delete note after note. Finally, assemble those .png:s in inverted order in any slideshow programme (I suspect even iPhoto can do it), and there you go!

Kind regards,

Joachim

ki
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Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:54 am Post

If Scapple is a virtual whiteboard (amongst other things), then I don't think the presentation features are particularly unscapple like at all. Moreover, while they might be simple features, they wouldn't be psuedo features. They would be actual presentation features.

The difference between what I propose and what you propose, is that what I propose would allow for adding additional notes to the page in real time, if the user wanted to do so.

Slideshow was probably a misnomer. I'm talking more about a step-time animation.

To the extent that Scapple presumably already keeps track of the undo history (as you noted in your suggested work around), it seems like this info is already being stored. So it would mostly be a matter of exposing certain information to the user and allowing for a mode where one could control the stepping processing.

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KB
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:00 pm Post

The undo stack can't be saved with the document, though - the undo stack is something handled by OS X; I just say to it, "Hey, this is the reverse of this action, so register it for Undo/Redo." It cannot be saved into the document. Your suggestion would involve Scapple somehow recording every action made by the user and saving it into the file format, and that is definitely outside of Scapple's scope (it's not primarily intended as a presentation tool but as a way to work out your rough ideas).

Thanks and all the best,
Keith
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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nom
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:13 am Post

If you want to use mind-map-like, whiteboard-ish, apps for presentations, the best I know is the cloud-based Prezi. I have seen a few presentations made with this and they are generally very good - subject, of course, to the ability of the presenter.

If you want a desktop app, then check out the presentation feature of NovaMind Platinum. NovaMind is available for Mac, Windows and iOS and is currently on sale ($100 off the Platinum version).

I'm sure there are other alternatives, but these are the best I know. Of the two, I'd choose Prezi if presentations were the most important consideration and NovaMind if formal mind mapping was more important and presentations an important add-on. If you were going to continue using Scapple (my preferred option), I'd recommend creating a draft in Scapple, then using that draft to create a presentation in Prezi. To me, this analogous to drafting in Scrivener then compiling to Word, except here you're drafting in Scapple then exporting* to Prezi.

*Note: I haven't used Prezi for years, so don't know what import options it has.
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xiamenese
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:38 am Post

nom wrote:If you want to use mind-map-like, whiteboard-ish, apps for presentations, the best I know is the cloud-based Prezi. I have seen a few presentations made with this and they are generally very good - subject, of course, to the ability of the presenter.

Hmm ... I'm teaching a class — bizarrely named "Communicative English", which makes me wonder what "Non-communicative English" would be good for! — to second-year U/Gs, in which I have got them making group presentations. A couple of the groups were using this software called "Prezi" which I'd never heard of and assumed was a Windows rival to PowerPoint. So thank you Nom for enlightening me. I'll have a look at it when I have a moment.

My impressions were two:

(1) it looked very interesting and capable of making very attractive presentations.
(2) in the hands of those students it appeared very hard to control! (They were flipping backward and forward between 'centres of information' — my expression as I have no idea wha Prezi calls the equivalent of notes in Scapple or nodes on a mind-map — desperately trying to both find and to get it to fix on the one they want.

So the next class will begin with the comment that rather than make a complex, whizz-bang presentation you can't control, make a simple one you can!

Mark
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nom
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Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:51 am Post

xiamenese wrote:
nom wrote:If you want to use mind-map-like, whiteboard-ish, apps for presentations, the best I know is the cloud-based Prezi. I have seen a few presentations made with this and they are generally very good - subject, of course, to the ability of the presenter.

Hmm ... I'm teaching a class — bizarrely named "Communicative English", which makes me wonder what "Non-communicative English" would be good for! — to second-year U/Gs, in which I have got them making group presentations. A couple of the groups were using this software called "Prezi" which I'd never heard of and assumed was a Windows rival to PowerPoint. So thank you Nom for enlightening me. I'll have a look at it when I have a moment.

My impressions were two:

(1) it looked very interesting and capable of making very attractive presentations.
(2) in the hands of those students it appeared very hard to control! (They were flipping backward and forward between 'centres of information' — my expression as I have no idea wha Prezi calls the equivalent of notes in Scapple or nodes on a mind-map — desperately trying to both find and to get it to fix on the one they want.

So the next class will begin with the comment that rather than make a complex, whizz-bang presentation you can't control, make a simple one you can!

Mark


Sounds like they haven't learnt the tool. In the Prezis I've seen, and from what I remember in my playing with it, was that you could set the "zoom to" (my words because I don't know what Prezi call it either) as part of the construction of the document. Then, when presenting, all you need to do is press the space-bar and it will zoom/move/animate/whatever to the next focus point of the presentation. The benefit of this is that you can have extra information available for people to manually select when viewing the prezi on their own (such as more detailed explanatory notes, or other interesting information not directly relevant but still worth including) but not have this become the focus when presenting.

All this is a long-winded way of agreeing with "rather than make a complex, whizz-bang presentation you can't control, make a simple one you can!"
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xiamenese
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Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:09 am Post

I think you're right about them not learning the tool ... that's the norm here ... they write CVs saying they are an "Experienced Microsoft Office user" and the CV looks like a dog's dinner. Because Chinese is monospaced, they've never heard of the ruler or tabs, so they try to indent by eye using spaces; so with a proportional font it's all wonky, and they randomly use newline as opposed to return, and since they have no idea about styles, their text switches randomly between 12 point and 10.5 point ... you get the idea. :)

Anyway, I thought I'd give Prezi a go. Interesting and actually not that difficult. It's not for me ... too many things that I found I can't control in the way I can in Keynote and probably in OmniGraffle Pro if I wanted to use that for presentations — using standard font sizes for titles, subtitles and body for instance, which I couldn't find a way to set, even through the advanced widget, rather than having to enlarge and reduce them individually; and I'm not well enough up in CSS to start playing about with that. I'm very much at home in Keynote, and have used OG Pro for many years, though not for presentations. The other thing ... though you don't have to use this ... I found with some of the templates, moving along the path had the screen rotating as the focus moved, enough to make me almost feel sea-sick.

Yes, so my students obviously hadn't really understood paths in Prezi ... I guess they didn't work out that you could drag frames into the order you wanted them to appear on the path, so I guess they must have created a portable Prezi, where, when it came down to it, they were having to use a combination of scrolling manually to where they wanted and pressing the space-bar, which promptly took them somewhere else.

Anyway, interesting concept, but not really for me. I'll carry on playing with it for a bit, though. :)

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
rMBP 13" (early 2015) 10.13.3, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSID
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