Mobile devices Parkinson's

Giving Up?

I can’t remember when last I have felt so frustrated! I feel like kicking something. It’s all about creating courses.

Counting to ten!

I am sorry to have to admit but the Parkinson’s has made creating video courses on a phone quite a challenge!! I used to use Camtasia on my PC – it was just so easy, I could zoom in on areas of interest on the screen, use graphics like arrows and boxes to highlight areas of interest, and just so many more features useful for producing educational videos. Camtasia is both a screen capture program as well as a video editor program.

I could not find the equivalent of Camtasia for an Android phone. So I am using the AZ Screen Recorder app for capturing the screen and Cyberlink’s PowerDirector as the video editor. They are not integrated as in Camtasia so you really need to know the file structure in Android and where the two apps save their files, and what the files have been called. PowerDirector is an amazing video editor program for a smartphone, but it is severely handicapped for working with long videos, especially when you have shaky hands :-).

A major drawback is that it is not possible to link layers. (This will all become clear once we start doing some of the HMD video projects.) So after you have carefully placed images on an overlay track, and you then cut out a piece of the main track PowerDirector automatically closes the gap, all the images on the overlay track are now out of sync. So the arrow image that was carefully placed on the overlay track so that it pointed at the area of interest on the main track, will now point somewhere else entirely.

And it has not special editing features for making educational videos. I have looked at other Android video apps for smartphones but none fit the bill. The closest is perhaps Kinemaster but I can’t afford the additional expense at the moment.

So before I give up, I am looking at workarounds. I thought of using text-to-voice convertor for the voice over, or simply subtitles. That would compensate for the voice difficulties.

With things moving because of my PD random movements, it is a matter of being careful and not throwing in the towel. The frustration can be easier to handle if you break the video into smaller sections. The errors are easier to fix in a short video where you don’t have to scroll along the timeline so much. Then you publish these short sections as intermediate video clips. Then you assemble the final video using the intermediate clips plus your standard intro and outro clips. This is an extra step but it does make the process more manageable (For more on the process and file management… )

So for now, the course lessons will contain more reading, i.e. it will be more “tell” than “show and tell”.

Don’t fear, it still is possible to shoot and edit fantastic videos on your phone with PowerDirector, as we will see once we get to the projects part where we get members of our fictitious Kilarney Video Club members to produce videos!

The Origin of the Happy Monkey Design Concept.
I was doing a course through Futurelearn last year (Futurelearn is a group of UK universities who provide online courses and degrees). The course was to show how to produce videos with a smartphone by a budget conscious not-for-profit organizations. For the assignments we had to design a concept organization that you are creating videos for.
For my assignments I used a Parkinson’s Society, and one part was the Society offering video training for their members as a way of improving their quality of life.