Amongst other things, I create video tutorials for websites - making CMS, CRM and other interactive systems easier for peoples' users to actually use.

I would like to dedicate some time to creating a series of high-quality videos for Drupal which will be available free to anyone that wants them.

Some samples of the quality and kind of videos that I'm talking about can be viewed here:

http://www.vcommunity.org.uk/the_vcommunity_handbook/video_tutorials

Just select one of the videos available which will then open in a new browser window.

All the videos are created as Flash movies and are easily added / embedded into a Drupal site.

The purpose of this forum post is to seek opinion on what videos would be useful. In my own mind, I'm thinking of things like:

- How to install and configure Drupal
- How to setup Drupal for the first time
- How to install a new module
- How to create a story
- How to change your theme

Setting up videos that show how to configure individual modules would also be an obvious task but, as time permits, some of the more complex contribs will take a bit longer.

So, if you are interested in seeing and being able to access videos for Drupal, please post your comments here.

I would also be interested in:

a) Anyone who wants high-quality tutorial videos for their own website, Drupal and non-Drupal (hey, I gotta eat!)

b) Anyone who would be interested in helping me with this project.

Regards

Patrick

Comments

Sounds great. You might like to check out what the guys over at Lullabot have done in the same area already too!

I think having short video's for end users would be neat for clients. So one on how to post a news story. I guess it would be more tricky as different people have different options enabled :-/

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Yeah, the options thing could be tricky - the only possible 'solution' I can think of is an all-bells-and-whistles approach, trying to cover every option and providing the user with a truly interactive video where they can select which options they want.

I love the stuff on Lullabot but I guess this is one major difference I can make with the Flash tutorials - I can make them interactive so that the user can create their own path through the video tutorial and see the bits they want to see.

Thanks for the post!

Regards

Patrick Nelson
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I was going to do a video tutorial demonstrating how to set up Drupal 4.7 on a site using Cpanel and phpMyAdmin. Many hosts provide Cpanel and Fantastico and Fantastico provides easy installation of Drupal 4.6.5. However, with the move to 4.7 I suspect there are many new users who would like to install 4.7 who would appreciate a video tutorial on how it's done. I'd be glad to help you out.

Roger

Roger

Thanks Roger,

I'm going to wait for a few days and (hopefully) more posts and then contact everyone who has offered to help.

I'm going to set up a Drupal site on www.yourvideotutor.co.uk to host the videos and provide access to those involved in the project.

Can I contact you next week?

Regards

Patrick

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I'm planning some tutorials for a software project that I'm involved with at work, so it's an area of interest to me anyway. You can contact me here or through the contact form.

Roger

Roger

Looks nice! Some questions:

Can the resulting videos be converted to a non-proprietary format?
Is it possible to edit part of a module later in case Drupal changes its workflow?
Can the texts be translated?
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killes,

Yes, I can convert the videos to a non-proprietary format but limitations will occur if I use any of the Flash interactivity - buttons, etc. that take you to a different section of the video.

Editing a module won't be a problem either - I can add, edit or remove frames as required.

Translating the texts is a little harder - but not impossible - I'll have to have a think about the best way to go about it.

Regards

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XviD/x.264 (VideoLan) + voiceovers (in different languages?) + subtitles (.srt - simple text files that are dynamically loaded and easily translated.) : can be completely non-proprietary, distributed via HTTP downloads or even torrents (involve the community and what not).. Non-interactive.

I'm not sure that interactivity is that important. This can perhaps be served via demo sites..

The above would IMO be the most community oriented solution.

On the other hand, streaming Flash videos have their own advantages. All the above can also be accomplished using Flash. Patrick, do you have any idea as to how Captivate (nee Robodemo) handles subtitles, and whether it supports dynamically loaded voice streams etc.? Or does Demobuilder provide anything akin to this?

Thanks
-K

Zen,

Not sure about Captivate at all (although I do own a copy, I shamefully admit that I've never yet used it).

With regards to Demo Builder's capabilities, I've just quickly pulled this from the help file:

Demo Builder comes fully equipped with advanced features for adding and editing audio to your frames and movies. Background audio (e.g. a music soundtrack) or voice-over narration or both can be easily added to your frames and movies to give a truly stunning and professional touch to your demonstrations, presentations and tutorials.

So, I assume from that we would be able to implement your (excellent) suggestion of using voiceovers for the translations?

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It just occured to me that translating the text isn't really sufficient, you also need to localize the demo site. Thus you will need to make one recording per language. This isn't as bad as it sounds since you need to record the voice too (if you want that).

In order to make such recordings I gigured it would be nice to have a tutorial theme with large popup ballon help everywhere.
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Killes,

Yeah, makes sense. OK...

localizing sites kinda won't be a problem - I have my own servers and I can set up as many sub-domains as I want - if that's the way to have the demo sites.

The reason I say 'kinda' is because the problem there is time. What I imagine I would need would be to be able to create a project scenario with different people handling the different sub-domains as admins. They would handle the install of the modules, etc. - keeping everything as vanilla-flavour as possible - bluemarine theme, etc.

All I need to have is a list of videos that need to be made - sort of like the patch queue / pending bugs here on Drupal.

I agree with creating a tutorial theme - especially the large popup ballon idea! Other things I previously thought of include:

- Standard launch frame - button that has to be clicked to start the tutorial, menu if required (depending on the decision regarding 'interactivity')
- Every frame has a 'player' so the user can stop, start, rewind, pause, etc.
- Closing frame has Drupal links relating to that tutorial - to the module, CVS, etc?

As far as the voice over is concerned, I would want that - I also think it might be the easiest way to do the tutorials quickly. This is one possible way we could do this:

a) Someone records an audio file describing a process that needs to be made into a tutorial. The audio file is attached to a (flexi)node which gives me the other information I need - which localized demo is being used, what modules, etc.
b) I record the tutorial by logging in and following the voiceover
c) I compile the whole thing with the voiceover, syncing the two so that the timings match (not difficult)
d) I upload the tutorial

Any thoughts?

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Patrick Nelson
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I didn't think you'd be all doing this on your own. I was rather thinking about enabling people to create their own tutorials. This might be handy for trainign people on how to use their shiny new Drupal site. And since every site really has its own needs and modules you basically would need a tutorial per site, at least for larger sites.
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killes,

I'd love to not have to do this on my own. The main challenge there is that the software I use is commercial...

Any ideas?

Regards

Patrick

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Well, that is why I am focussing my search on a non-commercial environment. If we'd have a tutorial theme, this would mean that a lot more people could help there. Then people can simply use whateer screen capture software they want to use to create tutorials of their own.

Right, I'm starting to wake up now and smell the coffee...

Whenever "theme" was mentioned before, I was thinking "template" or, to put it another way, I was supposing that all the tutorials have to be EXACTLY the same.

But now the penny's dropped, I realise that doesn't have to be the case at all. I want to start moving ahead with this so I'm going to add another comment regarding the site itself.

Regards

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Wikipedia's screencasting page has some handy links. (And I agree, voice-overs will be excellent :)

-K

Having videos for clients would be a priority i believe. I think the first one's should focus on how to create different types of content and then perhaps how to moderate a forum. I think the installation stuff could come later

just my opinion though......

I have been working up my screencast setup. I am using Camtasia on a PC. Looking for ideas right now on which formats are the most pallatable for users these days. I have put some effort into Quicktime output, but I have been having some serious issues with the file size.

Keep me in the loop. Setting up the site so there is a list of things we are tackling would be very helpful.

Thanks Drupal!

Nice work. Look forward to seeing them.

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

Is that a viewlet built using Qarbon's software? They make for great flash movie tutorials indeed.

No, I'm not familiar with Qarbon. The software I use is called Demo Builder. I imagine they're very similar?

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Yes, they look fairly similar going by the description on the Demo Builder site. Qarbon has been around for a longer time (since 2000 at least) and their client list is a who's who of IT.

But, all that matters in the end is picking the right tool for the right job. This is a fine effort you are initiating. Thanks for that.

I've just started with Drupal and have been reading everything I can find about it. There is a definate need for something like this and I'll help in any way I can. Since I'm still in the "newbie" stage I can offer suggestions for topics if nothing else.

I'm in...

twooten at wootenswebdesign

twooten,

Suggestions for topics are fine - especially from "newbies". Personally, I find it's easy to lose sight of what's important at that stage once you become familiar with something, so please let us have your suggestions once the yourvideotutor site is up.

Regards

Patrick

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In my original post, the examples that are given are simply Flash SWF files surrounded with a simple HTML file to ease viewing, both of which have then been uploaded to the Drupal webspace on www.vcommunity.org.uk.

For the purpose of this project, I would say that a more elegant solution is needed. So, what is the generally accepted wisdom with regards to uploading / embedding SWF files into Drupal? What are people's views on the best way to do this?

Also consider that, as per Killes post, we will probably be converting videos (wherever possible) to non-proprietary formats so, what structure (modules, taxonomies, etc.) will, in your opinions, be best suited to handling a library of this sort?

Regards

Patrick

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Maybe the Media.module will be suitable for organising the video media within drupal?

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Thanks budda,

I've sent an email both to rorris (author of the media module) and fax8 (video module) to ask for their opinion on their respective modules. I'll post any answers that come in by email.

Regards

Patrick
================================================================
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- First, it is ridiculed,
- Then it is violently opposed,
- And finally it is accepted as self-evident
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I've received this reply from fax8:

After reading I think video module
can do this. In current cvs version
we have support for swf and flv format.
Also quicktime and wmv are supported.

Moreover adding any type of "embeddable"
video format should be a easy task
(10 minutes or so).

So video module is able to create video
nodes containing video tutorials.

Video module is not able to do uploads.
(is an often requested feature and I hope someone will have time to implement this soon)

Is a good idea making tutorials.

I'm here if you need help with my module.

IMO, we don't really need the video module to be able to upload videos, only to play them.

=================================================================
All truth goes through three stages:
- First, it is ridiculed,
- Then it is violently opposed,
- And finally it is accepted as self-evident
vcommunity.org.uk - the business-to-business network for the UK

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This may not apply, but I've used BB FlashBack to do some instructional videos for my School Engine project. Check out a sample video here (didn't do voice overs but you can in BB FlashBack and edit them, etc.). Might be useful. They even gave me the software free for providing a link in the footer of the documentation. Not sure about the language thing though, doesn't seem to have that functionality for swapping the text.

-RobRoy

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I have been searching how use the bb flashback with a training site I am building. I have the bb express version, which is fine and I really like its capabilities,

Being not even a newbie to drupal, just new, her is what I am doing:

- I upload the video swf file to the files directory,
- I put a link on the page to the video file
- When I click on the link a new tab opens and shows the video but the quality of the video is very poor, I tried all sorts of adjustments on the bb side and watching the same file from my desktop inside firefox is perfect,

Kind of puzzled how I could get the quality of the video like you have it with you sample video.?

If you respond great, if not enjoy the surf.

Okan

To get this project off the ground then, I would like to hear from people who want to be involved in building the site for doing this. I'm going to set up a site at this address:

http://drupal.yourvideotutor.com

What I believe we need are:

- people who want to be involved in building the site and administrating it
- people who want to be involved in the structure of the project (workflow)
- people who want to be involved in the structure of the tutorials (tutorial theme)
- people who want to be involved in contributing projects (suggestions for tutorials)
- people who are able to record audio and/or video for the purpose of creating the tutorials
- people who are able to moderate and manage the tutorial submissions

As per Killes' and Gerhard Killesreiter's contributions above, it would be great if we could find an OS video capture app so that more people are able to contribute tutorials if they want to. Any ideas would be gratefully received.

I think this would be a good start, but any comments if I've missed anything or there is a better way to do it would be great.

Regards

Patrick

PS - Thoughts, comments, suggestions on what modules are needed will be much appreciated too.

Regards

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I'll volunteer for:

- people who want to be involved in contributing projects (suggestions for tutorials)
- people who are able to record audio and/or video for the purpose of creating the tutorials

Roger

Roger

I will mention that once you start getting things produced and such, there should be no problem with putting them on Drupal.org. It looks like you all will be having fun. I am spread at my limits myself so won;t promise what I can't produce. :)

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

-Steven Peck
---------
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

So, I needed to make some tutorials for a current project.

I used Camtasia, recorded to AVI, then loaded into video.google.com. Since I am listing them for free, the embed tags are available from Google once the file has been approved and checked by them. Now you can see what it looks like re-served through my site: http://coera.us/peer-production-tutorials

Zack recommended Google; thanks! No bandwidth concerns there! It appears, as well, that Google has...done something...to the video...re-encoded, I think, so that the default stream is much lower quality, but it works, it's fast, and I can still see what's going on in my video. Much better than archive.org or ourmedia.org in my experience.

Comments, anyone?

Thanks Drupal!

As far as free solutions go:

  • Windows Media Encoder is free from Microsoft. It can be used to capture screencasts, with or without audio. It generates wmv/wma files.
  • If you, as I, would rather do the video and subsequently add the audio, Windows Movie Maker is another free tool that can be used to do that.
  • Google Video provides storage for as much video as you want to give them. I believe they are doing something like flash encoding. As someone mentioned, you need to use their proprietary player, but I don't mind that.

I'm going to try this combination for my own video tutorials -- short "show me" pieces that are part of a site guide. If anyone is interested, I'll report back on how well it works.

D Icenogle

D Icenogle

Staying with the free theme for a moment, Wink 2.0, which came out a few days ago, is vastly improved. It now includes simultaneous and after-the-fact audio encoding, though there may be some audio quality issues to work through in the new version.

Wink outputs .swf directly.

D Icenogle

D Icenogle

If you want some free recorder, CamStudio is now freeware and you can download the source too.

http://www.camstudio.org/

Sound and screen. Pretty easy to use. It output in .avi but you can convert them in flash if you want to. Uploading .avi to google or youtube will convert in a automatic fasion anyway.

Alexandre Racine

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Doesn't help much, there's no obvious way to compile it under Linux.
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I've tried the videos we currently have and to be "sadly honest" the quality is too poor to see the videos.

Youtube quality just doesn't cut it. I have seen a couple decent videos,but for the most part no go.

If you could produce some high quality videos where you could actually read the words on the screen that would be very worthwhile.

I personally, like the audio with video tutorials. Then I can follow along within the admin section of one of my sites and identify with what is on the screen.

-----------------

I started this post in 2006 and its great to note that seven years later there's a vast amount of Drupal tutorial resources available.

So much so, that I've created a small site to help anyone find the best Drupal tutorial resources out there. I hope some of you find it useful.

And I'll come clean now, I've built the site in Wordpress because it is a very small site, I'm skilled in both CMSes and I believe in using the best tool for the job. May Dries and every other Drupaller out there forgive me for building a site about Drupal in Wordpress. And may I one day learn to live with myself :)

Regards

Patrick Nelson
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