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Creating videos for Powerpoint presentation

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Claire SmithCreating videos for Powerpoint presentation
by on Feb 18, 2013 at 1:33:31 pm

I am creating a presentation for an awards evening and it will be shown through a projector onto a very large screen with some of the slides showing full screen videos/ animations.

I will be creating the videos in AE and then linking them in Powerpoint.

My questions are:

1. What should the video dimensions be? (The client is yet to confirm the projector resolution - should it be the same as this?)
2. What render settings and video format should I output to?
3. What size should the Powerpoint slides be?

For a quick test I created a video in After Effects with PAL DV (720 x 576) but when inserting into Powerpoint (4:3) it was not big enough to fill the slide. Is it ok to stretch the video or should the video have bigger dimensions?

Any advice much appreciated.


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Scott HancockRe: Creating videos for Powerpoint presentation
by on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:41:50 am

Hi Claire,

We have been using more video in PPT lately. Here are some answers from my experience. I'm sure there will be other points of view. There seem to be fewer absolute answers anymore, so try them all out.

My questions are:

1. What should the video dimensions be? (The client is yet to confirm the projector resolution - should it be the same as this?)

I have found using 1280x720 for 16:9 material is the most consistently useful.
PowerPoint seems to fit into most 'normal' projectors, so I don't think that relates.

2. What render settings and video format should I output to?

Although PPT claims to be able to place many kinds of video files, I believe WMV is the safest because a) it's MS's own b)don't have the variation of codec possibilities. WMV is pretty much WMV other than the size & bit rate.

3. What size should the Powerpoint slides be?

There is no changing the "size" of PPT slides. You can only change the aspect. 4:3 or 16:9

For a quick test I created a video in After Effects with PAL DV (720 x 576) but when inserting into Powerpoint (4:3) it was not big enough to fill the slide. Is it ok to stretch the video or should the video have bigger dimensions?

Inserting a bigger size file to fill the frame should give somewhat better picture, but depending on the length of the video and bit rate, the size of the file could become a factor if the playback computer has to struggle.

There is an option in the PPT video playback menu to "play full screen" which will cause any size file to fill the screen. Experimenting with your particular material and playback computer is a good idea.

One additional caveat I recently became aware of is that PPT can sometimes be fussy about the video it accepts. If you Google "inserting video freezes PowerPoint" you will see fair number of people with this problem. After experimenting, I found that using one software or another affected this behavior. If I used a conversion program "Any Video Converter 5", the resulting file froze PPT. If I took the same source material and made the wmv in Sony Vegas Pro 10 or 11, the file was accepted. I'm now trying to figure out why some files, after being 'accepted' into PPT play back jerkily, while others play smoothly. In my current case, the jerky one has a much lower bit rate than the smoothly running one!

I have come to believe in video voodoo as the only way to stop being stuck looking for the "reason".

Keep experimenting and share your findings here if you can.

Scott



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Scott HancockRe: Creating videos for Powerpoint presentation
by on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:52:12 am

Clarie,

I need to correct something in the previous message. I said there are no variation in codec with WMV, but I realized that now, they can use .H264 or the original VC-1.

Nothing stays the same very long.

Scott



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Claire SmithRe: Creating videos for Powerpoint presentation
by on Mar 4, 2013 at 9:43:37 am

Thanks Scott for all the advice.

What does codec mean and what does it do?

I am a bit worried that the 2-3 min video I end up putting in Powerpoint will be a good quality but be a large file size and will play jerky.

Once I've saved out the wmv file from After Effects is a there a free program I should run it through to reduce file size but not quality?

Thanks

Claire


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Scott HancockRe: Creating videos for Powerpoint presentation
by on Apr 14, 2013 at 6:42:06 am

Hi Claire,
Sorry I didn't answer your questions earlier. I thought I had.

What does codec mean and what does it do?

CODEC stands for COding and DECoding, which means it's a software for changing analog information into digital and back again (coding and decoding). If you Google CODEC, I'm sure you will find better explanations. There are many codecs / ways of encoding the analog to digital.

The other word you will find related to this is "wrapper". I hope someone else on here can describe it better, but roughly speaking, I believe it is a computer file format that "contains" the digitized (codec-ed) information. Various codec-ed video can exist in various wrappers, and vice versa. Confusing.

As I mentioned earlier, I believe WMV has an "advantage" in that it is both codec and wrapper. I hope others will correct me if I'm wrong.

I am a bit worried that the 2-3 min video I end up putting in Powerpoint will be a good quality but be a large file size and will play jerky.

That length should be no problem at all. I have put 20 minute videos in PPT. Roughly speaking that length of video shouldn't be more than 20-30 - maybe 50Mb, if that.

Once I've saved out the wmv file from After Effects is a there a free program I should run it through to reduce file size but not quality?

You really shouldn't need to do that. Any professional program that can generate WMV will allow you to adjust the file parameters to be suitable. I don't know the specifics for doing so in AE.

Hope you have surmounted this already.
If you learn anything new or additional to what I've written, please share it here.

Scott



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