Creating a Compaq Design

Presentations Magazine - October 2000 - Edited by Julie Hill - Page 15

...One of epic's recent jobs involved preparing a multiuse trade show presentation for Compaq Computer Corp. To launch its Insight LC software, Compaq wanted to create an interactive product demo to run on kiosks throughout its trade show booth. The demo would appear on a CD-ROM handout with a light version of the software screensaver. The business unit manager needed to use the same demo for a white-paper presentation during the show. Finally, the demo would appear on Compaq's Web site after the show, so it needed to be available in five different languages.

epic designers began by gleaning key features from the PowerPoint slides Compaq provided. They used Flash's multimedia capabilities to add movement and animation. The finished presentation was compiled into a free-standing executable (EXE) file that could be viewed from the CD without need to special players. The designers used a third-party development tool, Screen Time from Mac Sourcery, to convert the custom application into a screensaver for the CD.

A Web version was prepared and, according to Cherubini, language translation was easily handled. "Since Flash uses vector graphics to display text elements, it handled the foreign-language conversions, even Mandarin Chinese, with no problems," he says. When completed, the source code of the piece was sent to Compaq to be uploaded to its Web site. The overall result was a consistent presentation of the product in several formats that satisfied Compaq's needs.

Flash isn't necessarily for everyone. Although the program is not as difficult to understand as Director, it does involve a modest learning curve. And for users who wish to keep things simple, the animation features in PowerPoint and other programs may be difficult. But if the sparkle of multimedia continues to draw you in, and if your company is beginning to toy with Web presentations, using a little Flash wouldn't hurt.