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  • Writer's pictureDarrin Southern

Claris Engage 2020 Presentation Process

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Here's a few tips from my journey of creating an OnDemand Presentation for Claris Engage.


Back in my advertising days in the 1990's, I was involved in setting up one of the first desktop video editing departments, using Adobe Premiere 1.0. These early days also included the Agency's first Multimedia department, using MacroMedia Director 1.0.


The Submission deadline for the Engage Presentations was the beginning of February.

This was followed by a number of postponements on the format of the conference due to the pandemic, until finally being accepted to present, at the start of June - with the final deadline to provide the video presentation by the end of July.


As we all know, this year's Claris Engage 2020 went virtual. Presenters were provided with the brief of creating a video presentation of their submitted subject, to be published on the Claris Academy, as part of the Claris Engage On Demand section, along side the recording of the Keynote, Panel Sessions, and the Closing Ceremony.

Presentation Format.

My plan was to create a Slide Show, which would normally be projected behind me, if I was presenting in person on stage, at the conference. The initial idea was to record myself running through the slide show, breaking out for actual demonstrations, all the while speaking the verbal portion of the content.


I'm running the MacBook Pro 16" model. My Display options are 2048 x 1280 and 1792 x 1120 which don't exactly fit the 16:9 format of the supplied PowerPoint Slides. When recording with Quicktime, with PowerPoint in presentation mode, there's black bars.


I setup my slides with Powerpoint (rather than Keynote) as I've previously spent a lot more time with Powerpoint. That said, I had to wrestle with the font rendering, and a few times that font styles completed changed overnight.

Powerpoint seems to have a mind of it's own - next time it'll be using Keynote, for sure . . .

Video Recording.

There's an 'art' to timing the mouse clicks for slide changes within PowerPoint, while speaking the voice-over for the video. There's also the distraction of just reading the voice-over, and not reading the bullet points on the slides. Not to mention switching to FileMaker to demonstrate the software solution.

I recorded the demonstration of my FileMaker solution with Quicktime, and with my Desktop background set to the same colour as my Powerpoint Slides. This way I can create a video with a clean drop shadow, to drop into my final timeline.

Audio Recording.

An external microphone can make all the difference.

One of the best recording investments I've made - was the Rode VideoMic Me-L. This tiny device plugs straight into the Lightning port on the iPhone 11, and it's a directional microphone.

The only down-fall is that it does not to connect to the MacBook Pro as an audio source, regardless of my attempts to use a USBc to 3.5mm Adapter. And yes, I'm recording all my audio in the bathroom, best acoustics in my apartment.

Screen grabs.

Rather than trying to 'nail' the timing of the slides and audio recording, I decided to export my Powerpoint Slides as PNG. PowerPoint allows exporting the images at 4K, where Keynote only allows 1080p. I strongly recommend capturing all content at a higher resolution than you currently require.


This is where iMovie comes in. Although I had worked with Adobe Premier more than 25 years ago, this was my first time using iMovie.

That said, once I had my audio imported, and on the timeline, I then added a screen grab of the slide, and set the duration of the slide to the audio, rather than attempting the reverse.

As we were in lockdown, my only option for recording is in our apartment, which is on the fringe of the CBD on a main arterial road. The directional microphone reduced 'most' of the background noise.

Although not to the level of Adobe Audition, iMovie also has the option of noise reduction by percentage, and combined with the directional microphone, the results are pretty good.

And iMovie is free with you Mac.

One thing I found with iMovie is that the first video put on the timeline sets the maximum output resolution. So as a work around, download a 4K video, add this to the timeline (then remove it), then you'll have the option to export your project as 4K.

Final Output.

The presentation video is being published on the Claris Academy site.

Currently the playback options of the two views defaults to limited resolution.

I recommend increasing your playback resolution to 1080p.


Creating a presentation such as this, expands the author's knowledge regarding applications for presentation, recording video (and audio) software, and online publishing, which extends the Developers toolkit as methods to communicate and express their craft.

I propose the concept that there are three levels of understanding any topic.

First to apply, second to troubleshoot, third to teach.

In preparing this presentation, I purposely googled other online references, defined my application of the function in the live system, then researched extended features to demonstrate, which in this case included the full list of script triggers.

The end result extended my own personal knowledge of the Slide Control features, and also allowed me to share with the whole Claris FileMaker Community . . .

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