Media & Assets

When content that has been developed outside of SmartBuilder is imported into the system, it is treated as one of three content types: media, assets, or third party lessons.

  • When content is uploaded into the Media & Assets node of the Home Tree, if the file type is .jpg, .swf, .mp3, or .flv, then the content will be treated as media. Media objects can be placed directly on the Authoring Stage via a Graphic, Audio, or Video objects, just like text and shape objects.
  • When content is uploaded into the Media & Assets node of the Home Tree, if the content is a file type other than those listed above, then it will be treated as an asset. Assets cannot be placed directly onto the Authoring Stage, but can be launched in a separate browser window using a hyperlink.
  • When content is uploaded into the My Published Content > Lessons node of the Home Tree, then the content will be treated as a third party learning object. Third party lessons can be incorporated into courses just like lessons that have been created in SmartBuilder.

Besides uploading Media & Assets, you can manage the owners, edit Meta-data, place it in shared folders, and manage versions.

 

How to use a SWF in SmartBuilder

There are many ways to incorporate SWFs into your SmartBuilder lesson.  You can bring in SWFs from 3rd party tools, like Qarbon or Captivate, or you can create your own directly in Flash.  In either case, they will need to abide by the requirements outlined here.

If you are creating your own SWFs from scratch, then you might not be sure of the best way to bring them into your lesson.  This page will outline provide an outline of the various options available.

  • Graphic Object - If you want no communication between SmartBuilder and the SWF, then this is the object for you.  You can have static drawings, or animations or even ActionScript (as2) running in these SWFs, so long as they do not need to communicate with SmartBuilder.
  • Streaming SWF - Typically you will use this object to load in Captivate or other 3rd-party generated content into SmartBuilder.  It can handle preloaders and streaming media.  Again, no communication to and from SmartBuilder is possible with this object.
  • SWF Messenger - This object allows you to create SWFs that communicate with SmartBuilder.  You can add ActionScript to your SWF so that you can send and receive data from the SWF.  You can even place special SWFs into your Captivate files that can alert SmartBuilder when you get a certain point.
  • SmartBuilder SDK object (Widget) - This is the most flexible and most complex objects to create.  They integrate directly into SmartBuilder and offer methods and properties that you can access directly in the SmartBuilder interface.  You must follow our documentation (found in the Shared Library > SmartBuilder Widgets > Documentation folder) on creating these objects.

SWF best practices

In most cases, Flash media will perform as expected in SmartBuilder. If not, verify that the following instructions are followed when creating the .SWF file.

  • Format: Make sure that the export format is Flash Player 8 and ActionScript 2.  ActionScript 3 is not supported at this time.
  • Paths: Use relative paths and local variables for any actions used in the movie such as ../ or _parent.name to reference any scripting element.  Do not refer to the _root.  Try to keep Actionscript code to a minimum and test it after it has been uploaded to SmartBuilder.
  • Object Size: When SmartBuilder loads files, the height and width measurements of the uploaded .swf are based on the first frame of the .SWF file. To ensure that your movie appears in SmartBuilder correctly, create a background shape that is the same size as the Flash authoring page, and is located at coordinates 0,0.  It can have an alpha of 0 so it is invisible, if you wish.
  • Flash Buttons: Are not supported and may cause SmartBuilder objects to fail, or not operate as designed. Note, the SmartBuilder button object includes built-in roll-over and click effects.
  • Animation: If your movie includes an animation, please follow the instructions above regarding object size. Also make sure that the animation starts after the first keyframe to avoid distortion. In order to ensure correct playback, all animations should be made into a movie clip symbol with no stop action in the first frame, instead of putting them into the main timeline. If you want to prevent animation from extending out of the SmartBuilder object border, place a mask over the page area.
  • Authoring Stage: Place the following code on the first frame of the timeline to keep the animation from playing on the Authoring Stage:
  • You cannot use the attachSound() function: The attachSound() function does not work when the swf is being dynamically loaded into another swf. The sound in the library will not play unless it is located in the main swf's library.

    You will need to use one of these two strategies:

    • add the sound to a movieclip's timeline and use the movieclips stop/puase/play methods to control the playback; or
    • you can load sound as mp3 externally.