Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Our interactive 3D presentation feature was designed for storytelling to a live audience. Most timeline charts designed for web sites, touch screens, or printing are not simple enough to see across a classroom or a courtroom. Giving a three dimensional perspective to your timeline is the best way to show both the context and detail of your events during a presentation.
With that in mind, we've made some improvements to the 3D presentation interface that will make it an even better tool for storytelling with a live audience.
The first thing we have added is a new controller interface for navigating your presentation. In previous versions of our software, you had to learn keyboard commands to fly over your timeline presentation. While advanced presenters will still want to use keyboard, the new button interface will make it much easier for people who are getting started.
In addition to navigating your timeline, the controller lights up when there is a link or multimedia content in an event. For example, in the screenshot above the link button is lit up because the focussed event is connected to a blog article on the web. Clicking this button (or pressing "L") hides the 3D presentation and pulls up the website in Safari. Click back to Timeline 3D and your presentation will resume where it left off.
If there is a movie or audio file in your event, the media button will light up. Click this button (or press "M") to play the media directly in your 3D presentation. If the media is a movie, the presentation will zoom in so that the movie fills the screen.
One popular request from our customers is the ability to skip around a timeline presentation without passing through every single event. Our new bee-line interface allows you to do this intuitively. The bee-line shows your entire timeline as a series of tick marks. The focussed event is highlighted so that you can see how it fits into the entire context of your timeline. Hover your mouse across the bee-line to peek at a preview of all your events. When you find the one you want, a single click will take you there.
These new interface elements fade away when not in use, to keep your audience focused on your storytelling.