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by David Gate

I recently got asked could Showcase create similar video outputs to Inventor IPN files. These are the kind of questions you love as an Application Engineer because Showcase is designed to knock the socks off Inventor when it comes to presentations. There are plenty of videos, tips and tricks etc out there for creating decent presentations in Showcase so I won’t cover that topic.

But the second question I got asked required me to do a little discovery. Can you add introduction slides to the video you create from Showcase?

Well the answer is yes but it requires maybe a little unconventional thinking. I initially thought you would be best to creat your showcase video and then in some video editing software add your intro slides etc. But I then remember seeing a blog  from Demir at Autodesk, http://autodeskmfg.typepad.com/blog/2012/12/tips-and-trickscreate-pop-up-info-labels-in-autodesk-showcase.html this gave me a basis to start my intro slide animations. The advantage of creating the slides in Showcase is you get loads more control of how the slides appear in relation to your models, you can animate your intro slides into the video so it all looks really slick.

If you’re interested to see the final outcome all created in Showcase in a matter of minutes please click the image above to see the end published video. Read on to see how I created it.

First off I created a simple cuboid in Inventor.

I then opened up Showcase and opened my scene that I wanted to add my intro slides into. Crtl+I brings up the import dialog. So you can import in your simple Inventor cuboid.

Once imported my cuboid was very small in comparison to the other models in my scene. So I needed to tweak the size, normally I would suggest editing crucial sizes in Inventor but as the geometry of this part is only needed for the introduction slides, stretch and distort away in Showcase. Use the little cubes on the end of the transform handles (press H if you cannot see the handles) to edit the size.

I dragged this big enough to cover my model.

I then followed Demir’s tip of exporting out my Powerpoint slides to a PNG format and then applied these as decals to the now stretched cuboid.

Now if you have multiple slides then you will need to duplicate this block a few times. Ctrl + D will duplicate the selected object and follow the same decal process for your new objects.

Then you can control these cuboids like any other item in Showcase. Use the visibility alternatives to control which slide is being displayed. Set your cameras to look dead on to the cuboid so that the slide fills the screen. I chose to have the camera look at the slide and then pan through to display the model.

But you could transform the size of them like Demir did so they grow and appear or control their position and animate them moving in and out of view.

Then combine these animations with the rest of your scene (shots, alternatives, animations etc) and publish the video.

See the final video which I put together below.