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Thread: Embedding a powerpoint show within a question?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Embedding a powerpoint show within a question?

    Please help! I'm an undergrad using Media Lab for the first time, and I have run into a major roadblock with my experiment. I've perused the Forums and Help Manual, but haven't been able to get this figured-out.

    Experiment Design: Subjects are presented stimuli via animated power points. Some objects will be moving, some will not. At 3200ms, all stimuli will change. One will become a target (either S or H) that the subject must identify via correct keystroke. The program must record the latency from the time the target appears to when the subject responds. It must also determine correct from incorrect responses.

    Suggestion from my professor: Set the stimuli as a background video and use Media Lab's scaled response in the foreground for subject response. He said Direct RT is very difficult, so he suggests I avoid using it. From what I can tell, Direct RT may be the only way I can get this to work. I have made numerous attempts to convert the .pps files into a video format that Media Lab can use, with no success.

    1) I found a program that converted to .avi, but the animation was choppy and slow
    2) Screen capture programs also resulted in choppy & slow animation
    3) Converted to flash to be embedded in an HTML doc for use as background, but there was major artifacting around the moving stimuli

    Question: From all that I've read in the Help Manual and Message Board, it appears that I will have to use Direct RT in conjunction with Media Lab. I've learned the basics of Media Lab, but I have no idea where to start when it comes to learning Direct RT. I have less than a week before I need to start running subjects, and we are not covering how to use the programs in class. Any ideas? Even just pointing me in the right area of the Direct RT manual would be helpful.

    I have attached one of the zipped .pps files for reference. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Vitchard; 04-18-2007 at 02:32 PM. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    On one condition, this would be easy to do in either MediaLab or DirectRT. That condition is, as you have discovered, is getting the PPS translated into a movie or animation file of some sort--i.e., something that will play within a web browser or the Windows Media Player. The only advantage you would get form DirectRT in this case is exteremly accurate timing--i.e., little if any variation in video load time and response time error. If a little variation in timing is ok in your case, then you might as well stick with MediaLab.

    So, how do you convert a PPS to a video? Beats me. Never done it. This is off the top of my head and it may seem silly, but what about placing a digital video camera in front of the screen and recording it. Voila, done deal. It would be fast (I know that's a factor for you here) and if you use a good quality camera and save it with minimal compression, it should look great and run fine.

    Another option would be to try embedding it within an html file and the specifying that html file as the background in MediaLab. That might be the easiest solution of all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Try this sample I made. It uses an HTML file as background to the scale item. The HTML file does an automatic redirect to the powerpoint show.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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