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Put Down the Powerpoint
December 21, 2010 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Amazing 450 page presentation created in Google Docs. From Google Demo Slam: three animators took three days to create a presentation that would make Powerpoint and Keynote cry. via Engadget
posted by sweetkid (33 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't get what that really has to do with Google Docs. It's just an animation, and each translation was done with multiple slides. You could do that with mspaint and powerpoint just as easily.
posted by empath at 10:46 AM on December 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Except that Keynote contains actual animation tools.....
posted by schmod at 10:47 AM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also you must be an animator.

But cool!
posted by theredpen at 10:48 AM on December 21, 2010


Yeah. From Google's perspective, this isn't really a "demo" (anyone making multi-slide animations like this for a company presentation should probably be fired), but it is an effective advertisement in that it shows how easy it is to just create a file and start doodling.

I used Google Docs for a talk I gave this year and I'm sold.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:48 AM on December 21, 2010


So they basically just created a cartoon with Google Docs, individual slides representing individual frames and all? It's a work of art and everything but I'm not sure if it's extra-special.

I assume this is also feasible with PowerPoint but 'feasibility' and 'real-world usage' don't always mix as well as they should. I get the feeling that unless you're a TED talker, .ppt presentations will continue being simple and barebones because if information is all you're trying to get across, you don't need anything more than the default templates and a bunch of words and graphs.

Prezi is good for just a little bit more aesthetic appeal but still, that takes time and extra effort that may not be possible for a lot of people working under the clock.
posted by dubusadus at 10:49 AM on December 21, 2010


Google Docs is okay for presentations. The interface is still really clumsy and the features somewhat limited, at least on a Mac.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:50 AM on December 21, 2010


I don't know about Keynote, but Powerpoint makes me cry.

Just a few minutes ago I tried to use Powerpoint for 30 slides of simple graphs from Excel. Nothing fancy. It doesn't work very well, so I broke it up into three presentations of 10 slides. I can't imagine 450 Powerpoint slides functioning at all. In fact, if my presentation is over 40 slides, it's standard procedure for me to break it up. It's not the cute animation that's the point-- it's the 450 slides.
posted by zennie at 10:52 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't stand to use Google Docs' terrible HTML-based interface for more than a couple of minutes at a time — I can't possibly imagine what these three went through.
posted by scrod at 11:01 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks for showing me this ad. I would have missed it otherwise.
posted by crunchland at 11:01 AM on December 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hm, I've never minded the google docs interface before. I used it for all my presentations and papers before I dropped out of school. I still can't imagine using it for serious animation though.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:02 AM on December 21, 2010


They are still trying to push Wave?
posted by DU at 11:06 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


.ppt presentations will continue being simple and barebones

lol
posted by DU at 11:07 AM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm really glad I got out of the military before this was created.
posted by Hiding From Goro at 11:08 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What the hell just happened?
posted by punkfloyd at 11:20 AM on December 21, 2010


Before Office 2007, I used Powerpoint to make pretty complex, great-looking scientific figures and illustrations (it was a lot simpler than jumping into Illustrator or [shudder] Visio). When I migrated to a Mac earlier this year, I tried Keynote and found it to be quintessential Mac software -- works great as long as you use it in the exact way that the designers of Keynote want you to use it, but for anything outside that scope, SOL.

I'm disappointed that the more recent versions of Powerpoint have tried to be more like Keynote in that regard, taking away some crucial knobs from the drawing tools (for me, the dealbreaker was the freeform tool not functioning as it used to). Google Docs does not have enough drawing features for me at the moment, but I would gladly migrate if they manage to strike a good balance between drawing features and simplicity.
posted by Behemoth at 11:31 AM on December 21, 2010


"three animators took three days to create a presentation ... and ended up with a YouTube video."

the link to the "actual presentation" on Google Docs does not work well at all for me. on Chrome.

incredibly slow performance. that would be the #1 failure for Google Docs, imo.

How would you like to get this message when you go to run your presentation for thousands of people:

"Some slides have failed to load and may appear blank. Click OK to try reloading the presentation, or cancel to continue viewing."

the second biggest problem with Google Docs is the lack of functionality. trust me, my company switched its entire communications platorm over to Google. We are all Gmail, Docs, and Sites now. And it kinda sucks. (We used Google Docs for sharing docs before the switch anyway.)

I quite enjoy Gmail for personal email, so I was a bit surprised to see how much it sucks for corporate mail.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:33 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I don't get what that really has to do with Google Docs. It's just an animation, and each translation was done with multiple slides. You could do that with mspaint and powerpoint just as easily.

It would be even easier if I used Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects, and had a studio of designers at my disposal. Or Keynote, the London Symphony Orchestra, and John Williams. Or AOL Instant Messenger, Mechanical Turk, and approximately $248,483.
posted by ardgedee at 11:34 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I agree that the fact it's 450 slides is probably what's making it less than feasible with Powerpoint. Of course, in my experience with Google Docs, it'd be less than feasible there too.

Given the sorts of slidecounts LaTeX and Beamer produce, 450 seems sort of low for that much movement. (This sort of animation, I think, falls squarely into the category of things that could be done with LaTeX, but shouldn't, which probably isn't a terrible indicator of whether it's actually useful.)
posted by hoyland at 11:36 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obey The Cloud
posted by Burhanistan at 11:38 AM on December 21, 2010


I have to admit I use Google Docs quite a lot but I can't imagine using it for a presentation. Agree with mrgrimm that its interface/usability sucks compared to other Google products. It's usable, but barely.

I get the feeling that unless you're a TED talker, .ppt presentations will continue being simple and barebones because if information is all you're trying to get across, you don't need anything more than the default templates and a bunch of words and graphs.

Powerpoint doesn't really get information across. It puts people to sleep.
posted by blucevalo at 11:38 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm a doctor. I use Google for all my surgery work. It's really amazing.
posted by rxrfrx at 11:43 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


On the topic of other slideshow applications, I've never, ever seen a good Prezi. It's almost always the presenters making the screen move like a tiltawhirl while they try to find the right slide, since the layout isn't as common-sense as a linear power point.
posted by codacorolla at 12:26 PM on December 21, 2010


mrgrimm: "We are all Gmail, Docs, and Sites now. And it kinda sucks. "

I'd love to hear more about why this sucks. As it is, we have this on Google Docs, that on Basecamp, the other thing on Zoho; all with a mishmash of people's various personal and work email addresses. I'd love to have everyone on one page, rather than navigating twelve different tools that all do the same thing.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:30 PM on December 21, 2010


Oh wow. This just triggered memories of trying to make a Myst-like adventure game in Powerpoint when I was very young. Each slide was a different room, and I think the doors and paths had invisible buttons that would jump to the appropriate slide. The only actual interaction I remember managing was some taps in a bathroom that would turn on and flood the room, which might have revealed a key attached to a cork. Or maybe that was just the plan.
Hours and hours wrestling with those drawing tools. My tendons hurt just watching this animation.
posted by lucidium at 12:58 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


does not work well at all for me. on Chrome.

Works for me on Chrome, just take a while to start. Select play mode and it runs normally.

posted by zippy at 2:25 PM on December 21, 2010


yeah, forgot to close the italics tag on that one, sorry
posted by zippy at 2:55 PM on December 21, 2010


Bravo? for Google Docs?

When I first learned about Powerpoint (lo! these many years) I couldn't understand what it was for. Now eight years into a medical education, I understand very keenly what it is for: it is to obscure what we used to call the speaker's only very superficial understanding of the topic that we used to say he or she spoke about.

For the medical student or resident asked to give a talk on some grand subject, it is a God-send. One trawls the Internet for diagrams and photos, peppers a powerpoint presentation with them along with a bullet for every sentence they are going to say, and one has a presentation in about ninety minutes.

Whenever an audience member anticipates a point and asks for some clarification, the standard answer is: "I'm going to talk about that in just a minute." Which really means, I have no earthly clue; but I recall pasting a bullet-point about something vaguely similar to that subject three slides from now, after a completely arbitrary Far Side comic..

Give me a chalkboard and a speaking voice and I'm set, personally. I had attempted, for a time, to use Powerpoint correctly, in the sense of using its slide functionality to provide appropriate visual aids to accompany a talk—only to find, after wasting a lot of effort, that it was no longer worthwhile to use it or any other similar application in this way.
posted by adoarns at 2:55 PM on December 21, 2010


Meh. The last time I was actually giving presentations I used Illustrator->PDF because it could actually handle vector graphics. I had a part-time job in a campus printing lab at the time and saw student after student come in with PowerPoint-designed poster jobs that looked like utter crap when scaled up.

Title. Blank slide. Image. Image. Data. Data. Data. Blank slide. End.

It's not a bad tool if you completely ignore the outlining function and just use it like a slide projector or overheads.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:25 PM on December 21, 2010


I use Google Docs for all my lecture slide sets; I just never know, walking into a classroom, what version of powerpoint is going to be on the computer in that room. (It's never the same and I swear it varies by week sometimes.) Half the time I would plug in my memory stick and couldn't run my slides. When you're giving a lecture on religious art, for example, this is a problem.

For Google Docs, all I need is a reasonably recent version of Firefox and all my slide sets run. And I can edit them from anywhere. And they do everything I need them to do, which is basically show pictures and show video. Now and then I run up against a feature I'd like to have but don't, but not too often.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:32 PM on December 21, 2010


This just triggered memories of trying to make a Myst-like adventure game in Powerpoint when I was very young.

And wasn't Myst itself just a glorified Hypercard stack?
posted by stopgap at 4:00 PM on December 21, 2010


If your presentation has 450 slides, it's your audience who will be crying, regardless of the software used to create it.
posted by sanko at 10:12 PM on December 21, 2010


If your presentation has 450 slides, it's your audience who will be crying, regardless of the software used to create it.

No kidding. I get pissed when someone at my company has more than 30 slides. There needs to be a distinction between a presentation that you make and a report that you hand out -- the information necessary is different for both.
posted by armage at 11:11 PM on December 21, 2010


Google: Missing the point of PowerPoint.
posted by ostranenie at 7:03 PM on December 23, 2010


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