Video Annotation Tool

arrowOpening an Video Annotation Document
arrowPlaying Video
arrowNavigating The Video Timeline
arrowAdding a Note To The Timeline
arrowRemoving Notes From The Timeline
arrowUndoing and Redoing Your Changes
arrowChanging the Title of the Document
arrowSaving a Copy of the Annotation Document
arrowPreparing Video for Annotation


The Video Annotation Tool lets you add notes to time segments on a video timeline. You can view the video clip, mark a time segment, play back the segment, or attach your written notes to the segment.

The annotation tool is used to play and annotate Macromedia FLV video files. There are four areas of the user interface:

video tool overview
1. Use the Chooser to select and open annotation documents; to change the title of an annotation document; or to save a copy of an annotation document.

2. Use the Playback Control to play the video clip. This panel provides play, pause, fast forward, restart, and volume controls, as well as a slider for controlling the play time.

3. Use the Note Editor to edit annotation text.

4. The Timeline displays the video clip's time scale, the current playback time, and tracks with annotation segment markers. The controls let you add or remove annotations and undo or redo your changes.

Opening an Video Annotation Document

Use the Chooser to select an video annotation document to edit with the tool. An annotation document links to but doesn't contain the video clip you are annotating. To open an annotation document:

1. Click on the "Open" button (Open button). A dialog box will appear showing the workspaces and folders available to you. Your personal workspace tab will be highlighted.

2. Select a workspace tab by clicking on it.


Within a workspace, red triangles (twist down) mark nested folders. Clicking on a triangle reveals additional folders and individual resource items. Video annotation documents appear in black.

Scroll down and click on the name of an annotation document, then click "Open" to open it in the tool.

Playing Video

In the Playback Control area, click the play control Play control to begin playing the clip. The progress slider progress slider indicates the playback time. You can drag the slider indicator right or left to change the current playback time.

Use the volume control (volume control) to raise or lower the volume of the clip's audio.

Use beginning and end controls (fast forward control) to return to the beginning or jump to the end of the clip.

Navigating The Video Timeline

Use the scrollbar under the timeline to slide it left or right.

You can change the current playback time by clicking on the ruler. The current play time and marker will jump to the point where you click the mouse.

The zoom buttons change the timeline's time scale. You can zoom out to see more of the timeline (even view annotations over the entire video clip) or zoom in on a particular section.

Controls to zoom the time scale are at the bottom of the Timeline, below the segment marker tracks:

Scale scope bar

The "zoom in" control (Zoom In control) will display shorter and shorter portions of the timeline with greater detail.

The "zoom out" control (Zoom Out control) will display longer and longer portions of the timeline, with less detail. You will not be able to zoom beyond the duration of the entire clip.

Adding a Note To The Timeline

The Video Annotation tool lets you add notes to time segments on the timeline. Segments with notes appear as colored markers that on the timeline's tracks. When a segment is selected its text will appear and may be edited in the note area.

To create a note with the Video Annotation Tool:

1. Find the beginning of the video segment you wish to annotate. Change the current playback time by clicking on the ruler at the top of the timeline or by pressing the Play button to play the video clip.

2. Click the New Note button (New Note                     button) to create a segment marker on the timeline. A marker will start at the current playback time. Initially the segment is set to a length of six seconds.

3. Continue listening to find the end of the video you are interested in marking. Click the "pause" button (Pause button) in the Playback Control. This will stop the red progress needle in the timeline.

4. Click and select the new segment marker. Endpoint handles will appear at either end of the segment. Segment endpoint markers

5. Adjust the segment start time by dragging the left handle and adjusting the end time by dragging the right handle. You can also slide the segment by clicking and dragging over the middle of the marker.

6. Change the marker's track by clicking the middle of the marker and dragging it up or down.

7. Click on the "Play Segment" (Play Segment                     button) button to play back your new annotation. You can drag the endpoint handles to adjust the beginning and end points of the segment.

8. With the endpoint handles still visible, go to the Note area and click the "Edit" button (Edit button) to enter text that will be associated with the annotation segment. Formatting controls for making text bold, italic, indented, and the like are available to style the text.

9. You can choose a color in the note panel's color picker (Color picker). Selecting a color will change the color of the marker on the timeline.

10. When you are finished editing the note click the "Save" button to save your changes.

Removing Notes From The Timeline
To remove a note from the timeline, select the marker in the timeline control, then click the "Remove" button.
Undoing and Redoing Your Changes
The Video Annotation Tool keeps track of every change you have made starting with the time you last opened the tool. Use the "Undo" button on the timeline's left panel to undo your last change. You can press the button more than once to undo earlier changes. Press the "Redo" button one or more times to redo changes you have undone.
Changing the Title of the Document

To edit the title of the current document, click the "Edit Title" button (title button). Click inside the title box and type in a new title. When you are finished, press the save button or cancel to restore the title.

Saving a Copy of the Annotation Document

The "Save As" button allows you to save a copy of the annotation document. When the "Save As" button is clicked, you can choose a workspace and folder in which to save the document. If you want to use the same folder to store the revised annotation document, you will need to give the clip a new file name. This will prevent the overwriting of any earlier annotation documents that may be in the folder.

Preparing Video for Annotation

In order to add media to Project Pad you will need to encode it in a form that can be used by Project Pad tools. The video annotation tool expects video files encoded in Sorensen FLV format. Video files need to be encoded as flash video. This can be done with the utility program provided by Macromedia or by various plug-ins available for Quicktime and video editing systems. (See

Once you have prepared the video files, you need to place them in a directory that is visible to the Project Pad system. If you are running with the default configuration in Project Pad, then you already have a folder /sakai-ppad/media that is visible to the system. Just drop your files into this folder.

Use the "Import" button (Import button) to create a new annotation document for your video clip. Click "Import" and use the dialog to select the video file. Press "Open" to create a new annotation document for that clip. The "Save As" dialog will open to allow you to save the new document.