Jun 19

Cafe Catch-ups interview – Peter Moxom – Ex RenderMan – Pixar Animation Studios

By admin | Education , Videos

Insights into Pixar Studios and animation technologies from ex-Pixar Renderman, Peter Moxom.

In this Cafe Catch-up interview, Paul and Peter talk about Peter’s work life at Pixar Studios. Peter was the only non-American working for Pixar for many years and had some interesting insights into Pixar and the technologies used for those animated movies that we all know.

Some of the topics discussed were the following:

– how stereoscopic imaging works

– whether animators should start their career with 2D (hand-drawn) animations

– the importance of narration or storytelling

– the world’s first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story, and specifically why it was chosen as the first fully animated movie.

Peter recommended some simple animation tools that educators can use and gave some good advice to those that are trying to break into the animation industry.

Some helpful links from Peter:

Autodesk Media & Entertainment https://www.autodesk.com/industry/media-entertainment/vfx-film-tv

Blender www.blender.org

blender.org – Home of the Blender project – Free and Open 3D Creation Software

ToonBoom https://www.toonboom.com

Toon Boom Animation – Award-Winning Animation & Storyboard

DigiCel FlipBook https://digicel.net


May 13

Interview with Director of Education – Mark Samaha (Cafe Catch-ups Interview Series)

By admin | Education , Videos

Interview with Mark Samaha, Director of Education at Nirimba College, TAFE NSW

In this interview Mark gave some interesting insights into current and future trends in Vocational Education in Australia. I asked Mark his opinion on whether classroom teaching will become obsolete in the foreseeable future, and what qualities does he think are needed for students to succeed in online learning.

We also discussed the new learning model 70/20/10 and I asked Mark if he thought Google is dumbing down our youth or exposing our youth to more knowledge. And we finished off discussing if the standard of education in Australia is improving or declining?

 Full Transcript Below:

Paul: Hi everybody! It’s Paul here from intro2outro video productions, with another “cafe catch-up” interview today with Mark Samaha. Mark is the Director of Education here at Nirimba TAFE in Sydney and Mark has been one of my managers in the past and also a great innovator and a supporter of innovators. He supported me personally in a role that I had, years ago, introducing social media within a large training organisation. So, I am really looking forward to catching up with Mark today and hearing his opinions on different topics within education. I’m just driving to the Limestone café now. It’s a great little café here in Schofield in Western Sydney. Not far from  Nirimba TAFE.


Paul: Mark!

Mark: Hey Paul!

Paul: Thanks for coming today to the cafe catch up.

Mark: Thanks for inviting me.

Paul: Yeah. So, this is the Limestone cafe in Schofield.  Not far from where you


Mark: Yeah, around the corner.

Paul: So, it’s one of your favorite cafes?

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. I love it here.

Paul: Interesting. love the coffee?

Mark: Yeah, it’s a little hidden- hidden gem, if you like.

Paul: Absolutely. This area is changing a lot. So, there’s quite a few more decent cafes in the area. And, it’s good to see.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. That’s right.

Paul: Well, let’s get straight into the questions.

Mark: Thanks,  Paul.

Paul: Yeah, for sure. So, Mark,  Do you think that classroom teaching will become obsolete in the foreseeable future?

Mark: Paul, I am- as you know I’m- I  work across the trades. And so,a lot of the work- training we do is a combination theory and very very practical kind of stuff. So, in my experience it doesn’t really change that much between disciplines. Learners love to be engaged, love to participate, love to be highly active in their learning and as long as you do that, I don’t think it matters whether it’s in the classroom or online or remotely or distance or whatever. It’s about the audience. And, in many cases the audience doesn’t have a maturity or the discipline to cope on their own and the amount of guidance a teacher can add, and the value a teacher provides is just immeasurable. So, I’d hate to think that, that isn’t recognised. The fact that a teacher guiding a learner through a process where they’re heavily engaged in learning, that is the height- and the most

heightening learning that can take place.


Paul: There’s a lot of difficulties with online learning. You need a certain type of student really, don’t you? I mean you need a certain style of

teaching as well. It’s quite different. But, also a student needs to be  self motivated. What other qualities would you say, we are dealing with a student

for online learning?


Mark: They’re learning style? They need to really have a learning style that’s suitable for the particular mode or media that’s being used. You know, there’s lot of studies that show that the most engaging television, movies do not impart a huge amount of learning and knowledge. People enjoy it. They listen, they watch. But, if you assess them a couple of days later the level of acquisition is quite low. So, you can try and do something really really glossy and really polished and highly entertaining. But, the learning isn’t there. They’ve got to engage, they’ve got to do things, they’ve got to write, they got to read and they got to investigate and critically analyse the media. And in case- if the video is great as long as they’re critically analysing it and documenting that analysis and that’s what embeds the

learning. So, it’s about- it’s about knowing that. A lot of- a lot of people

think it’s about sitting back reading a book and that’s [inaudible] or reading a screen or- and that’s just not it, you’ve actually got to be engaging. you have to be prepared to create your own content from what you’re learning so that it’s embedded. And it’s understood.

Paul: The new learning style they called 70/20/10 which is 70% is actually doing, 20% is informal learning from those around you and 10% formal learning.

What do you think of that style of learning?


Mark: Yeah, the model is great. The model actually quantifies to a large extent.

The different forms that learning can take place. So, formal forms are very

expensive and often not the most- efficient and effective. So, that’s why

10% is allocated to that. The more informal, the more mentored and informal

learning that’s more specific and directed at the content that want to be

acquired. That’s the 20% and that’s also quite expensive because it

relies on a- a mentor. But, it is the most ubiquitous learning

is the idea- is the 70% that- you know, if you’re actually actively engaged

in and focusing on experiences and understanding from those experiences the

knowledge and the skills you’re trying to acquire and deepening that through

practice. That’s a far more- and being autonomous about your own learning-that’s

a far more effective way to teach people to acquire knowledge. If you do it that way, you’re always learning and you’re always consciously learning. The more

conscious you are about your learning. The deeper it is.


Paul:So Mark. Do you think that Google is dumbing down our youth?

or exposing our youth to more knowledge?


Mark: I think it’s exposing our youth to more knowledge. I think it’s a wonderful resource. It’s not the only resource. There are other ways to search the inter-web.

In terms of *laughs* the in terms what google provides. It’s an immediate

opportunity. So, often in conversation you have this debate about

you know some fact then you can just look it up on google and straightaways

you’d know. So, i think it eliminates acertain level of conflict. But, not only

does it do that but it provides an immediate source of information. So, when

you want to know something you can find out and that’s great from a learning

perspective. I don’t think it’s dumbing down society. I think it’s just making knowledge more accessible and in the past I suppose you used to refer to encyclopedia or have to get to a library and often that meant that the opportunity to learn as a consequence of a need was moot. If you have a need you can find- you know you can get on your smartphone and actually access knowledge really

quickly. The only problem with google I might say is that, the quality

qualified information or the informations provided, the only question about it is

to be very critical and make sure that you’re understanding that it’s not

necessarily the most authenticated material of evidence.


Paul: So, do you think a good skill for students to have would be to be able to verify if it’s a quality source or you know that information where it’s coming from, is it a quality source. Is it something that is proven.


Mark: Yeah. That’s important and not only with google butacross the board as i hear a lot of stuff from the media through other channels and being able to clarify the important- the truth or the reliability of the content is a great skill and in the earlier we teach people to be critical and look at the biases. ‘Cos every source has a bias and it doesn’t mean- it doesn’t mean it’s wrong just cause it has a bias.

But, certainly just be aware of that bias.


Paul: Yeah. So, you can weigh up all the different

opinions and views and articles. So Mark,  probably a controversial question but i’d like to know . Do you think the standard of education in Australia is improving or declining?


Mark: I think the answer, if you look at the- the global comparison is that we

are declining. We are losing- losing our place in the top ten. It’s actual- high up

in that space. So, I think essentially, if you look at the way in

which we educate our school kids. The model hasn’t changed in decades

absolutely and the generations are changing, and our model doesn’t change.

Yes, the contents became more appropriate more relevant. Sometimes, they’re looking at- there was a move away from some of the

more traditional literature for example and now they’re coming back to it so

there’s a bit of an oscillation and a cyclical process here where we’re

leaving and departing from one model and returning back there in a way to try and

improve what we’re doing but fundamentally if you look at how our

kids are performing in the level of literacy and numeracy issues, you know we

certainly aren’t moving ahead in leaps and bounds and until such time as we

actually acknowledge that there are other models out there. And, instead of trying

to deal with the behavioral issues understand that our model is actually

the problem not the behavioral issues of the student. We will never get away from

this problem about some kids not liking learning because of their early

experiences and always being disengaged and and less likely to apply the

knowledge to make them prosper in life yeah.


Paul: And some really good models like in countries like Denmark where they have a really really high standard of education. I think education is free for everybody and all types of education and it’s got a really high standard and teachers and educators are really highly regarded and respected and they have a very different model as well but I think we should be looking possibly at some of those types of models that are really working well and possibly see how we can use that here.


Mark: Yeah I think you’re right. I think there’s some really good models. The teacher is critical whether you pay them more or less or it’s all about the training and it’s less about- it’s less about necessarily being an honor student and more about being able to know how to treat the learner and so unfortunately a lot of

our university programs are very much focused on the theoretical, the research not enough focus on the practical and the applied understanding of it. So, I’d

love to see us recognise our teachers for the value they actually provide and I

think in TAFE, we pay our teachers quite well and they get very good condition so

if you can’t- if you put the two together I think it’s a quite well pay. I just- I

I don’t think there is in our society, there is enough respect for

Teachers for the profession.  What it is- what it does is

profound for our society and it’s just rhetoric really most the time when

you hear people talk about it and not really follow through with

a meaning- A meaningful demonstration of the value that we have for our teachers.


Paul: Yeah. Absolutely. So Mark, what are some of the challenges in teaching school intensive courses as opposed to knowledge intensive courses.

Say, for example carpenterie as opposed to say IT?


Mark: Ok, I think the main challenge is quantity or volume of

learning. Volume of training. Volume of practice. Typically what you have is an

apprentice model where you’ve got someone in the workplace who’s constantly

practicing a certain skill comes to TAFE to hone that skill get to know

the exact best practice and go back and practice it that is ideal but seldom

does it actually occur that way. Seldom does the training lineup with the

practice in work- in the workplace so that’s why off the job is so important

because we can align the two up. We can do the induction, the instruction and the

practice within the same- within the same kind of motion or flow or process.

But, having adequate practice you’d be surprised for how long. Just to- just to

be able to lay bricks to build a wall and it takes it takes a long time to get

that perfected. To get it exact- And we take it for granted. Look at the wall, and you’ll see every brick’s laid perfectly, it’s all level, it’s all even, it stands up. You think that’s a simple process. In fact it takes in a lot of practice and you take up

to a year for someone to be able to do that confidently and proficiently and

absolutely. The good thing about IT is that you can practice. You’re not really

restricted to a particular spacious neither- You just need the device

unfortunately some of our trade areas do require more sophisticated set up

So, it’s been harder to practice whenever you like. And that’s what I’d like

to- My journey and as a director and what I’m aiming to do is to create

those spaces. The open workshop concept which is about having a space available for ongoing practice, for learners to look into and have access to until they mastered that skill so we’re not restricted to a timetable that’s based on

a teacher, it’s more based on the learning and through competency-based training.


Paul: You know, I’m just thinking about some of the training provided, some of the

private providers that set up and they do courses that are information intensive.

Basically they don’t have as many course as like at TAFE, for example, we do all the trades and everything else. So, they can provide maybe their courses could be- cost a little bit less because of their course alone. But, at the same time they’re not providing a wider range of courses where it’s TAFE is and that’s why the cost of TAFE courses- Well, TAFE itself the funding that is needed is a lot more

because we provide for those practical tough situations that are so necessary in a trade or in other areas.


Mark: Absolutely. I think it’s a huge asset that the government provides

for society and for the industry we don’t utilise it as well as we could

I’ll say that that we could utilise it more- more efficiently and more-

Hopefully, I think there are holiday periods and evenings where some of us is still

is underutilised, and unfortunately they- you know  the- the- the learning then is

compromised. All of the potential for further practices is compromised. And in

terms of private- there a lot of good private providers out there. Some of them

do not have the capital to be able to build the facilities, and have the

property imperative which means they don’t have the ability to do as much

hours of training as TAFE does. It doesn’t have a property imperative. But,

fundamentally the- the asset that TAFE provides should be valued and should be

should be preserved for future generations and we need to evolve and continue to

use those facilities and those assets to promote higher skill- skill levels.


Paul: Fantastic! Alright, Mark. Well, is there anything you want to add before we finish the interview?


Mark: No, I think it’s a great conversation I really enjoy talking about this stuff. I’ve spent a long time in education training 24 ideas and this is a constant dialogue that I have with various people around what- how can we improve and how can we provide the best service.


Paul: Well, thanks so much for actually taking the time out to come today. And hopefully, it wasn’t too scary.

Mark: No. No. it’s a great experience. It’s great.


Paul: That’s why I try to make it a relaxed environment because a lot of people, you put them in front of a camera. And normally, like a studio or something and you know they become a little bit- they freeze up basically, and what I

find is this creates a more relaxed environment and people speak freely and enjoy the coffee.


Mark: Great!

Paul: Thanks very much, Mark.

Mark: Thanks Again.



Jan 19

Visual Story – Hand held shooting style on a smartphone

By admin | Uncategorized

The smartphone can be used for many different video styles such as shooting a visual story. The visual story shown in this video use short clips that are similar to b-roll footage with music added that tells a visual story. B-roll is alternative footage intercut with the main shot. For example when a presenter is talking about something this can be shown visually with b-roll. This helps to make the video more interesting.

This video was shot in 20 minutes on a Nexus 6P using Open camera app and edited on the phone with PowerDirector app. This was produced as an example to show one of the many styles that can be created using a smartphone. All the shots were hand-held which created a dynamic look. The lift and elevators were used to create some interesting moving shots. On a professional shoot, we would normally use sliders and possibly cranes and a dolly to create movement.

The presenter part of the video was filmed with natural lighting. For the key light (main light) an open window was used and for the fill light (light to fill in shadow from key light) we used a white reflector placed to my right that bounced the key light onto my left side and softened the shadows. I could also have used a back light to separate me more from the background, but did not have one available at the time.

They say that the best camera is the one you have on you, and we all have our smartphones with us. If we know how to use a smartphone like a professional we can create great looking videos wherever we go.

If you would like to learn how to produce professional looking videos on a smartphone check out our upcoming workshop http://intro2outro.com.au/workshop2/

Sep 09

How to Produce Effective Educational Videos

By admin | Education


Create educational videos that will help students learn

The last few years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the use of video in education, no more so than in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). The are many reasons for this upswing in video’s popularity, including enhanced information retention for students, increased accessibility to technology and also lower production costs.

To maximise learning and improve student feedback, it is important to adhere to best practice in the design and implementation of video, creating a situation for optimum cognitive load.


Understanding Cognitive Load

In the late 1980s, the Cognitive Load Theory suggested that any learning experience has three components – intrinsic, extraneous and germane. Building on that, the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning notes that the human memory has two channels for information acquisition and processing: a visual / pictorial channel as well as an auditory / verbal processing channel.

It is through the best use of these two channels that learning is maximised, hence why video is gaining in popularity for teaching.

Intrinsic Cognitive Load

This refers to the inherent level of difficulty associated with a topic. Intrinsic load can be managed by segmenting information and allowing learners to be able to engage with smaller pieces of information. To improve learning, videos should not be more than four to six minutes long. If a longer format is required, it should be broken down into segments or a series of videos.

Extraneous Cognitive Load

Often arising from a poorly designed lesson, extraneous cognitive reverses the desired learning outcome. By highlighting keywords or symbols and strategically using colour and contrast (signalling), extraneous load can be reduced. Leaving out distracting elements such as music and backgrounds will also minimise extraneous load, as will making sure that there isn’t surplus information in any video presentation.

Germane Cognitive Load

This is the level or cognitive activity necessary to reach the desired learning outcome. Germane Load can be increased by clearly segmenting videos in order to emphasis the structure of the information.

Producing Video for Optimum Cognitive Load

Below are some key takeaways to keep in mind when designing educational videos, in order to maximise learning.

  • Keep videos short. No more than six minutes and under four minutes if possible
  • Use simple, clear wording and don’t go into excessive detail
  • Emphasis key points throughout the video using keywords, symbols or animations
  • Leave out unnecessary and distracting backgrounds or music
  • Use both voice and visual cues to highlight key points within a video


Looking for an experienced educational video producer in the Sydney area?

Contact Intro2Outro for a free quote.


  1. Cowan, Nelson (2008). “What are the differences between long-term, short-term, and working memory?”. Prog Brain Res. 169 (169):
  2. Sweller, J (June 1988). “Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning”. Cognitive Science 12 (2): 257–285.


Sep 09

Case Study – TAFE Optometry

By admin | Education , Uncategorized


Intro2Outro was recently commissioned to create instructional videos for the Health Services Teaching section at Western Sydney TAFE. We focused on producing 3 original videos for Optometry students.

Teacher and presenter Steve Daras from Western Sydney TAFE was able to bring his unique personality into the presentations. He was later able to use the videos he took part in at the EyeQ 2016 National Conference, sharing:

Optimal Plier Tips
Heating – adjustment Optical dispensing

EyeQ is a private group of about 60 optometry practitioners and their staff. After Steve made his presentations, Senior EyeQ Board Member Ray Fortesque recommended to the board of directors that all staff are sent to train with Steve at TAFE due to his status as an “expert of optical dispensing training”.

Steve’s feedback to Intro2Outro was to thank us for our professional work and state that the quality of video production was instrumental in TAFE gaining the recommendation of the EyeQ Board. The staff at Intro2Outro are all looking forward to working with Steve again in the future.

May 26

How to become a natural when presenting to camera

By admin | Videos , YouTube marketing



Are you fearful of being in front of the camera? Have you thought about creating videos for your business but are too anxious to have a go? Have you contacted video companies that just take it for granted that you can present without fear or anxiety?

Even though presenting to camera looks easy, we know that’s not always the case. However, with some simple tips and techniques you can get comfortable and look like a star.

Tip #1 – Don’t Memorise (keep it simple)

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to learn an entire script – it will make you appear stiff and unnatural. It takes lots of practice to memorise a speech and if you falter while delivering it, it could affect your confidence. The most effective technique is actually to break the video down into the most important points. Rehearse by writing notes in the correct order and then practice your delivery without worrying about saying it the same way twice.

If the above method is troublesome for you, we can always use a teleprompter.

Tip #2  – Practice Being Comfortable

If you are afraid of being in front of the camera you can do practice recordings first to see how they look.

Record yourself until you develop a  level of comfort presenting to the camera. You can use any device, a mobile phone, tablet or webcam, it doesn’t matter.

It takes time to get used to seeing yourself, but do it anyway. Then, get your colleague or friend let you know if you seem natural or stilted or if some of your movements are too distracting. Remember to smile and you’ll feel more comfortable more quickly.  

Tip #3  Maintain eye contact with the camera (Your best friend)
If you look off camera, people will wonder who you are talking to. Tell yourself that the camera is your best friend or your best client and it will make a world of difference. Another method is to pretend that you are seeing a person just behind the camera. You can put a photo behind the camera and talk to that.

Almost always it is only one person watching your video so speak to them one on one, just like you would to a real person.

Tip #4  Breathe!

Don’t forget to breathe while speaking in front of the camera! Before you start to record, take a few deep breaths and then try to take breaths at the end of every sentence while you are recording.

Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose, it is more silent that way and can help you steady your pace. The best presentation voice is not about your words, it’s about how you breathe.

Tip #5 Use your hands

Many people think they shouldn’t move our hands when presenting to camera because they are worried they will look nervous and out of control. In fact, gestures are a very powerful aspect of our self-expression.

While being filmed, try to keep your elbows bent just above your waist. That way your hands will be visible but not in the way. When standing, the best gestures are around the middle of your chest, never wider than your body and never higher than your neck.

“Remember, your message is not about you, it’s about your audience. Relax and focus on the people who will be watching you.”

Creating promotional videos for your business can be a fun and easy process! Contact Intro2Outro to find out about our special deals for small business today.

May 26

3 must have videos for your small business

By admin | Uncategorized , Videos

If you only make three videos to promote your content, make it these

  • Business Explainer Video
    Pure and simple, this video shows prospects what you do. Once you have started with a ‘hook’ and explained that you understand their problem, the next step is to introduce the solution your business provides and to follow it up with a clear call to action.

This clip should be no more than two – three minutes long. It will sit on top of your homepage and can also be distributed across social media and other mediums to promote your business and educate your clients.

  • FAQs  
    Do you find you are answering the same questions from clients over and over? The simple solution to reduce the amount of time you spend with new prospects is to record a video that answers these questions and positions you as an expert.

    There is a simple way to structure FAQ videos: a question and answer, then a call to action. We call it the 10 by 10 approach. Firstly, start with ten of your most frequently asked client or prospect’s questions. Follow this up with 10 questions your clients should be asking (questions that educate them on why you are different) e.g. why they shouldn’t shop around on price rather have their problem solved straight away.

    At Intro2Outro, we can film 5-10 FAQ videos in one shoot. Some business owners prefer not to use a script. If you do have a script, we can provide a teleprompter so you can look directly at the camera, similar to a someone reading the news. These videos can then be released over a period of time on social platforms, youtube and your website. This bundle approach saves you money and won’t take up too much of your time.

Get in touch for an FAQ video package quote today.

  • Testimonials

One of the biggest hurdles for small business owners is getting customers to believe your claims.

The most powerful way to do this is to show them someone who has been in their situation and to have that person explain how well their problem has been solved.

The great thing about testimonial videos is that they can be shot anywhere – at a client’s premises, at your business or at an external location.
Here is a basic structure to follow for testimonials:

Before: Ask your client to explain what problems they were facing, why they were getting stuck, why they decided to work with you, how they found you and the deciding factor that made them choose you.

During: Get your client to explain what was it like when they were working with you, the best benefit and the result.

After: Encourage your client to detail wow much of an impact is your help going to have on their future business. What results did they get from the product or service, and what would they say to someone who is in the same position that they were in?

It is cheaper than you think to create professional videos and drive your clients further down the sales funnel. Contact Intro2Outro  for a free quote today.