This morning I was helping a colleague learn Macromedia Breeze (convert PPT to Flash), and he wondered about the ability to include a brief (30 seconds) screencast within the presentation. Breeze can handle animation, so I thought it could probably handle a movie too. And it can. But it's not very easy :-(
He used CaptureWiz Pro to record a screencast and save it as an AVI file (the only option). It's very simple to insert an AVI as a movie clip into PPT, but it turns out that once converted to a Breeze presentation that movie only displays as a static screenshot. (Incidentally I was surpised to learn that SnagIt, despite its shared family with Camtasia Studio, also only saves screencasts as AVI, so you won't be able to save the next step by using this tool).
So we surmised that since Breeze is a Macromedia product, it would probably do just fine if we could insert a Flash file into PPT. I used Camtasia Studio to convert the AVI to SWF - piece of cake. The fun part comes when you try to insert that SWF file into PPT. You can't just insert it as you do a picture or audio clip (or even an AVI file). Here are the gory details from the Macromedia website. What a pain!
I only went so far as to prove to myself that it can be done - obviously there's still some tweaking that needs to be done as evidenced by the artifacts that show up on the finished product. The screencast slide blows by pretty quickly because I didn't add any audio to it; again this was just a proof of concept.
I'm not sure if there are any other ways to get an actual animation into a Breeze presentation, but if anyone has any ideas, please pass them on!