When using SimTutor, there are a few external tools you'll likely need to use to create your simulations - this guide will show you what we suggest. Don't worry! Most of the tools listed below will be free, and the easiest we found to use.
Firstly, we recommend you use whatever it may be that you are comfortable with, or, what you already have, as that will almost always be the best solution to create your simulations as quickly as possible. In case you are unfamiliar with or don't currently use any tools for the specific aspect, feel free to use our suggested ones below.
For creating title pages, adding markup to images, or organizing multiple images:
These tools are great to use, as most people have used them before. They allow for an easy way to do all of the above, and much more.
While PowerPoint may be more familiar to most people, Google Slides is a great free alternative if you don't own an Office 365 subscription.
Removing the background of an image:
This tool can quickly and automatically remove the background of most images. Great for your hotspots' tool images. This tool is also free after signing in (no credit card required).
For more precise image editing:
My personal favorite alternative to Photoshop, paint.net allows for plenty of image customization, without the weeks of learning needed to use the tool. This tool is also completely free.
For resizing or compressing images:
This free online tool is a super quick and easy way to reduce the filesize or resolution of images. This is great for the images used in image sequences, as the filesize can add up if you have 50 x 2MB images as an example. This tool greatly decreases the data needed for each photo, without compromising the quality too much.
For stock images to use within your simulations:
Unsplash - Free images
Depositphotos- Low-priced source of images and video clips. Look out for bundle sales too.
Burst - free images
Pexels - free images and videos
Kaboompics - free images
Canva - A popular graphic design tool, which also offers a range of free images
Note: In many cases it's best to take photos and film video specifically for a simulation, for example to show locations and equipment that learners will encounter in real life. However in certain circumstances or for certain topics, a generic stock photo or video clip may be fine. It's important to check the license details on each site that you download from, to be sure exactly what you can and cannot do with the images. Note that some of these sites also display "premium" images from a paid site like Getty Images or Shutterstock, so not every image that comes up in a search on those sites will be free.
For use in SimTutor, videos may need to be split up into smaller chunks, or given an audio narration. For these tasks, while I use Adobe Premiere Pro myself, we recommend a free open-sourced product called "Shortcut"
Here is an article with step-by-step tutorials on how to use this video editor for use in SimTutor. (Coming soon!)
For recording separate audio narration, Windows comes with a default program that works perfectly for simple voice recordings - just search for it in your installed programs.
For more advanced audio recording, and/or editing, Audacity is a great product that can do all of this and more!