What software do you use to create professional looking videos?...

38 replies
Hello Warriors,

I've been seeing some really awesome video creations recently in the IM sector and was hoping to get some feedback on exactly which software tools you were using to create Professional looking video presentations...

Of course, there is Camtasia...

I also just took Adobe Captivate for a short spin...(it was a little clunky on my machine...)

I am specifically looking for something that balances "good looking" with "fast and easy to use"...if that exists...

Do you know of any with some professional text transition capabilities?

And does anybody have any idea what software Jeff Walker or the Stompernet team is using? (is that Final Cut Pro?)

What are some other video tools you have found?


Thanks in advance!
Jack Duncan
#camtasia #create #presentations #professional #professional videos #software #video software #videos
  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    For screen capture video, Camtasia wins hands down. For other video editing, I've been a fan of Serif MoviePlus for many years. I like to think of it as "the poor man's Avid" .

    I use Adobe Photoshop for graphics, and Serif ImpactPlus for 3-D graphics and simple animations.

    Hope this helps,

    Shaun
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    • Profile picture of the author Jack Duncan
      Thanks Shaun!

      I had not heard of that tool...

      I use Photoshop as well and have dabbled with Adobe Premier Pro and also Sony Vegas...

      I came across Adobe Visual Communicator 3 this morning...and it has a pretty awesome built in teleprompter and workflow design...

      I'm specifically looking for a package that has some professional (read:not cheesy) text effects for various slides and transitions...

      Thanks for the tip...

      I'm checking that out now...and will take a look at your YouTube videos.

      -Jack
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      • Profile picture of the author TommyBussey
        Originally Posted by Jack Duncan View Post

        I'm specifically looking for a package that has some professional (read:not cheesy) text effects for various slides and transitions...
        Hey Jack, I think Final Cut Pro will be your best bet for text transitions and overall editing awesomeness haha

        I know it is expensive, but with software (the majority of the time) you get what you pay for. That's why I don't mind shellin' out the money for Ps, Ai, Id, Dw, etc. etc. It helps me run business more efficiently and adds a sense of professionalism.

        Are you running on PC or Mac??

        I use Mac and lately I've been using ScreenFlow for my screencasts, but it's starting to piss me off haha I just downloaded the new Camtasia:Mac, gonna see how that works!

        Best of luck!

        - Tommy
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      • Profile picture of the author spearce000
        Originally Posted by Jack Duncan View Post

        Thanks Shaun!

        I had not heard of that tool...

        I use Photoshop as well and have dabbled with Adobe Premier Pro and also Sony Vegas...

        I came across Adobe Visual Communicator 3 this morning...and it has a pretty awesome built in teleprompter and workflow design...

        I'm specifically looking for a package that has some professional (read:not cheesy) text effects for various slides and transitions...

        Thanks for the tip...

        I'm checking that out now...and will take a look at your YouTube videos.

        -Jack
        Haven't heard of Visual Communicator 3 but will check it out. I think MoviePlus is aimed at wedding videographers and suchlike -- I'm running MoviePlus 5 at the moment (the version before the current one) and it came with predefined titles like "Our Wedding Day" in a wedding invitation looking font.

        The only gripe I have with the software is it doesn't have a way to capture timecode like Avid or Speed Razor. This isn't a problem for me at the moment because just about everything I do these days gets streamed over the net or burned onto DVD, but it would come in handy if I ever had to do a broadcast on-line.

        If you're looking for a way to do fancy titles, do them in Photoshop, save them as a file with a transparent background (.PNG works best if your editing gear won't take a .PSD file) and import them into the timeline.
        TIP: to make sure they will fit, grab a frame of video into the clipboard, and select File > New > Preset: Clipboard in Photoshop.

        Shaun
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        • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
          I've used Visual Communicator often, though lately I've
          used Vegas exclusively. VC has bugs in it that can
          sometimes make working with it difficult. Overcome the
          technical problems however and it does very good chroma-key,
          makes editing virtually unnecessary and it gives you
          the words to say - excellent if you suck at improvising
          and you need to crank out talking head videos.

          It doesn't do those shots with the big zooming words -
          so if you want big zooming words like in silly Hollywood
          blockbuster-type movie trailers, you'll need something
          else.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
          If you're going to get the mac or have it, you can use Iwork as well.

          Here is another simple example, which used garage band loops to do the music, keynote, and screenflow.

          Not as fancy, but I did that spinning arrow animation at the end in keynote as well.

          My Online Income System by avenuegirl -- Revver Online Video Sharing Network

          You'll probably recognize the gradient background.

          I just installed camtasia for mac a few weeks ago, but have not had a chance to fully test all the functionality. It seems to be missing a couple of small things from the windows version.
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          • Profile picture of the author Zanti
            Originally Posted by TommyBussey View Post

            I use Mac and lately I've been using ScreenFlow for my screencasts, but it's starting to piss me off haha I just downloaded the new Camtasia:Mac, gonna see how that works!
            Tommy, what are you not liking about ScreeFlow? I just purchased a week-ago after a month or so researching Camtasia for Mac and ScreenFlow. I decided that ScreenFlow was better at this point. Thanks.

            Originally Posted by avenuegirl View Post

            I just installed camtasia for mac a few weeks ago, but have not had a chance to fully test all the functionality. It seems to be missing a couple of small things from the windows version.
            Jill, I would love to hear your take on Camtasia for Mac vs ScreenFlow. Could you either post here or pm me.

            Thanks,

            Z (aka Brian Alexzander)
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  • Profile picture of the author arnoldsmithh
    camtasia is better i think.
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    • Profile picture of the author Si_P
      I prefer Camtasia. If you are looking for quick free video creation online, try animoto. They look professional enough for all the time they last.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      I rarely use FCP.

      You can create transparent PNG text files with photoshop that can be manipulated within screenflow - and I would imagine with camtasia as well.

      You can purchase ready made loops for some funky stuff.

      Here is something I did a while back - there is no affiliate link, just a video.

      Is this fancy enough for you?

      Viddler.com - Register for More Than Members - Uploaded by wurdmess

      This was done with screenflow, loops of music and video from Ginny Culp, and some PNG photoshop slides.

      Final Cut Pro is very flexible, but is more power than most people need.

      Using FCP is like using a chainsaw to cut a toothpick. LOL
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      • Profile picture of the author Jack Duncan
        Nice work!

        And I totally agree with you on the chainsaw comment...

        That is why I stopped using Adobe Premier Pro...it was great, but really overkill for some of these training video projects...

        Off to check out screenflow...

        Thanks,
        Jack
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        • Profile picture of the author Glenn72
          Jack, can you do a LOT with Vegas and it's easy to use once you know the basics, such as how the automation features work. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube. Some really good ones too. I've been using it for 10 years now, and use it for everything from video editing and compositing to recording music and fx shots.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    We use Final Cut Studio here. It's awesome if you have a Mac
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    • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
      Originally Posted by Brad Gosse View Post

      We use Final Cut Studio here. It's awesome if you have a Mac
      To be completely honest I am starting to think I might go with a Mac. It seems like every time I talk to someone involving video editing they always refer to the Mac.

      It seems like they are the superior choice when it comes to putting together professional videos quickly.
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      • Profile picture of the author patselby
        I have used Camtasia and find it to be very good.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
        Originally Posted by Shannon Herod View Post

        To be completely honest I am starting to think I might go with a Mac. It seems like every time I talk to someone involving video editing they always refer to the Mac.

        It seems like they are the superior choice when it comes to putting together professional videos quickly.
        Please don't. with less than 6% market share we are still not on the radar for viruses or malware. If too many PC users switch I will lose my productivity utopia. LOL

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        • Profile picture of the author carlos183
          A friend of mine uses adobe after effects and videocopilet.net plug ins to create some awesome text, visual, and sound effects.
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  • Profile picture of the author techinik
    I only use camtasia along with sony vegas.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Sony Vegas Pro all the way. You can learn it quickly at Lynda.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
    I only use Camtasia. if I cannot do it in Camtasia that I'm going to hire someone to do it.

    I have tried many different programs they just are over my head. So, I do all my editing inside of Camtasia.

    If I need something more extensive done, I'm going to hire it out.

    Also, I only use my Flip Video Ultra for my videos. I own a more expensive camera that has all the neat gadgets, and a full-blown lighting kit, but I find it is much easier to just pull out the Flip Video Ultra and go that route.

    Talk soon,

    Shannon Herod
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  • Profile picture of the author Marian Berghes
    As a complete tool set I use: Photoshop, After Effects, Sony Vegas Pro, Camtasia and sometimes Illustrator
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  • Profile picture of the author Diver's
    Hi Jack,

    1. You can try UleadVideoStudio 11. Cool text effects and easy user friendly interface

    2. Pinnacle Studio Plus - when a big company like Avid buys them, then there must be something in 'Pinnacle'

    all above are basic but with very good quality/user friendly.

    Check out Avid and Final Cut Pro for breathtaking video production
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  • Profile picture of the author Slin
    Camstudio Shhhh...don't let everyone know about this great free product.
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    • Profile picture of the author DAS_Matt
      Originally Posted by Slin View Post

      Camstudio Shhhh...don't let everyone know about this great free product.

      Gotta love stuff like that!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Stepp
    I'm a Mac user and I use ScreenFlow. I haven't tried Camtasia for Mac yet, so I would also like to hear what you think of it Jill.
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    • Profile picture of the author tgilberg
      I use Screenflow for the Mac, also Animoto which is a great web based application if you
      have ZERO video skills, it is drag and drop with sound files included.

      I also use Imovie & Final cut express for some of my how to videos

      Tim
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      • Profile picture of the author Zanti
        Originally Posted by tgilberg View Post

        I use Screenflow for the Mac, also Animoto which is a great web based application if you
        have ZERO video skills, it is drag and drop with sound files included.

        I also use Imovie & Final cut express for some of my how to videos

        Tim
        Hey Tim, love your work, I'm also on your list. I don't have Final Cut but I do have ScreenFlow, imovie and iwork.

        How are you using and incorporating imovie in your videos.

        Thanks,

        Z
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  • Profile picture of the author Zanti
    While doing my research on ScreenFlow and Camtasia I found this site Here. It's the best review I came across on the difference between the two and the best discussion.

    Hope this helps some of you, it did for me. I have no connection to the site in anyway.

    Z
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  • Profile picture of the author agentsully
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    • Profile picture of the author hotlinkz
      I use Sony Vegas Pro for production videos. Never needed anything more than CamStudio for instructional videos.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeff Walker
        My recent videos were primarily made in Keynote.

        And I had a bit of a secret weapon... by the name of Andy Jenkins.

        Personally, the more I use Screenflow, the more I like it.


        - Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author TimGross
    I don't know if it's the case now, but last time I looked, Adobe Visual Communicator 3 was not being sold as a stand-alone product, only bundled with Adobe's Tool Suite (or whatever they're calling it)

    I do have Visual Communicator 3, and the pros are that you can get slick production value and impressive titling and graphics etc; The downside is that you have to pre-plan it all before you actually record your video (you read from the built-in teleprompter and the effects/graphics get added to your video as you record yourself speaking).

    It's a great tool for someone who doesn't know how to accomplish the same thing with a full-blown video editor. (I use Sony Vegas 9 Pro) I prefer to shoot video and edit things together later, but that's because I already have the ability to do it that way.

    For someone with limited knowledge, Visual Communicator 3 can get really impressive results while only having to learn a fraction of what you need to learn to do stand-alone video editing. Hope that helps someone.
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  • Profile picture of the author abdoue
    sony vegas rocks i like it because there is free tutorials for it everywhere in the internet
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  • Profile picture of the author twistedpixel
    Another vote for Sony Vegas Pro

    Easy enough to do simple editing tasks, but has advanced features that enable you to create effects once only possible in After Effects.
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    • Profile picture of the author Igirl
      I've used camtasia and it is fairly easy to use.
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  • Profile picture of the author tyroneshum
    I've also been using happy as a Screenflow user since I switched on Mac.

    It has all the tools that I need to manipulate all my videos, add transitions, effects and much much more. As a tech person myself, it's the one thing I can't live without since I also love creating videos to market my business and to help people around, plus making them feel much motivated with the power of my videos.
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