11 replies
Hello Everyone,

I need to create some demo videos for a membership site that I'm about to launch and I was looking for the best and easiest way to do this. I had intended to purchase Camtasia and attempt to create them using this, but I've read some mixed reviews on Camtasia recently from other warriors so I'm not sure what to do. Can anyone provide some suggestions?


#creating #videos
  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Quick and easy way:

    1. You will need a usb microphone of some sort.

    2. Download camstudio - CamStudio - Free Screen Recording Software

    3. Set your shortcut keys for record/pause, stop, and cancel. The easiest way to create a screen capture video is to have a good clear idea of what you are going to say and record and use the record pause shortcut key a bunch. Mastering this can save you from having to do a bunch of edits. I prefer not to edit simple screen capture demos so I use the pause key quite a bit.

    4. Set whether you will use autopan or drag to pan. If you use drag to pan you can use the pause key to pause and drag to a new location which is sometimes a good strategy.

    5. Set the input device for audio and make sure it recognizes your usb mic at the input. Also go to your audio device control panel in windows control panel and set your microphone volume input level. 50% or less is best... I usually use 33% to avoid peaking out and getting distortion on the audio. Low volume can always be corrected in post if you have a good audio program but it is nice to get it right the first time. I shoot for comfortable listening at playback with speaker volume at 1/3.

    6. Set your capture codec to microsoft video 1. This will be the easiest for you. I prefer to download and install and use the MSU screeen capture Lossless codec but since you asked for easy.. the default Microsoft Video 1 codec will prouce good results for you.

    7. For audio use PCM uncompressed. You will encode this to mono mp3 during the flash encoding process in post.

    8. Capture frames every 50 millisecods which is frames per second which is 20 frames per second. You can always take that down in the final encoding process when you convert your video to flv. Playback rate should also be set at 20 frames per second.

    9. Do a couple test captures to test everything out and check the audio quality.

    10. Set your capture dimensions. Use drag and pan or auto pan to capture areas of the screen outside of your visible capture area by moving the capture around.

    It should be your goal to capture as small an area as necessary to deliver your message. Do not capture the full screen.

    Additionally capture in standard dimensions:

    800x600 - not recommended unless necessary. I do not recommend capturing larger.

    640x480 - one of the best dimensions to use for capture as it is easy to work with in post and is a standard ratio.

    480x360 - Never capture smaller or bigger than this if you are going to put it on youtbe. This is key for youtube. Its also a great dimension for small file size and compact use on websites while delivering view of a fair amount of content. This works especially well when you have autopan on if you need to show more areas of a site.

    If I capture larger areas I often use modals (light box) to place video in compact area and display it in a more professional way.

    11. Set in camstudio to save the output as avi. Always save your output as avi whether you are using camtasia or camstudio.

    12. Encode the avi to an flv using a professional encoding solution such as Flix 8 Standard (industries best low cost flash 8 vp6 codec flv encoder) or Sorenson Squeeze for Flash (industries best flash 8 vp6 codec flv encoder offering 2 pass vbr).

    13. Embed your flv into your website using any number of free or paid professional flash video website players.

    For examples of the kind of results and quality you can get using what I just outlined above:

    www.triggerplayers.com - click on the black video boxes to open modal pops and view videos captured with camstudio using my techniques and encoding methods.

    www.optimizeyourvideo.com - click on any of the screen capture teasers including the large dimension one for examples of the quality you can get with camstudio screen capture far surpassing anything published by anyone with camtasia on youtube.
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  • Profile picture of the author danmorton
    Josh -

    Thanks for the help on the video production. I agree - more like a small book, but really hit the spot!

    Dan Morton
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