(Ep. 4) Best Screen Capture Software Comparison Series – Screenflow

If you’re juuust jumping into the series, then you’ll want to start with episode 1 in this series: Six of the Best Screen Capture Software – Compared (Ep. 1).  You’ll also want tosubscribe so you get notified when new updates come online.

In this episode: Telestream’s Screenflow

Screenflow is Telestream’s client-side video screen capture software that’s made for the Macintosh.  In the  features we’re using for comparing the different software in this series, Screenflow came out with an overall “Mel Rank” of 5.0 (out of 5)*.

  • Cursor effects/animation: 5 (out of 5)
  • Multiple video tracks:  5 (out of 5)
  • Multiple audio tracks: 5 (out of 5)
  • Animation of annotations and/or callouts:  4.5 (out of 5)

*  Note:  While Screenflow actually scored a Mel-rank of 4.5 out of 5 in the annotations/callouts area due to some limitations I mention in the video about the pixelation feature, I decided to give it a “field promotion” to an overall Mel-rank of 5 out of 5.  I thought Screenflow’s feature of capturing keyboard button-key combinations during the recording stage was an extra bonus.  (Hey Techsmith – that’s a good feature to have for Cam-Mac!)  🙂

Summary

So far in this series, Screenflow and Camtasia for Macintosh have come out on top.  Each has earned an overall Mel-rank of 5 out of 5.  Interestingly, at a price point of $99, each is actually very cost effective.  Next up in this series, we’ll take a look at Techsmith’s Jing product.

[Related: Best Screencasting Software Series]

SMMOC Meeting Highlights – March 3 2012

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My friend, Ron Siegel, asked me once if he could watch over my shoulder as I make one of these mindmaps during our meeting.  We haven’t yet been able to connect on that, but Ron was my inspiration for capturing a screencast of the notes I took from yesterday’s SMMOC meetup.  The video above was captured using Ron’s inspiration, Camtasia for Mac, and then sped up about 5000% using Final Cut.

Mindjet Mind ManagerTo view the actual mindmap notes from yesterday’s SMMOC meeting — and which is featured in the video above — click the image below.  And, in case you’re wondering what software I use to make my mindmaps, it’s no secret: I use MindJet’s Mind Manager to make all of my mindmaps.  (Tip:  Make sure and click embedded links in the mind map to click-through to related resources, people, images and places.)

smmoc mindmap meeting notes - March 3 2012

(Click to view in a new window)

Why Mind Manager?

While there are many mind map software packages you can get easily enough–some of them for free–I’ve grown accustomed to MindJet’s tool as I’ve used their products since version 1.0.

BUT, more than just it all being a loyalty thing, there are some very practical features of MindJet’s tools that you won’t find in many others.  Some of these benefits include:

  • The ability to easily share mindmaps in various formats — including the interactive one you see above — in a way that doesn’t require the recipient to own a copy of the mind map software themselves
  • The ability to download many free templates
  • Rich features that include a stock of icons and graphics that you can easily embed into your mindmap in click-and-drag fashion
  • An active online community with many users sharing tips, tricks and more templates

There are more benefits, but those above are the highlights.

Questions?

If you have any questions about how I produce my video screencasts, the effects I use, about any of the tools and services you see on my site, or if you’d like to suggest a future topic, let me know: just post a comment below or via one of the many social networks you’ll probably find this in.  🙂

Share!

If you found this helpful, feel free to share it.  You help me; you help your friends.  Thanks in advance.

Screencast software tip – How To Zoom In To Different Parts Of The Screen At The Same Time

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In this screencast software tip I answer a question about how I create a simultaneous zoom effect found in a couple of my video screen capture projects.  The effect is to focus on two different parts of the computer screen at the same time.

The V2 Zoom Effect

I’ve dubbed this the “V2 Zoom Effect” because it requires at least two video tracks (“v1” for video track 1, and “v2” for video track 2) to pull it off.  It also requires key-framing clips on each track simultaneously with different zoom settings.

When to Use This Effect

v2 zoom effect - when to use

(Click to enlarge)

This effect is helpful in cases where zooming in on one part of the screen would otherwise cause another critical part of the screen to disappear off-frame and away from view.  Use this effect when you want to show details of changes that become visible in other parts of the computer screen when settings are made in the subject software on another part of the screen.