Mel Aclaro – My studio setup for screencasting production

My feature post in Telestream’s The Screening Room blog a couple of days ago generated a few questions about this image of me in one of my studios.

screencasting setup

“I like to say I have two studios: my office and my ‘office annex’ locations.  The latter being whatever regional park or coffee house I tend to find myself in…”  ~Mel Aclaro

The one above is obviously from my office studio.  I pulled it from the ScreenFlow article (ref: Meet the ScreenFlow-er: Screencasting Wizard, Mel Aclaro) and decided to visually index it with cross-linked details to help supplement answers I give about the gear I use.  Click any of the markers in the image to learn more.

Your Studio Setup Doesn’t Have to Be Costly

So here’s the thing, although some of the equipment I use in my office is a bit pricey for the home-based screencaster, you can definitely get by with less budget-heavy gear AND still be able to get professional quality production value for your online course or website video/screencast.  I cover some of those in Sections 3 and 4 of the Digital-Know-How course, but I also provide some alternate links above for some of the more cost-effective gear.

Another resource you might want to take a look at, as well, is my previous post on The Poor Man’s Home Video Studio: 3 Must-Watch Techniques.

Your turn: Your recommendations for studio equipment?

What microphones, video, lighting or other hardware/software have you used that is both cost effective and quality enhancing?

The future of storytelling: Collaboration, quality, engagement

The barriers to entry are much lower… anyone, if they want to, can really be creative and say what they want to say.

A compelling snippet here (at least for me) from the Future of Storytelling’s (FoST) channel.  Some of the points here that resonated with me related to interviewee’s perspective on the importance of collaboration in content creation, quality, intimacy (in public forums), technology’s role in democratization of video content, and engagement.

The interviewee is Lisa Donovan, one of the cofounders of Maker Studios, a collaborative “talent-first media company founded by YouTube artists.”  The network was founded in 2009 to provide the best environment for artists to create, distribute, and monetize their original content on YouTube; the content produced at Maker Studios gets about four billion views each month.

image-reinventing storytellingMy takeaways / Highlights

Collaboration.  Working on one channel… we didn’t know how sustainable that would be and we thought that there’s a bigger opportunity here. If we came together with other like-minded people who were making their living on YouTube and we shared resources and we shared audiences, we could all benefit from that…

Immediacy and Quality.  We can now respond so quickly to something happening in current events…. You have people now getting more viewership and spending less money on the product that they’re making; it’s bringing up the question: What is quality? Just because it costs $100M to make a movie… does that mean it’s quality if I don’t enjoy it? (Nor with) I think is interesting or as engaging as something that’s 15 minutes that costs almost nothing…?

Intimacy.  What we’re seeing a lot more now is people being a lot more open with their life and sharing their life… there is sort of an intimacy that is created between the audience and the person creating the content.  I think structure and format and experience are all incredibly important when it comes to quality…

New Technology.  Technology has changed the landscape drastically. This is a huge moment in entertainment because you can’t have one studio or one person define what quality is. Now you have audiences defining, for themselves, what quality is…

Engagement and democratization of content.  Anybody who is successful in creating quality online content is a master at engaging with their audience…. The barriers to entry are much lower… anyone if they want to can really be creative and say what they want to say.  And that’s exciting…

Your turn: Maybe it’s time to give collaboration a second look?

The points around collaboration really resonated with me here.  In the dialog I have with others in my courses and professional networks, it’s not uncommon for me to find folks with truly great ideas for courses or other content that shouldneed–to get online, but that, all too often, never see the light of day because of perceived barriers to content creation and work effort.   Are there ideas you have that could benefit from collaboration with a like-minded content creator?

How to close timeline gaps using Ripple Delete in ScreenFlow and Camtasia

I stumbled upon the problem below.  It was shared in this tweet asking how to close gaps in the ScreenFlow timeline.

timeline-gaps

Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert In the Big 3 Screencast Editors

The feature we’re looking for here is called “ripple delete.”  The trick is to quickly close those gaps without:

  • having to perform a “select all” or multiple-clip-select (because that’s a pain in the ass when you’re in the middle of a long, complex project with many clips and multiple tracks)
  • and while keeping all clips on all tracks to the right of the gap in sync with each other as the gap closes (because audio that doesn’t sync with video doesn’t make for compelling tutorials)

And, while we’re at it, let’s go ahead and address the sibling of ripple deleteripple insert.  That may become helpful when you want to add new media clips into the middle of a ScreenFlow or Camtasia screencasting project.

Each of the “Big 3” screencasting editors handles ripple delete/ripple insert differently

ScreenFlow, Camtasia Ripple Delete Cheat Sheet

(Click to enlarge.)

In the video below, I’ll walk ya through how to close/insert those gaps quickly in each of the big 3 screencast editors:  ScreenFlow, Camtasia Studio (for Windows) and Camtasia For Mac.  Meanwhile, I’ve also made the cheat sheet on the right available for you to download.  (Click it to enlarge.  Then, right-click and “save as…”)

Below are the video timecodes so you can fast forward to the parts that interest you the most

  • 0:00 to 4:00 – Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: ScreenFlow
  • 4:00 – Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: Camtasia Studio
  • 7:28 – Ripple Delete / Ripple Insert: Camtasia For Mac

Did this help?  Let me know!