[Q&A] “Should I get Screenflow? Or Camtasia for Macintosh?”

Here’s this week’s Q&A from my Digital-Know-How course, as well as the “Deep Dive” screencasting courses on Udemy (Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Macintosh).

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The questions we’re answering this week are:

  • Q&A #1. What’s better…Camtasia for Mac or ScreenFlow? Is it worth buying Camtasia if you already have ScreenFlow?
  • Q&A #2. Is it true that Camtasia for Macintosh supports much more functions than the Windows version?
  • Q&A #3. Mel, I have been thinking of getting a Macintosh, but I work in primarily a Windows environment. To date I have not found a MAC tool that allows me to load Windows like you have in all of your videos. Can you share what you are using?

Your turn

Which screencasting software do you prefer to use?

Easy Click-and-Drag Green Screen Videos Using Camtasia Studio

The Abridged Version Of the Green Screen Training Video With Camtasia Studio

Last week I announced the release of Camtasia Studio version 8.1.  Although the list of features included in that release were relatively small, the magnitude of the value in the new features was HUGE.  Among them was the long awaited green screen effect.  (Previously only available on Camtasia for Macintosh and Screenflow for Macintosh.)

udemy-lecture21The video above gives the quick-tip highlights (abridged version) of making green screen work in your videos using Camtasia Studio (for Windows).  You can also click here for a Free preview of the (unabridged) full training video on the Udemy learning network.

A question for you

Have you previously used green screen in any of your screencast presentations or online courses?  What do you think? Did it enhance your presentation? Or is green screen overrated?

Camtasia Tip – Ripple Insert New Clips In the Middle Of A Multi-Track Timeline

It used to the be case that when you wanted to insert a clip in the middle of a complex multi-track project, you’d have to split all clips on all tracks, then zoom all the way out so you can select everything to the right of it and slide everything over.  This needed to happen in order to keep all your callouts, audio, images and video in sync when you shifted everything to the right in order to make room for the new clip.  But, no longer…

Now, when you want to insert a new clip in the middle of your project, you can push the Command key (Camtasia Mac) or the Shift key (Camtasia Studio) while clicking and dragging the playhead.

In the video above, I show a quick demo of the ripple insert feature in Camtasia Studio and Camtasia Mac that you’ll absolutely love me for showing you the next time you’re working on a complex / multi-track project.

[Screenflow video] How to fix video recording errors when editing your screencast video

You may be surprised how often I have to apply the technique above in my screencasting and eLearning projects.  It’s the rare thing when I can record an extemporaneous screencast tutorial perfectly with no blemishes or touches that need to be applied in the editing stage.

In fact (again!), there’s a 3-second snippet beginning at 3:57 in the video above where I had to use exactly the technique I show in the video to cover up a blemish.

See if you can spot this in the video

how to fix text errors in screencast video BEFORE

Before

how to fix text errors in screencast video AFTER

After

Screenflow, Camtasia Studio, Camtasia for Macintosh: It’s all good

Although I used Telestream’s Screenflow (Macintosh only) to demo this technique in the video above (hmmm… come to think of it: I seem to find myself using Screenflow more and more these days…), in fact the same technique can be applied using similar features in Camtasia Studio and Camtasia Macintosh.

Can you find the video artifact?

So, take a look.  Let me know if you can tell what the issue was that caused the artifact at 3:57 that I then had to cover up using the very technique we talk about in this video.

Camtasia Macintosh Doesn’t Have a Media Library – But Here’s a Workaround

Camtasia Studio (Windows) has a robust library, but…

cs-libraryOne of the reasons Camtasia Studio (for Windows) costs three times more than Camtasia For Macintosh is because it has so many more features.  One of these is the media assets library.

In addition to having a huge set of preloaded callouts, audio, video, images, titles, lower-thirds, and so on for you to choose from straight out of the box, you can also add your own custom media assets.

If you produce web video and screencasts regularly, then you know the value a library has for streamlining your workflow.  A library helps you quickly grab those often used custom media assets like custom title slides, video bumpers, custom lower-thirds, custom callouts, branded music tracks and often used audio effects into any project.  The ability to just drop ’em in to your projects without having to re-create them each time you need them is a HUGE time saver.

*Sigh…* If only Camtasia for Macintosh had a media assets library.

Well, it’s not as bad as all that.  There’s a workaround for creating your own media library in Camtasia for Macintosh.  It’s as easy as creating a special cmproj file that holds ONLY re-usable media assets, and then saving it with a name like, “assets library.”

The video above is an excerpt from a larger course in the Digital-Know-How.com course.  The excerpt above gives the low-down on the utility of a media library in Camtasia Mac, but also with a few additional helpful tips thrown in.  It’s a short video, take a look.

Got any more tips like that you want to share?  Let us know in the comments below.

Techsmith Screenchamp 2012 Winner – Best In Category

winnerBest In Category: “Wildcard” Is…

(Ahem.) Yours truly.   😎

The thing I liked particularly about the Techsmith/Screenchamp Best In Category contest is the fact that the winning videos were chosen by a panel of non-Techsmith affiliated judges.  And, I have to admit that it’s pretty gratifying to be recognized by a body of my peers for something I did professionally.  (Usually I’m just getting yelled at about something I did UN-professionally.  :mrgreen: )


Click here to watch the entire show on Techsmith

Screenchamp 2012 Judges

This year’s judges included:

Rushton HurleyRushton Hurly (@RushtonH).  The lead speaker and trainer for Next Vista for Learning.  Among other distinguished accomplishments, Rushton is also the founder and executive director of Next Vista for Learning, which houses a free library of videos by and for teachers and students at NextVista.org.

Steve Garfield

 

Steve Garfield (@SteveGarfield).  A videographer and video blogger based in Boston, Massachussetts.  He is lauded as one of the internet’s first video bloggers, having launched his own video blog in January 2004.  Steve is also the author of Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business.

Scott SkibellScott Skibell (@ScottSkibell).  A professional screencaster, Scott is the founder of Skillcasting.com through which he helps individuals and organizations create videos, screencasts and eLearning.

 

Okay, with all that said…

My having won one of Techsmith’s Screenchamp Best In Category awards isn’t the reason I continue to champion Techsmith’s products.  Rather, it’s the fact that they listen — and aren’t afraid to listen to criticism if it means feedback that will help improve the product line.

In fact, if you take a gander at my video entry then you’ll recognize it is one in a series of reviews about various screencasting softwares.  And, this one was actually a bit critical (though constructively so) of Techsmith’s Camtasia Studio (version 7) product.

But, to their credit, this didn’t stop Techsmith from trumpeting it as loud as any of the other category winners.  In fact, especially poignant to me wasn’t really the fact that this video was selected as a Best In Category winner, but rather it was The Forge host Matt Pierce’s (@PierceMr) statement at about the 09:44 point in the video above where, in response to a judge’s observation that my video’s content was actually quite critical of Techsmith, Matt in turn says,

“…(T)here’s something really refreshing about having that honesty… And I know as an organization that makes it so much easier to respond to that…”

(Of note:  It’s worth pointing out that, since having published that video review, Techsmith soon rolled out Camtasia Studio version 8 — which included upgrades that directly nullified each of the points about which I criticized version 7.)

It’s yet more evidence of the culture of listening that makes me gush about the Techsmith gals and guys.  (*Sniff* *Sniff*) See why I’m such a fan?

(Smiley courtesy of: whatdoestextmean.com)

How To Record and Synchronize Video Screen Recordings From Two Monitors


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A great question was asked by one of my viewers about recording videos on dual monitors.

Hi there I am looking for a solution for recording Dual monitors in seperate videos if at all possible? For instance I want to show myself editing Audio and syncing it to a Picture which is on another monitor seperately. I need to be able to show both Monitor videos simultaneously. Is there an easy or cheap way of doing this? thanks!

The answer is yes.  Though there are ways that hard-core video professionals do this with video boards and other peripheral hardware.  (If you’ve done this before, I’d love it if you shared a link with information about the hardware you use and how you set up to capture your multiple video and audio sources.)

But, for purposes of screencasting, all you’ll need are two different screen recording software.  One software (e.g., Camtasia) should be setup to capture activity on one monitor, while a totally different other software (e.g., Screenflow, Screenr, GoToMeeting, Webex, etc.) would be used to capture activity on the second monitor.  Audio capture should be on, as well, on both software.

The trick, though, is getting set up properly during the recording phase (i.e., “production”) so that you’re in a position to sync up both video clips later when you edit them together (i.e., “post-production”).

In the video above, I show you how I did this using Camtasia and Screenflow on a Mac platform.  However, you can also do this even if you’re set up on a PC.

Check out the video and let me know if it helps.  Also, if you’ve done something similar to this, I’d really appreciate you sharing your technique in the comments below.  Share-share alike, right? 🙂