Digital-Know-How Q&A – Video Settings, White Board Screencasts and More Questions and Answers

  • What’s the best positioning for the webcam video when I conduct picture-in-picture effects in screencasts?
  • What video dimensions are best when uploading video to Vimeo or YouTube?
  • What software and hardware should I use to conduct a “white board” type screencast presentation?

I wanted to share these answers to some of the great questions we’ve been kicking around in the Digital-Know-How group from members of the Digital-Know-How course.

Here are some of the references I mentioned in the video

  • Vimeo School – Video Compression Basics.  This is a great blog post that I recommend reading if you want help understanding the rationale behind such mind-boggling terms as: frame rates, keyframe interval, data rate (bit rate), resolution and more.
  • Khan Academy.  Salman Khan and his team use white board type presentations quite extensively in most, if not all, of their online training videos.  
  • Camtasia Studio.  Techsmith’s screen recording software for windows (version 8) includes the Screendraw tool that allows you to “write” and draw on objects that appear on your computer screen during the screen recording session.
  • Snowmint Ultimate Pen.  For Mac users, I personally use Ultimate Pen for whiteboard writing effects on my desktop.  The ink motions are smooth which also includes a pressure sensitive tapering style to the drawing strokes.
  • Wacom.  Finally, if you’re shooting for a professional look in your white board screencast presentations, I can’t say enough how important a Wacom style tablet and stylus are for helping you achieve that professional look.    

What other recommendations would you make for the questions about webcam positioning, and white board screencasts? 

What HD video camera do you recommend?

In this post over on the Digital-Know-How Blog, I summarized my typical response to the FAQ about “what video camera do you recommend…?”

Owing to the fact that each of us will have different values for what the highest and best intended uses are for our chosen camera, as well as the value we each expect to receive from it, I shared the decision matrix I sometimes use to help my friends focus on the best camera for them based on their–and your–highest and best intended uses.

The referenced article has the lowdown on the “how to” about the matrix.

In the meantime, below is a sample based on my preferences.  I’m publishing it under a creative commons copyright, so feel free to reproduce it for non-commercial purposes.   Or, if you’re an existing ScreencastingWizard subscriber (free) or a Digital-Know-How member (fee-based course) then you can go into the downloads/resources area and simply download the Excel worksheet.

hd camera selection decision support tool

(click image to enlarge)
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Do you already have a camera that you’re happy with?  What model do YOU recommend, and do you currently use all of its features?