Producing a Professional How To with Camtasia

igorGriffiths May 9, 2012 0

CamtasiaFirst off lets start by explaining what Camtasia is.

This software will be installed on your computer and allows you to capture what is displayed upon your screen, edit the recording then share this with others. However the quality and ease in which it does this is where it really begins to shine, each and every feature works really well to make your recording the best it can be.

Due to the fact that there are so many features, I am going to be adding to this this review over the next few weeks weeks but for now lets just show you what it can do.

Of course the best way to do is with an example.

In the following video, I have made some deliberate mistakes and added elements to illustrate how you can enhance the learning experience of your audience with Camtasia.

 

[flowplayer src=http://moneymakerexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/camtasia.mp4]

 

In the video there were some key features and lessons to be explored and learned.

Before creating any video, have a rough idea of what message you wish to get across, this will allow you identify the sites, images, people, audios and equipment required to achieve your goal.

I did this and thus deliberately incorporated some mistakes and illustrated a selection of the benefits Camtasia can bring to your screen capture videos.

At the start of the video, I protected my login details with what they term a Callout, in reality these are graphic overlays which is why I was able to blur the details. You should never combine a blur overlay with zoom as Camtasia does not have the features to do this effectively, this is where your planning comes in by avoiding the requirement for this.

This is why I added a second callout to highlight this mistake.

You can add callouts throughout your videos to update and emphasise portions of screen content, perhaps a certain feature no longer works in the latest release but the current video is not so far out of date to warrant making a new one, this is a typical situation where a callout would be ideal.

As I mentioned callouts are simply graphic overlays which means you have the option of  highlighting with color or drawing boxes around parts of the page then zooming into that particular area to discuss in finer detail before you return to a normal view and continue with the video.

In the video there is a webcam picture in picture of me which is very easy to do thanks to the dedicated button for this. Once you get used to the idea of recording in a multi-track environment you can quickly combine multiple videos, images and audio sources together which I included in the example above.

Of course not all sound sources will be crystal clear which is a problem that Camtasia deals with very effectively, its noise reduction process is super simple to use and effectively removes almost all background noise at the first attempt. However a word of warning with this, do not remove background noise multiple times, as you will end up with a metallic digital sounding voice if you do this, leave this until the very end when you are happy with your creation.

When it comes to the end of your editing, you can add pre-prepared branding sequences to the start and end of your video, these can be stored within the media library so they are always to hand when you need them, this also brings up a good point that many of us me included forget to do. The first thing you should say in your video should be who you are and where you are from, as an example I should say “well hello its igor Griffiths here from increasedgrowthonline.com” this means every video you create is promoting your business up front and not relying upon them reading the surrounding text, plus as we know audio goes direct to the brain and gets stored for later use.

The ouput formats available cover all popular media options from web, apple, youtube and of course mobile.

So Camtasia sounds like a great piece of software and it is however it is at the moment only capable of doing screen captures, I believe this will change in the future as they have the foundations for a very powerful video editing suite and have just introduced to the apple version chroma keying features.

The other point to consider is how serious are you about making videos?

The price is over $200 and unless you are definitely serious, I would consider trying out one of their alternatives first, these are Jing or Snagit.

These start at a more modest, sub $100 price point and will allow you to to ramp up your screen capture skills for a much reduced cost. I actually still use Jing when I want to make a quick off the cuff screen capture. All three can be trialled at the Techsmith Website



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