Learn the Fundamentals of Camtasia for Macintosh (v2). Then go beyond.
You will start with computer settings that will help make your screencasts more effective.
Next, you'll learn how to use Camtasia for Macintosh -- one of the "Big 3" video screen capture and editing software programs in the market used by professional screencasters and online learning professionals. But, your learning won't stop there.
Go Beyond the Basics
After you've learned the fundamentals, you'll continue with additional special topics and practical applications -- totaling over 7.5 hours across 24 lectures of "deep dive" training -- that will help you go beyond the classroom with a unique video screencast presentation style that will help you engage your learners, build authority and monetize your digital-know-how.
Delivered by a professional screencaster, online learning architect, and winner of the 2012 Techsmith Best In Category ScreenChamp award.
Special topics include:
"Mel has a uniquely 'feet on the ground,' personable style with emphasis always being on the message rather than the messenger. The tutorials contain much more detail than the Techsmith tutorials and provide 'the back story' to many of the software features. An excellent course for screencasting beginners through to (almost) experts who want to learn to create videos up to corporate quality."
~ Richard Andrews, TTA Online Course Creator & Facilitator
"I had hired a college student as a marketing assistant to help me with other aspects of executing our marketing efforts but she had zero experience with video...One week later, Kristin was producing amazing videos... Mel delivers a comprehensive and intuitive learning style that is easy to follow for students with any level of experience."
~ Scott Schang, Broadview Mortgage Katella Team
Go beyond the classroom. Learn how to transform your live presentations, workshops and live training courses to a digitized format that's easily shared, easily consumed and potentially profitable.
Don't be boring. Learn to kick your online presentations up a notch from run-of-the-mill online presentations by overlaying quality audio and synchronizing live action web video to increase your audience's engagement.
In this video, you’ll learn a few of the settings-changes I recommend making on your computer before starting your video screen recording. For example, when you think about the mouse cursor as the primary means for “pointing” to objects for your learners to pay attention to on your desktop, why then would some choose to make their learners “work” to see it? A simple solution here is to bump up the size of your mouse cursor! But that’s not all.
In this video, you’ll learn a few more tips to keep your presentation the main thing for your learners to focus on, while also leveraging some subtle branding techniques that will make your professional image shine.
In this video you’ll learn how to add annotations to your Camtasia Mac screencast. Annotations run the gamut from objects you can insert into your screencast presentation such as arrows, boxes, and circles to highlights, blur areas and even keystroke images. They’re important for reinforcing key points you talk about in your presentation. But, more than that, annotations also make a convenient “last ditch” tool to fill in short gaps of information hat you may otherwise have forgotten to say during your initial recording. In this video, I’ll demonstrate: how to create a lower-third title card using text and rectangle annotations, how to adjust properties of an annotation, and how to add animations to your annotations.
In this video, you will learn how to add Cursor effects (Cursor FX) to emphasize parts of the screen to which you want to draw your learners’ attention. In addition, I’ll share with you some best practices to make sure your videos remain professional and polished for your viewers.
Transitions in Camtasia Mac are pre-set effects that are applied to the ends of media clips and clip segments in your timeline. Clip segments are created from a larger clip when you split that larger clip into two or more smaller clips, or clip segments. Transitions can be applied to the beginnings and ends of each of the resulting clip segments, as well. It’s important to temper your enthusiasm for transitions! While Camtasia gives you a decent selection of off-the-shelf transition effects to choose from, your goal should be to limit the use of transitions as much as possible. The main areas I recommend using transitions is when you want to smoothly shift from one type of media to another. For example, when you shift from a title to the main video. Other reasons to apply transitions is when you want to visually communicate (or compensate for) time in some way.
An example of visually communicating time is, let’s say, when you’re showing how to install some brand of software. And, perhaps there’s a section that requires the learner to know that the software has to be downloaded before being installed. Well, in that case, the actual time that it takes to download the software may not be relevant for your learners to have to sit through. So it’s in that way that splitting the clip at that point and then applying a Fade Out / Fade In transition would help visually communicate the passage of the time it takes to download the software. (And your learners will appreciate you respecting their time, as well!)
It’s also worth explaining what I meant above by compensating for time in some way. What I meant there is the other benefit transitions have, which is to compensate for those times when you stutter, stammer or otherwise stumble in your video. In most cases, it’s not necessary to stop and restart the recording; in fact it’s often the case that the recording segment could easily be compensated for in post-production (i.e., the editing stage) by simply splitting the clip and cutting out the offending segments and then simply applying a Fade In / Out on those clips, or to apply the effect and positioning your clips in the timeline in a way that effects a cross-fade, which I’ll show you in this video as well.
In this training video I’ll show you techniques and appropriate examples for applying transitions in your project.
Degraded audio quality is less forgivable than degraded video quality. But, while you do definitely want to pay attention to your audio quality, I’d also like to quickly add – especially if you’re just getting started with screencasting — that unless you’re producing videos for the big screen or for broadcast networks, then the only time that audio really ever gets noticed in web video is when it is bad. I say that because I usually like to make my students feel at ease by having you not think of audio or video quality as a barrier that MUST be solved before you start producing video content. In fact, you won’t even know what to fix in your video until you start producing your first projects. Create-Look-Evaluate-Learn-Iterate. In this video, I’ll show you some of the effects that Camtasia has that will help you mitigate some of the imperfections you might encounter in the editing room when you first look at the quality of your recording.
In this video you’ll learn about the settings to pay attention to so that you can get the widest possible viewership for your videos. There are different video formats that get bantered around a lot in “video production circles.” It can be quite dizzying with terms like: MOV, MP4, WMV, MPEG and AVI being bandied about. Add to that the choices that have to be made about reasonable video dimensions and video hosting options, and you have an environment that’s ripe for confusion. In this video, I’ll show you the things that I focus on 98% of the time. If you follow the tips I share in this training video, you’ll be able to produce your videos in a way that maximizes your viewership while minimizing production issues.
The history of aspect ratio
In addition to learning the steps for publishing your screencast video, you also learned about some of the considerations to make for publishing dimensions and aspect ratios. In case you want to dig a little deeper into the evolution of aspect ratios, this video provides a great summary.
This is the module where you’ll learn the 3-stage workflow I use for producing structured online presentations. Notice I’m being explicit about saying structured online presentations. This is to differentiate it from extemporaneous presentations — which, by their nature, have more of a “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” allure.
0:00 - What we're going to do in the next few videos in this series.
1:00 - What these terms mean: "Pre-production" vs. "Production" vs. "Post-production".
2:20 - Setting up for a quality screencast.
3:25 - Have some kind of activity on screen at least every minute. (The old convention of 2 minutes per PowerPoint slide is no longer acceptable in video-based presentation.)
5:15 - How important is audio quality?
5:45 - How long should your videos be? (2-3 minutes?) It depends. Are you selling? Is your visitor viewing your video for free? Or did your visitor pay for your content?
7:00 - What are some sources of inspiration you can draw from for your content?
12:50 - Presentation formats that work well for screencasting.
15:50 - What's your presentation style? Which should you consider for screencasting?
16:40 - My 3-stage production workflow for structured presentations.
19:40 - Workflow for extemporaneous presentations.
22:00 - Should you use animations in your PowerPoint presentations? How much is too much?
23:30 - A special case to be made for "motion path" animations in PowerPoint or Keynote.
In this video, I’ll show you the first stage of my 3-stage workflow, as well as details of all the considerations surrounding the where-fors and why-tos of first producing the script before doing anything else. (Again, this applies for structured presentations. Extemporaneous is a little different — and in many ways easier and sometimes faster (though not always so) — than structured/scripted presentations.
The second stage of the 3-stage production workflow is all about creating the audio file. And you’ll do that with the help of the script you recorded in the previous section. But, before we get there, you’ll find it helpful to know a little bit about the “physics” of quality audio. Audio quality is important in your video presentations because your learners/viewers will tend to “click away” from your video if the audio is of poor quality. In fact, your learner/viewers are more apt to suffer poor video quality (to a degree) more than they are to tolerate poor audio. Contrary to popular opinion, the quality of the microphone is NOT paramount. It definitely helps, but it isn’t the most influential factor for quality audio. In fact, in this video I’ll show you why it may actually be better to “dumb down” your microphone, depending on your ability (or not) to influence other, more important environmental factors.
In this training video, we’ll pick up up where we left off from the last training topic. In the last video you learned how to use free software like Audacity to record an audio file from the script your wrote earlier. In this video, and in the next, you’ll learn the technique I use for capturing the video while playing the audio file.
In previous topics I used PowerPoint (or Keynote will also work for Mac users) as the main example for developing structured presentations. Set aside for a moment your feelings about whether PowerPoint is the savior or nemesis of mankind, the fact is, it’s practically ubiquitous. Chances are, when you’re looking to digitize your knowledge and getting it online for your learners to access, PowerPoint will be one of the tools that can easily display an archive of that knowledge. But, that’s not to say that it should stay in PowerPoint format — nor that it should even be produced with the same look and feel! In fact, I recommend re-engineering the presentation format when you produce content or courses for your online learners. At the very least, you should enhance the original file in some way: either with better graphics, video or other animation. Picture-in-picture video is a relatively easy enhancement you can make. In the next topic I’ll show you how I incorporate them in my presentations. In this video I want to whet your creative juices about other formats you might consider when engineering (or RE-engineering) your presentations for online delivery. The examples here aren’t exhaustive by any means, but should give you something to chew on.
In this training video, you’ll learn how to implement the “iPad effect.” It’s an alternate screencasting presentation format that incorporates a presentation or demo you perform via the iPad along with a screencast on your desktop, or with a window of you talking to your learners. (More about that last reference in an upcoming series called “picture-in-picture.”) One key message I’d like to have you consider, however, is that while the iPad effect can be a powerful supplement to your presentation style, our use of it should still be mindful about the relevancy of using an iPad for your presentation. It’s a novel idea, but just like animations in your screencast presentations, it’s possible to over do it. Just make sure that when using the iPad display in your screencasts, there should be a “legitimate” reason for doing so.
This video kicks off the series where I will show you how you can create the picture-in-picture effect that you’ve seen me use throughout this course. This technique is by far one of the ones that I get asked about the most. While not tremendously impossible to master, it is admittedly not for the faint of heart. But think about it: if you’re looking to differentiate your online presentations and/or online learning courses from the run-of-the-mill types who stick with disembodied PowerPoints and faceless screencasts, then what new skills are you willing to learn?
“Innovation always comes from outside our comfort zone.”
But, while the P-I-P effect will require a bit of deliberate forethought on your part, I think you’ll see that if you commit to producing just one or two productions like this, the skills will stick. So much so that you’ll likely rarely want to produce another screencast without the P-I-P element. (I know I don’t!)
In the last training video you learned about the webcam method and the direct-to-computer-feed method. You also learned that of all the methods I’ll talk about in this series, my least preferred is the webcam method. And, while the direct-to-computer-feed method is actually the quicker workflow of the three methods you’ll learn about, some of the “moving parts” with cable connectors and occasional audio/video synchronization artifacts that need to be compensated for can be a bit bothersome. But that’s not to say that it’s not worth doing! Because, really, once you’re used to the techniques we discuss about synchronizing media clips, it really isn’t too far a stretch for short projects (under, say, 5- to 10-minutes in duration).
Now, in this training topic, you’ll learn about the third method where the video that you want to insert as a picture-in-picture is recorded first to tape (or flash drive) and then subsequently imported to the screencast timeline during post-production.
I’ve definitely learned a lot myself in recording this series. Not so much because creating the picture-in-picture effect is inherently difficult — it really isn’t, right? — but the fact that I needed to configure a “stage” that allowed me to step “outside” the recording environment so that I can make a recording of the recording process (!). This definitely required stepping outside my traditional comfort zone. (It’s a bit like those time travel movies where you go forward [or backward] in time to meet another version of yourself.)
Now we’ll continue where we left off in Part 1 and actually go into the recording software so you can learn what to look for in the media timeline that will allow you to synchronize the various media sources including: video from the external camera, audio from the external camera, audio from the screencast, and video from the screencast. The main point of the training video below that differentiates it from the training video you’ll see in the next topic (Part 4) is the quirkiness of electrons, for lack of a better term, that sometimes causes the audio and video — both from the external camera source — to be out of sync with each other when using the Direct Feed method. I’ll show you in this video how to compensate for that quirk of ‘Trons.
In this training video you’ll learn how to synchronize the audio/video file that you imported into your computer from the camera in Part 2 of this series. Remember, this part is differentiated from Part 3 by nature of the fact that in this topic we’re talking about synchronizing media that came in using the Record-to-Camera-Then-Import method.
(Note: This video teaches how to apply Ripple Delete and Ripple Insert in each of the "Big 3" screencast editors. See the bolded sections in the timecode list below to fast forward to the sections that are relevant to this course.) Timeline gaps are an inevitable byproduct of editing projects. When you delete a segment of clips in the timeline, a gap remains. While this may seem trivial, a common trap that new screencasters quickly discover is that filling this gap isn't always as simple as simply dragging clips from the right of the gap along the timeline. If there are multiple tracks, then it's important to ensure that clips on upper-level tracks stay in sync with those on lower tracks. You can do this in your screencasting software with a process called Ripple Delete.
Professional screencasters, e-Learning and even classroom delivery wizards learn to create re-usable learning objects to streamline their workflow efficiency. A learning object is any standalone media bit that can be re-used across other projects with minor editing. A common example is a title slide that contains your logo, colors, preferred fonts and other branding features that give your learners a unique “feel” about your productions. These can also take the form of short title videos, called “bumpers.” These bumpers are often short 3-5 second duration videos that contain animations. And, lead-in music tracks can also be thought of as another example of a re-usable object. All these objects: pictures, video, audio can be maintained in a library for ease of access across your various projects.
Camtasia Studio (the Windows version of Camtasia) has a convenient Library panel for users of that software to maintain re-usable objects. However, Camtasia for Macintosh is limited in this area. In fact, it's practically non-existent. In this training video, I start with a lecture about how to add and access reusable media in Camtasia Studio's Library, but then also add a segment about a workaround that in Camtasia for Macintosh.
This is part 1 in a 3-part series about how to set up for screencasting a Skype video interview. In part 1, I'll focus on showing you how I set up the hardware, software and settings with 3 points of view: You (the interviewer), your subject (the interviewee), and a third angle that your audience will relate to.
Just in case you were wondering, I used ScreenFlow for Mac to RECORD and EDIT this video. (See also my course about ScreenFlow.)
This is part 2 in this 3-part series about screencasting a Skype video interview. In part 1 (Lecture 32), I showed you how I arranged the cameras, the microphone and software settings for the interview. In this video, we follow up on the settings and proceed with the interview itself -- and I show you how to record it with a screencast editor such as ScreenFlow or Camtasia.
This is part 3 in the 3-part series about screencasting your Skype video interview with PIP. In part 1 I showed you how I arranged the cameras, the microphone and software settings for the interview. In part 2, I demo'd the recording while showing camera and microphone alignment. In this video, I'll show you the end-product of the raw recording; you'll also see some helpful tips for editing and enhancing your Skype video interview so you can present it to your audience with a little more polish.
Mel Aclaro (a.k.a., the "Screencasting Wizard") is a 15-year veteran of the eLearning industry. After a stint flying for the U.S. Navy, Mel got started in the online learning industry as a management consultant with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). While there, he specialized in organizational change management, training and eLearning.
Today, Mel is the online learning architect and resident "Screencasting Wizard" at Kareo, one of Forbes' 2013 list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America. He also works with local small businesses and professional associations to develop compelling and engaging online web video "screencast" presentations to help them build niche audiences, reach more people and profit from their digital know-how.
Mel blogs regularly at ScreencastingWizard and is the author of Digital-Know-How, a training website devoted to developing learners' skills for screencasting and web video course development.