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Want to create great teaching, presentation, and product demo videos but don't want to pay for expensive software? This course will show you how to use freely available tools to create dynamic High-definition videos that can be easily published to your favorite online video sharing website or any online learning environment (like Udemy for instance!).
Whether you are an online instructor, software developer, IT professional or just want to create great HD presentation videos, this course will walk you through all the basics of setup, design, screen and application recording, advanced effects options, and publishing.
You'll learn how to use a powerful, free screen recording application along with PowerPoint (optional) to create HD videos of you teaching, presenting, or walking clients through product demos. You'll also learn advanced techniques that allow you to use PowerPoint as a platform for adding dynamic effects, animations, and title slides to your HD screencapture videos.
EVERY VIDEO in this course was created using the tools and techniques that you will learn how to use in this course. Test drive a few of the free video tutorials below to see these tools in action.
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Desktop, iOS and Android.
Certificate of completion.
|In this course, you will learn how to use a FREE screen recording program to capture and create dynamic HD videos. You'll learn how to use PowerPoint as an editing tool for creating dynamic effects in your presentations. You'll also learn how to make HD videos that capture tutorials and demos of online applications and your favorite websites. You'll also download and install a free whiteboarding tool that will enable you to create HD teaching videos that capture your own handwriting.
Don’t have PPT? Try LibreOffice for FREE!Preview
|Section 1: Getting Started with BB Flashback|
To get started, you'll first need to download, install, and activate the FREE Blueberry Flashback Express program. The program is pretty simple to install, just go to the download page
You can download Blueberry Flashback Express here
and click the download button to begin.
|Let's take a look at setting up the basic recording features in BB Flashback Express.
0:15 Basic start recording screen
1:42 Setting up your desktop in the recording settings
2:48 Recording your computers keystrokes
3:10 Customize your keyboard shortcut hotkeys
4:04 Miscellaneous recorder options
4:20 Advanced options
The audio quality of your screen recordings will definitely be affected by the type of microphone you have and your computer's hardware setup. To get started recording in high-definition, you'll need to set the recording to record in 25 frames per second (fps).
0:21 MP3 Compression options IMPORTANT UPDATE: After playing and tweaking things more (I'm always learning) I found that using the "Very high quality" MP3 compression setting really works best for HD videos.
1:43 HD video recording options
|While computer screen and monitor sizes, along with TV screen resolutions, are constantly changing, and the dimensions of HD video along with it, we can set our video recording area to a traditional screen resolution size to "trick" online video sharing websites into saving and playing them as HD video.
HD resolution for this course = 1280 pixels in width x 720 pixels in height
1:50 Configuring Google Chrome to set your screen resolution
3:08 Configuring Mozilla Firefox to set your screen resolution
|Now that you have BB Flashback setup to record and you have your computer configured for the basic HD recording options and screen resolution settings, let me walk you through a step-by-step process of your first recording.
I'll also show you how to use your new web browser resizer to setup and record in our 1280 x 720 HD resolution using BB Flashback Express.
(From Above) Here’s What the Viewer Sees
|Hopefully you've given BB Flashback Express a test run to see how things actually work. If not, I'd recommend playing a little with the HD resolution settings and try a few practice recordings just to start getting the feel for the process. Let's look quickly at the saving options for your projects.
0:40 Saving your BB Flashback project recordings
0:55 Opening and viewing your recording in the BB Flashback player
2:10 Intro to the export video function
|Now, let's look at the controls for the BB Flashback Express player in a little more detail.
1:04 Viewing frame location
2:00 Player controls
2:50 Opening additional project files
|Some additional notes and things to check as you are optimizing your audio recording device on your computer.
0:30 Audio properties in the BB Flashback Player
2:20 PC Microphone recording options (your sound card hardware will determine what options are available for you here)
|The BB Flashback Express screen recorder has a great built-in function that will allow you to set the export start frame and stop frame in your final exported video. I mention it here to ease your mind a little about making noise at the beginning or end of your recording or switching between views as you start or end your recording.
This feature will allow you to cut out part of your recording from either the beginning or end of your video, to help ensure the final exported video starts and stops exactly where you want it.
1:00 Setting the start and end frames of your video export
2:20 Finding the exact frame location to cut in your video
3:05 Example of how you might use this feature
|Highlighting your mouse cursor is one way to help focus your viewers attention on specific actions within your video, but you may also want to hide your mouse if your are creating a video that is strictly a teaching presentation.
0:40 Finding the mouse options in the BB Flashback Express player
2:08 Hide your mouse in the final exported video
|Section 2: Creating HD Video Presentations with Powerpoint|
|To get started turning PowerPoint into high-definition video, you'll first need to set the slide size to our high-definition resolution of 1280 x 720.|
|Once consideration that you need to spend time thinking about is the readability of the content on your PPT slide. Since you will be exporting and displaying your slides as a video, you'll want to make sure that the colors you choose work well together for optimal contrast so that they can be easily seen in any online video player, no matter what size the video is playing.
CONTRAST = creating a distinct difference between elements of your presentation or video.
1:30 Working with text on a dark background
3:52 Working with text on a light background
|Since most of your viewers will be watching your presentation on various screen sizes, you'll want to make sure that any text you have in your final published video presentation is as big as possible, while still holding to the overall design of your slides.
0:45 Font size variations
2:19 Font size optimized (an example)
2:42 Text with an image (an example)
3:40 Purposeful, BIGGER text
|Let's take a look behind the scenes a little to see how I setup some example transitions between slides. This is a great way to easily add dramatic effects to your video presentation.
0:25 Example intro transition
1:36 How to set basic slide transitions
4:37 Slide transition effects in action
Animating text and objects in your presentations is another great way to add visual interest to your presentations while drawing the focus of your viewer to specific elements on the screen.
1:00 When to use a slide transition vs. an object animation
2:20 Keeping some items static on the page while others have animation effects
5:18 Breaking bullet lists into more appealing screen items
8:02 Multiple effects on different objects on the same slide
|I'd like to share with you some of my personal thoughts on teaching and presenting with PPT in video mode. Most of us know when we are be presented to. PowerPoint presentations usually have a pretty standard look and feel to them. As you are thinking about the content and layout of your presentations, think about how you can give them more of a polished video feel.
0:35 A look at the traditional PPT layout
1:29 Using solid, consistent backgrounds in your video presentations
2:08 Using a consistent background graphic
2:50 Options for presenting text items in non-traditional layouts
|By now you should have a basic template or slide layout in mind. The next step in recording your PowerPoint presentation in HD video is to configure PPT so that we can get your presentation to play in a way that we can screen capture it in our HD 1280 x 720 resolution using BB Flashback Express.
0:45 Setting up the PPT show to play in its own window
1:20 How to resize the PPT presentation window to 1280 x 720
2:20 Using your browser resizer as a framework
3:20 How I customize and resize my windows to get the exact HD video size that I need for recording PPT in HD (I'll walk you through how I do it and what I see)
|Now you are ready to record your first PowerPoint presentation video. Let me give you a behind-the-scenes view of how I setup and record a PPT presentation.
0:35 Starting up BB Flashback Express
0:45 Selecting the recording area to screen capture
1:40 Starting the recording process
2:03 Recording the PPT presentation window
2:42 Stopping and saving the screen capture project
|Section 3: Teaching with HD Whiteboard Videos|
|As we start this next section on Whiteboarding, first let's download our FREE application.
You can download the SmoothDraw application here.
0:33 Installing the required .NET framework
1:40 Download and install SmoothDraw
|Just as we did with Powerpoint, we will need to setup the canvas area to be our 1280 x 720 HD resolution size.|
Before you get started recording with SmoothDraw, you'll also want to consider and setup your canvas background as well as your text color and size. SmoothDraw has many features that will allow you to customize these options in your presentation. If you have ever used a graphics editing program before, most of these will be familiar to you, if not, lets go through the critical elements that you will need to customize.
Here is a link to download a sample SmoothDraw Template file that contains several colored backgrounds with the canvas size already set to 1280 x 720.
0:45 Working with canvas layers
1:32 Creating a writing layer
2:15 Using additional background color layers
3:12 Filling a layer with a background color
4:30 Writing on a dark background
5:30 Writing on a light background
6:00 Setting your brush size (text width)
|We've already looked at how to set the basic mouse options in BB Flashback express, but let's just revisit these options and talk for just a minute about how these settings will affect your SmoothDraw videos.|
|Okay, you have everything setup in SmoothDraw. Now, let's take a look at how the recording process works. Remember, we've set the canvas size to 1280 x 720 so we want to use our browser resizer trick to ensure that we record the exact dimensions of the SmoothDraw canvas.
1:00 Using your browser to set the recording area on the SmoothDraw canvas
2:00 What the recording process looks like
3:00 Saving your BB Flashback Express screen capture project
3:20 Viewing your SmoothDraw video
|There is one other option available in the BB Flashback express program for capturing the exact 1280 x 720 HD canvas size when screen recording in SmoothDraw. This technique does require you to ensure that you have lined up the recording frame to EXACTLY match the canvas area to prevent any black lines from showing up around the edges of your finished video.
0:26 A little trick I've been using (learn more at www.Virtualbox.org)
3:15 Manually set the recording region
5:15 Saving and viewing the final video in BB Flashback Player
|Section 4: Using HD Screencapture for Internet Demos|
|In this short section, we'll take a look at some specific design elements that will help you as you work with screen recording just your web browser window. Let's take a look at some additional ways to optimize the visible work area once you resize your web browser to the 1280 x 720 HD resolution screen size.
Now, many of these suggestions are simply that. These are some of my own techniques that I use to clear out the clutter of buttons, toolbars, and other possibly unnecessary items that can show up on your web browser.
2:50 How to turn off some additional features of the browser window in Firefox (just some examples)
|You can add a little dramatic effect to your videos that give an additional auditory cue to your listeners to let them know that you are typing. BB Flashback Express allows you to add keyboard and mouse click sounds to your videos before you export them.
0:55 Finding the mouse and cursor sound options in the BB Flashback player
1:15 Adding mouse clicks
1:32 Adding keyboard sounds
2:20 Example keyboard sounds demo
|In addition to screen capturing the entire resized web browser, I'd like to show you a trick to capture and record just the inside work area of a browser. This can help focus your viewers attention and help remove unused browser content as well. Now, if the main menu or URL bar is critical to your presentation, then I would recommend not using this technique.
2:00 Set the inside recording frame in HD
3:37 Manually marking the recording area to start the screen recording process
5:00 Using the window size option to quickly set the recording area
5:50 What recording just the internal frame of the browser window looks like in the BB Flashback Player
|BB Flashback Express does have a built-in option for creating screen recordings of full-screen applications and then later using the "Pan and Crop" feature to resize the visible area in the exported video to our 1280 x 720 HD resolution. This is great if you have an application that you want to demo that requires a fullscreen display to activate all the necessary features.
1:37 Setting BB Flashback Express to record Fullscreen
2:19 An example "Pan and Cropping" video demo
2:45 Using the built-in Cropping and Autoscrolling feature
3:08 Setting the 1280 x 720 HD resolution in the cropping feature
3:30 Keeping the mouse visible (less scrolling required so your viewers don't get dizzy)
|Section 5: Combining Multiple HD Presentation Formats|
|Well, so far we have looked at using the BB Flashback Express screen recording program to capture three different types of medium (PPT, SmoothDraw, and web browser) and convert them to HD video. In this section, we are going to explore some techniques that will help you seemlessly record these different applications so that they appear on your final video with smooth transitions as you move from application to application.|
|The first step in working with multiple applications and combining them into a single video is to line up the application windows so that they (1) all are set to the 1280 x 720 HD window size and (2) are overlayed on top of each other EXACTLY. This will allow you to quickly flip between applications so that the viewer only sees the recording area change and not the application window.
2:55 Sizing and aligning SmoothDraw
3:55 Lining up and sizing PPT
5:35 Flipping between your aligned applications
6:05 Recording multiple screen applications (Example)
6:50 Issue to fix: Overlapping toolbar windows with the recording area
|Now, let's look at the quick flip method for moving between applications in real-time. This is the easiest method for switching between your application windows that you have already aligned to your 1280 x 720 HD screen recording area. NOTE: To use the quick flip method, your application windows must be sized the same, either (1) resized to the HD screen resolution size or (2) in full-screen mode, but you can't do both in one recording.|
|Remember in the first section of this course, we setup the hotkeys for BB Flashback Express and configured the PAUSE and STOP shortcut keys on our keyboard. You can now use the PAUSE function to help you transition between different application windows if you need time between applications to get things setup or to just give yourself a minute to take a drink of water, cough, etc.
1:30 Starting the recording
2:15 Using the PAUSE button (F8 on my computer)
2:35 Resuming the recording
|Let me walk you through what I see as I record two different applications seemlessly into the same video. In this video, I show you what I see when I record PPT and then flip to a web browser demo. By now, you should be starting to get comfortable with moving between applications during the recording, but I just want to show you one last time an example using these two applications specifically.
0:32 Behind the scenes
1:25 Starting the recording
1:40 Walking you through the recording
2:20 Using the PAUSE function to setup the next PPT slide in the sequence
3:20 Saving the project file and previewing in the BB Flashback Express player
|In the last video, we looked a how I move between recording with PPT and a web browser. In this video, I'll walk you through how I record using PPT and SmoothDraw together.
0:14 Behind the scenes - lining up the application windows (a review, one more time, as this is probably the most difficult concept to master in this course)
1:21 Starting the recording
1:43 Using the quick flip
2:28 Using the PAUSE method
|Section 6: Powering up Your HD Videos|
|The free version of BB Flashback Express gives you very few post-recording editing features (this also makes BB Flashback easier to use because you don't have to learn how to use all these extra editing features!). In this section, I do want to spend some time showing you a series of more advanced presentation options that can help add extra effects and editing tools to your final HD videos.
Let's begin by looking at a built-in feature in Powerpoint that lets you embed video right onto the slide. This allows you to play videos from within the PPT presentation window, that you can then record and capture (along with some pretty cools dynamic effects and animations) in your HD video.
0:40 How to insert video into Powerpoint
1:10 Resizing options for your embedded video
1:40 Adding PPT effects to your embedded video
2:25 Hiding the embedded video player controls when you play the presentation
2:35 Configuring the video's "start playing" options
|On PC computers, a standard video filetype that Powerpoint easily recognizes is the .AVI video file format. So, any video of this filetype can be easily embedded into PPT. Luckily for us, the free version of BB Flashback Express allows us to easily export your screen recorded presentations as this standard .AVI video file format. Once exported from BB Flashback (you can also embed and play any other .AVI videos in your presentations) as an AVI video, you will be able to use the techniques shown in the previous tutorial to start embedding your own screen recordings into PPT.
To start, you'll first need to download and install the FREE Xvid codec which helps BB Flashback express better process and export your screen recordings (if you are a more experienced video person, you may already have a similar video codec installed on your computer that you may prefer to use. If you're not sure, then I would recommend giving this free one a try).
Here's the website that you'll need to go to for downloading the Xvid codec.
1:00 Does my computer already have the Xvid codec?
1:22 Downloading the Xvid codec
2:05 Installing the Xvid codec (I'm running Windows 7 Pro)
3:00 Starting the export process using the Xvid codec in BB Flashback Express
|Now that you have the Xvid video codec installed on your computer (or you can use one already installed on your computer if you would prefer), let's take a look at how to export and save a screen recording from BB Flashback Express and save it as an AVI video file.
0:30 Starting the export process
1:15 Selecting the start and end frames to export
1:38 Checking your exported video resolution for HD (1280 x 720)
2:01 Setting the frame rate to 25fps
2:20 Audio export options
4:28 Saving the exported video (shows how the Xvid codec will look during the export process)
5:25 Testing your final exported AVI video
|Okay, you know have all the tools you need to really transform your screen recordings into dynamic video presentations. In this video, we'll look at combing all the features and techniques that we've learned throughout this course and using them to create videos that harness all the powerful editing features of PowerPoint.
To aid in the learning process, I'll walk you from start to finish on how I setup this teaching video, which actually uses embedded videos in PPT for this presentation.
2:17 Lesson overview
3:15 Inserting AVI video into PPT
5:36 Setting embedded videos to autoplay in the Powerpoint presentation window
7:34 Adding text/title slides between the embedded video slides
10:16 Creating slide transitions within the presentation
|As we wrap-up the presentation creation tools and techniques portion of this course, I'd like to finish up by showing you one last feature of BB Flashback Express that can help you add another great teaching element to your videos. BB Flashback Express also has a built-in option that will allow you to capture and record from your webcam (or attached video camera) and include that as part of the screen recording area in your presentation.
You may not want this in every video, if you think back, you haven't really seen me use this feature yet, but this option could work really well for video presentations that truly are "teaching" in nature.
1:05 Turning on the webcam options in the BB Flashback Player
1:27 Using the BB Flashback Recorder window to turn on your webcam for recording
2:10 Customizing your webcam size and resolution in the recording area
To give you an idea of what your options are for placement and sizing of your webcam, I'll walk you through some of the different settings that you can use and what that will actually look like on your screen recording.
One Note: During the actual screen recording process, YOU will not see your webcam as you record if you are using this default webcam method. Once you save and preview your project file, you'll be able to see what your viewers see as they watch your video (including your webcam).
0:20 The default webcam location for recordings
1:20 The default webcam in a PPT presentation
1:54 Techniques for laying out your PPT slide content in relation to your webcam
2:41 The default webcam in a web browser presentation/demo
4:03 The default webcam in a SmoothDraw blackboard presentation
5:00 Using the larger size, default webcam in your recordings
|The other option available in BB Flashback Express is to use what I call a "free-floating" webcam. Instead of having the webcam glued to the top, left of your recording area, this option allows you to dynamically resize your webcam while also having the ability to place it at any location on the recording area.
Additional Teaching Note: At the beginning of this video, I mention how this technique doesn't really work well in PPT, because moving the overlayed webcam around over a PPT presentation causes the slides to distort. However, if all you need is the ability to have a static webcam in your PPT presentation, but you want to customize the size and location on the screen, you could still use this option within your PPT screen capture recording.
0:42 Turn on the "show webcam window while recording" option
2:00 Showing the PPT slide distortion mentioned above
3:10 Using the custom webcam with a web browser screen recording
4:46 Using the custom webcam with the SmoothDraw whiteboarding application
5:30 Examples of resizing the webcam window
|Section 7: Publishing and Sharing Your Work|
|Whether you skipped some sections and just want to test out how your finished sample video will look, or if you've made it all the way through the course, we'll now look at exporting your finished HD presentation video so that you can publish it on your favorite video sharing website.
In this first video, we'll start the export process and set the exact start and end frames to include in your finalized video.
0:34 Starting the export process from the BB Flashback express player
1:15 Setting the begging and end frames to export
|Let's continue the export process by looking at the other video and audio options to set before exporting.
0:21 Checking to ensure your are exporting in the HD 1280 x 720 screen resolution
0:50 Setting the video quality
1:30 Audio quality
3:15 Setting the export frame rate (fps)
3:35 Show/Hide mouse in the exported video
|The last step in the export process is to actually export and save the finished .FLV (flash video - the standard online video sharing file format used by most video sharing websites) file to your computer.
0:50 Overview of the files creating by BB Flashback Express during the export process
2:25 What file do I upload to my favorite video sharing website?
|There are alot of video sharing websites out there, so I couldn't possibly show you how to use them all. I'll use YouTube as an example for three main reasons: (1) It's what I use with my work, since we are Google Apps for Education users, we have access to YouTube as part of our services, (2) BB Flashback express has a neat auto-upload to YouTube function which makes publishing your videos on YouTube pretty simple, and finally (3) YouTube is probably one of the most widely-used video sharing websites around the world to the public at-large.
Having said this, you can basically upload your exported .FLV video file to any online video file sharing website, as long as you stay within their size limitations, and it will be recognized and published as an HD video.
0:45 Finding the auto-upload/publish option in BB Flashback Express
1:20 Note of caution: you lose some of the more advanced export features discussed in this section when you use the auto publish feature. So, you don't have the option to set the start/end frame, video/audio quality, or mouse options.
2:10 Walking through the YouTube auto publish settings
3:40 Example Demo: uploading and publishing a video on YouTube (what does it look like?)
4:51 Opening your published video in YouTube
|Section 8: Course Wrap-Up|
|If you've enjoyed getting to know BB Flashback Express and want to have even more editing and export options, then I encourage you to jump back over to their website and upgrade to one of their paid versions which come with many more features. In this last video, I'll just walk you through some of the more advanced features and options that come with upgrading your application.
Advanced BB Flashback features include (but there are many more):
Brannon is an online training expert, IT professional, and certified teacher. He spent 6+ years in the traditional classroom teaching middle and high school students before moving into the emerging field of online public education. He taught for several years as an online instructor for a public virtual charter high school in South Carolina before transitioning into the role of IT Administrator.
Currently, Brannon is the Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology for this same virtual high school. He oversees the IT infrastructure, academics, and integrated technologies that supports all aspects of the campus learning and teaching environment which hosts 100+ courses.
Brannon has been developing online training courses and using integrated technology in his teaching and professional development programs for over 7 years. Along the way, he has discovered and now teaches best-practices for integrating free and low-cost technology into teaching and online training.
In his spare time, Brannon volunteers as a mentor for a local non-profit organization whose aim is to love and support at-risk students in a nearby elementary school. He also enjoys developing and designing websites for other local non-profit ministries.