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Wilson Mar

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I’m looking for a more efficient way to make videos to explain concepts.

Options for software

Sony Vegas is only for Windows.

Camtasia 3 Annoyances

I use Camtasia 3 for Mac. The earlier version used to crash a lot after the file grew beyond 2 GB.

One annoying flaw with Camtasia 3 is that I can’t freeze frame and extend an image.

I have to take stills in order to expand a clip to fit the narration timing.

It used to take me about one day for each second of video produced using this approach:

The steps

  1. Create a folder in the Camtasia 3 folder. In there I create the PowerPoint file.
  2. Write down every word I plan to say as I create a diagram or flowchart in PowerPoint.
  3. Define animations to reveal parts of the diagram in sequence (within PowerPoint).
  4. Record voice narration as I reveal each part of the diagram.

    I use Audacity to record sound files, then export in mp3 format.

    It usually takes me several passes.

    I do this early in the morning when there is the least noise.

    I usually tweak the text and graphics when I realize words on paper often don’t sound right coming out of my mouth.

    Export the mp3 narration voice media into the Camtasia project folder.

  5. Record live video or animated introduction and ending.

    It’s friendlier to see someone’s face initially.

    The recording would be in 1920x1080 pixels for 1080p.

    The title formats can be re-used, with differeent text.

    I like to have a “ding” sound at the end to let people know that the video is done.

  6. In PowerPoint begin the Slide Show and click the green dot at the upper right to expand the screen full size so headings and footers don’t appear.

    Black areas are above and below the area we want to show in the video because the aspect ratio we want is 16:9 but the Mac’s Retina screen is more of a square.

  7. Create one image for each step in the process. On my Mac I press command+shift+3.

    By default, the Mac stores png files on the Desktop.

    The default file name is “Screenshot…”

    PROTIP: Capture screens in the sequence to be revealed on the video so the file name’s time and date can be used to keep the sequence for you.

    It would be nice to capture images in 1920x1080 pixels for 1080p resolution. I could use SnagIt for that, but haven’t tried it because I fear that I have to reset the position of the capture with every image.

  8. Use Finder to copy all the screenshot files from Desktop into the Camtasia project folder.
  9. Drag from Finder and drop files into the Camtasia Media Bin.
  10. Shut down other programs running, if you can to conserve RAM for Camtasia’s use.

    In Camtasia:

  11. Click the list icon and then click the Name heading to sort the elements by date.
  12. Add captions to the audio track.

    This provides the exact time location when I say certain words I say so I can display a specific image to appear slightly before I say each specific word.

  13. Position the visual to precisely reveal each graphic element to match the narration sound.

    The preciseness I strive for is what makes it time-consuming.

  14. Click on one element.
  15. Set the properties

    This is the most confusing aspect of Camtasia.

    TODO: On one element,

    NOTE: Zooming reduces the resolution of images, making them look fuzzy.

  16. Adjust the screen size.
  17. Copy the properties to all visual elements.

  18. Generate the video to .mp4 file. Click Share, Local.
  19. Extract narration .srt (SubRip) text file from Camtasia

  20. Upload to YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc.
  21. Upload .srt file to YouTube.
  22. Make a backup to a USB drive. Just in case.
  23. Get feedback and revise.

More Resources

https://www.bmyers.com (Bill Myers) is the king of monitization, and has a $10/month subscription to watch his short tutorials.