Making screencasts with Camstudio
Camstudio is a free program which allows you to make a screencast, which is a video of your computer desktop. A screen cast is very useful for showing people how to use different computer features, programs and software.
I have used Jing in the past, which is a similar program for making free screencasts. Jing is an extremely easy tool to use and I love it. But I have found it difficult to store the completed videos and impossible to embed into my blog and/or YouTube. Nevertheless, it is still my preferred tool for working with still photos. Sue Waters has given instructions for utilizing Jing but I haven't got around to looking at them yet. I thought it might be easier if I bit the bullet and learned about Camstudio.
Learning about Camstudio
I had already downloaded Camstudio and faffed about with it using instructions from videos on YouTube. But I didn't find it very intuitive and being my usual impatient self, gave up on it fairly quickly. So it was a relief to have Leigh and Lyn show me how to use it and be on hand to answer my questions. I think my problem with it initially was that I was making life too complicated for myself.
Main things I learned were:
- keep 'Region' fixed;
- if you increase the size of the region you are recording, do it in proportion;
- if you try to record the full screen, you lose quality of picture;
- set 'Options' to 'autopan'. This means the 'camera' will follow your mouse and record what your mouse is pointing at;
- once the screencast has been made it has to be compressed so that I can save it in YouTube. I should be able to do this with Windows Movie Maker.
So my homework has been to come away and actually make a screencast. And I choose to make one showing how to make a video using Animoto.
It was really easy to make the screencast. I am not one for using keyboard shortcuts but it was definitely easier using them to pause, play and stop the recording. I found the photos did not show up very well and audio that came from the computer (as opposed to my speech) did not record well eg when I eventually show the video I made, you cannot hear the music that goes with it.
In the end, it was Animoto that let me down. For some reason it could not process the video. But hopefully I was able to demonstrate enough for people to be able to use this screencast to make their own Animoto video. I do not know if Animoto was having an off day or if it did not like me using Camstudio in conjunction.
The next step
The next thing I need to do is find out how to compress the screencast so that I can embed it in YouTube and this blog. Any advice on how to do this will be gratefully received.
Image: 'camera tossings for TV' clickykbd