Recording Your Screencast
To begin recording screencasts, you need to choose which screencasting app you’re going to use. There are some basic web-based and built-in apps that work well for very simple screencasting, but we recommend buying a professional screencasting app for creating courses.
A professional screencasting app will give you all the tools necessary to record and edit together your screencast. You can record audio and video simultaneously in your screencasting application or you can record your audio separately using an audio-only program such as Audacity, a free audio editing program.
If you’re new to video editing, please jump to the list below and review our recommendations for screencasting applications, which are all you need to create high a quality screencast.
However, if you’re already comfortable and experienced using video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, then you can choose to record your screencast using QuickTime Pro and edit in the NLE program of your choice.
- Camtasia for Mac: Learn to record and edit in Camtasia with Camtasia for Mac Tutorials.
- ScreenFlow: Learn to record and edit in ScreenFlow with A Masterclass in Screencasting on a Mac.
- QuickTime: Learn the basics of QuickTime screencasting with How to Screencast for Free. Quicktime should only be used if you already own and are familiar with a video editing program such as Final Cut, iMovie or Adobe Premiere.
Before you record your screencast, there are a few final things you need to do to get a professional result. Follow this checklist before hitting record:
- Set Your Resolution: Set your computer screen resolution to 1280x720. If that’s not possible, a resolution of 1280x800 is also acceptable. This means you don't need to resize the screencast afterwards (which makes everything really difficult to read).
- Set Your Wallpaper: Use our standard Envato Tuts+ desktop wallpaper (or try the dark version) when recording your screencast. Remember to set the wallpaper to fill the screen.
- Organise Your Screen: For a professional result, it’s always a good idea to hide/close as many menu items as possible, clear your desktop, and hide your dock, including the date and time. You also have the option of creating a new user for your computer that you can easily switch to when recording screencasts.
- Check Your Settings: Check that you are using the correct recording settings before getting started:
- Check your screen resolution and your recording resolution again-both should be 1280x720 (or 1280x800).
- Always record your full screen.
- Check your frame rate:
- We recommend recording at either 24 or 25 frames per second for screencasts that contain text editing or still graphics editing.
- We recommend 30 fps for on-camera video and for screencasts that contain video editing.
- Save videos as .mp4 files, with H.264 encoding (not FLV):
- Always check your export settings before exporting your videos to make sure you’re exporting at high quality. If you’re not exporting at high quality, there will be compression issues, and the video will seem fuzzy or blocky.
- All elements on screen should be in English.
- Check Your Audio: While wearing headphones, check that your microphone is plugged in and your audio is being recorded correctly. Talking normally, as you will during the screencast, check for the following:
- Mouth noises:
- Solution: A sip of water or slight microphone readjustment.
- Popping P’s or air hitting the microphone as you speak:
- Solution: Use a pop filter, angle the microphone at 45 degrees to your mouth, or adjust the microphone so it is out of the path of your air.
- Room noise (including computer noise):
- Solution: Move the microphone further from the computer. See the above information on reducing hiss or rumble.
- Audio Levels Too High or Too Low:
- Solution: Adjust your audio input to roughly -12 dB.
- Mouth noises:
- Time to Record: You are now ready to record your screencast. Relax, take your time and have fun. Do as many takes as you need. Most experienced instructors do multiple takes. No one else is listening, so you have the all the time you need to get it right:
- Relax: Take a moment to shake off any tension, sing a quick song, or stretch a bit to loosen up.
- Smile while you record: Yes, the listener can hear your smile. It makes a difference.
- Think about talking to one person at a time: If you have trouble finding the right tone, think about talking to one person 6 feet in front of you.
- Avoid “umms” and “ahhhs,” long pauses, awkward phrasing, and stumbles. If it does happen, pause and begin the sentence again. It is easier to cut together whole sentences than words or phrases.
- Remember to introduce yourself at the beginning of each lesson, and finish with a quick overview of what the student will learn in the next lesson.