A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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My Rules of Screencasting

Others have written about how to do screencasts most effectively. Like I said in a previous post, much of it is very useful. I just thought I'd add my own rules that I use when creating screencasts just in case anyone is interested.

Rae, Alasdair. Under the Radar (2009). Articles>Documentation>Screen Captures>Screencasting


Notes on My Latest Screencasts

I recorded the screen at 1280 x 720 pixels, because this is the minimum dimensions for creating HD quality screencasts when uploading to youtube. However, in hindsight, I would have chosen a smaller dimension and foregone the pursuit of HD. I forgot that you need an HD encoding engine to transform your videos into HD. If you record a 1280 x 720 video and upload it to youtube, youtube’s HD encoding engine will make it clear even when played at smaller dimensions. But if you’re working with the files locally and not going the HD route, you should record at the same dimensions that you plan to publish, because otherwise playing the videos at smaller dimensions leaves them a bit fuzzy.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Video>Screencasting


Preparing for Screencasting

Advice on how to get started giving screencasts, why you might want to do it and how to establish your recording studio. Then we move into planning the capture of your screencast and a few tips on using some presentation tools.

Rush, Jeff. ShowMeDo (2009). Presentations>Multimedia>Video>Screencasting


The Problem with Speaking Conversationally in Video Tutorials

This week while watching TV I’ve been listening closely to the voices (separating them from the visuals on the screen). Actors aren’t soft-spoken, reserved people. Actors inflect all over the voice spectrum. They have a lot of energy and drama in their voices.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2008). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting


Review: Review of Desktop Screen Recording Tools

Screencasting to help your mom is a software buying guide to help you choose the right software for screen capture and for screencasting or recording movies of your desktop screen activity.

Agarwal, Shaijila and Monika Mital. Digital Inspiration (2005). Articles>Reviews>Software>Screencasting


Screencasting 101: the Definitive Guide!

Screencasts can be a great way of showing people with basic computer skills how to accomplish more-than-basic tasks on their computers. When done well, screencasts illustrate a technical and otherwise potentially confusing process in a way that’s easier to understand than text alone. You create a screencast by recording and narrating your on-screen computer activity as you accomplish any number of tasks.

Bohon, Cory. Prof Hacker (2009). Articles>Documentation>Multimedia>Screencasting


Screencasting as Art: Exploring Cinematic Techniques

Screencasting has a problem–it hasn’t evolved all that much over the 10 years or so since its inception. We still record the computer screen from a stationary position (dead centered) and we still present this flat, banal presentation to users sitting at their computers, which in and of itself presents problems (you’re looking at a computer screen on a computer screen–where does one end and the other begin).

Andrus, Brooks. BrooksAndrus (2009). Articles>Documentation>Video>Screencasting


Screencasting as Art: Humanize, Structure, Pace and Production Value

Screen video alone is not enough. You need to humanize your content by getting in front of the camera and engaging your audience. And no, I’m not talking about long-winded monologues either. Several 5-7 second talking-head elements can go a long way toward winning over and maintaining the interest of your audience.

Andrus, Brooks. BrooksAndrus (2009). Articles>Multimedia>Video>Screencasting


Screencasting for Dummies (and Smarties)

With so much training being done on computers (along with other tasks being done while training is taking place on that same computer), it’s important to know some best practices for developing training and other modules with screencasts. Amy Tehan demonstrates tips and tricks for making an effective screencast that will hold the viewer’s attention and get the message across.

Tehan, Amy. EServer (2009). Presentations>Multimedia>Video>Screencasting


Screencasting in Linux

In this series of videos we'll demonstrate some of the basics of making screencasts in Linux. In addition, we'll show how to encode your original video file into another video type and illustrate some basic editing techniques.

ShowMeDo (2009). Presentations>Multimedia>Presentations>Screencasting


Screencasting Primer

This primer is an introduction to screencasting. It covers the what, why, and how to get started. You will also find examples of screencasts and additional how-to resources.

Kanter, Beth. Wikispaces. Articles>Documentation>Video>Screencasting


Screencasting Redux   (PDF)   (members only)

In a continuation of a previous introductory article about screencasting, Archee continues the discussion by delving deeper into the history, benefits, usefulness, and future of this powerful technical communication tool.

Archee, Raymond K. Intercom (2008). Articles>Documentation>Video>Screencasting


Screencasting Strategies

In general, screencasting is a three-step process: capture of audio and video, editing, and production of a compressed deliverable. Camtasia combines all three functions in a single, integrated application, but in principle they're separable. I can imagine using Camtasia (or an equivalent) for capture, Premiere (or an equivalent) for editing, and Camtasia (or an equivalent) to produce a compressed .SWF file.

Udell, Jon. O'Reilly and Associates (2005). Articles>Documentation>Video>Screencasting


Screencasting Tools Survey

Market overview of recommendable tools for creating software demos (so-called screencasts). Software demos are not only used for marketing purposes on web sites, but also as standalone tutorials or embedded within online help files and other sorts of software documentation.

. Resources>Software>Help>Screencasting


Screencasting: How To Start, Tools and Guidelines

Screencasting, or sharing your virtual desktop via video presentation, has exploded in popularity with the advent of podcasting, and gives you the ability to bring the classroom feel to a media presentation that can be delivered over the Internet. The medium of screencasting is readily available to everyone and with a few tools of the trade you can be ready to produce your own.

Hay, Adam. Smashing (2008). Articles>Documentation>Video>Screencasting


Screencasts: An Overview

Screencasts are quickly becoming one of the primary instructional tools used to train people on developing software skills. Because they show actual screenshots of the software and how it is used, they make a great compliment to written documentation and cater to viewers with a preference for visual learning.

HelpScribe (2010). Articles>Documentation>Multimedia>Screencasting


Screencasts: So What?

I attended a webinar about screencasts and read about how video might be a watershed skill for our industry, but the only reason I had gleaned was that YouTube is really, really popular.

Leach, Kristi. WordPress (2010). Articles>Documentation>Multimedia>Screencasting


Secrets of Screencasting

With a little diligence, short online videos can become powerful educational tools for IT.

Udell, Jon. InfoWorld (2005). Articles>Multimedia>Video>Screencasting


Seven Things You Should Know About Screencasting   (PDF)

A screencast is a screen capture of the actions on a user's computer screen, typically with accompanying audio, distributed 1through RSS. In the same way that a screenshot is a static rep- resentation of a computer screen at a point in time, a screencast captures what happens on a monitor over a period of time. The audio track can be the sound from an application being demon- strated, a narrative from the presenter, or background audio from another application. Screencasts can be produced in various formats, and users generally watch them streamed over a network.

Educause (2006). Articles>Multimedia>Video>Screencasting


The Things You Should Know When Recording Tutorial Demos

One big problem which lies before the video authors is how to make a satisfactory and helpful tutorial demo. Not only can we answer the questions quickly, but we can share some tips to make your video more popular and professional.

Wondershare (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Screencasting>Advice


Trying Out Picture in Picture in Screencasts

In a previous post, Adding the Human Element in Screencasts, I argued that adding a human element in a screencast (by human element, I mean someone you can actually see talking) increases the appeal of the video significantly. So I tested this out by adding a picture-in-picture (PIP) effect for two WordPress screencasts.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2009). Articles>Documentation>Multimedia>Screencasting


Trying to Find a Theater Stage/Voice for an Impossible Situation

In listening to my voice in the screencasts, it’s clear that I still have a lot to learn. I’m not even close to the personal, conversational-sounding audio voice that I want to achieve. It sounds like I’m reading a script. It’s slow and dull. My teammates recommended that I read a little faster, that I add more inflection and maybe even switch to an outline rather than read a script. I agree, but it’s hard to do that. It’s hard to develop that personal voice.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting


Review: TUAW Faceoff: Screencasting

Screencasting -- the not-so-ancient art of recording the computer screen for the entertainment and enrichment of others -- has evolved into quite a Hydra of options. How do the myriad gladiators in this arena stack up? I've tried everything I could find that could record a little movement on the screen, and selected 8 contenders for the matchup.

TUAW (2008). Articles>Reviews>Software>Screencasting


Review: Twelve Screencasting Tools For Creating Video Tutorials

Ever wondered how people show you so clearly what is happening on their computer, like in the Photoshop Video Tutorials we shared with you? Thanks to screencasting software, anyone can do it. So what’s stopping you now from making your own how-to videos? Try out one of these 12 tools and get to making your first video!

Aune, Sean P. Mashable (2009). Articles>Reviews>Software>Screencasting


Videos and Screencasts Have Their Drawbacks, Too

For the last year or so, I’ve heard more than a couple of people (no, Gordon, you’re not one of them) tout video and screencasts as the future of documentation. While video may have killed the radio star, I don’t think that it’s going to kill documentation as we know it. Why? Not everyone wants video as their documentation, or even as part of their documentation. They want information now, and don’t want to wait a couple of minutes to watch a walk through of what they need to do.

Nesbitt, Scott. DMN Communications (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Video>Screencasting



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