My Screencasting Settings and Software

Basic Steps – Download and install the following software.

CamStudio

CamStudio lossless codec

Freemake Video Converter

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Alternatively- Freemake Video Converter can be replaced with this older software –

Anyvideoconverter (old but good)

AVIdemux (old but good)

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Launch CamStudio and I recommend the settings I use below in this post.  Record a test section with voice and Save as an AVI file.

After capturing the screensession, I now recommend using Freemake Video Converter  which can do the conversion and is a nice editor.

open the file with Freemake Video Converter and save the file as an mp4 file.

Edit the screencast with the button on the right after you import the video.
Save the changes in the mp4 format

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In a little more detail, (thanks Karen),

On a computer, open the software tool called CamStudio. This tool allows the user to take a screen capture an estimated thirty frames per second and also captures audio.
Open the software that is going to be demonstrated or open the target software, such as Microsoft Excel 2007 or Microsoft Word 2007
In CamStudio, configure the settings for optimal capture of the software activities, as in this particular case, the steps in how to use Microsoft Excel 2007 or Microsoft Word 2007.
After the optimization, start the recording and begin the software demonstration. (As a side note, if a mistake is made, do not stop recording. Pause yourself and take a deep breath. Gather your thoughts and start again at a point just before you made the mistake.
When the demonstration is complete, press the stop button in CamStudio to stop the recording.
Save the file as it is as an AVI file.

Distribute the learning video to the appropriate site for others to view.

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In my initial post (most of it is above) – on the topic of screencasting I describe the software I use and provided links to them. In this post I will describe in greater detail the settings that give me a good compromise in size and quality of voice and quality of screen image.

For the CamStudio Version 2.0 part,

File – none

Region – Fixed Region (fixed region is a good choice, and I use 640×480 and if you keep that fixed region the same and use it for all of your recordings as well as leaving all your settings alone, then you can use AVIdemux to append files to one another. Add and intro, and extro to each recording if you want too. You do this by opening the intro file, then appending the body file and appending the extro file after that. Then you have one file from 3 files. Back to the settings.

Options – Video Options – Compressor – Camstudio Lossless Codec v1.4, Quality 100, Set Key frames every 30 frames, Configure  – LZO level 5, Framerates Capture frames every 50 milliseconds, Playback rate 20 frames / sec, Audio Adjust

Options – Cursor Options – Show Cursor, use actual cursor, Highlight cursor, circle, halfsize, color light blue

Options – Record Audio from Microphone

Options – Audio Options – Default input device, 22.05 kHz, stereo, 16-bit, compressed format MPEG layer 3, interleave every 100 milliseconds

Options – Enable Autopan

Options – Autopan, Autopan Speed 99

Options – Program Options – Save settings on exit, Capture translucent layered windows, Recording thread priority – Highest, Name of AVI – Ask for filename

View – Normal View
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After creating a recording of the session with those settings, you will be asked to save it with a file name and a .avi extension.  Thenk it will take a moment to save the .avi file after the file is made, it will open in CamStudio software and be ready for you to play. For example, I made a settings screencast for this piece of software, and it was 20.1 MB in size as an avi file.

Now, according to my other post, we will open the file with AnyvideoConverter and save it as an MP4 file.

The latest version of Anyvideoconverter is 3.2.1 but I’ll read the settings off of the current version I have just in cast they do not transfer over with the update.

Customized MP4 Movie

Video Options – Video Codec Mpeg4, Frame Size 640 X 480, Video Bitrate 1024, Video framerate 10, Encode pass 1,

Audio Options – Audio codec AAC, Audio Bitrate 128, Sample rate 44100, Audio channel 1, A/V sync default.

After conversion, the file is now a 8.65 MB mp4 file, instead of a 20.1 MB avi file.

I then verified that it played in a media player like VLC media player (another free bit of software).

Now I open AVIdemux to edit the mp4 file into a smaller mp4 file.

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AVIdemux settings are as follows:

The defaults on the left menu are set to Video – Copy, Audio – Copy, and Format AVI which you will change to MP4 using the drop down menu. This will output an mp4 file format.

Editing is a little tricky, and unforgiving in that after you select a section using the brackets A-B, if you delete what is in between them,  then that section is gone. You want this, but you wan to be sure.

I eventually resorted to marking the frames, for each piece (stepping frame to frame) and then manually entering them and then when I am sure that is the selection, delete it.

Save the file with a file name and a .mp4 extension and it should be ready to go. The only other issues is if you edit a piece off the front, you may not start with a frame that has information in it about the rest of the file (keyframe), so you can navigate to a keyframe (I…) and edit off what is before that, or just not touch the front of the file.

As for distributing the file now, you can choose Youtube, or you can choose a similar service.

Also, email a link to the screencast to friends with the topic.

I will occasionally improve this post, or write a new one when the changes are significant.

I may also go back and move some of my suggestions to the how to post, and leave just the settings here.

If you have questions or comments on this process, please leave them in the comments below and I will try to help when I see questions.

Cheers!

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