Just Escaped Video Tech Prison

      7 Comments on Just Escaped Video Tech Prison

Sorry, no actual Fat Head post tonight.  I’m in the process of creating the video tutorials for a software package I developed, and getting the technical flow of it right wasn’t fun.  I use Camtasia Studio to record demonstrations of how to use the software, and while the video captures are crystal-clear, Camtasia is a mediocre video editor at best … and for some reason the final videos it produces are way fatter than they need to be.  But I still need to do some editing in Camtasia to add arrows and text callouts so my users know which part of the screen to watch.

Premiere Pro is a terrific video editor but doesn’t doesn’t capture computer screens, and while Demo Builder produces nicely compressed video with the navigation controls and interactive buttons I need, it’s beyond horrible as a video editor.  In short, to produce what I want, I have to use all three programs at various points in the process, plus Adobe Audition to record my voice-overs.

Getting a clean-looking video from one, to another, to yet another, then back again required about 14 hours’ worth of experimentation with frame rates, aspect ratios, compression codecs and all kinds of other technical nonsense.  Fortunately, I finally figured it all out.   If anyone ever creates a tutorial-making program that does everything well, from capture to editing to output, I’ll be the first in line to buy it.

So I’m too mentally wiped out to write.  Time to go take a long walk in the night air and listen to a book.  I’ll get back to being a smarty pants on Monday.  (Or, as a Swedish friend of mine once put it, “A pair of smarty pants.”)


7 thoughts on “Just Escaped Video Tech Prison

  1. Lynda

    Hi Tom – my partner sells video editing software and hardware and he totally recommends you buy Screenflow by a company called Telestream. This is available in USA and it will do everything you want. It records the screen and the video connected to the computer and your audio and allows you to edit it afterwards.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    Haven’t heard of it, but I’ll give it a look as well.

  2. mrfreddy

    would adobe captivate work for what yer tryin to do? It’s weird and buggy but it does capture screens and make it easy to add callouts, arrows and such. If you can use flash output you might wanna try it.

    I’ll give it a look-see. We need flash ouput for the online-demo, but executable video files for the software itself.

  3. Jonathan

    Time for a server farm the size of Pixar’s. 🙂 “Honey… I’m ordering a few computer parts”

    We’ve already got six computers in the house. May as well go to a server farm next.

  4. Jan

    Ewwww – video tutorials! We have extensive help text for our software, but leave the videos for simple demo CDs; as you’ve stated, it’s all such a HUGE pain in the nether regions.

    I’ve never understood why it’s a “pair” of pants; yeah, it has two legs, but it’s still one garment. There’s only one of you, so I think you’re safe in being A smarty pants.

    It’s a pain to do the videos, but since they cover every aspect of the system, I rarely receive calls for technical support.

    And if it’s a pair of pants, why not a pair of shirts?

  5. Dan

    The company I work for uses Adobe Captivate to produce e-Learning. It does a good job at everything – and importing audio from Audition is a straightforward process.

    It does cost a pretty penny though…

    I haven’t heard of that, but I’ll give it a look. Since Adobe makes Premiere, I’d expect them to to get the editing part right.

  6. AllenS

    “Pair” is a plural which can be used to reference two independent but connected parts, often a mirror of each other. Hence you have pair of pants, pair of tweezers, pair of scissors, pair of eye glasses, etc. A shirt is mainly a covering for the torso, which may or may not have sleeves. In this case “pair” does not apply.

    That’s a very logical explanation, which may qualify you as a pair of smarty pants.

  7. John Hunter

    But then you have a pair of underwear, or just a thong, unless its a pair of thongs which would then go on you feet.

    And for that matter, if it’s a pair of underwear, why isn’t it a pair of bra?


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