How To Make Screencasts: My Screen Casting Gear

by on February 26, 2012 · 7 comments

video-editing-strip2

With over 100 videos on the Expand2Web Blog and our training site, I get a LOT of questions like: “How do you create your screen casts?

I’ve experimented with a lot of equipment and tools, and am glad to share what I learned. Hopefully this will save you some time and money!

Here’s my setup:

My Screen Casting Setup

Screen Casting Software

Screenflow screencasting softwareI use Screenflow on my Mac to record and edit my screen casts.

Screenflow is an amazing tool; it makes recording the screencasts easy, and has tons of great editing tools for zooming in and featuring different parts of your screen.

It also provides an easy way to export your videos to YouTube and other video sites.

I also use OmniDazzle to highlight or annotate specific areas on my screen for some screencasts. This is a really nice tool that is free!

Sound and Voice

Rode Podcaster MicrophoneFor natural sounding voice recording I’m using the Rode Podcaster microphone. You’ll want to use a shock mount so that the vibrations from your typing and mouse-clicking don’t come through while you are narrating a screencast.

A less expensive option is the Blue Snowball microphone. I used that mic for a while before I got my Rode Podcaster and liked it.

A lot of people like the Blue Yeti mic but it didn’t work for me. I tried it out first because it is less expensive than the Rode microphone, but I returned it because all of my typing and mousing while doing screencasts transferred through to my recordings no matter how I set the sensitivity levels.

Lighting

Low cost light kitHere’s a great way to build your own low-cost light kit. My buddy Thomas suggested this to me: get two Microphone Stands for $20 each on Amazon, and then two 4′ Flourescent shop lights from Home Depot for $15 each.

Then you have an awesome little light kit for when you want to have yourself in the video, or do “Picture-in-Picture” in your screencasts.

The “cool white” fluorescent light bulbs provide a nice soft white light and you can shine from both sides to eliminate shadows.

I still use these, but added an Interfit Lightbox to add some more lumens to the mix.

Producing Your Own Screen Casts

I hope this helps you with your own screen casts. Once you get the hang of it they are easy to create and edit. And they have done wonders for my blog. I’m moving more and more of my content to include video, and I can envision a day soon where all my blog posts are just videos with transcripts.

Be sure to Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to see my videos and get notified when I publish new ones, and let me know if you have any questions about screencasting in the comments below!

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam February 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Great article! The pictures were really helpful!

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Don Campbell February 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Thank you Sam.

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Kathy March 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

What advantages does Screenflow have over using QuickTime’s screen casting tool? I can see how OmniDazzle can be useful in making screen casts.

Thanks!

Kathy

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Don Campbell March 1, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hi Kathy,
I like QuickTime’s screen casting tool also and use that for short screencasts. Screenflow gives you some really slick editing tools that you don’t have in QuickTime.

In QuickTime, you can clip the video, but that’s about it. In Screenflow, you can add annotations, zoom certain parts of the screen, apply transitions, additional sounds, and do picture-in-picture, and lots of other things that I find useful while doing screencasts.

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Kathy March 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Thanks, Don, for the clarification. It sounds like ScreenFlow is worth the purchase!

Kathy

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aL Remoroza April 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

Amazing post! 🙂 The creativity was awesome and I think anyone can adopt the best idea of the author.

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Doc February 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Excellent post – thanks for the info.

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