Mockups 1.5 is on the Way, it's Screencasting Time!
Hi there, just a quick update. I have been heads down coding and bug-fixing in order to get Mockups 1.5 out the door. I feel extremely close, hopefully I'll be able to launch by the end of the week.
What I am doing now is recording some new screencasts for the web site, updating the documentation and preparing a few blog posts for the launch (one won't be enough, there's just too much stuff in 1.5!) 🙂
I thought it would be useful to share my screencasting techniques. I know there are lots of good tutorials out there, but I figured the more the better right? 🙂
Here's my setup:
Things to notice:
- the big ugly but wonderfully functional Rode Podcaster microphone. I thought the built-in Macbook mic wasn't so bad, but once I bought the Podcaster I realized what a fool I was. Honestly, it's worth the money.
- 3 books so that I don't have to crouch down while I speak.
Here's how I assemble a screencast:
- I set the monitor's resolution to 1280x800
- I resize the app so that it's all showing inside a 1280x720 area (the target size of the HD video)
- I record the demo, without the audio portion. I talk over it to help with the timing but I don't record the audio at this stage so I can focus on the mouse movements instead. This might take a few takes.
- I play back the demo in Screenflow and add zooming and other effects.
- Now I start recording the audio, then simply play back the video demo and narrate over it. This might take a few takes, and is painful work (who likes the sound of their own voice?)
- If the audio is 90% good, I sometimes record little bits and pieces to replace the 10% that's bad. You want to do this pretty quickly, your voice will sound different in a few hours. 🙂
- I play it back a couple of times, and if it's at all acceptable, I call it done. I am not a professional screencaster and I'm not pretending to be one. I actually don't think that something super-polished, with background music and a fake-sounding voice is appropriate for my product/audience. In fact, I always intentionally leave one "user mistake" that I make in the video, to show that it's easy to recover from it.
- Export settings are a dark art, everyone has different "best Youtube HD settings" and I think you could spend many hours tweaking and learning what works best by trial and error. A good friend of mine once told me "never learn a new thing unless you'd be happy being asked to do it again" (thanks Brad!), so in this case I just follow whatever tutorial I find quickly on Google. Today for instance I used this one. It looks pretty good so that's good enough for me.
- I upload it to Vimeo and/or Youtube. I like Vimeo's playback UI much better, but YouTube is more reliable and can be played back on an iPhone.
It looks like my fist Mockups 1.5 video has just finished transcoding over at Vimeo (feedback welcome!!), so I'd better get back to it and make some more!
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