One of the best ways to teach people about something is to show it to them. If you’re teaching about software, and you don’t have the luxury of having all of your students seated in a classroom, make a video demo. There are lots of products on the market that you can use to create video demos. Here’s a link to a blog post that describes five of them.
I’ve used TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio for several years, and I like it a lot, but IU’s agreement with Adobe makes Captivate 6 the more attractive option because I can get it for free. Camtasia used to be the obvious choice for making full motion video recordings of your screen. That’s what Camtasia is designed to do, and it does it well. Full motion recording in previous versions of Captivate was not the greatest. Full motion is better in Captivate 6, not perfect, but better. By the way, Captivate 6 doesn’t refer to full motion recording as full motion. It’s called Video Demo mode. You can begin your project by choosing the Video Demo option, or choose Video Demo when it’s time to start recording your screen. The interface changes a little when you start the project in this mode. You can learn more about it in this Adobe TV video. Skip to 02:06 on the timeline.
When you record the action that’s happening on your screen it needs to be smooth and easy to follow. You have to know exactly what you’re doing, so before your record, take a practice run. For example, when demonstrating how to align shapes in PowerPoint, make sure you have the shapes selected so the Format tab will be available. Of course, practice doesn’t guarantee perfection. That’s where editing comes in. You can simply trim the parts of the video that you don’t want.
Once you stop recording and return to the Captivate interface you’ll enter the editor by double clicking the clip in the timeline, and choosing Edit Video Demo in the Properties Panel.
The editor opens and you get a nice big view of your clip. You’d probably like to edit the clip to match its accompanying audio, but you can’t. Maybe Adobe will add that functionality in the next release, but for now I recommend adding audio after the video is edited.
When the editor opens you’ll see your clip and a timeline beneath it. The Split button allows you to split the clip into smaller segments. The Pan and Zoom button allows you to zoom in on and pan to different parts of the clip. When I tried using this function it seemed to cause problems when playing the produced video. Pan and zoom at your own risk.
To trim your clip, start by moving the playhead to somewhere in the middle of the clip before clicking the Trim button. If you click Trim first, you’ll have difficulty finding the In Point Marker. Use the Playhead to find your in and out points, and then place the markers accordingly. When you’re ready to complete the trim, click the Trim button again. It’s not very intuitive, but that’s how it works. You can edit other places in the clip. Just follow the same steps.
When you’re finished click Exit and save the changes.
If you like learning by watching, click the image below to see a short tutorial. Captivate 6 is a very useful tool. I encourage you to download it from IUware (IU students, faculty, and staff only), and give it a try.