Step out to the Finder and learn to organize and manage all of your project media. Creating a professional screencast or series of screencasts will require many files including scripts, original art work, slide decks, exercise files, Camtasia recordings, Camtasia project files and exported finished movies. Learn how to set up an organizational structure to manage all of these digital assets.
- [Instructor] In this chapter, we'll explore ways to help you get and keep all of your project media organized and import additional footage into Camtasia. Creating screencasts often requires you to incorporate additional media files such as images, audio, video, slides, text, and much more into your finished projects. If you're creating a series of screencasts, then you'll have many common elements that you need to re-use over and over in many movies. How you choose to organize, backup, and track all these assets will be dependent on your particular workflow that you develop for yourself.
In my own work, I've adopted the following organizational structure when I'm building course or a series of screencasts. This _Course Template folder is what I use for every new course that I make. You can create your own template by making a series of empty folders that reflect your workflow, and add blank or partially started files for common types of files that you will use in your series. My course template is organized the same way that I tend to work. I have a copy of my table of content, or TOC, which acts as my overall course syllabus, or guide.
I number each chapter and each movie in my TOC, and then use those numbers throughout my series so I always know what files go together. Next, I have a folder for my scripts. To save yourself time, create starting text files using your preferred text editor, and name each file with your naming sequence. You only need to make a couple of these. My template has starter files for five chapters with three movies in each. If you need to make additional files for a particular chapter, you can click on a file, and press Command+D on your keyboard to duplicate the file.
And then name it appropriately. Next, focus on creating the unique assets that you'll need for your course. I have a Prep Files folder where I include sub-folders for my graphics and slides. The Graphics folder is where I keep any of my original artwork that I'm gonna be using in my series, such as logos, in their native file format, like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop files. In the Slides folder, keep the Keynote or Powerpoint slides that you'll use in your series.
Keep a separate presentation file for each movie and use the same naming sequence that you used in your scripts. If you have a standard template that you use, make blank files for each movie and name them with your generic movie name. This will help speed up your development process for each movie. In a later movie, we'll look at how to use Keynote to generate some custom slides and animations for your Camtasia projects that will go beyond what you're able to do inside of Camtasia. Since I typically need to create sample or exercise files for my courses, I have a folder where I can save these as I work.
The Project Media folder is where I keep any file that will be edited directly inside of my movie. I like to keep a folder dedicated to each type of media just to stay a bit more organized. For the Camtasia Recording folder, open Camtasia and go to the Preferences. Then on the Recording tab, click the Change button and select your recording folder.
This way, Camtasia will automatically save all of your recordings for your course directly into that one folder. Just remember to change your preferences when you go to work on a different course or series. Next, I have a folder for saving my Camtasia project files in. Notice that each movie in my course gets its own Camtasia project file. You can use blank project files, or, if there's a common element, such as a logo, that you always include in every movie, then add it to your first project file before duplicating and renaming those files in your finder.
Finally, having an Export folder allows you to export and keep a clean, local copy of every movie for a course or series. Even if you share your final movies to an online cloud service, having a local copy of your finished movies is always a good idea. Setting up all of these files and folders may seem like a lot of work, but once you have your course structure established, you can duplicate your main course folder by selecting it, and pressing Command+D on your keyboard. This will duplicate all of those files and save you hours of time for each course or series that you create.
If you're only creating a single episode, then an organizational structure like this is certainly overkill. But if you're creating even a handful of similar movies, then spend some time thinking about the kinds of files that you create over and over again. Come up with a simple structure that works for you. After each episode, look at your structure and ask yourself if it still makes sense. If it does, great. If not, make refinements until you discover the structure that works best for you.
- Creating a recording account
- Choosing and calibrating a mic
- Recording video
- Capturing video on mobile devices
- Managing mistakes
- Editing video in the timeline
- Importing media from different sources
- Adding annotations, animations, and transitions
- Applying video and audio effects
- Generating captions
- Sharing Camtasia videos