Learn the five major steps to the screencast production workflow with ScreenFlow. Learn how to plan your content, make final preparations, record, edit, and then share your screencast.
- Throughout this course, we'll focus on the process of recording, editing, and sharing screencast content with Screenflow. But, what is a screencast? A screencast is generally considered to be a movie where the primary imagery is of a computer screen and the audio is the person's voice and any sound coming out of the computer. Some screencasts may also contain live action that's captured either from your webcam or some other type of video camera. It can also contain music and sound effects and animations that are often created in a presentation tool such as Keynote or PowerPoint or with motion graphics applications such as Motion and After Effects.
One of the beautiful things about screencast content is there really is no one right or wrong way to prepare and record them. The important thing is that you're able to clearly tell your story. Who your intended audience is and what their expectation for finished quality will largely determine how much effort that you need to put into each of these steps. For example, you'll likely record a lot of screencasts that are completely off the cuff that are just for yourself or for a colleague where there's little to no expectation of having a finished screencast.
However, you'll also record some screencasts where you'll want to go to great lengths to ensure that everything that you're saying and doing on screen is to the best of your ability. Now, the general workflow starts by planning out what you'll say and do in the movie. This may be as simple as a bulleted list that notes the key points of the movie all the way to a full formal script. Start by scripting out the opening and closing lines of your movie, and then list the key bullet points that you want to hit in between.
If you're delivering a lot of detailed or technical information, then open a word processor such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or any other one and write out a full script of everything that you're going to say. Then, use your smartphone or tablet with a teleprompter app such PromptSmart to help you stay on script as you record your movie. This can really help you deliver a great presentation. For highly-produced content, there really is no substitute for a full formal script that details everything that you're going to say and do.
This is extremely helpful if you're working with a team to produce professional-looking and sounding video-based instruction for your company, your school, or your small business. The next step is to prepare to record. This may involve setting up a dedicated recording account, selecting and calibrating your microphone, installing and configuring the necessary software to record your screencast with and the software that you'll be demonstrating, preparing any files that you'll be interacting with, and recording a final sound test to make sure that your audio and screen will both be recorded exactly how you want them to be.
The last step in preparing to record is to practice walking through all the actions that you'll be taking on screen during your movie. I can't stress enough how important this step is, quickly walking through each action that you'll be taking on screen, just before you're ready to record. Move your mouse around the screen and build up some muscle memory on where you need to move your mouse to. Know what dialog boxes will likely appear and know what changes that you'll be making to your documents.
You'll save yourself hours of editing time and greatly improve the overall quality of your movie by doing a simple walkthrough. Now, it's time to record your screen, microphone, and computer audio. You may also choose to record your webcam at the same time. Screenflow is an excellent program for capturing all of this media. When your recording is complete, you'll want to edit your footage. And this may be as simple as trimming off the extra footage that's captured at the beginning and end of a recording, removing major mistakes.
You could also choose to take your screencast to the next level by enhancing your story with additional media, overlays, applying special effects, and creating closed captions. When you're finished editing, it's time to share your screencast with the world. Now, this may be as simple as exporting your movie out to your local computer or publishing it online at YouTube, Vimeo, or some other online movie platform. Therefore, this course will focus primarily on all of these various steps of the workflow.
We'll also touch on many of the ways to take your screencast to the next level.
- Working with the ScreenFlow user interface
- Customizing keyboard shortcuts
- Creating recordings
- Recording an iOS device
- Video and audio editing basics
- Creating accessible caption tracks
- Creating animations
- Adding motion to clips
- Using annotation
- Exporting and sharing your movies