Join Christopher Breen for an in-depth discussion in this video Introduction to the gear, part of Screencasting with the Mac.
Before you start making your videos you obviously need the equipment to do the job. The kind of equipment you need depends on the kind and video you are making. If you intend to make traditional screencasts that include just screen captures from your computer and narration, you can get by with a computer, some software, a microphone and headphones. If you are interested in making scenecasts complete with live video, your equipment needs are greater. A camcorder, microphone, and possibly lighting are in the cards for you. As for the computer, I am going to talk strictly about the Mac because I am a Mac guy and it's also a great multimedia computer.
The vast majority of techniques I am going to show you are applicable to Windows PCs as well, but the software tools I use are for the Mac only. And which Mac? Quite honestly, just about any Mac made in last couple of years will do and that can include a Mac Mini, the MacBook, or an iMac. The one Apple computer that I'd consider avoiding is the MacBook Air. It's a little underpowered. It doesn't have enough storage, and it lacks FireWire and a media drive. Although you can get along just fine with other tools and configurations, I am going to suggest that you have at least 2 gigabytes of RAM or more, at least 60 gigabytes of free storage, and a copy of iLife 09 installed on your Mac.
Additional RAM can make your Mac run more smoothly, videos eats up a lot of space, and iMovie 09 is a far more capable version than its predecessor, and that covers our computer. In the rest of this chapter, we will look at all the other gear.
- Scripting a screencast
- Capturing video and audio using a screen capture utility
- Shooting live video
- Importing assets and editing in iMovie
- Recording a separate narration track
- Exporting and distributing a screencast