Video Tutorials

I’ve been tearing my hair out recently trying to figure out how to make some video tutorials for the demos without spending money I don’t have. This should both be more useful, and faster, than writing some more conventional help pages. At least that’s what I thought. This post is a record of my current thoughts and attempts so far…

Firstly, I’m trying CamStudio to capture the screen while I demonstrate what the programs can do. I found several problems with this. The most worrying being that when I first tried it, it generated .wav files over 2 Gbyte long (I’m not joking), and refused to record any video more than about 20 seconds long. The program needs careful setting up to work well – the default settings did not work at all for me.

For the record, these are the settings I’m currently having some success with:

Region: Select “Window”. This restricts recording to just one window, and seems to work well.

Options -> Video Options: Select “Indio video 5.10 codec”, quality about 80%, capture frames every 40 milliseconds (25 frames/second). Don’t use the Xvid MPEG4 codec (it didn’t work at all for me), and don’t use the Microsoft Video 1 codec (see http://screencasttutorial.org/18/best-settings-for-camstudio-to-sync-audio-and-video-28)

Options -> Audio Options: Select “AK5370” as the capture device (this is my logitech desk microphone). Set volume to maximum. Leave recording format as 22.05 kHz stereo 16-bit (mono doesn’t seem to work for me). Check the “Use MCI Recording” box, this means that CamStudio isn’t compressing the audio as well, which makes its job a bit easier. (Can always compress the audio later.)

Options -> Program Options -> Directory for recording: Set away from my C: drive that’s rapidly running out of space.

Don’t use any effects.

This is for an XP machine with CamStudio recorder v2.6.

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