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What are Screencasts Useful For?

Screencasting – The New “Hammer”

I imagine way, way back when the hammer was first invented, that it was a hard sell. After all, rocks and heavy sticks had been doing well enough for centuries at performing the tasks needed for constructing huts and various items around one’s yard.

Eventually the hammer came to become appreciated for its versatility and for how much faster it could get the job done. Now entire cities have been built using them. Nobody uses the old rocks and heavy sticks for much anymore.Continue Reading…

PCM or Microsoft ADPCM?
Which is the Best Audio for Screencasting?

Which is better? PCM or Microsoft ADPCM ?

Well, that all depends on your processor speed and memory, and what kind of audio quality you deem important, among other things! Here is the “whole truth” concerning both!

PCM (which stands for “Pulse Code Modulation”) is GENERALLY SPEAKING the same as 16-bit “CD” audio (as most people use it, though it is available in 8-bit format as well – see below), and it is the standard, having no compression at all – every snapshot, from silence to the loudest waveform burst, is represented by a full 16-bit “word”. It will exhibit the highest audio-portion file size. It records audio into the .wav format into a linear stream of samples.Continue Reading…


Best Color Depth?
16-Bit Color Vs. 32-Bit Color Explained!

Use 16 bit color for screen recording and that will bring the file size down quite a bit. It also will allow your computer to work more efficiently! But let me explain first what “32-bit color” vs. “16-bit color” (and 24-bit color) really means! Then you may make your decision based upon what’s “really going on” under the hood!

16-bit video usually uses 5 bits (32 brightness levels) for red, 6 bits (64 brightness levels) for green (because our eye is more sensitive to green), and 5 bits again (32 brightness levels) for blue. So, 32 X 64 X 32 equals the famous “65,536 colors” you often hear about. Some Macs use 5 bits for each (for 32 X 32 X 32 = 32768 colors) and then uses 1 bit for an alpha channel. You most likely use the first type, however.

“32-bit color” is actually 24 bit color, plus an extra 8 bits for an “alpha” channel. Thus, 32-bit color is using 8 bits (256 brightness levels) for red, 8 bits (256 brightness levels) for blue and also 8 bits (256 brightness levels) for green’s brightness and 8 bits for the alpha channel, so it is actually 24-bit color with the added 8-bit alpha channel included. I understand that some video card’s transparency effects are dependent upon the 32 bit mode, Continue Reading…


Best Settings for Creating Time-Lapse Recordings in CamStudio

First, look at this post and Nick’s response.

http://camstudio.org/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=28

In it, Nick emphasizes the requirement to have the “Capture Frames Every” TIMES the Frame Rate to be equal to 1000. (thus 1000 milliseconds, thus 1 second).

As you see in the above post, the most important setting change was from:

Capture frames every: 500 mS (1/2 second)

Playback frame rate of output clip: 30 fps

To:

Capture frames every: 500 mS (1/2 second)

Playback frame rate of output clip: 2 fps

Making the two amounts, when multiplied, equal to 1000 ==> 500-mS * 2-fps = 1000.Continue Reading…


Using Virtual Dub With Time-Lapse Video Recordings

You can use VirtualDub (free!) to change the frame-rate for playback to anything you like. http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/

Step 1 – load the video
Step 2 – in either “Full Processing” (you’re changing compression also) or “Direct Stream Copy” (you’re just changing the frame rate) modes, under the “Video” menu select “Frame Rate”
Step 3 – Under “Source Rate Adjustment” select the second radio button, “Change frame rate to (fps) and enter the desired frame rate. For time-lapse recorded stuff, selecting a slow frame rate of 1 frame per second or so will produce slide-show-like results. Move to higher numbers to speed up the playback.
Step 4 – Process all frames. Click “OK”
Step 5 – Under “File” select “Save as AVI” and re-save the video with the new frame rate for playback with a different descriptive filename (filename1fps, for instance)

Now you’ll have a time-lapse movie that outputs nicely. For really long intervals (like 10 minutes between frames), you can instead opt to output each frame as a separate “movie” to be loaded into an editor to allow cross-fading between every frame. Continue Reading…


Best Settings for CamStudio to Sync
Audio and Video

I created this video after a bit of trial and error (and research!) that demonstrates how to set up CamStudio 2.x so that the audio and video stay in synchronization throughout the length of the video.

Although I mention in this video just using the Microsoft Video 1 codec, I now feel that either the Camstudio Lossless Codec or Xvid/DivX or FFDShow are the easiest to use with good quality.

There are videos on YouTube for best DivX and other codec settings you can also check out. (Just search)

Get Camstudio 2.6 Beta at this direct download link

Or get the older, stable version 2.0 here.

In a Nutshell:

Avoid audio/video sync problems – use 25 for the “Capture Frames Every” setting and 40 for the “Playback Rate” preferably using a 16-bit display color setting for fastest/smoothest playback rate (see the rest of this article to understand why…) This setting produces very smooth results, albeit with large-ish file sizes.Continue Reading…


Set Sound from Stereo Mix
(or “What U Hear”) in Camstudio

This video was in response to a question I got at YouTube asking how to set up the “Stereo Mix” (also called “What U Hear”) sound settings so you can record the sound and audio into a Camstudio screen recording. This will explain how to record in Camstudio 2.6 (and also version 2.0) what you hear from your speakers, enabling you to record sound from games and iTunes, Vlan, etc. as well as mixing in the microphone simultaneously (which I have plugged into my Line In input in this video).

It also explains how to enable or make visible the volume control for Stereo Mix/What U Hear if it isn’t visible already, if that option if actually available to you.

For people using Realtek HD Audio Input and a few other audio cards, you will need to allow the stereo mix to appear (enable it) and then make it the active input:Continue Reading…


Optimizing Your PC Display Settings for Camstudio and Screen Recording

This video was in response to a viewer of the “Camstudio Settings” video (“Larry” mentioned in the beginning) who was having trouble getting adequate framerates for recording games, but it is useful for anyone trying to get better framerates. Keep in mind, that for normal tutorial videos using only a slide program and an application…Continue Reading…