I've been meaning to blog about the tools I use regularly and find useful and I've managed to get a couple written this month. I'm always a bit concerned that blogs like this might end up looking like some kind of infomercial. But I eventually came to the conclusion that I've always thought that personal recommendation was the best kind of recommendation, so if I like a tool I should tell the world. Whether the world sets any store by my opinion is a matter for the world to decide! J
I have been using Camtasia Studio on and off for a couple of years now. When I first got hold of a copy, I needed it to create some demo videos. What I really liked about it was that, with no previous experience of screen recording, I was able to make the recording successfully after only a couple of tries. OK, so when I look back at that effort now, maybe "successfully" is an extravagant claim, but it was good enough for what I wanted to do at the time.
Although there are still some (many!) features that I haven't yet got round to using, it has still been a really useful tool for me. When I first got it, I was more interested in grabbing the screen action and recording some audio narration. More recently, I needed to improve the narration side and so was looking for a way to record the voice independently and (often) edit parts of it without having to re-record the whole thing for the umpteenth time.
Camtasia Studio comes with a subset of handy little apps, one of which is their Audio Editor. This has been really useful, as it enabled me to make those voice recordings and edit them easily. I also found myself doing a lot of "Inserting Silence" to replace the intakes of breath and the occasional unwanted clunk when I'm waving my hands around and hit the boom mike.
The tutorials are excellent and there is a lively set of User forums. FAQs are available to help you with those tricky things that should go right but somehow don't.
The work area is as easy to use as you could reasonably hope for with an application that seems to have so many options. As you can see from the screenshot, the timeline allows for more than one audio track.
Version 6 of Camtasia comes with even more presets to help you create the best screen size, resolution and (often important for web distribution or viewing) file size.
I'm currently working on creating some courses, all of which contain video demos. As I get more used to using it, I am of course finding that I can get from starting idea to finished production much quicker. When I've finished my current project, as a long term plan, I hope to be able to create a set of short videos to be made available for free here on VBCity.
All in all, I'm really pleased with it and many a time I've silently thanked the friend who first put me on to it. You can download a free 30 Day trial version from the TechSmith site here.