I recently recorded my first screencast for Pro Theme Design showcasing the new features for my WordPress theme Elemental.
To make my life easier I purchased a copy of Screenflow for my Mac. Screenflow is designed specifically for recording and editing screencasts. It has a wealth of features and is really simple to use. It’s not perfect but is well worth the money and saved me a lot of time and effort with trying to make the changes with the sort of software I would normally use.
Below is an analysis of what I think went right and wrong with the screencast, but before that here’s the video I created.
What went right?
- Planning. Before starting i wrote a bullet list of the things I wanted to cover, this made it a lot easier to give the video some sort of structure and meant that I didn’t stumble as much as I would have had I not had it.
- Screenflow. I know i said i bought it for this, but Screenflow is really easy to use and made the recording and editing a lot less painful than it could have been. It also makes the exporting really simple, even integrating with YouTube for the video uploads.
- Keeping things simple. I decided to keep everything as simple as possible. No flashy effects, or background music. I also tried to keep the demos as straight forward as possible to make the video easy to understand.
What went wrong?
- Trying to do it all in one go. In hindsight I should have prepared more than I did. It would have been helpful to write a few more notes and them break down the recording into smaller parts.
- Not enough ‘rehearsals’. For some parts I ended up doing a lot of takes – I hadn’t planned exactly what to say.
What I would change
- Record video and audio separately. Whilst making the screencast i tweeted what i was doing and Marty Smith suggested I split the audio and video recordings. I decided not to this time, but next time I will definitely try it out.
- Record Somewhere Quieter. That and speak a bit louder. I don’t like the ambulance siren near the start (I live near a hospital), and I think in general I probably come across rather quiet.
I’d love to know what you think of my screencast and if there’s anything I could improve? Any comments on screencasts you have done would also be interesting 🙂