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Screen Cam Techology

I have to teach a training class on some advanced Excel skills and I have prepared my material but think that it's a lot for people to remember.  I have hard copy documentation as a take away but think it might get ignored - - I once had a class in College that used Lotus Screen Cams to help with reinforcing/remembering how to do complex things.  Each student in the class was given a CD with all the files necessary to run the screen cams from the CD and the little "lessons" that we could look at over and over again to help us study/complete our practical projects and  I wanted to do something similar for my upcoming class.  That being said, the college class I took was 5+ years ago - - wanted to get some feedback on what software I can buy that is easy to record the screen cams, easy for students to view the screen cams, and would include everything I need to burn CD's for students of my training class - - so they don't need any software themselves, just the CD I give them.  Thanks.
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triccardelli
Asked:
triccardelli
1 Solution
 
byundtCommented:
Hi triccardelli,
Snag-It is a very well-respected screen capture package. You can download a trial version http://www.techsmith.com/snagit.asp
The same publisher has another product called Camtasia that captures video footages http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.asp

Brad
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[ fanpages ]IT Services ConsultantCommented:
Hi,

I would like to re-inforce Brad's comment regarding the tools available by TechSmith Corporation.

Depending on the complexity of your requirements the SnagIt product may be suitable as this allows the capturing of screen content & creation of video content output (such as conversion of graphical model[l]ing Java applets in HTML pages to a fully-portable video file), but should you be looking for something that can be comparable to the original Lotus product due to your more demanding usage, then the Camtasia Studio product should be reviewed.

Also available...

Instant Demo that produces Macromedia Flash files (up to 50 minutes in duration):
[ http://www.instant-demo.com/?aid=6004 ]

Here is a site with a summary of screen capture tools, some of which offer video file output:
[ http://www.acidfiles.com/soft/content-capture.html ]

Also, the Microsoft Windows Media Encoder (9) may be worth looking at:
[ http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx ]



PS. It should be noted that if you try to install the Lotus Smartsuite product on a Windows 2000, or Windows XP, based machine then you will find that the ScreenCam tool will no longer function as it does not support these operating systems.


BFN,

fp.
[ http://www.justgiving.com/100RoundsOfSparring ]
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Patrick MatthewsCommented:
Hi triccardelli,

In addition to the above recommendations, I have found American Systems' Print Screen Deluxe to be a handy
utility, and it's a tad cheaper than Snag-It.  (I have not done a feature comparison, so maybe Snag-It is doing
something Print Screen Deluxe is not.)

http://www.americansys.com/psd.htm

Regards,

Patrick
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triccardelliAuthor Commented:
Couple of questions - -

1.  It appears that Snag-It does not have "voice over" capability?  Does Camtasia have this capability.  I want them to be able to see what I am doing on screen and hear my voice explaining at the same time.

2.  Does the "basic" Camtasia software come with the ability to burn onto CD's a "player" of sorts that will allow anyone (with proper system requirements) to view the screen cams without loading ANYTHING onto their hard drive?  If not, is there an "add-in" that does this?

Thanks for your insight!  Tanya.
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[ fanpages ]IT Services ConsultantCommented:
#1:
[ http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.asp ]

"...No Expertise Required

To create a video using Camtasia Studio, you don’t need multimedia expertise. Simply click the Record the screen button, and follow the steps in the New Recording Wizard to complete the recording. Using Camtasia Studio’s timeline and storyboard, you can then assemble your video, add and edit the audio and video tracks, and add callouts. "

As it states you can edit audio tracks, then I suspect you can record a narration to your video.

See also:
[ http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/features.asp ]

"...Create Any Type of Video

Easily create training, demonstrations, presentations, online courses... the possibilities are endless. Connect with your audience by including screen recordings, audio, voice narration, PowerPoint, Picture-in-Picture and webcam video. "

And:
[ http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/featureslist.asp ]

"...Record voice narration and system audio."

"...Preview audio levels prior to recording narration."

"...Record audio input from microphone."

"...Add, Edit Audio

    * Narrate an entire timeline.
    * Use microphone to record new narration while viewing video clips.
    * Record audio from applications (sound card driver dependent).
    * Add a second audio track, including background music or second language tracks for international audiences.
    * Record and/or edit audio for a single image (BMP, JPG, GIF).
    * Narrate a series of still images to create a slideshow playable in standard media players.
    * Trim and attach WAV audio files from video clips."



#2:
[ http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/features.asp ]

"...Publish and Share

Publish in Flash, QuickTime and a variety of video formats, then share on the Web, CD or DVD. You can use the Production Wizard to assist you in choosing the best format and settings for sharing with your audience, or you can have complete control over audio and video codecs and quality, frame rate, color depth, and inclusion or exclusion of special effects."

If you can publish on the Web, in either Flash of QuickTime format, you must be able to publish the same onto a CD or DVD & if browser Add-Ins are needed, then these must be available from either Macromedia or Apple as standard downloads (if not already present on the machine used by your audience).

See also:
[ http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/featureslist.asp ]

"...Publish
Versatile Publishing Options

    * Publish in industry standard formats - Macromedia Flash, AVI, Microsoft Windows Media, RealNetworks RealMedia and QuickTime.
    * Production Wizard with Help Me Choose feature.
    * Output as animated GIF.
    * Export as EXE file with Pack and Show.
    * Publish multiple videos at the same time with batch production.
    * Save a user-defined publishing profile.
    * Select from a list of codecs to match your content.
    * Select color depth and frame rate.
    * Select audio quality.
    * Resize video dimensions with smooth scaling."

"...Web & CD Menus

    * Create a CD-ROM menu (MenuMaker) of your videos and other files, including:
          o Video files
          o PowerPoint files
          o Word documents
          o PDF files
          o EXE files
          o Web pages
          o Submenus

    * Create customized Web menus (Theater) for Flash movies.
    * Output as HTML.
    * Use XML output for custom configuration.
    * Send/post a link to a single video within the Web menu.

Plays Well with Others

    * SCORM 1.2 compliance.
    * Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Professional users can produce their screen recordings as true streaming Flash files (.FLV).
    * Introduce these files into MX 2004 Pro via TechSmith's Components for Flash MX to enhance them with additional interactivity.
    * Enables Flash MX users to customize presentation of Flash screen movies.
    * Videos can also be edited and enhanced in Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects."


Have you downloaded the trial version (yet)?

[ http://www.techsmith.com/download/camtasiatrial.asp ]

BFN,

fp.
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[ fanpages ]IT Services ConsultantCommented:
Thanks for closing the question.

BFN,

fp.
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