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Tool to mark off specific area of screen for recording

Posted on 2013-01-10
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Last Modified: 2013-01-29
I use Screenflow on Mac for recording screencast.  Most of these recordings are done at 1200x720.  Screenflow records the entire screen then you later crop it.  The problem is you don't know before hand what will fit into the cropped area.

Is there any tool available that can draw a black box that just a border?  It should be transparent inside.  This would allow me to position the box and know that everything within it will fit into the recording.
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Question by:brettr
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Expert Comment

by:Dushan911
ID: 38765553
It should be possible to do in ScreenFlow. This may help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfxWUnspy-o
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38765664
Nope - that's post production.
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by:Merete
ID: 38765797
You need to select a region so that you crop the capture not the video
Extract
To change the cropping, move the mouse to the edges of the preview, click down and move toward the center. When you are done, press the “Apply” button, and the canvas size will change.
Use this>if you actually need to crop the capture and not the canvas.
 http://man.dsd.net/screenflow/en/main_preview_crop.htm


Extract
ScreenFlow provides for two different types of cropping: Canvas cropping and image cropping.
 http://blogs.telestream.net/screenflow/2011/09/cropping-and-scaling-your-videos/
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38765803
I don't think you understand what I'm trying to do.  If everything I want to capture isn't within the cropped area, the video has to be redone.  

While recording the video, I want to know that everything is within the capture area (1280x720).  I don't want to find out after recording.
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 38765819
Yes I understand, so this flow doesn't show you the area your recording?
When you want set a region to capture and the background doesn't fit change your resolution of the display or increase the region of the area you want to capture?
I don't have Mac and use cam studio from TechSmith it has full screen asd well region when I click and drag to the region I want to record it is surrounded by a red line so I know what area is being recorded.
Have your tried quick time and or Jing, jing is affiliated with Tech-smith >Cam Studio for windows Jing for Mac
http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
here's a guide
how to record just a part of the screen with Quicktime free player for Mac and Jing, just make sure it's the latest version
Extract
Determine the dimensions of the recording. You can click to begin recording, or click-and-drag to make a selection of just what part of the screen you wish to record. For this article, we'll select a smaller screen area.
http://www.wikihow.com/Record-Your-Screen-on-Mac
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38765834
I'm familiar with Camtasia and its ability to show the region being recorded.  I like Screenflow except for this one flaw.  But we're getting off topic.  The OP was asking if there is some tool available that can draw a region on the screen.  Basically mimic Camtasia's region drawer.
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Assisted Solution

by:Merete
Merete earned 250 total points
ID: 38765857
Cam studio region is locked in as soon as I release the left mouse it begins to record that area live.
Ok rereading your original comment>
(a )Is there any tool available that can draw a black box that just a border?
(2) It should be transparent inside.  <<??
(3) This would allow me to position the box and know that everything within it will fit into the recording.<<
Not my knowledgeable mind for a live screen  desktop capture.
This is an entirely different method
I see what your saying , sounds a bit like using a magnifying glass to scroll around a  screen region but capture that instead?

lets say your using a media player to play a recorded sequence , drag out the corners of the media player to a suitable size then using your capture tool region put that on the media player face the area of the media player screen then it will capture only the area of that media player screen selected, you could include the edge so it gives a black border like.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38765886
I have no idea what you mean above.  But it sounds like there isn't any way to know if what I'm recording is within the capture area.  Of course, I do have some idea how big that area is but I can't be sure.

With practice, I will probably get better and that sounds like the solution...if I want to continue with Screenflow.
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Accepted Solution

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Rartemass earned 250 total points
ID: 38772893
Screenflow is designed to capture the entire screen so you can crop it after recording -as you mentioned.
Its algorithms are designed to only capture areas of change on the screen. This is to keep file sizes low.
So if the image you want to capture is larger than the area you are cropping to, you may simply need to adjust the screen resolution prior to the capture.

What is the size you want it to crop it to? Is the 1200x720 what you capture or where you crop it? If you want it cropped at that size then set your computer's resolution to 1200x720.

If you crop it to that, and the screen resolution is larger you could use the wallpaper as a guide. Lets say you have a screen resolution of 1280x1024. In Photoshop you can create an image with a blank colour and use the rectangle tool to draw a 1200x720 box in another colour. Set this as the OS wallpaper when setting up a capture. Size the video area to fit inside this box. You won't see the box as the window to capture will cover the box.
Then you can crop it with Screenflow after capture.
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