Movie Production

Hi, i have been making some very basic movie tutorials for youtube using iMovie.

I would now like to improve on them and i was hoping i could get some help here:

01 - what is the best mac software for:
a - recording screencast tutorials (recording your web browser etc)
b - crop a small part of one video and place it on top of another full video (layered videos)

02 - is it possible to zoom in on your video on certain parts and then zoom back out (see 6:29 -

03 - what is the best size dimensions for creating and recording video for uploading to HD youtube

Thanks in advance to any help you may be able to give.
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Pradeep VIshwakarmaConnect With a Mentor Commented:

You can use Mac FCP (Final Cut Pro ) software u can able to crop a small part of one video and place it on top of another full video (layered videos).
and recording your web browser use this software Voila.
Scott Fell, EE MVEConnect With a Mentor Developer & EE ModeratorCommented:
There is a huge difference working with iMovie vs final cut.  If you are not a video editor by trade, you will be frustrated with a "pro" video editing suite.  The newer version is a bit dumbed down and there is a free trial that you can play with before you invest.  Make sure you have a newer computer with at least 8 gigs of ram.  My video editing friends use at least 16 gigs.  

I believe adobe is starting to take over

If you want something super simple, give fotomagico a try  You can do your bulk editing in iMovie and bring what you need to this program for some of the other effects you want.   The work flow is a lot quicker.

As for size, use the defaults but 720p or 1080p is standard  When you save to youtube, the video size will be rendered automatically so you don't have to worry about optimizing.
Eoin OSullivanConnect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
Personally my favourite application on OSX for screen recording is called ScreenFlow (

It is a great screencasting tool to record, annotate, zoom etc your recordings .. add voice over and crop an area of the screen.  It pre-formats and uploads to YouTube or outputs in a range of video formats or even Flash.

Forget about apps such as FCP or Premiere  which are video editing applications (and very good at video editing) but complete overkill and $$ and not particularly intuitive or easy to use for creating screencasts or tutorials.
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Peter LoobuyckConnect With a Mentor Commented:
My Personal favorite for screen recordings is builtin: quicktime now allows screen recording by default. The best video editing app is still Final Cut Pro. But I have to admit you need to put some time into learning the application, but since you're already familiar with video editing, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, i'm going to give ScreenFlow a shot first and see how i get on with the demo of that first, thanks again for your help...
oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Hi, i've just started using Screenflow... it is very easy to use and there are some excellent tutorials online...

I just have two small questions:

01 - my screen resolution is 1440 x 900 so do i need to change it to have a better size / resolution video at the end?

02 - i have managed to place / layer another video over another video layer and i can reduce the size of the top video layer so that it plays up in the top right hand corner of my screen... however... is it possible to keep the top layered video full size and just crop the area of the video that i need so that i can just show the area of the top layered video that i want at normal size without the full top layered video covering the video layer underneath?
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
01 - the screen resolution is dictated by the capabilities of your mac and its screen.  You should always try and record at the highest resolution ... you can scale it down to a smaller image afterwards when exporting from Screenflow.  There are many reasons why you might scale down for file size or bandwidth or the screen size of those viewing the video.

02 - I think Screenflow supports alpha masks which can allow you to clip a specific area of an image ... otherwise I'd recommend you crop the main video and export it as a movie file, then re-import is as the top layer.
oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Thanks Eoin.

If i record at the highest resolution and then scale it down later, i am sure i am risking the need to clip some of my movie?

Am i mixing up two different things here... my screen resolution is 1440 x 900 so this will be the size of my video right?

This is one area that always confuses me as an iphone screen has a different resolution so the videos will obviously be a different shape... and then i am sure one of them will have black bands on the top and bottom when played on youtube?
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Scale and Crop are two different things.

Scale retains all of the image but reduces the size so as a result text etc. is smaller and some quality and detail is lost as you reduce the size.
If you've a 1440x900 video and you scale it down to 600x400 it will be hard to read small text as everything in the output video will be less than 1/2 the size of the original text and blurred.

Crop is where you select an area of the image and remove the rest reducing the dimensions of the video but there is no reduction of the detail or text etc.  You select an area of 600 x 400 to show and ignore the rest of the image.

Clipping or Masking is similar to cropping but usually involves including or excluding a part of an image by overlaying an image or shape which determines the area to be shown or hidden - usually this is a black & white image where anything in black hides the underlying video.

iPhone 5 display resolution is 1136 x 640 pixels so in landscape mode your 1440 x 900 video would be scaled down by about 1/3 which isn't bad at all.
oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks Eoin.

I want to add a full screen image to the start of my movie so i guess i need to resize it to 1440 x 900 at 300dpi

I promise this is the last question :-)
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
300 ppi is not a screen resolution .. that is a print resolution you're getting confused with.  There is no option in the video to set dpi or ppi.  It will be 72 ppi for normal screens.
oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Ok cool, sorry i forgot, but i do need 1440 x 900 yeah?
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Like I said .. it will depend on the resolution of the screens of your target market ... if they can handle 1440 x 900 then go for it ... if their screens are substantially smaller you will have to scale the output video down which will reduce the quality .. as long as there is not small text that they have to read it should be fine.

If the target users need to have clear text then you should try and record at a resolution as close as possible to the target resolution.
oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks
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