Your goal when editing is to create the shortest, snappiest and cleanest screencast that’s possible. If it is fast-moving and interesting then your viewers will keep watching, if it is hard to watch, boring, slow or with rough audio then the viewer is likely to click away – you want to avoid this! I’ve included two example screencasts for you below.
A nice clean audio track makes a slower screencast tolerable, even a nice snappy screencast is hard to watch if the audio is bad (i.e. noisy/hummy, clipped, full of coughs, horrid music, anything harsh on the ears).
To make your screencast easy to watch, the first thing you should do is edit out any slow sections (e.g. when a web-page is loading) and remove any errors (e.g. you wiggled the mouse around and then started that sequence again).
Once you’ve removed the dead wood, next you want to enhance the video. Use zooms and highlights to focus the viewer’s attention exactly where you want it. Zooms are especially useful if you’re recording a large resolution and presenting it much smaller – the final text might be hard to read so a zoom makes everything legible.
See this screencast that Introduces Django in Under 1 Minute for a snappy video with great audio, music, several scenes and an opening title:
For software, I tend to recommend CamTasia on Windows – it is an excellent package with a lossless codec and a full screencast editor. On a Mac I use ScreenFlow, it also has a great editor (I think not quite as powerful as CamTasia’s but I’m hoping to be proved wrong). On a Mac you also have iMovie which gives you an extra box of tools.
If you’re on a budget on Windows and you’re using HyperCam or CamStudio, you can try VirtualDubMod. VirtualDubMod is a bit of a pain to use but does let you cut sections out, even though you can’t use it to add zooms or text annotations.
Finally, consider making an intro title and an exit screen. CamTasia makes this easy, you can also create something in a graphics package – include your logo, a title and maybe a date (if your video gets old, the end-user has a chance to see that it is out of date!).
For the second example see Audio Editing using Audacity – this is a much longer tutorial video (5 minutes) with all the dead wood cut out (the original footage is closer to 12 minutes), along with an opening title and and a closing title with date, license and software versions:
An animated introduction is nice – you can easily engage an animator on e.g. eLance to add a simple effect so you get a 4 second animated sequence. It’ll really make your screencast stand out from the competition.
Next step – adding music to your screencast.
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The Screencast Tutorial Part 3 – Editing your screencast by ProCasts' Blog about Professional Screencast Production, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England License.