Camtasia Studio Video Tutorials: Part 2 | WebReference

Camtasia Studio Video Tutorials: Part 2


Camtasia Studio Video Tutorials: Part 2

By Nathan Segal.

Getting Ready to Record

When you begin to think about your video project, there are several things that need to be considered, such as: What is its purpose? What kind of audience do you want to attract? What are you trying to say/promote?

Creating a Storyboard

Once you've decided what to say, you need to create a storyboard. Here, you detail the video in a precise fashion with sketches, scripts, transitions, timing, etc. It's with the storyboard that you can work out many creative difficulties, such as your vocal delivery, transitions between sections, etc. Once you've finished the storyboard, you have, in a sense, created the video.

The basic format of a storyboard. You'll need to make as many copies of this layout as necessary in order to tell your story.

Recording Tips/Times

Generally, it's recommended that you kept your recordings short, preferably no longer than 5 minutes. If the presentation is longer than that, consider breaking it up into several parts.

Audio Quality

In the previous article, we discussed the different types of microphones and gave examples of which ones are recommended for voice recording. In brief, your options are a lapel style of microphone (sold by TechSmith for 49.95). This is the one they've tested and recommend.

Another option is the Samson Studio Condenser Microphone ($99.95). This microphone plugs into any USB port and is recommended for high quality audio and podcasters.

I use a Plantronics headset with a built-in microphone which gives me excellent results (I paid about $60.00 for it).

Video Quality & Importing

If you're using a USB Webcam, your best options are the Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 (with built-in microphone) or the Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Pro.

When importing video, be aware that only USB camera types are supported. Some digital video (DV) cameras will work, but you'll have to test them individually. For more information, read the previous article or check out the support section at TechSmith.

Camtasia Studio only uses the AVI, WMV, or MPEG-1 file formats, including the .CAMREC format created by Camtasia Recorder. For files in other formats, use the Camtasia Recorder to capture the playback of that file and use it to create an AVI or .CAMREC file.


Before recording your presentation it's important to rehearse, using your storyboard for direction. A smooth flow is important and one without too many "ums" or "uhs." A few are ok, but having many, and/or losing your place in your delivery, will work against you. Even though you might be an expert on the subject matter, poor delivery implies otherwise. And while editing the video will help you to smooth out results, it's still important to maintain a strong presence. I also recommend that you record your entire presentation in one sitting, if at all possible. If you do it on different days, your vocal quality is likely to be different, which could be distracting to your audience.

In my studio, I practice running through the script several times, getting a feeling for the way I say things, what it feels like to demonstrate in a certain way, etc. It's also an acid test of your storyboard. If there are transitions that seem clunky or forced, they'll show up and you can take steps to correct them.

Clean Up Your Browser

If you use your browser as part of your presentations, clean up the user interface. As an example, this how my browser looks on a day-to-day basis.

And here it is now. This is a much better presentation for recording. Note that I've removed the address bar, which you may need to keep.


Created: June 5, 2003
Revised: May 9, 2007