Originally published by John Deutscher, Principal PM Manager, on Monday, August 1, 2016
In part 1, we covered how to create a script for your How-To video and get ready for recording. In today’s post we will be covering the best practices and guidance for the recording phase.
You have a script, now what? Time to move someplace quiet and capture some video.
If you are going to be the “voice” for your video and you do not plan to have anyone do the final professional quality ‘voice over’, then the most important piece of equipment you need is, of course, a good microphone. If you plan to to just record “scratch” quality audio and later re-voice the content with a professional, then you can go with a Bluetooth or USB headset or simply the microphone built into your laptop.
In our case, we already had a very high quality USB microphone on the team that we use for podcasts. My favorite microphone for podcasting (and home recording of my acoustic guitar as well) is the Yeti from Blue Microphones. It records in high quality 16 bit audio and provides low-latency monitoring through a pair of headphones, so you can hear exactly what you are recording in the room.
To record your screen, there are a lot of tools out there that can get the job done. From open source tools, to commercial licensed tools like Camtasia, SnagIt, Skitch, Jing and more. I’ve been a long time user of TechSmith’s SnagIt. I can’t get through a day without it for sending screen captures in email to answer customer questions, or create new product ideas. SnagIt does a great job with images, but also fits most of my needs for recording video as well.
When choosing a screen recoding software, it’s a good idea to make sure that you test drive it before recording your videos. Commercial products like SnagIt also provide great online tutorials to complement this blog post. Things to look out for include:
Once you have chosen the proper capture software, make sure to go through the following checklist before recording:
Once you are all set up, do a test pass. Record a few rough walkthroughs of your script to get a feel for your capture tool’s short-cut keys and any delays of recording or startup. Check the output video quality to make sure it matches your expected resolution and frame rate.
Another important pre-run check is to import the test video into your favorite editing software (if you plan to edit it later) just to be sure that it imports cleanly and that it works well with your application.
Now that your pre-flight checklist is complete, it is time for the final recording. Relax, take a few deep breaths and hit record.
When recording, take advantage of the following tips to make things a lot smoother in the final video.
In part 3, I’ll cover how to edit down your How-To video and post it to Microsoft Stream with captions.
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