Camstudio Video Classes

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Camstudio Video Classes by Mind Map: Camstudio Video Classes

1. Thankyou and welcome

1.1. You can get a copy of this Mind Map which contains all the links to the various software and websites mentioned during the series by clicking on the red arrow (or red curly tilde if viewing the HTML version).

1.2. A GREAT mindmap program that will open this fine is FreePlane. This mind map was created and was also exported to HTML and Java formats using FreePlane

1.3. Alternatively, download the latest Free Mind. It started the free mindmap thing, but FreePlane is a better spin-off (by one of the original programmers) in my opinion.

1.4. There is also my web page that you have full access to with all the download links and videos available to watch online as well. Be certain to have signed up for the support mailing list to keep abreast of the latest news and for other free information I expect to have for you in the future. I want to make sure you are aware when CamStudio updates occur and when revised versions of this series of articles and videos become available to you.

2. Intro - What's Coming Up

2.1. Changes and Fixes in CamStudio 2.6 CAMSTUDIO RECORDER Recording Region By Window – ADDED Left and Right Mouse Button Visual Feedback When Clicked – ADDED True Multi-Language Support For Recorder, SWF Producer, and Player – ADDED Recording Audio From Speakers is back! Recording For A Preset amount of time – ADDED New Effects Menu added with: Add System Time Stamp To Video Add Caption To Video Add Watermark To Video (Transparancy not supported, yet!) SWF PRODUCER Added Redirect URL function so a viewer can be taken to another URL immediately after video has finished playing. Added Cancel button to “Converting to SWF” dialog so you can cancel a SWF conversion at any time. You don’t have to wait until it’s finished or force it to close with CTRL, ALT, DEL. OUTPUT Firefox bug when playing a Flash SWF file – FIXED OUTSTANDING STUFF When using another language, some menus and options are either missing or still in English. Native Vista compatibility not supported, but workaround listed on the blog using XP Compatibility Mode. Documentation (still working on it) Note: You can copy the help files from the older CamStudio 2.0 into the "Help Files" folder for 2.6 and they will work when called from 2.6's help menus!

3. Getting Started

3.1. Downloads and Installations

3.1.1. Download and UnZip CamStudio 2.6 to Program Files folder

3.1.1.1. To be on the safe side, also download these DLLs and place them in the same Program folder: msvcp90.dll, msvcr90.dll and mfc90.dll

3.1.1.2. Right-Click on Recorder.exe and select "Send To Desktop" to create a shortcut, then rename the shortcut to Camstudio 2.6

3.1.1.3. Reminder that Vista users must run this program in XP emulation mode

3.1.1.3.1. Right-click on the EXE file and in Properties make select "XP Compatible Mode" from the Compatibility tab

3.1.1.3.2. How to Use CamStudio in Windows Vista

3.1.2. Download and install Sizer

3.1.2.1. Opt to have it auto-start when Windows starts

3.1.3. Download and install Zoomit

3.1.4. Download and install VirtualDub

3.1.5. Download and install the K-Lite Codec Pack

3.1.5.1. Only install the XViD and ACM codecs unless you need all the others (can be re-installed later)

3.1.5.2. Optionally install the Media Player Classic - a very powerful media player, but ease into using it over time.

3.1.5.3. Select the "Set Restore Point" box and de-select the "see news and updates" checkbox (which opens a website after the download)

3.1.5.4. Do not change your file associations - this seems to break Camstudio's ability to open the video using the default player.

3.1.5.5. The thumbnail generating feature, while nice, eats processor time as it generates all those thumbnails. Perhaps try it with the plan to use Windows Restore after some tests.

3.1.6. Download and install DiVX and disable auto-updater

3.1.6.1. Download DivX using this link http://www.divx.com/en/software/divx-plus/codec-pack

3.1.6.2. Create a restore point first - called "Installed DivX Codec"

3.1.6.3. Install the DiVX Pro 15-Day Trial that allows you to author with it in CamStudio, Virtual Dub, etc.

3.1.6.4. Re-start your machine and wait for the DivxUpdater.exe to give your computer back.

3.1.6.5. Go to the Task Manager to the Processes tab and end the DivXUpdate.exe process

3.1.6.6. Go to the control panel for DiVX and select "Never" from the Updates panel.

3.1.6.7. Go to Program Files/DiVX/ and change the name of folder called "DivX Update" to "DivX Update_" so the program cannot find it and re-start it.

3.1.6.7.1. That's from the DivX Labs themselves

3.1.6.8. After you are done with your recordings, do a system restore back to the restore point you created. This way you can use the 15-day trial again... but if you get a lot of use out of this Codec pack, don't be cheap! The pro license is only $19.95, for goodness sake!

3.1.7. Even Better - Download Jawor's Xvid (32-bit or 32-bit and 64-bit version)

3.1.7.1. In Xvid's Configure screen, Set Quality slider to 1, select the HD720 profile, and in the "Other Options" button at the bottom un-check the "Display Encoding Status" box. That 's it!

3.2. Setting Up the Software

3.2.1. CamStudio Settings

3.2.1.1. If you installed 2.6 beta, go ahead and start using the new "Window" option just added to CamStudio 2.6 along with Sizer setting up the window size! (That is, skip ahead to the Sizer video!)

3.2.1.1.1. Under "Region," select "Window"

3.2.1.2. Under "Options" & "Video Options"

3.2.1.2.1. Quality between 70 and 100 (Not relevant if using CamStudio Lossless)

3.2.1.2.2. AutoAdjust Unchecked

3.2.1.2.3. Set Key Frames Every 30

3.2.1.2.4. Capture Frames Every 200, 100, 50, 40, 25, 20, 10 or 5 - I recommend this be at 40

3.2.1.2.5. Playback Rate at 5, 10, 20, 25, 40, 50, 100 or 200 - I recommend this be set at 25

3.2.1.2.6. The thinking here is you must have these two so that when they are multiplied together, they always equal 1000, and this is done in order to maintain Audio/Video synchronization

3.2.1.2.7. For "Compressor" there are three considerations

3.2.1.2.8. Click on the OK button

3.2.1.3. Under "Cursor Options"

3.2.1.3.1. select whether to show or hide your cursor (I recommend showing it)

3.2.1.3.2. Use Actual Cursor for now

3.2.1.3.3. If you like the effect, highlight the cursor with a colored circle, ellipse, square or rectangle

3.2.1.3.4. Another nice additional effect new to Camstudio 2.6 is the ability to use separate colors for the left button and the right button when they are clicked

3.2.1.4. Under "Options - Keyboard Shortcuts"

3.2.1.4.1. You have to set up all the keyboard shortcut options at once

3.2.1.4.2. I use the following settings

3.2.1.4.3. You can use any other settings that you'd be comfortable with, but you need to set them all, even if you do not plan to use layouts

3.2.1.5. I do not use the "Options/Program Options/Minimize Program on Start Recording" as you can get to the camstudio program via the taskbar below and use the shortcuts to control it, but that may be your preference. It shrinks the program down to a small icon in the Taskbar's Tray

3.2.2. Audio Settings

3.2.2.1. Under Options, select "Record Audio from Microphone"

3.2.2.2. Under "Audio Options" select "Audio Options for Microphone"

3.2.2.3. Be certain the correct Audio Capture Device is selected (your audio card where the mic is plugged in)

3.2.2.4. Under "Recording Format" select 44.1kHz, mono, 16 bit, assuming your mic is a mono mic

3.2.2.4.1. Click the "Choose Compressed Format" for the post-recording processing phase

3.2.2.4.2. Select Microsoft ADPCM, 44.100 kHz, 4 Bit, Mono and click on OK

3.2.2.4.3. Check the "Interleave Every" box and enter a "1" in the window, selecting the "Frames" radio button

3.2.2.4.4. Check the box next to "Use MCI Recording" to help further ensure that your audio will not drift out of sync

3.2.2.4.5. Click on the "Volume Button" and adjust the volume to a moderate level with your input selected

3.2.2.4.6. I use "Line In" because my mic goes through a mixer preamp first, being a classy Shure microphone!

3.2.2.4.7. Click OK and that is finished!

3.2.2.5. if you will be mixing music as you talk into the mic - Select "44.1 kHz Stereo"

3.2.2.5.1. Click the "Choose Compressed Format" button for the post-recording processing phase

3.2.2.5.2. Set the audio at PCM, 44,100 kHZ, 16bit Stereo. We will compress the audio into a high-quality MP3 audio in a pass through Virtual Dub later to make our upload to YouTube faster.

3.2.2.5.3. Click on the "Volume" button - here is where you may or may not be able to record from your speakers at the same time as from your microphone

3.2.2.5.4. In Windows XP, if you do NOT see the "Stereo Mix" level control, click on "Options" and select "Properties" to see a list of possible devices you can have recording controls for

3.2.2.5.5. In Windows XP, if you DO see the "Stereo Mix" level control, simply check the box under it and set the volume low, to about 2.5 to 3 for most systems, or it will be distorted (experiment for the best setting)

3.2.2.5.6. In Windows Vista, if you do NOT see the "Stereo Mix" level control, right click in the window showing the enabled devices and check the boxes allowing you to see hidden or un-enabled devices

3.2.2.5.7. In Windows Vista or 7, if you see the "Stereo Mix" slider, just set it to a low setting, at about 2.5 to 3 for most systems, or it will be distorted (experiment for the best setting)

3.2.2.5.8. You will have to make the microphone INPUT active - it is often hidden or muted (or both)

3.2.2.5.9. Everything else is the same as above, so click OK

3.2.3. Sizer Settings

3.2.3.1. Start Sizer - an icon will appear in the system tray

3.2.3.2. Right-Click on that icon and select "Configure Sizer"

3.2.3.3. Make sure all the check boxes are checked.

3.2.3.4. Click on "Add" - we will be first making a window size for HD uploads to YouTube and others at 1280 X 720 Pixels, but we have to overcome the "one extra pixel" bug in Camstudio 2.6. This is easy to do!

3.2.3.5. In the Description box, type a useful name that will remind you what this does. 1280 X 720 Camstudio Window, for instance, or 1280 X 720 CSW Centered, which is even better! This movie was made at 854X480 (which becomes 480p at YouTube), so 854X480 CSW Centered was the one I made for this purpose. The YouTube dimensions for their four sizes are as follows. The number designation is, in all cases, the vertical resolution. For 16:9 content, 360p = 640x360; 480p = 854x480; 720p = 1280x720; 1080p = 1920x1080. If you upload a larger size, it will be scaled down to fit, e.g. uploading at 960x540 will get scaled down to 480p.

3.2.3.6. If you're going for the high-resolution 720p HD resolution at YouTube, make the width 1279 and the height 719. Camstudio will add one pixel to the width and height and produce a 1280 X 720 Pixel screen recording. However, people with dial-up may never get to see how good this looks, and will only be able to see the smaller size video - resulting in very small text that is hard to read. So, I recommend instead opting for the 480p "Very Good" size in your videos. Setup your window, then with the settings at 853 width and 479 height, and CamStudio will resize that by one pixel in each direction to equal the 854X480 dimensions you will need.

3.2.3.7. Move to the location you need the window to be. If you will be needing to show the task bar, as I have here, select "Bottom"

3.2.3.7.1. You can define any position by it's top-left corner position

3.2.3.7.2. Intriguingly, you can opt not to resize the window at all, only changing its position on the screen! Handy!

3.2.3.8. Feel free to copy some of my settings for your own use!

3.2.4. ZoomIt Settings

3.2.4.1. Load Zoomit and this being the first time you've used it, it will take you to its configuration screen. If it is started already, right-click on its icon in the system tray and select "Options"

3.2.4.2. Be sure the little checkbox at the bottom left that says "Show Tray Icon" is checked

3.2.4.3. The main thing is to assign a keystroke that will invoke the zoom. I use CTRL + Shift + Z, as they are all close at hand and easy to get to (and "Z" for "Zoom" is easy to remember!). You simply press the keys you want and they appear in the "Zoom Toggle" window as you pressed them.

3.2.4.4. If you want to be able to also use the handy pen feature without being zoomed in, click the "Draw" tab and enter a keystroke sequence to start and stop drawing mode. I use Ctrl + Shift + D for "Draw"

3.2.4.4.1. Once zoomed in, you can enter drawing mode by clicking your left mouse button. Erase the last entry with CTRL-Z (like Undo), and ALL drawing with the letter "E" (for "Erase"). Exit drawing mode completely by clicking your right mouse button.

3.2.4.4.2. You can even change the pen width while drawing by holding down the CTRL key on the left of your keyboard and using the mouse wheel or the up and down arrow keys!

3.2.4.4.3. Change the Pen Color by entering drawing mode and clicking "R" for "Red", "G" for "Green", "B" for "Blue", "O" for "Orange", "Y" for Yellow or "P" for "Pink"

3.2.4.4.4. Draw a straight line by holding down the shift key as you draw

3.2.4.4.5. Draw a rectangle by holding down the CTRL key as you draw

3.2.4.4.6. Draw an ellipse by holding down the TAB key as you draw

3.2.4.4.7. Draw an arrow by holding down the Shift + CTRL keys together as you draw

3.2.4.4.8. Clear the entire screen for a sketch pad by typing "W: for a white-board, or "K" for a black-board.

3.2.4.4.9. Copy a zoomed screen using CTRL-C for copy, or SAVE it by typing CTRL-S

3.2.4.4.10. You can type while in drawing mode by pressing the "T" key for "Type"

3.2.4.5. You can also change the font used when you type while in drawing mode by clicking the "Type" tab and using the "Set Font" button

3.2.4.6. Finally, you can set the keystrokes to start the "Break Timer" (which encourages you to take breaks every once in a while for ergonomics sake!) I use Ctrl + Shift + B (for "Break") and give myself a 10 minute vacation from the computer when I remember to use this! (If only it would FORCE me to take breaks!) You can hit the "Esc" key in the upper left of your keyboard to "Escape" out of the timer at any time.

3.2.4.6.1. The "Advanced" button takes you to some nice options

3.2.4.6.2. You can play a sound, selected in the "Alarm Sound File" selector

3.2.4.6.3. You can change the opacity of the countdown timer window

3.2.4.6.4. You can select the position of the timer window - I like centered!

3.2.4.6.5. You can even place a background bitmap into your timer for customization, scaled to fit!

3.3. Setting Up the Hardware

3.3.1. Display Settings

3.3.1.1. Colors to 16 bits

3.3.1.2. If doing HD video, make sure screen resolution is at least 1280 pixels wide

3.3.1.3. Troubleshooting Tab - Hardware Acceleration all the way off

3.3.2. Close any unnecessary programs, including tray-icons you aren't using by right-clicking on them and choosing "Close" or "Exit"

3.3.3. You can set CamStudio to take higher priority than other running software under "Options/Program Options/Recording Thread Priority" and setting that to "Above Normal", or "Highest".

3.3.3.1. Do NOT use "Time Critical" as it may freeze up your computer, forcing a restart!

3.3.3.2. Usually, "Above Normal" is adequate to maintain an "Actual Input Rate" of 10 fps or so, which is adequate for most applications, and is the default setting when you install it.

4. Preparing Your Presentation

4.1. Create a separate folder to contain all of the project's files and keep copies of everything you'll use together in one place there

4.2. Use the "Freemind" Mind-Mapping application to prepare your presentation.

4.2.1. This doubles as a note-sharing device if you share your mind-map with your viewers, as I have here.

4.2.2. Basically, the "Insert" key adds a node to the right, "Enter" adds a node beneath the one you're on, CTRL-up and down moves the note, CTRL-K inserts a link as text

4.3. If you'll be making slides to use for your presentation

4.3.1. Edit and collect the images you will be using

4.3.1.1. Scan any images you need, using either your scanner's built-in software, or the superior Hamrick's ViewScan scanner software

4.3.1.2. Search for Open Source "Free Clipart" in Google to find some images (read the agreements concerning commercial use)

4.3.1.3. Search for "stock images royalty free" for inexpensive royalties free artwork by professionals

4.3.1.4. Edit Images and photographs using the free "Pixlr.com" website - an extremely powerful image manipulation program available online!

4.3.1.4.1. The Pixlr.com homepage has browser plugins and more

4.3.1.4.2. Install the Pixlr "Grabber" for Firefox or Chrome browsers

4.3.1.5. If you downloaded Irfanview, you can use that (along with the plugins available) to crop, resize, save for web, and tons of other things you need to do regularly. Great for preparing images for your OpenOffice Impress or Powerpoint slides.

4.3.1.6. Alternatively, use Paint.net if you prefer it

4.3.1.7. The Virtual Studio program is great for color corrections and removing red-eye, working with your scanner, etc!

4.3.2. Make slides using Microsoft's Powerpoint or the free OpenOffice "Impress" software from Sun Microsystems

4.4. If you'll be adding music or other audio to your presentation

4.4.1. Collect the files you'll be using copied into a separate folder placed inside of your project folder

4.4.2. Use Audacity to trim or edit the audio content to be the right size, fade-in/out, etc. and save in the format you'll need it in

5. Recording Your Screencast

5.1. Right-click on the starting window and use Sizer to size it to the correct dimensions for CamStudio's "Window" region setting - I'm using the "1280 X 720 CSW Bottom" setting here.

5.2. Select "Region - Window" in CamStudio

5.3. Click on Record OR use the shortcut keys you had set up for Record/Pause and Stop - it will then ask you to select the window you'll be recording

5.4. Click the "OK" button when you are ready to click on your recording window

5.5. Select your window. You can open other windows, but they will be seen only within this space. Your recording begins automatically.

5.5.1. If you record the playback of a YouTube video and go full-screen, it will break the recording (it won't respect your window size), so don't do that unless your "Region" setting is to full screen also!

5.6. To switch between special annotataion layouts, use those shortcut keys (We cover setting this up in the "Special Features of CamStudio" section)

5.7. To switch between different program screens, you can either click on their icons in the Taskbar, or use Alt-Tab to switch. Since I always have some space outside my recording window area, I often just make some of the program visible enough to click on (like with my slides), but Alt-Tab is the greatest!

5.8. Stop recording using the keyboard shortcuts (I used CTRL-ENTER) and save it to your hard-drive into the project folder you created for this project.

5.9. If you need to PAUSE, hit the keyboard shortcut assigned for that (I used CTRL-SPACE). Hit that same sequence again to resume recording.

5.10. If you just want to stop the recording and start over, use the keyboard shortcut for stop (I used CTRL-DELETE)

6. Compressing in VirtualDub

6.1. Recompressing the Audio using Virtual Dub

6.1.1. Now that you have some video, you can reduce the file size even more by re-encoding the audio as MP3 using the LAME decoder installed with the K-Lite codec pack.

6.1.1.1. Start VideoDub

6.1.1.2. Under "File-Open" find and open your video

6.1.1.3. Under "Video" make sure "Direct Stream Copy" is selected - we're only compressing the audio

6.1.1.4. Under "Audio" make sure "Full Processing" is selected. (This is always left at "Direct Stream Copy" by default unless you are compressing audio)

6.1.1.5. Select "Audio/Compression"

6.1.1.6. Select the type of compression you want to use. Use LAME! If you recorded only a mono microphone track, 22,050 mono is fine (even 4 or 8 bit). Higher quality stereo is fine (YouTube prefers stereo). Experiment!

7. Editing in Windows Movie Maker

7.1. Download Windows Movie Maker profiles

7.1.1. extract to "Shared/Profiles" folder

7.1.2. (create if it doesn't already exist)

7.2. Keep in mind that you can not use Windows Movie Maker files in Virtual Dub, as WMM creates WMV files only, except the DV-AVI output setting, which may be adequate if you do not record as I do for HD 720p for YouTube. The WMV format is fine for use sending to YouTube, however, and can make your program really special, so consider using it.

7.3. Open Movie Maker

7.4. For these wide-screen videos, we need to change the aspect ratio from the default 4:3 to 16:9

7.4.1. Under "Tools-Options", click on the "Advanced" Tab

7.4.2. Select the radio-button that says "16:9" and NTSC (USA) or PAL (Europe and elsewhere) as appropriate to your country

7.4.3. My other settings are - in the General Tab, Default Author - myself, temp storage - default, Save AutoRecovery info every 10 minutes checked, Download codecs automatically checked

7.5. "Import" your video into it and it will create a "Collection" - Name that "collection" with your project's name

7.6. Drag the imported video down into the timeline

7.7. You can trim off the start and end, add another audio track (say, with music), cut the presentation into subsections with transisitoins between each, and much more.

7.7.1. Trim

7.7.2. Slice

7.7.3. Trim slices

7.7.4. Add transitions

7.7.5. Add audio track

7.7.6. Add text before, during or after a segment

7.7.7. Add effects to that text

7.7.8. Add effects to a segment

7.8. Once finished, you want to save your project to your project folder- this is separate from saving the video. But for the video's name to actually appear when it is playing (and not be called "Untitled"), from the "File" menu, select "Properties" and enter the name and other information you wish included.

7.8.1. Select File/Save Project

7.9. Finally, we will create the video

7.9.1. Select "Save to My Computer" from the Tasks menu, or "File-Save Movie" from the top menus

7.9.2. Give the movie a name

7.9.2.1. - it can be the same as the original, as it will save with a WMV extension rather than as an AVI

7.9.2.2. Save it to your project folder - Browse to that folder and click OK

7.9.2.3. Click on Next

7.9.3. On the Movie Setting page, select "Show More Choices" if they aren't showing already

7.9.3.1. Click the "Other Settings radio button

7.9.3.2. If you went for a 1280X720 HD video, drop down the selector and scroll down to where it says "WMV-etc" to select one of the high-quality profiles we installed into the Shared/Profiles folder - so we're going to use one of the 1270X720 ones for this instance - 24 or 30 fps is fine.

7.9.3.3. At least that's true for making an HD quality video for YouTube... but if you followed my recommendations and made an 856X480 video instead (480p at YouTube), you want to pick the "Video for Local Playback (2.1 Mbps) for videos without a lot of motion, such as screen capture videos or slide shows - it gives you the clearest, sharpest picture. For camcorder videos with a good amount of motion, the best setting would be "High quality video (large). (Reference YouTube Video link attached.) Here is a list of the profiles for 856X480 dimensioned videos and their resulting file sizes that I have had success with, starting from the largest (least compressed) file size to the smallest (and most compressed) file size: Original file size - 16 second clip, 5,736 Kb Papa John WMV for Editing - 10,762 Kb (actually made it larger!) Papa John WMV for DVD - 6,060 Kb (also actually made it larger - likely better audio) Video for Local Playback 2.1 Mbps - 3,256 Kb Video for Local Playback 1.5 Mbps - 2569 Kb High Quality Video Large - 2,563 Kb Video for LAN 1 Mbps - 1,936 Kb Video for LAN 768 Kbps - 1,451 Kb (pretty noticeably low quality...)

7.9.4. Click on "Next" and it will create your movie, which will take a long time and eat up your computer's resources, so do it while you have nothing else to do on that computer!

7.10. Save the project files again from File/Save (or by using CTRL-S for Save)

8. Uploading to YouTube

8.1. If you haven't already, create an account tied to a Gmail account (best)

8.1.1. "Cool" but relevant usernames are good to think about now!

8.1.2. You may open as many Gmail/YouTube accounts as you like

8.2. Log-in to your account

8.3. Go to the top and click on the "Upload" link

8.4. Click the "Upload Video" button that appears

8.5. While it is uploading, click on the "Private" radio button and hit save - that way it won't be released until you are ready with tags, description, etc.

8.6. Now, open a new tab and go to the YouTube main page - We're going to find the best tags for your video

8.7. Click the "Browse" link at the top, and make sure the "Videos" tab is selected

8.8. On the left side, click on a category relevant to your video's topic

8.8.1. For my videos, Howto & Style would fit, under "Technology and Electronics"

8.9. Scan through the most popular for anything relevant

8.9.1. If you find something, go to that video and copy its title and its "meta" tags into a Notepad file to consider for use in your own video. Bookmark the strongest candidates for leaving a video comment if they are recent but growing quickly in popularity, so your comment is always at the front of these video comments

8.10. Just under the top (grey) bar, it says "Popular" - change this to "Rising Videos" - this works with the general categories, but not with the sub-categories presently

8.10.1. If you find something, go to that video and copy its title, view count and its "meta" tags into a Notepad file to consider for use in your own video. Bookmark the strongest candidates for leaving a video comment if they are recent but growing quickly in popularity, so your comment will always be at the front of these video comments

8.10.2. Sometimes complete relevance to your own niche is not as important: if the video is getting killer traffic, it may be worth it to go for lower conversion rates in favor of higher traffic. Test this out and see.

8.11. Next, do a search for a few of your keywords, placing multiple-word keywords in quotes so you only see those videos including the full keyword phrase

8.11.1. Do keyword research in Google's Adwords free keyword tool to get more ideas

8.11.2. You might want to also try their "Search Based Keyword Tool"

8.12. I strongly recommend that you watch the videos you are considering. If they are glaringly wrong, that is good for you - direct people to your own video in your comments! An extremely popular video with wrong information is a prime candidate to use your video as a video comment on! The same thing goes for poor quality but popular videos, or ones that are very popular but much too short in content. You get the idea!

8.13. Click on "Search Options" and select "Upload Date - This Month", and "Sort By: View Count"

8.13.1. Go to a good video with a high view count and copy its title, view count and tags into a Notepad file to consider for use in your own.

8.13.2. Consider things included in their description and copy and paste relevant items into the same Notepad file

8.13.3. Bookmark the strongest candidates for leaving a video comment if they are recent or new but are growing quickly in popularity, so your comment will always be at the front of these video comments

8.14. Now select "Sort by: Relevance"

8.14.1. Go to a good video with a high view count and copy its title, view count and tags into a Notepad file to consider for use in your own.

8.14.2. Consider things included in their description and copy and paste relevant items into the same Notepad file

8.14.3. Bookmark the strongest candidates for leaving a video comment if they are recent or new but are growing quickly in popularity, so your comment will always be at the front of these video comments

8.15. Now select "Upload Date: Anytime" and consider any that seem to be strong candidates for tags

8.15.1. Go to a good video and copy its title, view count and tags into a Notepad file to consider for use in your own.

8.15.2. Consider things included in their description and copy and paste relevant items into the same Notepad file

8.15.3. Bookmark the strongest candidates for leaving a video comment if they are recent or new but are growing quickly in popularity, so your comment will always be at the front of these video comments

8.16. The research is done!

8.17. Now go to your own video and incorporate elements of the most popular videos' titles that you've collected into your Notepad file into your own title. This also will help push you towards the top of the videos showing as "Relevant Videos" - especially incorporate the words being used in the most tremendously popular videos - if it uses the word "Best", YOU use the word "Best"! Use some of these words as meta tags as well. Make certain your most important keyword or keywords are in your title as well to help people find you near the top of a search that they do. Think like a newspaper editor - the more intrigue you can build into your title (like a newspaper headline) the more people will want to click on your video over all others.

8.18. Now add the tags you've seen the other's use that you've collected into your Notepad file into your own tags - this will help you appear at or near the top in the "Relevant Videos" list for related videos. Make certain your most important keyword or keywords are listed in your tags as well to help people find you near the top of a search that they do.

8.19. In the description, the very first item should be the full URL to your webpage (like http://mypage.com - no code needed - YouTube converts URLs to links automatically) Give people a reason to go there, like "See more articles and videos by me at http://mypage.com - and be certain to have the http:// part in there or it will not turn into a "clickable" URL.

8.20. Add the "description" items you've found being used in the best and most popular videos to your own. Keep in mind to use the keywords you want to be found by in your text. This is for being found when someone does a search in YouTube, very much like a search in Google. We want to do many of the same things you would do to optimize a page for a search engine campaign.

8.21. Be good and descriptive about your specific video and what you hoped to accomplish. Include any links beneath this to any web pages besides your own that you may have mentioned, or links to other resources or other recommended videos for them to watch - if you solve their problem, they will remember you!

8.22. Near the bottom of the description, invite people's comments (Ask the question, "Did this video work for you?" and the like) and remind people in your description to "Like" you and to subscribe to your channel. Some people place this request also at the top after their URL as well as at the bottom. "Likes" increase your relevancy rating in the YouTube and Google search engines.

8.22.1. If relevant and tasteful (that is, this video isn't only intended for embedding into a sales page), create a "video annotation" reminding people to "Like" you and subscribe to your channel

8.23. Once all this is done, click on "Make Video Public" and click "Save"

8.23.1. If the video has already finished uploading, do this on the edit page for your video

8.23.2. You can also add elements like your location, annotations, and if you have an Adwords account, you can "Promote" your video so it appears in the "Featured Videos" box at the top of the "Relevant Videos" listing occasionally.

8.23.2.1. Learn more about YouTube Promoted Videos

8.23.2.2. You can try a tiny budget setting of a penny a day and beat out people who don't promote in a particular niche at all

8.24. Now that you know what to look for, study your competition (other videos similar to yours) and ask whether they themselves are taking advantage of all of these techniques. Ask yourself, is the most related video's title actually related to the main competitor's title? Are their meta-tags similar to the ones in the most popular video? Do they have lots of comments? Do the recent ones (today or this week) that are climbing attract lots of video responses? If not, you can out-perform them with ease.

9. Special Features of CamStudio

9.1. Regions

9.1.1. "Region" allows you to define a region for your recording by dragging with your mouse. It asks you to do so when you hit the Record button.

9.1.2. "Fixed Region" allows you to do several things.

9.1.2.1. First, you can select what the width and height will be.

9.1.2.2. If you check the box, "Fixed Top-Left Corner", you can set the position of the top-left corner!

9.1.2.3. If you click the "Select" button, you can fill the width and height boxes arbitrarily by dragging with your mouse.

9.1.2.4. If you check the box next to "Drag Corners to Pan", you can drag the corners to change where the viewing region lies. You can also use the "Autopan" feature for this covered later.

9.1.3. "Window" allows you to click on a window, and its size will determine the size of the viewing region for the video

9.1.3.1. There is a bug in Camstudio that has been recently repaired in an upcoming beta version. Camstudio adds an extra pixel to the width and height dimensions of a Window or Fixed Region, which causes a horizontal skewing problem in Codecs that require the dimensions be evenly divisible by 2 (some require they be divisible by 4!)

9.1.3.2. This bug is overcome easily using the "Sizer" program and making a configuration that sizes your window one pixel short in both dimensions every time. Thus, if you wanted a YouTube HD video at 1270X720 (their current preferred size), you'd create a configuration to create a 1279X719 pixel window. Camstudio will add back the missing pixels making it the right size again.

9.1.4. "Full Screen" allows you to include your entire screen in the video. For slower processors, you can maintain an acceptable frame-rate (5-10 frames per second, of fps) by resizing your display to a smaller pixel dimension, like 1024X768 or 800X600. This is most important for recording games and other programs that only run in full-screen mode.

9.2. Tools

9.2.1. Annotations

9.2.1.1. Screen Annotations

9.2.1.1.1. Screen Annotations consist of Layouts that include Shapes and Text. They can be saved and loaded as libraries, for instance, libraries specific to a particular recording project you are working on.

9.2.1.1.2. Layouts are call-able via keyboard shortcuts you set up.

9.2.1.1.3. You design a layout by selecting from a shape library. Do not worry - you are not actually altering the content of the shapes unless you save it with another name. You are only able to alter the text as it will appear when the layout the shape is used in appears.

9.2.1.1.4. Try it - double click a single shape to put it on the screen. Edit its text - you can change the font when you do. You can change the transparency of the shape on the screen as well.

9.2.1.1.5. Right-click and select "close all" to close all the boxes. Create empty layouts with no call-outs to shut them all off.

9.2.1.2. Video Annotations

9.2.1.2.1. Provided you have a compatible Webcam plugged in and working, Camstudio allows "Picture-in-Picture" recording, but be prepared for a slow-down in your frame rate unless you have resized your display to a rather small size! (I've never seen this in action, as my Microsoft Life Cinema camera doesn't work with this application.)

9.2.2. SWF Producer

9.2.2.1. Using this tool, you can create Flash SWF files to use on your own website (with a flash player)

9.2.2.2. You do not need to do this to upload videos to YouTube - it will accept the AVI format very happily and create its own SWF files from them.

9.3. Effects

9.3.1. Annotation

9.3.1.1. These are separate annotation effects that remain throughout the duration of the video.

9.3.1.2. "Add System Time-Stamp" allows you to show a time-stamp that stays on the screen.

9.3.1.3. "Add Caption" allows you to enter a caption that stays on the screen, like a company logo.

9.3.1.4. "Add Watermark" allows you to place a semi-transparent mark on the video that "stamps" it with your brand, and keeps unauthorized people from using it claiming it is their own.

9.3.2. Options (for the above Annotation features)

9.3.2.1. Time Stamp - how the Time Stamp will appear - its position, Font, Text Color and Background Color. The "Format" section uses a programming standard for indicating how the time will appear - it uses percent signs (%) followed by a letter to indicate what you want there, like %H:%M:%S.

9.3.2.1.1. %a Abbreviated weekday name %A Full weekday name %b Abbreviated month name %B Full month name %c Date and time representation appropriate for locale %d Day of month as decimal number (01 – 31) %H Hour in 24-hour format (00 – 23) %I Hour in 12-hour format (01 – 12) %j Day of year as decimal number (001 – 366) %m Month as decimal number (01 – 12) %M Minute as decimal number (00 – 59) %p Current locale's A.M./P.M. indicator for 12-hour clock %S Second as decimal number (00 – 59) %U Week of year as decimal number, with Sunday as first day of week (00 – 53) %w Weekday as decimal number (0 – 6; Sunday is 0) %W Week of year as decimal number, with Monday as first day of week (00 – 53) %x Date representation for current locale %X Time representation for current locale %y Year without century, as decimal number (00 – 99) %Y Year with century, as decimal number %z, %Z Either the time-zone name or time zone abbreviation, depending on registry settings; no characters if time zone is unknown %% Percent sign

9.3.2.1.2. You have to actually edit the Font and Font Color to have this actually work.

9.3.2.2. Caption - allows you to enter the text for your caption. The Options button allows you to determine the position on the screen, the Font, Text Color and Background Color

9.3.2.3. Watermark - allows you to select the .jpg image to use as the watermark. The Options button allows you to determine the position on the screen. Create your watermark image taking into consideration the resolution (width and height in pixels) that your video recording will be done at.

9.4. View

9.4.1. Allows for three choices - Normal View, Compact View (only the buttons and menu) and Buttons Only. If you select "Buttons Only", you may puzzle for a while how to get back to seeing a menu! The third image from the right is the "Toggle Display" button! I prefer the normal view so I can keep tabs on my frame rate and how long I've been recording (600 seconds is the YouTube 10-minute limit!)

10. Tweaks You Can Use for Sound and Video Improvement

10.1. Change the Display Settings

10.1.1. Smaller screen size - 800X600 or 1024X768 will still allow 480p for YouTube. A 640X360 video screen looks amazing with pixels doubled or quadrupled on 1024X768 or 1280X1024 screens! (...Though it is quite cramped - but let auto-pan work for you. It is far less cramped when the program you are working in has sized itself for your smaller display size!)

10.1.2. Fiddle with the slider on the "Troubleshooting" page. If you are recording games, the game itself might not allow for the slider to be all the way to the left as would be optimium for screen recordings of most applications. Experiment with various settings till you get an acceptable frame rate in your recordings.

10.2. Close as many running applications as you can - including Traybar apps. Disconnect from the Internet and shut off your anti-virus for a short while. Go into the Task Manager (right-click on your task bar and go to the Processes tab) Turn off the iTunes Helper app and anything else you can that looks very "background but not necessary". Don't worry - all that stuff will start up again when you re-start your computer!

11. Deeper Technical Stuff Made Easy

11.1. Codecs - short for COmpressor/DECompressor, these are small bits of code that determine how your files will be compressed and decompressed, similar to how Zip files reduce file size for uploading/downloading and then return them back to normal. There are several of these! MP3 is a codec, as is ACC, WMA and OGG - all for audio. LAME is an open-source version of the commercial MP3 codec, and is considered by many to be the best encoder out there! (An encoder is what compresses the files - any MP3 decoder can then read them and decompress them again, because MP3 is a STANDARD, like ACC, WMA, and OGG are.) Popular ones for video are the DivX and it's open-source variation called XviD (those silly people!), the Camstudio Lossless Codec, and the h264 or other MPEG-4 codecs that are the latest big standard out, and are the preferred codecs for YouTube, using the MP4 format.. Formats are another thing. The format that is output by Windows Movie Maker is the WMV format - also compatible with YouTube. YouTube also accepts AVI, and older but very trustworthy format that is the format which CamStudio records its videos in. The different codecs can be used with different formats.

11.2. Recompressing the Video using Virtual Dub

11.2.1. Now that you have some video, you can reduce the file size even more by re-encoding the video as DivX or Xvid or some other YouTube compatible codec.

11.2.1.1. Start VideoDub

11.2.1.2. Under "File-Open" find and open your video

11.2.1.3. Under "Video" make sure "Full Processing" is selected - we're only compressing the video

11.2.1.4. Under "Audio" make sure "Direct Stream Copy" is selected. (This is always left at "Direct Stream Copy" when you are not compressing audio)

11.2.1.5. Select "Video/Compression"

11.2.1.6. Select the type of compression you want to use. Having installed the K-Lite codec pack gives you several good options. Here are some good settings to use as guidelines.

11.2.1.7. XViD - Home Theater PAL or NTSC, Two Pass, 2nd Pass, 256 Target Bitrate DiVX - Home Theater Profile, One-Pass, 802.585 Target Bitrate. FFDShow Tryout Codec - Encoder: H.264, FOURCC:H.264, Mode: One Pass Average Bitrate, Bitrate: 2000kbps or 3000kbps Alternative settings: DiVX - 720HD Profile, Speed vs Quality = 8 (highest setting for free version), Rate Control - 1-Pass quality-based with Target quantizer default to 4

12. Special links and Free Tools and Presets

12.1. Download Audacity for audio editing and sound manipulation, and to save in different formats

12.2. Download and install the LAME MP3 encoder to use with CamStudio, Audacity and Virtual Dub

12.2.1. Direct link to the download page

12.2.2. While there, get the FFMPEG Codec for Audicity also!

12.2.3. Also Download the K-Lite FULL Codec pack for Camstudio and VirtualDub

12.3. Download and install AoA Audio Extractor to easily extract the audio track from your video for processing in Audicity

12.4. Optionally, download the OpenOffice Suite for a Slideshow creator, word processor, drawing tools, spreadsheet and database free from Sun Microsystems, if you do not already have Microsoft's Powerpoint

12.5. For better control of your scanner, I cannot recommend highly enough Hamricks ViewScan software - free trial pretty much forever (I own it!)

12.6. And for people just wanting an automated image processor, Virtual Studio is truly fantastic!

12.7. For a free offline image editing tool, download "IrfanView" (named for the author, whose name is Irfan). Be sure to install the plugins as well.

12.8. Another great, free image editing and drawing tool is Paint.net

12.9. To view the included mindmaps, you'll need the free mindmap software called "Freemind" (click to go to the FreeMind website download page). This tool is also what I use to plan out my presentations, and then makes a great add-on to share with your viewers along with the videos, as it contains all of your notes.

12.10. Download Windows Movie Maker profiles

12.10.1. extract to "Shared/Profiles" folder

12.10.2. (create if it doesn't already exist)

12.11. Download and install the VST Enabler to allow using the huge host of VST instruments, effects, audio processors and more within Audicity

12.12. The Image editor at Pixlr.com is amazing! Pixlr.com is a very-Photoshop-like web application that has layers, text layers, effects and filters, masking via selections, color correction, and a host of other very cool and useful image design tools. It is easy to use and fun, with extensive help files and tutorials available. And best of all, it is totally free!

12.13. Here is the link to my little page of templates that will auto-load into Pixlr.com when you click the link above the example image: http://terrybritton.com/pixlr_templates.html Enjoy! (And let me know if you would like any other sizes added to this page – it is easy for me to do so and adds to the worth of this page.)

12.14. There are others I could recommend, but I'll talk about them in upcoming emails!

13. Where You Can Take This Next

13.1. Make videos to show the world how to do things you know how to do - or DISCOVER how to do!

13.2. Practice - Practice - Practice! The first several (yes, SEVERAL) videos you create will sound terrible, be full of ummms and uhhhhs, and just not sound like the natural YOU. Keep at it - the breakthrough does come to everyone, but it only arrives if you do practice. Make this fun, not drudgery! If you flop, laugh! It is not that important to get right the first time every time.

13.3. Stay in touch with questions - my email inbox is always open! I've set up a special support-ticket help desk as well, so that if I get overwhelmed I can get some assistance. You won't be left waiting for answers, I promise!

13.4. Be certain to stay in touch if you change your email so I can keep you receiving my support emails!