tiistai 9. kesäkuuta 2009

Secrets of screencasting in Linux

"A screencast is a digital video recording that captures actions taking place on a computer desktop. Screencasts, which often contain voice-over narration, are useful for demonstrating how to use specific operating systems, software applications or website features."
Definition by: WhatIs.com

To be honest, there is nothing mysterious about screencasting on Linux operating system. Plenty of applications exist from recording your desktop to audio and video editing. But the small advice I can give is in form of applications that I've tried and found out to work best for my needs.

For me the workflow is only three phased, phases being: recording the video, editing the video and adding audio, and finally uploading the video Youtube and creating captions. Because I am not doing any voice-over narration (my english is not that good) I can skip any advanced audio editing that might be otherwise required.

Step one of the workflow is to record the video from your desktop. I've experimented with few applications and found out that application called recordMyDesktop suits my needs best. recordMyDesktop gives me stability, simplicity and performance that I require and most importantly it gets the job done. Changes are that you can find this application straight from your distributions software repository. recordMyDesktop saves the video to Ogg Vorbis Video format (.ogv) but on step two you can convert it to pretty much anything, besides at least Youtube accepts ogv-files just fine.

Step two is to edit the recorded video and add some audio to go with it. The application I use for this is called Cinelerra, it is a long standing video editing software for Linux and might actually be a bit "overkill" for screencasting needs. Previously I've edited a 7 minute making-of documentary of indie film called "Korpinkieli ja Vaeltaja" (website in finnish only) using Cinelerra.
Although it has been over three years since then, Cinelerra still feels very familiar and is now considerably more stable. Check out the tutorials on Cinelerra's website to get going, I assure you that once you get going it is very nice tool. After the video is edited it is time to add audio track. Because I'm no good as narrator, I've only added some Creative Commons music to the video.

Step three starts with uploading the video to the chosen video host. I am using Youtube, but of course there are also alternatives like Vimeo. After the video is uploaded I usually create the captions using the Youtube's caption editor. After that the video is ready for publishing.

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