Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

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Charles L. Cotton
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Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Mon May 28, 2012 10:47 am

I need to show people in our club how to operate certain software on our website. I've seen training videos that show the teacher's computer monitor but it's not just a matter of setting up a camera to capture the on-screen action. Apparently, there's a way to capture the video from a monitor, as well as audio from the instructor.

I'd appreciate it if someone could give some suggestions on how to do this.

Thanks,
Chas.
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby RottenApple » Mon May 28, 2012 11:15 am

There's thousands of options out there, Charles. If you are on a Mac, the software (QuickTime) is built right in and easy to use. If you're using a PC you'll need to download and install a program to get the job done. Here's a few of the PC options:

Adobe Captivate
Panopto
CamStudio (free)
WonderShare DemoCreator
BB FlashBack Express (free)

.... and thousands more. A quick Google Search will bring up tons.

BTW, I use a Mac so I can't really recommend any of the PC ones. Sorry about that.

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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby jimlongley » Mon May 28, 2012 11:22 am

I use "Snag It" for all such captures.
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby RPB » Mon May 28, 2012 12:04 pm

Video

Not sure if this will do what you need or not since I never used it
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... ovie-Maker
Learn more about Windows Movie Maker

Here are some links to topics that go into detail about the things you can do in Windows Movie Maker:

Import new video from a videotape in your digital video (DV) camera

Import existing video files, pictures, and audio

Trim, rearrange, and copy imported audio and video clips

Add transitions and effects to a project

Add movie titles and credits to a project

Publish your movie to share in different ways



Windows Live Essentials MovieMaker
Windows Movie Maker is a feature of Windows that enables you to create home movies and slide shows on your computer, complete with professional-looking titles, transitions, effects, music, and even narration
=============

If that won't do what you need ... Free software with reviews and descriptions

http://download.cnet.com/windows/video- ... rpp=&sort=
Video capture tools allow users to capture their activities on the screen and save them for viewing later. Popular applications include recording actions onscreen, capturing Internet broadcasts, or creating replay videos of PC gaming.
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby n5wd » Mon May 28, 2012 6:03 pm

RPB wrote:]... Windows Movie Maker


Windows Movie Maker is a great tool for editing a video, but won't do what Charles is wanting to do.

Charles, you don't mention what kind of machine you're wanting to show...if you're using a Windows machine or a Mac, I'd suggest Camtasia Studio by TechSmith http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html. It's a well-produced full-solution from capturing the video to editing and doing either live video or voice-over. You can try the software for 30 days - I'm using the licensed version so I'm not sure whether there are any limitations on the trial software other than the time-limit. If you're looking for a one-off thing, that might do it for you, but if you're going to want to do other similar productions (you can capture from a screen, or a video camera, so it even works for looking at a talking head or switching between the two) it's worth the price, IMHO.

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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby OldCannon » Tue May 29, 2012 8:13 am

RPB wrote:Video

Not sure if this will do what you need or not since I never used it
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... ovie-Maker
Learn more about Windows Movie Maker



Worst. Product. Ever. Even Microsoft thinks so, because it was handed to the MSN/Live team many years ago. When I worked in Redmond, it was a bit of a humorous secret that MSN/Live is where you sent unwanted products to die. It's like the animal shelter of Microsoft software "rlol"

Seriously. Just use Snagit ($50), or FRAPS ($37). Snagit is nice because it can integrate with their Camtasia Studio product ($300-ish), which lets you do nice interactive narrations. If you want Camtasia-like abilities on the cheap, look at CamStudio.

I'm with Wayne though - Snagit will do what you need reliably.
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby Skiprr » Tue May 29, 2012 12:33 pm

I use CamStudio for Windows and, for freeware, it's remarkably robust.

The version I have is a couple of years old, back when a company called RenderSoft packaged the product as OpenSource. Evidently, RenderSoft was acquired by a company called eHelp, which was in turn acquired by Macromedia.

I can't vouch for the current OpenSource release at http://camstudio.org/, but it may be worth a try. The version I use has a very short learning curve, but has a variety of settings and options to allow you to tune the resultant output for file type and size. Anything on the PC screen can be captured as a video, from PowerPoint presentations to live Websites. You can opt to capture the entire screen or only a part of it (you can scale your browser window, for example, to keep the videos smaller), and you can select one of several cursor effects to help highlight what you're pointing to. Audio recording is done directly from microphone input (recording from speaker output is an option, but I never really found a use for that). If you ever want to capture audio from a live presentation and overlay it after-the-fact on a video capture of your PowerPoint slides, you have to get a little creative and pipe the audio in through an available microphone input; but it can be done.

If you try the application, I'd recommend you also get the optional video codec offered. It proved to provide the best output in relation to file size when I was experimenting with setting it up. A note there: audio quality has a lot to do with ultimate file size. If it's a voice-only recording and you're worried more about it being understandable rather than professional voiceover quality, I'd recommend upping the compression. I settled on a microphone input of 22.05 kHz, monaural, 16-bit, for simple instructional videos that were to be downloaded over the Internet. If your use will be limited to DVDs or a local network, final file size will be less of a constraint.
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Tue May 29, 2012 3:28 pm

Thanks guys. I'm using a Windows 7 machine.

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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby OldCannon » Tue May 29, 2012 4:00 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:Thanks guys. I'm using a Windows 7 machine.

Chas.


Yup. Snagit/Camtasia will cost you, but you have support. CamStudio is free, but you have to count on community forums, and most community forums aren't as good as this one :tiphat:
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby Piney » Tue May 29, 2012 6:34 pm

OldCannon wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:Thanks guys. I'm using a Windows 7 machine.

Chas.


Yup. Snagit/Camtasia will cost you, but you have support. CamStudio is free, but you have to count on community forums, and most community forums aren't as good as this one :tiphat:


+1 on SnagIt or the Camtasia (TechSmith) suite of products


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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby TeXJ » Wed May 30, 2012 9:14 pm

you can use fraps' free version, but you can only record up to 30 seconds...soo lots of little videos :mrgreen:
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby OldCannon » Wed May 30, 2012 9:21 pm

TeXJ wrote:you can use fraps' free version, but you can only record up to 30 seconds...soo lots of little videos :mrgreen:


Not true (edit: I''m an idiot -- I need to read what you said before mouthing off, sorry! Yes, free version is limited)). Paid version isn't limited and it's only $37. I mentioned FRAPS earlier. I don't recommend it for "desktop" style recordings just because it's more oriented to recording games. On top of that, if you decide to go into editing, the Snagit->Camtasia pair works wonders.
Last edited by OldCannon on Wed May 30, 2012 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby TeXJ » Wed May 30, 2012 9:36 pm

OldCannon wrote:
TeXJ wrote:you can use fraps' free version, but you can only record up to 30 seconds...soo lots of little videos :mrgreen:


Not true. Paid version isn't limited. I mentioned FRAPS earlier. I don't recommend it for "desktop" style recordings just because it's more oriented to recording games. On top of that, if you decide to go into editing, the Snagit->Camtasia pair works wonders.

what do you mean, "not true"? The free version is limited. He said he just wanted to make some how-to videos. Shoot, it's free, he can download and try it. If it doesn't work, what is he out?
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby OldCannon » Wed May 30, 2012 10:29 pm

TeXJ wrote:
OldCannon wrote:
TeXJ wrote:you can use fraps' free version, but you can only record up to 30 seconds...soo lots of little videos :mrgreen:


Not true. Paid version isn't limited. I mentioned FRAPS earlier. I don't recommend it for "desktop" style recordings just because it's more oriented to recording games. On top of that, if you decide to go into editing, the Snagit->Camtasia pair works wonders.

what do you mean, "not true"? The free version is limited. He said he just wanted to make some how-to videos. Shoot, it's free, he can download and try it. If it doesn't work, what is he out?


Your post and my edit were apparently made at the same time. You are right that it's free, but I don't think FRAPS is friendly to "desktop" users.
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Re: Need advice: How to capture video of computer monitor

Postby TeXJ » Thu May 31, 2012 12:04 pm

OldCannon wrote:
TeXJ wrote:
OldCannon wrote:
TeXJ wrote:you can use fraps' free version, but you can only record up to 30 seconds...soo lots of little videos :mrgreen:


Not true. Paid version isn't limited. I mentioned FRAPS earlier. I don't recommend it for "desktop" style recordings just because it's more oriented to recording games. On top of that, if you decide to go into editing, the Snagit->Camtasia pair works wonders.

what do you mean, "not true"? The free version is limited. He said he just wanted to make some how-to videos. Shoot, it's free, he can download and try it. If it doesn't work, what is he out?


Your post and my edit were apparently made at the same time. You are right that it's free, but I don't think FRAPS is friendly to "desktop" users.

no problems :cheers2: it might not be, but it's free and he can try it and see if he likes it before spending money. That's all that I was trying to convey.
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