Even if it may seem that way today, screen recording is not a feature that was made for and can only be used by Twitch streamers. Screencast videos or screen recordings or screen capture videos, as they are called, can be used for a lot more than that- for marketing, education, and more.
Screencast videos are, in the simplest terms, recordings of your computer screen. These videos may or may not also include voiceovers recorded from your external microphone or additional video from your webcam.
Screencast videos are simple to make, and when used well, they make it a whole lot easier for viewers to understand whatever it is that you want to convey.
But even so, there is so much you can get wrong when making such videos. Most often, they end up being too long, too confused, or just plain boring. For making the perfect screencast video, some thought needs to go into the planning and post-production processing of the video.
Where Are Screencast Videos Used?
Screencast videos can be used mainly when you need something explained effectively and easily. So it has great use in educational videos, demos, and tutorials.
1. Educational Content
With classes being shifted online in light of the pandemic, a lot of teachers find themselves needing to make pre-recorded video lectures. But they feel like they need to be seen by the students and have an actual board that they could write and draw on to properly explain the concepts in a way the students will understand. This is where screencast video content comes in.
Being able to record your screen means you can-
- Narrate your classes over a presentation.
- Use a whiteboard application to properly explain concepts.
- Conduct your classes or webinars live if you prefer, and then record and distribute them for wider and easier access.
When talking about educational content it’s not just online classes. Screencast videos can also be used for employee training, either during onboarding or for on-the-job training.
2. Software Demos
Product demo videos demonstrate the functionality and features of your product in real-time situations to your customers and prospects. It basically shows your audience how your product works. If your product is software, then a screencast video is just what you need.
Screencast videos allow you to actually put your product on the screen, as it is available to the viewers, and to show them the benefits and features instead of just talking about it.
3. Walkthrough Videos
A walkthrough video is a video that actually shows viewers, step-by-step, how to do something instead of just describing the process. It is often used in the gaming community to explain an entire game, how to pass missions and kill bosses, all that stuff.
A product walkthrough basically takes the viewer through the use of that product. It is a detailed how-to video. Screencast videos let you do product walkthroughs for applications and software products pretty easily. You can show your viewers everything from installation to troubleshooting.
How to Create Engaging Screen-Cast Videos
Screencast videos don’t begin and end with the record button and nothing else. They're relatively simple to make but to get the most out of them, you need to put some effort into planning and execute them efficiently.
So let’s go through all the things you need to keep in mind in order to create an amazing screencast video.
1. Use A Combination Of Screen Recording And Webcam Feed
You don’t have to make your screencasts strictly about your screen. Having a human element in the mix does wonders in terms of trust and engagement with the audience, helps them feel better at ease, and encourages them to interact too. It also prevents the whole video from getting too dry and tedious.
Take a software demo for instance. In most of the video, there will be something to show the audience, but there is bound to be space where you need to talk something out, and during that time, the audience will just be staring at a still screen. This will happen at the very least during the introduction and the conclusion parts. So there, you can cut to webcam feed so that the audience won’t get bored listening to the disembodied voice in the background.
So you should add a webcam feed, but how much, is up to you. You can simply add webcam video at the beginning and end. Or you can keep your webcam feed going throughout in a little corner, and enlarge it whenever required.
2. Throw In Some Motion Graphics
There is a lot you can do in a screencast video post-production to make them more polished. Usually, the more work you put into it at this stage, the more professional your video ends up looking. Doesn’t mean you need to spend big bucks on it though. After all, one of the attractive qualities of screencast videos are the low budget factor, and we don’t want to lose that.
Motion graphics are little animated elements that you can add to enhance your video. Bright arrows or shapes to highlight certain parts of your video, flashy title cards that swoop into your screen, little things like that. This type of editing doesn’t even need professional help to be executed, most software can be handled by amateurs.
Including such details brings a lot more life and movement to the video and essentially goes a long way in upgrading a boring screencast.
3. Ensure You Use Good Lighting And Sound
Most webcams don’t offer great performance in terms of video, compared to even a decent smartphone. Having a webcam with 1080p resolution, or at least 720p, with 30 fps is recommended. Especially since your webcam feed isn’t going to give you professional-quality videos, you need to pay attention to other little things. Lighting is a key differentiator in making a good video.
Ensure that the light source is not directly behind you. During the day make sure that you're shooting near windows that allow sufficient natural light in. If natural lighting is not available or enough, there should be overhead lighting available to compensate.
The sound quality of your video is one of the most crucial aspects to take care of. Poor audio is even more intolerable than sub-standard visuals. Before you begin recording, make sure there are no sources of ambient noise, like ceiling fans or noisy air conditioners. Investing in a good microphone to ensure that you get crisp audio is worth it. You could provide background music post-production instead of narration, but excluding rare exceptions, it isn’t recommended.
Do a short practice take first to make sure your video and audio are being recorded properly. Some screen recording software may be initially set to record only system sounds or only microphone feed. Be sure to set that according to your needs before you start recording.
As for the actual screen recording itself, make sure you're recording in HD quality. Blurred videos are simply not acceptable.
4. Structure Your Video
The worse thing a screencast can be is one long, continuous, probably improvised, impossibly boring, monologue. If your video is long, split it into sections so they won’t seem quite as tedious.
Don’t just wing it. Prepare a script beforehand. Lay down a plan detailing what all points you need to hit, how much time for each section, the works. Using a script will make your video a whole lot more consistent, and prevent you from getting hung up on pointless parts or repeating yourself.
5. Don’t Stick To The Script
You're probably going, “but you just said write a script in the last point!” Don’t fret, you still need a script. But the script isn’t everything.
If you by heart the entire script and recite it for the camera, or god forbid, read it off somewhere, your delivery will be robotic and boring. Whatever your video may be, you're probably hoping to connect and engage with your audience. You need them to actively listen and respond. The more lively and human you seem, the better you will engage your viewers.
Use a script as a basic guide and then work inside it. Be confident and charismatic and friendly. Make your audience comfortable.
6. Move Your Pointer Smoothly
The mouse is almost as important in a screencast video as the actual stuff on the screen. The mouse pointer on the screen does the same role as a pointing finger in a real-life situation. It says “follow me!” to the viewers.
So keep a note of what you're doing with your mouse. Move it smoothly and purposefully, going only where you want the viewers to look. Sudden jerks and movements confuse the viewer and make the entire thing awkward. If you don’t feel like you can focus on the mouse too much during the recording, it might be better to add an animated mouse post-production to move around your screen.
You may also need to do a trial run to check if your mouse pointer is being captured on video- some recorders don’t do that.
Another thing to keep in mind- to ensure there are no interruptions or lag during recording. Turn off your notifications. Also, tidy up your desktop and make sure to keep track of where exactly everything you need is so you don’t have to waste time hunting in an overcrowded computer.
VideoForm For Interactive Screencast Videos
VideoForm links multiple videos into one single VideoForm. The end product is essentially a sort of menu at the start, which your viewers can go through, and they can decide which sections they want to explore. You're giving the viewers the power of choice, which makes it easier for them to control the video, and thus makes it more likely that they’ll watch, and pay attention to it.
You can collect responses and feedback from your viewer each step of the way- viewers can respond via audio, video, or text. You can analyze their responses to see how well your video is being received.
Why Use VideoForm?
VideoForm is versatile, flexible, extremely customizable, and really, really fun! With an interactive screencast video created by VideoForm, you're sure to stand out from the crowd. With VideoForm, you can -
- Create videos that can be used for a variety of purposes- interactive educational videos, interactive training videos, interactive product demos, and so on.
- Tell a story with a series of meaningful videos that fit into each other.
- Enable the viewer to curate the content and choose what and how much they want to know about.
- Give a personalized video experience for each viewer.
- Stop worrying about the length of the video, as the video can be broken into bite-sized sections.
- Open up an active line of communication between you and your viewers by letting them respond easily.
- Track your video’s performance with analytics.
- Make videos that are fun to create and fun to use!
How To Create Interactive ScreenCast Videos With VideoForm
Let’s look at how you can create an interactive screencast video with VideoForm.
1. First, you need to sign up for VideoForm (don’t worry it’s free!), and start creating your first VideoForm. For more details on how to do that, you can go here.
2. When you Add a Video to your VideoForm you can see that you have the option to Record a Video from your Camera or your Screen.
3.To record from your webcam, select Camera. Allow access to your webcam and mic and you're good to start recording.
4. Once you’ve recorded your video, preview and save.
5. For recording your screen, select Screen. You’ll see that you can choose between recording Your Entire Screen, Application Window, or Chrome Tab.
6. Once you’ve recorded your video, preview and save.
7. Your saved videos are added to your VideoForm, and you can work on it from there.
Tips For Creating Awesome VideoForms
Here are some things you can keep in mind to ensure that you get the most out of VideoForm
- Split your video into sections and then go in-depth in expanding that section- you don’t need to worry about your video being too long.
- Create a chain of interactions between sections that flow smoothly.
- Be informal in your videos and try to connect with your viewers. This encourages them to interact and leave responses.
- Use your VideoForm as a contact form too to collect details of your viewers
- Upgrade to Premium to make use of the Analytics feature and take your VideoForms to the next level.
You can sign up on VideoForm and create your own VideoForm, absolutely free of cost! Begin your interactive screencasting journey today.