Record Your Own CAD Training Videos

14 Aug, 2013 By: Robert Green

Learn the correct software settings that will allow you to create clear, easy-to-follow tutorials for your users.

In the previous issue of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I showed you how to prepare for making your own training videos. If you haven't had a chance to read that background information, you may wish to do so before proceeding further.

In this issue, I'll show you how I set up my Camtasia recording software when I make my own training videos. These tips should save you hours of trial and error, and speed you along the path to making your own videos. Here goes.

Video Resolution

Your studio is all set up, your CAD application is running, you know what you want to say, and now it is time to record. Based on my recommendations about screen resolutions (detailed in the previous article), I'll show you how to start recording for an HD 720 video.

First, access the video area capture settings from Camtasia's Recorder dialog.

Next, set your record area to capture your CAD application window.

Clicking on the CAD application window tells Camtasia which application you wish to record. Make sure to set your CAD application window size at 1280 x 720 (for HD720 format), so your recording resolution will be correct.

Audio Options

For audio settings, the trick is to find a compromise. You'll need to choose a quality level that people using headphones will enjoy, while not capturing excess detail that most people won't even notice. Higher audio quality results in larger files, so the question becomes, Where's the sweet spot?

Access the audio settings from Camtasia's Tools Options control. Set your microphone values via the Inputs tab.

Setting audio to 22.050 kHz and 16-bit mono resolution yields great speech quality recording while keeping file sizes compact. This setting sounds great to listeners using in-ear headphones!

Highlight Mouse Actions

Now that you've defined the area you'll record and have your microphone configured, we'll turn our attention to the Effects Dialog so you can create custom controls that illustrate mouse movements and click actions. Here are the key settings you'll want to activate, in order of their appearance in the menu.

Mouse clicks. Select Effects > Options, then click on the Sound tab.

This option lets the viewer hear an audible click whenever you use a mouse button. I've found this setting to be invaluable in conveying when mouse clicks occur during use of a software product.

Note: Use the default sound files, but take care to reduce the volume to a low level. The idea is to convey mouse clicks subtly, in a way that complements your speech without being annoying or overpowering.

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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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