CAD Manager's Newsletter (#197)

10 Jun, 2008 By: Robert Green

Creating Training Videos, Part 1

A few pieces of equipment and some software are all you need to capture your training sessions on video for repeated use.

In the last two issues of CAD Manager's Newsletter, I talked about creating CAD standards documentation and using video recordings to create training materials to enhance the use of your standards documents.

In the next two installments I want to give you some pointers for actually capturing training videos from your machine and publishing the results. For my illustration I'll refer to the Camtasia software that I use to create training videos as a guide. Here goes.

Hardware and Software Considerations
Before you start making training videos, you'll need to get your recording environment set up properly. Here are some general guidelines you can use to get a functional recording environment that yields high-quality results without going broke:

Computer. If your machine can run CAD applications efficiently, then it should be up to the task of capturing audio/video. I like to use my laptop as my recording platform simply because I can take it with me and easily record training sessions on site. I use a Vista-based, dual-core laptop with 2 GB of RAM, but an XP machine with a fast single core will also do nicely.

Software. I use Camtasia Studio as my recording application. Camtasia's strength is that it can produce videos in virtually any format (Windows Media, Real Media, QuickTime, Flash, etc.) and supports the widest variety of audio formats and interfaces as well. Although Camtasia isn't cheap at $299 (you can download a fully functional 30-day trial version to try it out), I find that the capabilities it provides are worth the cost. Read more »

:: CAD Manager’s Toolbox:
     Coping with Standards Violators, Follow-Up

Diligent enforcement ensures compliance with CAD standards.

I received a great response to my Coping with Standards Violators discussion from the last newsletter. I want to share this CAD management perspective and tips with you. Reader ZW, from California, wrote:

My experience with many engineers has been that when they don't want to work with a specific individual or on a specific job, they will purposely ignore the rules. Read more »

Do you have a suggestion/tip that should be in the CAD Manager?s Toolbox? Send it to me at and you might get a cool Cadalyst souvenir if I use your idea.

:: Resources

Free Online Tutorials
My CAD Site offers more than 40 free online tutorials in AutoCAD. Adapted from a four-level course developed for new AutoCAD users, each tutorial includes a quiz to help students review. The lessons teach the commands in their context and in a natural progression. The tutorials are based on AutoCAD 2008, but can be adapted to other versions.

:: Events

Webcast: What's New in Adept 8
June 11, 2008, 2 p.m. EDT
June 12, 2008, 11 a.m. EDT
Attend a live Webcast to see the new features and capabilities in Adept 8 and how they will make you and your organization even more efficient and productive! Sponsored by Synergis. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on