Using Multiple Cameras in Your Screencasts

Note: This post originally appeared on MacScreencasting at http://www.macscreencasting.com/using-multiple-cameras-in-your-screencasts on 8.27.2010. Due to recent hacking activity, I’m consolidating my sites and moving the MacScreencasting posts into SkillCasting. I’ll then be shutting down MacScreencasting.

Earlier this week I did a video over at SkillCasting.com about using video for your job search. It was about creating videos to share your knowledge and to position yourself as an expert while you’re looking for a job. It was part video and part screencast. What’s key is that I used 2 cameras to shoot it and only ScreenFlow to edit it.

When I saw Lynn Elliot’s post over at the ScreenFlow blog, I thought this might make a good tutorial. And if nothing else, perhaps it’ll plant some ideas as we take screencasting to the next level.

[View iPhone version]

I think incorporating two (or more) cameras into a single screencast keeps it interesting. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Comments

  1. Great tip and I have heard about doing a quick clap to line up the audio but never tried it.

    But seeing you do it in the over the shoulder approach, I will be using this strategy in my future videos.

    Thanks again brother.

  2. Peter Maddern says:

    Scott

    I found your video to be great.

    I have been able to take your advice and follow it in Screenflow based on the “clap” technique.

    One question – do you recall what your primary camera was that you used to shoot this video?

    Your primary camera video is really crisp and clear. I have been trying out Screenflow using a Kodak Zi8 as my primary camera but the video quality doesn’t approach that of the same footage of me talking to camera with my new iPhone 4S.

    My Zi8 is seems to produce a video which is rather more washed out than the iPhone 4S video plus it’s less wide angle in view. I tried cleaning the lens and I checked that the switch on the top is not in macro mode but to no avail.

    Pity as I can quickly pull of the *.MOV videos off of my Zi8 by plugging it into the camera into the USB on my Mac whereas getting videos off of my iPhone takes a lot longer as I have to upload them to Dropbox or my SkyDrive account and then download them back onto my Mac.

    (I thought my iPhone photos and videos would show up in my iTunes after a sync but I can’t find them).

    Peter

    • Peter, I don’t recall exactly which camera I used but I’m pretty sure it was the Sanyo Xacti HD2000. It too shoots .mov files. I still have it though I’m pretty sure Sanyo doesn’t make it anymore. I’ve sense moved to a Canon T3i/600D because it shoots .mov files as well.

      The challenge you may have using the Kodak Zi8 as your primary camera is lighting. You’ll want to make sure you have lots of light otherwise you’ll get a lot of noise and a grainy video. If it’s getting a little washed out, you can increase the saturation of the Zi8 video track in ScreenFlow. Add a little contrast for more pop too.

      The iPhone 4S shoots better video than the Zi8 but then again, it’s a newer camera by 3+ years and a lot has changed. To quickly transfer iPhone 4S videos over to your Mac, I have 2 suggestions. First, you may want to consider PhotoSync in the App Store. This will wirelessly transfer pictures and videos from your iPhone to your Mac. The second solution is a bit faster but you have to connect your iPhone. The Mac OS has an application called Image Capture built-in. Connect your iPhone via the cable and launch this application (it should be in your application folder) and you’ll be able to see every image/video file on your iPhone. From there you can drag and drop them off your phone. No iPhoto required and it’s much faster.

      These tips should definitely help ya out.

  3. Peter Maddern says:

    Scott

    Thank you for you insights which are really appreciated. You are a mine of information! Your knowledge of video marketing really stands out. Keep up the good work Scott.

    Best wishes

    Peter
    (From a cold UK)

  4. Dave Kohler says:

    Hey Scott!

    Thank You! The multi-camera lesson will allow me to get out of Premiere Pro (too much for the simpler videos that I am making) … Your tutorial was the light that I needed … very grateful!!!

    A new raving fan!

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  1. […] a more natural looking video. I produced a quick tutorial on how I achieved the effect in my post Using Multiple Cameras in Your Screencasts. I like how this effect yields a more natural, conversational type of video. But it still […]

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