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ScreenFlow Product Review

ScreenFlow.pngProducing a good software training video can be a daunting task.  I’ve been producing online software training videos for roughly 10 years. To be exact, I’ve produced 279 training videos.

In the past, I've used the traditional editing systems (i.e, Final Cut Pro, Avid, Premiere, etc.) to edit my software training videos. Let me introduce you to an affordable software editing product called ScreenFlow.  ScreenFlow provides some unique features that are specific to editing  training tutorials and screencasts. 

screenflow.pngThe general process for creating a good training video includes:

  • Writing a script
  • Recording the screen
  • Gathering media assets
  • Audio Editing (Adjusting Levels, Removing Noise)
  • Video Editing
  • Final Export to QuickTime, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

In the past, a 2-3 minute software training video would take roughly 10 hours.  That includes exporting the final product to YouTube.

This process now takes half that time thanks to an incredible software product made by Telestream called ‘ScreenFlow’.  By far, ScreenFlow is the best screen recording software available for Mac. I was able to record full screen at 2880 x 1800 on a MacBook Pro Retina with no problems.

ScreenFlow Interface.pngScreenFlow is marketed as a fully featured video editing system, but it’s actually much more than that.  ScreenFlow provides amazing automated functions that are a dream come true for those who create and edit screencasts.  Tasks that would normally require multiple video layers and advanced knowledge of keyframing can be accomplished with just a few clicks using ScreenFlow.

 Here is a sample of functions specific to editing screencasts that will save you a huge amount of time.

  • A Callout Function allows you to zoom into specific ranges of the screen without having to zoom full screen.
  • Built in features for smoothing volume levels and removing background noise.
  • Built in controls for enlarging the mouse pointer and/or pointer highlights.
  • Ability to show keystrokes on-screen (a big time saver!)
  • Creating Freezframes and Slow Motion effects is a breeze
  • Ability to record the screen for iOS (iPad, iPhone) devices.
  • Built in export templates for direct export to YouTube, Vimeo, DropBox, etc.

One function specifically is a huge time saver.  It’s called a ‘Callout Function’. With high resolution screens, it can be a real challenge to show areas of the screen without disorienting the viewer.  The Callout Function allows you to keep the majority of your screencast full screen, while zooming into a specific area.

A Callout Function may not make sense until you see it in action.  The screenshot below shows a callout of the properties window within Apple Motion.

callout_function.pngIn a standard video editing system, this type of function would require multiple layers using keyframe controls.  In ScreenFlow you can accomplish this with just a few clicks all within one layer!

ScreenFlow also has functions that you would expect in every professional video editor such as:

  • Easy to use Trim Functions
  • Transition Effects
  • Picture in Picture
  • Title Tool
  • Video Filters
  • Chroma Keying
  • Media Manager

It also has the ability to record live camera feeds from your built in iSight camera, and built-in microphone.  However, these aren’t necessarily features that I use for my own videos.  If you choose you can also record from a higher end camera or audio device.

ScreenFlow can be purchased directly from www.Telestream.net or through the Apple Store. Telestream provides a fully functional trial version.  The only limitation of the trial version is that a watermark will appear for exported content. The trial does not expire!  Which means you can take your time to see if you like the software before purchasing.

I’ve used Screenflow to produce and edit close to 300 videos.  You can see the final products on YouTube at:  http://Youtube.com/gdvtutorials

If you’re looking for something more organized, I’ve combined the lessons into structured courses for learning Avid Media Composer, and Final Cut Pro.

So with all this being said, I’ve developed a hands-on ScreenFlow training course to help those who need training through the entire process of creating online courses or training videos.  Please call or contact www.GeniusDV.com if you are interested.

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    Avid Media Composer Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $50.00
  • 84 Media Composer Lectures
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    Final cut Pro X Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $39.00
  • 60 Final Cut Pro X Lectures
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    SketchUp - Layout Training
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3D Titles in Final Cut Pro X was the previous entry in this blog.

Freeze Frame Effect Avid Media Composer is the next entry in this blog.

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