Now that we’ve talked about the why of making a video out of your PowerPoint presentation, let’s move on to the how . For this, it’s time to explore the actual toolbar:
The Camtasia Studio Add-In for PowerPoint toobar.
Simply launch PowerPoint, and the add-in appears in your toolbar palette automatically. The toolbar sports six
Launch Presentation and Start Recording. This will put PowerPoint into Slide Show view and begin the recording process.
If pressed, this button will record all sound from the microphone while the capture is in progress. As I’ll discuss in a minute, it can also be set to record any sound from the system, such as sound effects within PowerPoint or any
When clicked, this will enable the capture of camera video. This video data is saved as a separate stream inside the resulting CAMREC file. During editing, you can superimpose this video over your screen video, setting its
Show Camera Preview. Clicking this button will bring up a preview window of your camera video, so that you can make sure the camera is properly aimed, and that you stay in-frame and in-focus during the entire recording session. This window will appear on top of your presentation, but not to worry - it won’t be recorded. The opacity of this window is somewhat reduced so that you can see what’s underneath it while recording. As with the Record Camera option, it only works if you actually have a camera plugged in. Also, keep in mind that you can still view the camera preview even if you elect not to record the camera output during capture.
Camtasia Studio Recording Options. This will let you adjust the add-in’s recording preferences. The details of this button and its corresponding dialog are discussed in the following section.
Open help topic. Brings up the help topic on the PowerPoint add-in.
The second button from the right on the toolbar is Camtasia Studio Recording Options. Clicking this button
The dialog is divided into five sections: Program, Video and Audio, Picture In Picture, Record Hotkey, and Watermark. Let’s look at each of these in
There are six preferences in the Program section, all of which can be toggled on and off. They are:
Record mouse cursor. This option, which is checked by default, will include the mouse cursor when recording your presentation. This is a matter of personal taste. If you plan on using PowerPoint’s Pointer Options settings to do any drawing on the screen, I would recommend that you keep it enabled. If you feel that the mouse cursor will distract the viewer, then turn it off.
If Record mouse cursor is enabled, then you also have the option of having a highlight appear around the mouse. It takes the form of a translucent circle that moves with the mouse cursor in order to help the
Edit in Camtasia Studio when finished.
When checked, Camtasia Studio will automatically launch upon the conclusion of recording, and your saved project will be immediately imported, ready for editing. If unchecked, your work is saved, but Camtasia Studio will not
At end of presentation. While you can always stop the recording using the Ctrl+Shift-F10 hotkey (or some other hotkey that you specify), you can choose what will happen when you get to the end of the presentation. You can have the recording end automatically, continue recording, or prompt you about what to do.
Include watermark. This option lets you add a watermark to your recordings. We’ll discuss this option in detail a bit later in its own section.
This section of the dialog allows you to choose the settings that affect how your video and audio streams are recorded, such as frame rate, codecs, audio source, and record volume.
Video Frame rate.
The frame rate is the number of
Record audio. Checking the Record audio box will include audio with your presentation, either from a microphone, the computer’s own system sound, or both at once. Just make the appropriate choice in the Audio source drop-down list. Note that the system sound option is good for recording presentations where the audio narration has already been recorded within PowerPoint. However, keep in mind that this option might not be available to you if your sound card doesn’t support recording audio from the system (fortunately, most modern cards do). It may be time for an equipment upgrade if your sound card can’t manage this.
No matter which option you choose, you have a Volume slider that will let you quickly adjust the recording volume for your selected audio source. You can test the volume by speaking into the microphone and monitoring the activity on the colored volume bar. Ideally, your volume should be within the range of yellow/orange, without going into the red area (where some clipping may occur). For the full lowdown on recording audio narration,
Advanced… button. This button brings up a dialog allowing you to change the default codecs and choose an audio recording device.
You’re presented with options for both video and audio. Let us first tackle the former. A click on the
button will let you choose the video codec from a drop-down list. The default is the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec, and I strongly recommend you leave it alone. Even if you have a ton of animations, TSCC can most likely capture it all without dropping any frames. Then, if you find the resulting file
You may notice here that the default key frame rate for TSCC is lower than it is in the Camtasia Recorder, at one key frame per 300 frames. Since PowerPoint slides tend to
Let’s move on to the
. First, you’ll need to choose an
from the drop-down list, indicating which device you wish to record from (usually the sound card). It can be set to make use of the Windows default, or you can choose something different. You will also see details of the
The wizard dialog is exactly the same as in Camtasia Recorder, allowing you to choose a manual input if one of the preselected sources doesn’t cut it for you. To change the output format, just click the
button. Again, notice that the default is MPEG Layer-3 (TechSmith LAME). Remember that I
Click Next , and you’ll be able to have the wizard automatically set the recording volume, if desired. Click Finish when satisfied.
Keep in mind that if you ever lose your bearings when experimenting with the video and audio codecs, you can always go back to the factory defaults by clicking the Defaults button in the Advanced Video and Audio Setup dialog.
Now, getting back to the Advanced Video and Audio Setup dialog, notice that there’s one more set of options we haven’t yet touched,
This section controls the implementation of camera video in your PowerPoint recordings. Camtasia Studio offers you the ability to include a camera view of yourself. You can present this extra video stream either superimposed over your screen video or in a side-by- side formation, so that you never need to worry about the camera video covering up something important on your slide. This has exciting implications for PowerPoint. You can essentially hand someone a presentation you gave some months ago, and rather than having to decipher your cryptic titles and brief notes from the PowerPoint slides, they’re practically transported into the front row of the lecture hall where you delivered that presentation. They can view the slides, hear your voice, and see your face.
Record from camera. If you’re the kind of presenter that stands stock-still at the podium, you can probably get away with using a simple webcam. However, if you’re like me and you like to move around a bit, it probably behooves you to recruit a volunteer to shoot you with a camcorder that is attached to your computer via IEEE 1394 (Firewire) or USB. You’ll end up with better, more professional footage.
To enable the camera video, click the
Record from camera
check box. Make sure that there’s actually some
To choose a capture device and adjust settings, click
. Just as with the Camera tab of the Tools Options dialog in Camtasia Recorder, this dialog will let you pick a capture device from the drop-down list. As a
This is just a quick preference setting that allows you to adjust the hotkey that toggles the Record/Pause and Stop commands. The Record toggle hotkey is
by default, and Stop is
. You can use any combination of the Ctrl, Shift, and Alt modifier keys plus alphanumerical
Do you have a corporate logo or other image you want to use to “brand” your video? Consider using it as a watermark. Just click the
check box (located up in the Program section of the dialog) to get things started. But we’re obviously not done yet, as we must at least choose the image file that will serve as our water- mark. This is done by clicking the
button. You’ll need to specify a file
There are also some preferences that can be set on the Watermark Options dialog. These options are a somewhat watered-down version of the Watermark tab in the Camtasia Recorder Effects Options dialog. But the basics are all represented:
You can do any of the following within this dialog:
Change the opacity of the watermark, from fully transparent to fully
Scale the image to an appropriate size
Choose from any of nine screen
In Chapter 6, “Special Effects of the Camtasia Recorder,” I cautioned you against using watermarks within the Recorder except in very rare circumstances. This caveat applies here, too. Using watermarks at record time means that you will not be able to change or remove them later. If you’re going to use a watermark, it’s far better to do so in Camtasia Studio, where you can always change your mind if you later decide you want to change it or remove it entirely.