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Make Screencast

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Make Screencast is a Beanshell script to record a screencast in Ogg or Quicktime video formats.

Access it via FileMake Screencast.

Stop recording the screencast via FileStop Screencast.

Note: This script requires the open source video player VLC to be installed. When started, it tries to autodetect VLC on your system, and asks to install it if it fails to detect it.

Tips for a good screencast

  • A screencast’s primary purpose is to cast the screen. So: make sure that something moves on the screen every once in a while, rather than presenting a boring static screen while rambling on.
  • Take your time. There is no need to click so fast that nobody can follow.
  • Use the mouse. If you use keyboard shortcuts, be sure to tell the user, preferably by pointing to a menu item whose label mentions the shortcut. Remember: you want to teach others, not to show off how clever you are.
  • Make an outline As with any good presentation, you want to tell a story. Take the audience from where they are right now, motivate them (e.g. by showing a nice image to process), explain the steps, show the end result. Maybe end on a funny note.
  • What makes a good screencast excellent is a good verbal explanation. It is okay to explain slowly, with lots of breaks, but it needs to give the whole presentation a shape and a direction.

The crucial – and most difficult part – is without doubt the verbal explanation. To that end, it is most helpful to imagine a real person to direct your explanation to. It cannot hurt to practice what you want to say without recording it right away.