Hello Beth,

My next goal is to create vlogs of how-to information.   I downloaded
Camstudio and recorded the screen doing the how-to steps.  My plan was
to import the clip into MovieMaker and edit it - include clips shot with
my camera, music, titles, etc. (Here's my first experiment which I
turned into a comedy:
http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/files/first-how-to-video.wmv) - but
you can see what I describe below at the end of the film.

One of my many projects is screenvlog.com which hopes to get together several screencasts about videoblogging tools and sites and how to do things. Unfortunately, those of us involved with it have been busy with other things for quite some time. However, we are still wanting to do something about it.

There are a few screencasting forums out there that I know of - www.myscreencast.com is one of them.
 
The AVI clip I made with Camstudio plays back beautifully on mediaplayer
and camstudio player, but when I import it into MovieMaker, it looks
like crap.   It looks like the screen display is off.  I have no idea
how to fix this  -- is this a setting issue?  Like do I need to use a
different codec in the recording?  Is there an import setting in
MovieMaker that I need to adjust?  Are screencast clips by Camstudio
simply not compatible with MovieMaker Do I need to look for another
(free) editing or screen capture program?  If so, what do you recommend?

I cannot get Camstudio to work on my computer (XP PC) myself, and I don't know of any other free screencasting tool out there that works well. Others have had good results from Camstudio and are pleased with it (Hi Michael Sullivan :)), but .. your mileage may vary.

I use Camtasia Studio myself, but it is everything but free. However, Camtasia Studio has a 30 day fully functional trial period and within those 30 days you could make quite a lot of screencasts. Camtasia Studio, however, is quite expensive ($299) so the best is of course that we find free solutions that work well. (Disclaimer: I am associated with TechSmith who makes Camtasia Studio and I get a free license)
 

In addition, any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated about
how to design, create, and implement an effective screencast.

There are a few sites out there but I cannot remember them off the top of my head. Jon Udell has a few good guides and there are also others who have moved into this field.

I have created a near-dead yahoogroups dedicated to screencasting: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/screencasting - you can join there if you want and we can discuss it there more specifically. I don't know of any mailing lists dedicated to screencasting that have more activity as of now, but they should come pretty soon.

Sorry I cannot give you more advice right now,

Best,

Raymond M. Kristiansen, Norway
http://dltq.org



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