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Old Oct 17, 2009, 04:48 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
How to create App Demo Videos

For iPhone Applications with a richer feature set a demo video may be a useful supplement to the instructions. This is a little "how to" collecting some of my experiences.

Creating App Demo Videos

I create the App demo videos using a screen recording software like Screenium or SnapX Pro to record the app running in the iPhone simulator.

Software for Creating App Demos:

Screenium http://www.synium.de/products/screenium/index.html
SnapX Pro http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/snapzprox/
(Screenium is a bit cheaper and for me it is sufficient).

Postprocessing (cutting)
QuickTime Pro http://www.apple.com/de/quicktime/pro/

PhoneFinger http://www.wonderwarp.com/phonefinger/

Phone Finger

I create my app demos with the iPhone Simulator. In http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdGBC...954F47A2D12C84 you see the mouse pointer and animation showing where to tap. An interesting alternative is PhoneFinger. Which shows the image of a tapping finger. See for example this demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUHitOi_pCs. (Note: In this demo you see the finger an the mouse pointer. This is due to the recording software "Screenium". To prevent the mouse pointer from showing up deselect "record mouse pointer" in Screenium.

Posting App Demos to You Tube

Wen I tried to upload to YouTube some of the Demo Videos of my app (Serial Mail - http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/M...321504812&mt=8 - a Tool to create and organize email templates (drafts) with placeholders and styled text) I was disappointed. The picture quality on YouTube was so bad that you could hardly read some text:


The original: http://www.christian-fries.de/iphone...%20Styles.html

The YouTube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzrnelV-05M

Since the app demo video is in 320x480 YouTube adds black bars to left and right (pillar boxing). YouTube advises you not to add these bars and to upload the original version. However, YouTubes post-processing degrades the video quality and the result is unacceptable.

App Demo Video with improved YouTube Quality

With a little effort you can improve the quality of the YouTube video: Scale the video to HD resolution and da the Billard box. Note: YouTube advises you not to do this, but the result justifies it.

- Create your Demo video, e.g., with the iPhone Simulator and Screenium or SnapX Pro. The result is a 320x480 video.
- Open the video in QuickTime Pro (or in in iMovie) and export it using the following settings: 1280x720 HD with 2000 kBit/s 25 fps. Preserve the aspect ratio by using letterbox (= pillarbox in our case).
- Upload this HD video to YouTube.

Surprisingly the YouTube video from the HD source had a much better quality than the YouTube video from the original source - even if both are viewed in YouTube's standard definition.

The YouTube video from the "upscaled" source (same original): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdGBC...954F47A2D12C84

(Compare all three at, e.g., time code 0:40)
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