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Old Oct 17, 2009, 04:48 AM   #1
mathematician
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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:

Recording
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/

Other
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:

Compare:

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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Old Oct 17, 2009, 10:53 AM   #2
Justin.MTT
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Definitely something I'll be looking into for future applications. Thank you!
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Old Oct 19, 2009, 04:39 AM   #3
Galarina
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I made a demo video of my PhotoToMac app a couple of days ago. Although I didn't follow all your tips (I read this post after I made the video), I think the quality of the YouTube video is very good.

Check it out on the PhotoToMac homepage.
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Last edited by Galarina; Oct 19, 2009 at 06:22 AM.
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Old Nov 9, 2009, 03:32 AM   #4
Apps4life
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We Used AppShows.com

Hey everyone. I know this demo thing can get a bit tricky. We tried screen recorders and actually put together a pretty OK demo. But then one of developers told us about a company called http://AppShows.com that he had used for another project. So we checked them out and their work was amazing. If you really want to a demo for your app that is presentable and actually sells your app, these are the right guys to go to. The demo was so well done that we actually got some media attention of it. Definitely a great investment.

Cheers
Matt
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Old Nov 9, 2009, 05:11 AM   #5
tico24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apps4life View Post
Hey everyone. I know this demo thing can get a bit tricky. We tried screen recorders and actually put together a pretty OK demo. But then one of developers told us about a company called http://AppShows.com that he had used for another project. So we checked them out and their work was amazing. If you really want to a demo for your app that is presentable and actually sells your app, these are the right guys to go to. The demo was so well done that we actually got some media attention of it. Definitely a great investment.

Cheers
Matt
Does that create just a flash movie? If so, you're not going to be able to show your video on an iPhone or iPod touch (which seems a bit silly to me!).

I followed the OPs advice to create my video (http://www.secondshootr.com/ - click 'watch the screencast')
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Old Nov 9, 2009, 04:24 PM   #6
milani
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Great post!
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 02:29 AM   #7
Apps4life
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Appshows demos work on iPhone

The demo that http://AppShows.com made for us plays just fine on the iPhone. The video automatically switches to iPhone compatible .m4v format when it detects the iPhone browser. It's really awesome. We used the demo both on our site and links in our app. What also worked amazingly well for us was when we sent links to the video to app review sites and bloggers. These guys get so many free downloads every day, they don't have time to actually download every app and play with it. But they love the video.It grabs their interest and then they download the app to play with it.

Matt
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Old Jun 11, 2010, 03:23 AM   #8
jimtkm
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SimFinger is nice - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng9Zpeayfq8
I like those fake apps plus you can change your carrier name.
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Old Mar 2, 2011, 01:35 AM   #9
just charlie
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Anyone know how to make an app demo for an iPad app?

I tried running the app in Simulator and using SimFinger, but SimFinger doesn't seem to be working. I did some investigating and it seems that SimFinger doesn't work with the latest version of Simulator.

Any tips on how to create a short clip for my iPad app?
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Old Jun 1, 2012, 04:52 AM   #10
sylvainww
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@just charlie: your question really dates now, but who knows the info might still be interesting to you (or others)

There are now several options : Display Recorder (jailbroken iPhone needed), iPhone simulator, Apple Air TV/HDMI, the Reflection App (my favorite), etc.

It can get pretty complicated so if you're interested you can find out more in the following blog post I wrote on iPhone and iPad screencast. If it's not ok to post the link, then I'll just copy/paste the content (but it's kinda long..)
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Old May 8, 2013, 05:58 AM   #11
deepschennai
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Thumbs up Make your video or buy one

If you want to make your own video, try your hand at it. Refer to this article to get yourself started.

Alterntively, you can also try one of the app video production services who can make you a professional-looking video. AppVJ.com is one such service.
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Old Jul 18, 2013, 04:38 AM   #12
Apphero
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Cool Professional app demo video

Iíve never recommended a gig on http://fiverr.com,
but I have to recommend this one. I find it really tough to make promo
videos for my apps, I think Mac users may have tools to do this sort of
thing a bit easier, but on PC I find it a really hard slog, without even
taking into account the imagination and planning needed.

I try lots of gigs on fiverr, some good, some bad, most inbetween, but this is really exceptional.

Thereís absolutely nothing in this for me in any way, I just appreciate the fast, friendly professional service: Click Here

http://fiverr.com/buddy9700/create-p...s-devices-just

One video heís done for me, delivered in under 24 hours and at a little over 3 quid!!!!
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Old Jul 18, 2013, 09:49 AM   #13
Interstella5555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apphero View Post
Iíve never recommended a gig on http://fiverr.com,
but I have to recommend this one. I find it really tough to make promo
videos for my apps, I think Mac users may have tools to do this sort of
thing a bit easier, but on PC I find it a really hard slog, without even
taking into account the imagination and planning needed.

I try lots of gigs on fiverr, some good, some bad, most inbetween, but this is really exceptional.

Thereís absolutely nothing in this for me in any way, I just appreciate the fast, friendly professional service: Click Here

http://fiverr.com/buddy9700/create-p...s-devices-just

One video heís done for me, delivered in under 24 hours and at a little over 3 quid!!!!
Interesting...how are you coding iOS apps on windows?
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 12:11 AM   #14
Apphero
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstella5555 View Post
Interesting...how are you coding iOS apps on windows?
Hi,

I use PhoneGap that also just to test. Submission and other works are done by my developer.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Thanks,
Apphero.
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 02:20 AM   #15
alanajqwv
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I'll be looking into for future applications.
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Old Sep 4, 2014, 01:10 AM   #16
AppleBiter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimtkm View Post
I like those fake apps plus you can change your carrier name.
Which one do you use? I use FakeCarrier
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