Best Video Recording Software for Tutor?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ChemMan12, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. ChemMan12 macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2014

    I am a college student who is majoring in chemistry. I have had multiple students ask me if I could help them when they take general chemistry. I want to make high quality videos and burn them to a flash drive to send.

    My plan is to use my iPad, air server (allows me to project the iPad to my Mac), and use an app like notability for note taking. I would like to have my face/body in a corner like some professors do when they make videos for their students. Somehow I will need to incorporate problem sets to work.

    Of course, being chemistry, there are experiments I could add. Is it possible to hook a video camera and record straight to the Mac?

    Suggestions, please?

  2. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2003
    Not familiar with Notability, but I don't see how you would incorporate the picture-in-picture talking head video with the Notability files. I see that Notability can record audio narration, but not video in addition to the screen capture.

    Regardless, if all you want to do is record yourself directly to the Mac, iMovie will let you do that via the iSight or an HDV camcorder via FireWire. (Maybe the current iMovie will also let you record from USB webcams, but I don't have a recent version to know that -- sorry.)

    No idea if you can import a Notability file into iMovie somehow, but if you could, you might be able to do a picture-in-picture of yourself over the screen capture in iMovie.

    Alternatively, the apps I've seen used for what you describe are TechSmith's Camtasia Studio and Telestream's ScreenFlow. They do screen capture on the Mac, and can record external video as well (for PIP) from the Mac's iSight webcam, or an HDV camcorder via FireWire, or, I think ScreenFlow can use an external USB webcam. (Not sure about Camtasia and USB webcams.)

    Camtasia's quizzing feature seems to only be available on the PC version. I don't see where ScreenFlow offers quizzing. (ScreenFlow is Mac only, BTW.)

    Maybe this helps a bit?
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I teach the subject at the high school level. I pretty much have the same problem. I would recommend making videos the conventional way with an inexpensive camcorder and a microphone and video editing software. What you will find is the zoom lens in the camcorder is invaluable but even more important is the 1/4 inch tripod socket on the bottom. You absolutely need the tripod and the ability to change the lens' focal length helps you frame the shot to exclude EVERYTHING that is not needed in the frame.

    You WILL need a good microphone and place it CLOSE to avoid room noise and echo. Nothing makes you work seem more "cheap" and amateurish then poor quality sound. Viewer will accept poor quality video before poor sound.

    Next on the list is lighting. low cost cameras and cellphones can make very good quality images if (only if) you give them enough light and lock them down on a tripod. A home depot work light is good enough, aim it at a big white object (like a wall) and let the reflected light illuminate the subject, never use the work light directly.

    Use iMovie to edit your work. It will do well enough. I use Final Cut Pro but I assume you don't have the budget for that.

    There is zero point in recording directly to the Mac or iPad. SD cards work fine.

    Read any decent intro n "film making". Not a how to use iMovie book. You need to learn the basics of editing theory, how to make cuts the fool the eye, long establishing shots, b-roll and a half dozen other concepts. Just the very basics. There is good reason people have been doing things the same way now for 100 years.

    Making an instructional film is not so much different from a dramatic one. The best instructional ones are very much like Hollywood movies the worst ones are like a recorded lecture.

    Those $240 cam corders are very good. you can flip the screen around and see yourself. Get a plain color background and don't be afraid to do 6 or more takes. Get a decent microphone that clips to your shirt.

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