Is This Possible [best mac software for...] (screencast questions)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by oo7ml, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. oo7ml, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2014

    oo7ml macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hi, i have been making some very basic movie tutorials for youtube using iMovie.

    I would now like to improve on them and i was hoping i could get some help here:

    01 - what is the best mac software for:
    a - recording screencast tutorials (recording your web browser etc)
    b - crop a small part of one video and place it on top of another full video (layered videos)

    02 - is it possible to zoom in on your video on certain parts and then zoom back out (see 6:29 -

    03 - what is the best size dimensions for creating and recording video for uploading to HD youtube

    Thanks in advance to any help you may be able to give.
  2. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    1a) there's no right or wrong answer here. All screen recording software have their pros and cons. For example it can be done on a basic level from within Quicktime Pro without any paid software but the frame rate can get wonky on occasion. Screenflow is often deemed one of the best but comes in with a $100 price tag. I have some pretty good experience with iShowU HD as well. Your best bet is to look at reviews of screen recording software and decide for yourself. A lot have trials that watermark the footage but let you get a feel for if they suit your needs or not.

    1b) Some recorders come with editing software that allows you to do this. None that I know of allow it at the recording level. Ether way any higher level editing software will have a feature for it. Avid, for example, you can use either the resize or (and with better results) picture in picture effects.

    2) Some recorders allow this at the recording level but for better results I would do it within your editing with key framing and resize functions.

    3) HD 1080p Dimensions: 1920x1080
    HD 720p Dimensions: 1280x720

    Depending on your Mac model it may not be possible to get your resolution to 1080 so keep that in mind. Do not stretch your dimensions past what your resolution is or your video will look distorted. For example, my MacBook resolution is 1280x800 so the most I would want to record / watch on it is 720p. My iMac, on the other hand, has a 1920x1080 display so I can record and watch 1080p on it.

    Keep in mind that bitrate is also import. If you export a video at HD resolution but with a low bitrate it won't look HD because of the quality of the image within each pixel.
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    1a) I've been using iShowU HD Pro for many years with good results. I've tried a few others and haven't been as happy. It does most of its work while recording (rather than post processing) yet doesn't put an undue burden on the system. The free choice is to use Quicktime X. You don't need Quicktime 7 Pro.

    1b) I've been using FCPX for the past year, after using iMovie. FCPX is extremely flexible. I also use Compressor to generate 720P, 10FPS H.264 videos that are very compact yet good quality. I mix screen capture and video cam. I can do this much faster with FCPX than I could with iMovie. The time savings paid for the software quickly.

    2. I frequently do this with Ctrl+scroll while recording (since these are live lectures I'm recording, I've got to consider the live audience as well). I could do it in post.
  4. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Can I Suggest Something?

    Sorry to not be answering the question but please be more specific in your title otherwise people are going to waste time clicking it and find it's something they don't care about, or someone with the answer isn't going to bother clicking it in the first place because they don't have the time to click contextless posts.

    If everyone started posting "I need help", "Is this possible", "Where can I get this", "Which one should I do" etc., just titles with no context, then there'd be no point in having titles in the first place, the question could be absolutely anything.

    I get that you have multiple questions, but you could just make the title "Best Mac software for recording screen and layering video? (+ More questions)", at least you'd be specific for something.
  5. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    Two of the best are ishowu HD & Screenflow. But, for me, I've had quite a few problems with ishowu HD. It wouldn't record right and email support went unanswered. Turns out it had some bug related to a newer version of Mac OS that took them a long time to fix.

    I since then went to Screenflow. The company Telestream has superior support and I use some of their other software.

    While some screencasting software does have basic editing functions, importing other video I think is not one of them. Probably use another editing software to do this.

    I know screenflow can do this not sure on the rest.

    I usually use 720p, 1080p to me, only give a slightly better quality but at the cost of larger file sizes.
  6. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Guys, thanks so much for your help... i think i will try Screenflow and iSnowU HD for screen recording and then use Final Cut Pro for editing...

    I'll sample with all software before buying...

    I've a lot to learn :)
  7. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    I'm confused.. you say you're making tutorials for iMovie, yet your asking for a program that allows you to layer video, zoom in, etc?

    wouldnt that be the editing program you're making tutorials for?

    Unless I'm missing something here.. if not perhaps you should watch some tutorials on iMovie on how to edit, so perhaps you can then edit your tutorials on editing with iMovie.

    Perhaps you should step up to FCP or Premiere for more control over your edits.
  8. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012

  9. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    Are you the OP?


    I'm still confused.. hes asking if there is software out there to allow him to zoom in and layer video.. yeah its called iMovie..

    as others have stated.. moving to FCP, Premiere or even sony vegas would give you more control over your edits.
  10. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    No...but I know how to read English to a level whereby I understand that he's not making iMovie tutorials.
  11. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Ha, thanks guys... i find iMovie lacks a lot of functionality... or maybe i don't know how to use it right, however:

    01 - i can't seem to put an overlay video on top of another video
    02 - i can't seem to put text or an image into a video without having to put it in between clips (again, i'd like to put it in as an overlay)
  12. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012
    I'll give you that. Perhaps instead of giving suggestions on how to create the perfect post, you can offer up some assistance to the OP.
  13. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Cool, can iMovie record screencasts too? (and yes i have just googled it but it seems that you need to use quicktime which i find is a bit laggy)
  14. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    By suggesting how to make a better post, I am assisting the OP. I don't know the answer, the most I could do is suggest ways to attract people who do know the answer. I even helped you with your question but you decided to very rudely tell me I'm not the OP as if we're not on a public forum.
  15. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Ok, i'm stepping in...

    Chad3eleven you misread what i had posted... and i don't think Sliderz was being smart... let's close the argument...

    I am looking at those tutorials now Chad3eleven and i'll try them out when i get home... thanks
  16. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2012

    Siderz, If you have any other questions regarding video editing, let me know. I am a pro editor of 10+ years and could lend a hand. I see on your profile you would like to be an editor..

    here is link to the company I work for:

    I am a video editor/finishing editor working mainly in the Adobe Suite, C4D and Nuke.

    good luck!
  17. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Great, can i ask one final question.

    My macbook resolution is set to 1440 x 900 and i want to start recording a program on my macbook which basically mirrors my iphone to my macbook so that i can record demos of my app software on my mac.

    The software (called reflector) loads full screen at 1440 x 900 so i am worried what resolution my end video will be, or should be?
  18. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Requested admin to change title from
    "Is This Possible [best mac software for...]"
    to "screencast questions"

    Reflector has a demo. Why don't you try it?

    You can always connect your MacBook to an external display if you want to record at higher resolutions.
  19. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Thank you, I'll keep that in mind, I'm more worried about motion graphics at the moment though :)
  20. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Sorry i don't think my question is clear...

    I have bought reflector and i love it... but my worry is that my end product (video) will be 1440 x 900 as that is the resolution of my Mac... so should i change my display before i start my screencast recordings?

    Sorry i'm quite new to the video recording side of things.
  21. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    If that’s the highest resolution available its the best you can do. You can’t record more pixels than your resolution allows.

    Personally I would record at that resolution and then scale the footage down to 720p during transcode. You can’t get 1080p so stretching it will just look terrible. Record as high as you can (in your case, 1440x900) and then transcode to 720p. You could drop your resolution down closer to 720 (1280x800 for example) but its better to record in the best quality possible and condense it later than record small to start. It should convert fine. Fun a few tests to see what looks best though.

    For youtube 720p is more than enough. A lot of people viewing it still won’t have 1080p monitors anyway (pretty much anyone on a laptop won’t) so it won’t hurt to not get the max resolution.

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