Record good quality screencast videos with free software and no post production editing!
OBS Studio is free and provides excellent basic training video creation tools. It is a fairly complex tool, but a setup wizard in recent versions preconfigures OBS for your use.
It is a tool with many features, but for this tutorial, we are setting it up for video recording instead of streaming and using it as a virtual camera.
When recording video, you want your screen set to a resolution that will not make huge video files. HD resolution is still considered the best for screencast videos as it shows the level of detail that is needed and looks good on a large projection screen.
Open Broadcaster Software | OBS
- When installing the Windows version, pay careful attention to the following prompts and select as indicated here:
Select “Optimize just for recording, I will not be streaming.”
Then select 1920 x 1080 as this is HD video.
- Then review and apply settings.
Now OBS Studio should be open and running.
No scenes have been created and no sources have been selected for inputs to the video. In the middle of the window is the scene, which is a representation of your computer screen and what will be displayed on it.
As we are making a training video, we will want three types of scenes:
- A title scene that displays the introduction title and text for your video. You will prepare the text before you begin recording.
- A full camera scene that displays your webcam. This allows you to talk to the camera before you begin your presentation and then again at the conclusion of the screencast. You can flip back and forth at any time during the video.
- A screencast capture scene that displays your screen but with your camera video in the bottom or top right of the screen. You could create two scenes so that you can flip between them to move the camera image out of the way if it is obstructing the view of something on screen
- Right-click on the default scene label Scene and select Rename. Call it “Title”
- Click the large + under sources to add a source.
- Select Image and upload a background image for your intro scene. You will place text over this image in the next step.
- Move and stretch the image to fit across the window inside of OBS Studio.
- Select Text (GDI+)
- You can type text in the box with your video title, and drag it to place it anywhere on the screen.
- You can add an additional text box in the same way if you need a subtitle.
- Click the plus under scenes to add a new scene. Call it Webcam
- Notice that the sources for Title have disappeared. Now you will add the camera as a source for the Webcam scene.
- Click the + under Sources and add Video Capture Device
- I’m labeling mine “Built-in Camera” because this is my laptop webcam, and the settings may be different when I use this with my external webcam at home.
- The camera window will open, and you will select your attached webcam. You can leave everything else set to default for now. Later you can adjust settings to make the image darker or brighter or any of multiple camera settings.
- Select OK, then resize the camera to be full-screen in the OBS Window.
Now for the most important scene.
- Create a new scene using the + in the bottom left corner. Call it Screencast + Camera
- Add a Source and select Display Capture
- Name it Full Screen
- This should have filled the screen area of OBS with a representation of your display.
- Next, add a source and select Video Capture Device again. But instead of giving it a name again, select Existing device and choose the same camera as before.
- Resize it quite small and put it in a corner of the video that will be out of your way.
Set Hotkeys to control scenes
You will start the video on the title slide, and can then flip to the camera scene after a couple seconds. But you will need hotkeys to control the scenes while you are recording the screen.
- Go to File > Settings
- Select Hotkeys and scroll down until you see your saved scene names:
I selected Ctrl + 1 for the screencast and Ctrl +2 for the camera
While we are in there, we can also set a shortcut key to start and stop the recording
Click OK to apply the hotkeys
Ready to Record
You are now all set to record! Click between your three scenes and watch how they instantly flip the scene that will be in the video from Title to Camera to Screencast.
Start to record
- Select the Title scene and press Start Recording
- After 2 seconds, switch to the Camera scene and start talking.
- Now you can switch to your application for the demo or training.
- When you are ready, press Ctrl +1 or the hotkey you selected for Screencast + Camera scene.
- Now you can complete your training. If you want to hide the screen momentarily, you can press Ctrl +2 or the Camera hotkey to go back to the camera while you switch things around.
- Press Ctrl +1 to show the screen again and continue with the training.
- When finished with the training, just press Ctrl + Shift +2 or the hotkey you selected to stop recording.
You can watch it by going to File > Show Recordings. By default, the name starts with today’s date.
Upload to YouTube
- Just go to YouTube and Log in if you aren’t already
- In the top right you will see a Create button, click it and select Upload Video:
- Now, drag and drop your video onto the window that opens.
- YouTube will ask you a few mandatory questions, then you will share your video either as a Public or an Unlisted video.
Wait… now it’s 10
This is what we mean by Multiplication in Language Technology
Automatic Scene Switcher
You can actually automate scene selection without pressing any hotkeys! In the tools menu, you can select a window that you have open (Paratext 9.3) and a scene to be activated when the window is full screen.
Now, while you are talking on Camera, you only need to switch to Paratext and start teaching and the scene will automatically change to Screencast + Camera mode.
We’ll add instructions here if you bug us enough.