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Sep 11, 2008 •
September 2012 update: I wrote a new post detailing my process for creating video tutorials here: How to Create Video Tutorials -- A Five Step Process.
Creating video tutorials is no trivial task. When you sit down to create 20+ video tutorials for a project, you're faced with dozens of questions. What screen size should the videos be, what recording tool should you use, what microphone is best, how long should the videos be, what file size is acceptable? Should you use voice or captions? Where will you create the recording?
You can create video tutorials using dozens of different methods. There are no official steps to create videos, because situations and audiences vary so widely. If you're creating e-learning with quizzes for a global audience, your approach will be different from one who is creating demo videos for a small company.
Having said all that, here's my general process for creating video tutorials:
<a onclick="window.open('http://mydomain.org/training/helpresources/rp/Documents/Videos/Create New Widgets.html','RPvideo','width=660,height=560,resizable=no');return false"/ >
<img style="text-decoration:none; border:none;" src="../../Resources/Images/videocamera.gif" alt="" /> Watch Video </a>
I also publish a web menu ("Camtasia Theater") of the video tutorials, and create a help topic with a list of them all.
That's my process, in a nutshell, for creating video tutorials. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it, but especially with the independent audio/video manipulation and the integration of the visual diagrams to reinforce understanding. The Zoom H4 acting as an audio interface also records with near-perfect clarity.
But I am looking to improve several things. First, I want to sound less like I'm reading, while still reading. I also need to get faster at creating visual diagrams. Finally, I'm a little perplexed that my scripts vary so much from my help topic text. When I arrange the text in a script, I listen to myself talking it out, and I start making dozens of changes. Ideally, I'd like to have my video scripts single source from my help topic text.
I dislike captions in place of voice. I once asked a user which he preferred, and he said voice ten to one. I agree. Of course voice is much more problematic for translation, but I don't have to worry about that (yet).
I'm also not fond of the "let-my-try" videos. We have a test environment where users can experiment, and it's just as easy to send them there to play rather than requiring them to click little hidden pixels here and there.
What's your process for creating video tutorials? Do you have any tips or advice for me?