Camtasia Captures Voice for the Voiceless

Cheryl & Dan Keith

Cheryl & Dan Keith

Dan Keith is, in my opinion, a creative powerhouse and someone TechSmith will be watching throughout 2013.

With many years of experiences to share, Dan is using technology to find the voice he once had. Dan permanently lost his voice due to medical complications.

But with the help of text-to-speech programs, design software and Camtasia, Dan is able to share his creative skills with the world.

Who is Dan Keith?

Monkey Dan made for Kelly Mullins.

Dan and Cheryl made this monkey for TechSmithie Kelly Mullins, who is a fan of clowns.

We met Dan when he joined TechSmith’s Technical Preview Program, which allows participants to test the usability of new features in TechSmith software and report their findings. His skills range from metal casting to figure making, which is a gross understatement of all the things Dan is able to create. After a life full of learning experiences, Dan has settled down to do what he does best: make things for people. However, Dan is faced with the added challenge of geographic location on top of his voicelessness.

Dan lives with his wife in San Acacia, N.M., which Dan says “has a post office, but that is all.”

“I prefer to live in a rural environment because it’s what I am used to,” said Dan. “But I have very few visitors because it is out of the way. I rely on the internet as my mode of communication with customers to avoid the expense of travel to trade shows and events.”

Dan and his wife built a workshop and gathered the tools they needed to complete projects customers commission. Given the variety of pieces they are able to create, it is an expansive collection. And through Camtasia, they’re able to share it all with potential customers.

How do they use Camtasia?

Dan has an expansive portfolio that he has curated over the years. While he has plenty of photos of his work, Dan uses Snagit to collect images of the work he’s doing on his computer.

Dan keeps a number of items in his screencasting toolbox, including programs like Xara for graphics and SolidWorks for technical modeling and animation. He also keeps a simple point-and-shoot camera around to document his process during projects. He then uses speech software TextAloud from NextUp.com to narrate his work. Dan pulls all of his images, snags and clips into a collage to make sure he has the right content and timing.

“Where I didn’t need the video, I just used the audio since Camtasia makes it simple to separate and sync the audio track,” said Dan. “Camtasia makes it possible for us novices to look quasi professional. It’s just like when desktop publishing came along and you could whip out a letterhead or logo that would, to the casual observer, look like a fortune 500 company, all from home.”

Dan shares his work on his blog, Dan’s Foundry, where visitors can see the projects he’s creating and learn more about his craftsmanship.

Sign Dan made for The Forge

Dan made a new sign for The Forge, which the team prominently features on the show's set.

About the Technical Preview Program

The Technical Preview Program allows real people to evaluate and provide feedback on specific features, functionality, user interface design, user assistance materials, and workflows planned for upcoming releases of TechSmith’s software programs.

Those invited to participate have either recently downloaded a trial version of TechSmith software, interacted with TechSmith developers on our Get Satisfaction page, or expressed interest in participating at trade shows TechSmith attended.

Participants are asked to perform short assignments throughout a 12-month period. They carefully track their questions, bugs and feedback to share with TechSmith, allowing us to hear first-hand accounts of how our software is used in different industries and with people of varying levels of proficiency.

To keep up with Dan, be sure to follow his blog updates and keep an eye on his website.