Today I left Australia and headed to Hawaii. At the end of the day, I logged over 20 hours in the sky (long story) and I have no idea what timezone or even what day it is! I was very sad to leave Australia, but I’m looking forward to my next adventure.
While in Australia, I met Orin Thomas, a speaker at the Microsoft TechEd Australia conference (Orin is on the right in the pic. Pete Calvert is on the left). In additional to being a screencaster, Orin is also a Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft MVP, and has authored more than twenty books for Microsoft Press.
Orin shared with me some of his tips for making screencasts which I thought were very useful so I wanted to share them with you. Orin uses fades, transitions and other special effects to visually give users cues about what’s going on in his videos.
For instance, when making a video showing screens from different computers, Orin suggested to:
- Use a dissolve transition when you come back to the original machine
- Use the rotate cube to show you are shifting to a different machine
- Use different backgrounds on each machine so people can visually identify different computers (Ex. Have one desktop background for your Server that is different than the one you show on a computer)
Orin also mentioned he has used a fade transition to signal time passing. And, he is consistent about the visuals used for each action or event in the screencast. That makes it easier for his viewers to follow along.
Check out one of Orin’s screencasts below. There is no audio because he used it during his presentation, but you’ll be able to see how he uses visual effects to signify switching between machines and other actions.
Have you seen any great screencasts lately? Let me know and I’ll review them for a future Screencast of the Week! Email me a link and feel free to submit your own video.