Friday, December 20, 2013

Two More Screen Capture Options

Last Friday, I blogged about Camtasia, an excellent commercial screen capture and video editor package that I use for all of my videos (which you can always find on my YouTube channel). Today, as promised, I want to bring you two other options. While these are not as polished as Camtasia, and lack built-in video editing software, they do have one major advantage over Camtasia - they are 100% open source and thus 100% free.

A couple caveats. One, of the two options. I've only personally used CamStudio, and major updates have been made since the last time I used it. Second, both of these options will require some time to tweak to your specific computer hardware. When I first started using CamStudio, I spent quite a bit of time on YouTube and in their forums, digging around for solutions to various issues. These are both great programs - when they are working properly - but your results may vary.

1. The first option is CamStudio. It's a simple, clean program that can record both the audio and the video on your screen, as well as allowing you to commentate on the video using either a microphone or captions. You can even create a picture-in-picture of yourself using an external webcam while your recording. CamStudio does require, in addition to the software itself, that you download an external codec, which is a piece of software that can encode and decode digital signals. They provide access to one designed directly for CamStudio, but you can also download other popular video and audio codecs instead.

If you're interested in learning more about how to use CamStudio, there is an excellent resource on YouTube that contains a playlist of 23 tutorials on how to use this software. Check it out below.

2. The second option is Open Broadcaster. Open Broadcaster is primarily designed for live streaming, but can be used as screen capture software as well. Due to this design, it gives you a lot more control over the various elements you record, allowing you to utilize a variety of images, text, audio, and video. Open Broadcaster also allows you to setup different profiles for different types of recording, use different codecs, and control your video resolution. Clearly this is a much more sophisticated program than CamStudio, but naturally that sophistication requires a higher learning curve to operate. Fortunately, there is a great tutorial on these features on the forums. Additionally, their website provides a helpful walkthrough to help determine your ideal settings.

You can also check out the video below for a quick guide on how to setup and use Open Broadcaster.

 I hope that you found this information helpful. If any of you have some experience using either CamStudio or Open Broadcaster, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. And let me extend a special thanks to Master Greystone on Twitter for the heads-up about Open Broadcaster. It looks like a fantastic piece of software!

Thanks, and see you next time,

1 comment:

  1. Hey gwyned,

    I use OBS for streaming MODO for my friends. While it's a great program, (and most importantly a free one), it really struggles with my low upload speed (1Mb/s). I tried multiple recommended setups and configurations. The main issue is that you need to compromise between stream resolution quality and laginess (scientific term). Your stream will run smoothly if it looks bad, and the other way around. I guess other streaming softwares have the same problem. My point is, you need a good upload speed (I guess 3Mb/s+) to stream, even graphic non-intensive games like MTGO.

    I love the setup options for OBS, you can tweak them indefinitely and even while streaming :D