Last week i discovered the idea of sketchcasting on this site. Given that a lot of the things i explain to university students and to clients is easier to explain through pictures than through text, i thought i would give it a shot. Here is the result of my first experiment:
To get the final product, here’s what i did:
- Used a Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet to draw out a rough sketch of the concepts in Macromedia Flash (because i am used to the Flash drawing tools)
- Printed the sketch on a piece of paper for reference
- Fired up Screen Toaster to do the screen capture, and set the “geek settings” to replay the recording at 2x speed
- Recorded a screencast while drawing the sketch in Flash (without audio)
- Used the Screen Toaster tool to add voice over to the video (using a Sony ECM-MS907 microphone)
- Tried to upload to YouTube directly through Screen Toaster, but had some sort of technical problem, so just saved a version on Screen Toaster, and a local .mov file, which i then uploaded to the SociaLens YouTube account.
- Embedded the YouTube video in this blog post
- Wrote this blog post
Considerations for next time:
- Check audio levels more carefully (i used the Screen Toaster defaults, which didn’t record at a high enough level)
- Imagine my audience a little more vividly (it’s sort of strange presenting these things without real people in front of me)
- Speak more succinctly (this is something i need to work on in every context)
- Take the time to sketch objects a little more carefully (i am still not completely used to the Wacom tablet)
- Experiment with object-drawing capabilities of Flash?
All told, the process took about 1 hour, though i think with practice, i can probably get it down to about 20-30 minutes, as well as improve the quality as i get more used to drawing with a tablet, the recording/uploading process, and get used to thinking within the context of this process. For this first try, i chose a topic that is probably just as easily tackled through a text blog post, but hopefully future versions will deal with more visual-dependent ones. I’d love to hear your comments on this. Did the visuals help at all? Is it better than a blog post for these sorts of concepts? I’d also love to see some of my colleagues in industry and the academy experimenting with this.