In this blog, I’ll show you how to create a simple explainer video from a series of static images using one of my favourite tools – Snagit, from www.techsmith.com
You can include live video from your webcam if you have one, and add narration by including audio from your microphone. You can also add shapes and other annotations from your Favorites tool while recording to add emphasis – these will be animated in the final video.
Watch the video:
Step 1 - Find and arrange your images
First, close all your captures from the Recent Captures tray. Strictly speaking you don’t have to do this, but I use Snagit daily and my captures tray is usually pretty full, so it makes it easier if I clear all the images I don’t need before I start to record
Open all the image files that you want to use, (you can add any images, or use previously saved captures from the Library), then arrange them in the correct order in the Recent Captures tray by dragging them into position.
Step 2 - Add annotations to your Favorites tool
Although Snagit comes with a whole host of annotations, the only ones you can use when you record are those you've added to your Favorites tool, so if you need any extra ones, you'll need to add them before you start to record.
To add an annotation to your Favorites:
Select the type of annotation you want to add from the toolbar.
Click the required tool from the Quick Styles area.
Click the yellow star at the top-right of the tool.
Step 3 - Set your recording options
Click the Create button at the top left of the screen and select Video from Images.
You’ll see the recording toolbar appear on the screen, so before you dive in and start recording, let's just look at some of the options you have available.
Moving from left to right:
The red button will start the recording.
You can set a background colour for your video by clicking the Background button and selecting a colour.
If you want to include live video from your webcam while recording, click the Webcam button – it will turn green when it’s active. When you’ve finished, click the button again to switch back to image recording.
To include the mouse cursor in the recording, click the Capture Cursor arrow (it will turn green if it’s on). I only tend to use this for live recording (screencasting), so for this example we'll leave it turned off.
Similarly, if you want to include audio narration, click the Microphone button. Again it will turn green if it’s turned on. For decent quality sound, I’d recommend using a headset mic or better still a separate USB mic, rather than the built in one on your computer. Once you’ve plugged it in, use the arrow to the right of the microphone button to select it from the list.
You can see the current video size.
The buttons with the direction arrows will show the next or previous image when recording. (If you prefer, you can use the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to do this).
Clicking the Cross will cancel the recording without saving anything.
Step 4 - Record and annotate
When you're ready to record, click the Record button on the toolbar. You'll see a 3-2-1 countdown start and when it finishes, recording will begin.
To annotate an image, select the tool from the Quick Styles area then click and drag to place it on the image.
Use the right arrow to move to the next image and again add any annotations.
Keep moving through the images, annotating as you go until you've completed your final image, then click the stop button on the recording toolbar.
It takes a second or two to create the video, and when it's done you’ll see it appear in the Editor window. You can view the finished result by clicking the Play button on the video controls.
Step 5 - Save the recording
Click File > Save.
Navigate to where you want to save the file, and type a file name. Your video will be saved in .mp4 format, one of the most common formats for audio and video.
So that's it - 5 simple steps to record your explainer video.
Look out for my next blog, where I'll be showing you how to record a live video or screencast.
For more hints and tips, why not visit our YouTube channel by clicking the button below, and if you'd like to be notified when new videos become available, remember to Subscribe to the channel.