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How to Make and Publish a Video

MVP Peer to Peer presentation - content open to the community

MVPs: Crystal Long (Access), Bill Jelen (Excel), Heather Ackmann (Office), and Albert Kallal (Access)
Host: Kari Finn (Microsoft)
Date: September 20, 2012

Links to presentation recordings

Recording of the presentations are available on Connect. If you seriously want to learn, listen to both, and read this page. Things that are repeated need to be remembered.

{ how to View recordings on Connect }
  • Kari made an announcement that the content is NOT NDA, which overrides the warning, so feel free to share your knowledge!
{ how to download WMV from Connect }

Put your name in and then click "View Recording". I find it best to download the "Microsoft Office Live Meeting Replay", which is a ZIP file containing a WMV. After you take the WMV out, rename it! ... since all the files are called 'livemeeting.wmv'

Why should you make a video?

Making videos is a great way to share things you know with others, on YouTube and for other reasons. Sometimes I make a video to show something to a client ... how to use what I built, point out problems with data, questions about what I am looking at ... especially when I see something in the wee hours ... I can record, render, and upload to my web site, skydrive, or another place. The demo will be ready when my client has time.

If you aren't ready to make a video yourself, think about captioning a good video that someone else made. Transcribing something makes it stick! Writing a script for Albert's Access 2010 web database video (first one out there) is how I began to absorb and learn more ... thanks Albert!

When you download my Video Caption application (Microsoft Access), the only other thing you need to create captions is to be able to watch the video! You can generate a caption file and email it (or the database itself) to the video producer for uploading to YouTube :) Captions help a lot of people and can be added anytime. Is there a video with content you want to learn? Caption it!

Video from Presentations on YouTube

The video we made in the presentations is now posted on YouTube. I finished it on SQL Saturday morning in 24 minutes, starting from scratch with a NEW Camtasia project. Everything in the Clip Bin was covered in the presentations. I would have used the actual project file from one of the presentations, but I wanted to see how long it would take to start over. It was a lot faster to produce the video when I wasn't talking ... can go into super-speed mode (smile)

The audio (my talking) was recorded about 2:15 am the night before the live meetings. I recorded it three times. First I recorded it twice and got 2 audio files, one of which I thought I would use. But I didn't have the volume levels set right. Unfortunately, my frustration at having to record again came through -- if I thought I could have done a better job right then, I would have read my script again, but I was definitely running out of gas, and too tired to realize that it didn't sound all that great. I spent less than 10 minutes editing the 3rd file. So, with a 2-minute script, total time to record and produce the audio file that was used was about 20 minutes.

Having given more thought to the questions during the presentation about the process to make a video, I have a better answer.

Sometimes, and what is probably best for most of you, I record myself doing something while I talk. Then I transcribe (write down) what I said, creating a script that will change as I read through it and think of things to add or take away. Then I record just audio and replace it in the Camtasia project. Before it is done, I write a script anyway, for captions.

Sometimes, I write a script, record audio, and then demo whatever I said while I record the screen with Camtasia (helps to play the audio while doing this) -- this is what I did for the second presentation and I didn't like it so much -- maybe because I made an outline and used that when I recorded the screen instead of simply playing the audio file again (that would have been faster since I had it) ... I was self-conscious about doing that since I already played it to time-code the captions (link to download Video Caption database). If someone else in the presentation had the caption database, they could have time-coded the captions while I recorded the screen for the video ... then maybe we would have had time to render and publish in the second session ... hind-sight is 20/20.

Most often, I write an outline that will become a script. I actually write what I will say to begin with ... to kick-start me, and get me into gear ;) If I do write more of the script, I don't actually read it while I am recording the screen -- if I have the energy, I take that opportunity to record audio I will replace just to capture any great thoughts that might fleetingly pass by. At this point, I am focused on the capture area, not what to say. When I record the screen, I never quite demo what I thought I would, or do it the same way I planned. Then I change the outline and turn it into a script with a different filename, ready for reading while trying to pretend someone is there. This time, I wrote the script first. Then I recorded the audio.

I was tired when I read my script into a cold microphone with no real people to talk to. I tried to imagine people, even just one person. All I could visualize was the shaded geometric image that Microsoft uses instead of a person on the main form of the Access Contacts template! Needless to say, the audio was not my best or even anything I like real well, but it is good enough. Originally, I planned to get up early and record the audio, or do it during the demo, but the unimaginable happened ... my internet went out -- this happened about 11 pm the night before the live meetings, when I was getting ready to wind down. I couldn't sleep. At 1 am, I got up and tried for an hour to reach Comcast. Then I did the audio, prayed while I reset my modem, rebooted, and the internet came up!

Someone asked why I record audio separately ... talking takes energy, and so does recording video so the mouse pointer isn't in a bad place, what you want to show is IN the capture area (in the video we made, the bottom of the dialog box for cutomizing the QAT is chopped off -- it never got recorded! Had I realized this, I would have moved the Camtasia recording boundaries after the dialog box was opened when I recorded the screen -- pause recording with F9, drag the captain's wheel in the middle of the capture area or a border to move, position the cursor -- then press F9 to start recording again), and things you don't want to show are not showing. Just 3 things. This sounds easy but it requires concentration. I prefer to talk and demonstrate not at the same time; that is just me personally. Bill Jelen does everything in one pass and makes each of his videos in about an hour. Well I'm sure when he got started, it took longer! In one year, Bill makes more vides than most will make in a lifetime.

Another reason I record audio separately is that I do it away from my noisy system unit. I have a musician's mic and plug it directly into an MP3 recorder (brand I don't recommend) and go to a quiet place.

Screen Shots

During the Camtasia recording from the second presentation (the .camrec used for the YouTube video), I covered up the down arrow on the QAT with the mouse pointer, and that is what I was talking about! I had made a pass through the video, doing some sweeping cuts, splitting into clips, and expanding my key frames to synchronize audio.

When I went through a second time to fine-tune the synchronizing and add callouts & zooms, there was not one frame left with the down arrow showing where I wanted it. That down arrow is the door to customizing the QAT, my tip. I could have made an image and added a callout to hide my mistake and show the down arrow ... thought of a lot of things I could have added ... but I didn't ... get 'er done comes to mind ... I could have easily spent the rest of the day, but in the interest of getting it done, I didn't! The thing I wanted to do the most was re-record the audio; I'm especially not comfortable with how it starts.

You will notice that this video is a lot more interesting than what was recorded in the presentation ... but it IS the exact same file! I used zoom and callouts to make things happen ... after 5-10 seconds of looking at the screen with no movement, people get bored.

Below are screen shots captured and annotated with Snagit.

The first screen shot is my Camtasia project showing

Timeline: The playhead is positioned on a spotlight callout. There is nothing important about this to my video, which is why I didn't zoom in so people can read anything. The only purpose for this callout is to add interest to what would otherwise be a pretty boring picture.

The green box before the playhead is the Begin Marker, and the red box after is the End Marker -- drag these to change the selection, usually for deleting. I most often use SHIFT-ArrowKeys after clicking on the playhead to mark a selection -- or I add a split before, a split after, then delete the middle. I learned my lesson about swapping clips that are parts of a camrec or avi ... don't do it unless you are feeling lucky.

Track Names are listed to the left of each track. The Audio track is locked since I don't want it to be changed while I edit the video.

{ screenshot of Camtasia }

Zoom in to focus on part of the screen

The Quick Access Toolbar, what I am showing for my tip, is located in the upper left corner of the Access window. It is small, so I want to zoom in. To demonstrate to viewers where the QAT is on the screen, the duration (time to get there) of the Zoom is greater than 0 (zero). I would have set this duration to at least a second or longer, but I couldn't do it here unless I wanted to start zooming in the previous clip since zooms and callouts cannot span more than one clip (actually, now I see that there is a little time before the callout started in that clip ... what was I thinking? oh well). btw, Except for audio and pip, imo, if you want to move something from one clip to another, cut and paste instead of dragging.

I had previously Split the video at 11 seconds to make it easier, while I was editing, to mark when I would start focusing on the QAT. I must have moved the zoom marker to the right intending to give the leading duration more time, but I didn't actually adjust it ... you can't see this on the screen shot very well, but there is 0.3 seconds before the zoom starts in the clip. It would have been better to use that time to zoom in slower.

The blue diamond markers on the Timeline indicate that the Zoom changes from what was recorded. Shaded triangles before a zoom marker show the time it takes to change. Most often, I "cut" to another zoom instead of changing it gradually, so in my videos, there are not usually triangles before diamonds.

At the playhead in the below screen shot, there is a red circle sketch motion callout around the icon that will be added to the QAT. This was originally a mistake! I forgot to reset the QAT before recording, but I decided to keep part of what I was about to cut ... to show what I was getting ready to do ... it worked out well. (thanks, Tom)

Many of the blue diamond markers are because zoom has to be set for every clip once you start using it. I usually copy the zoom marker from the clip before, unless I want to change zoom settings. If the zoom isn't set on a clip, then the whole frame shows, which is totally fine!

{ Zoom in on the timeline to add interest }



This video is hosted on YouTube. Play on YouTube in HD or YouTube in standard viewing window, or here ... click on play button (triangle inside filled rounded rectangle) in middle of video below.

Caption Languages: English, Dutch, German, French
Click cc below video window to toggle captions on and off, or change the caption language.
While the video is playing, move your mouse to the bottom of the video to see the controls.
Tom van Stiphout translated the captions to Dutch, thanks Tom!
Time to translate: 18 minutes. Time to generate caption file and upload: 1 minute.
Peter Doering translated captions to German. He said he didn't time it, "but it was certainly more than 18 min. Maybe because German is more difficult ;-)" thanks, Peter!
Fabrice Constans translated the captions to French. Link to his website is in the video description -- he uses the Microsoft Translator on his site :) Thanks, Fabrice!

Please, if you speak another language ...
I am also curious how well the built-in translator does ... perhaps you would watch the video using those captions and take a few notes to share with me?
If you would like to translate captions to another language, email and I will send you the Access translation tool, thanks!

Explore the other controls below the viewing window, such as the cog to change quality.

While the rendered video was uploading to YouTube, I opened the text file where I already wrote a Title, Description, and Tags (including #mstips). Copying and pasting that information was quick! Then I set the video Category (ie, How To & Style, Science & Technology), Privacy to Public, and License to Creative Commons, which means that others can use part of my video as long as they attribute it. On the Advanced Settings tab, I then set Comments to Approved. This is demonstrated in my demo of rendering, uploading (publishing), and captioning.

After the video was up on YouTube, I added captions, which was also quick since I time-coded the captions in the second presentation. All I did in Access after the presentation was make a few adjustments, click the "Make Caption File" button, and upload the caption file to YouTube. I watched the video with captions on YouTube and made more adjustments to my caption timecodes in Access. Then I clicked the "Make Caption File" button in Access again. Then I deleted the English caption file on YouTube and uploaded my modified caption file. I did this twice -- total time to fine-tune the captions was about 10 minutes. The process to create Captions is also on the demo.

At 1:16 on the video, I added something in the caption that I forgot to say! ... or accidentally cut ...

It took less than an hour to finish the video and publish it to YouTube with captions. I spent 3 minutes generating caption files and uploading them to YouTube for the 3 translations (Dutch, German, and French) that are posted, thanks Tom, Peter, and Fabrice!

I was planning to go to SQL Saturday, which I signed up for ... but instead I wrote help for you, I hope you like it!

All in all, I spent more time making this web page than I did making the video!
I hope to hear your comments ... thank you

Access MVP Tom van Stiphout's first video, was a salute to Access MVP John Viescas who just received his 20-year MVP ring. John is one of the few active MVPs who was awarded in the first cycle, congratulations, John!

Making videos is fun to do
Write a script while you sip on a brew
Turn on the recorder
Do your steps in order
And let your creativity shine through
   -- Crystal


Reference Links

Camtasia, Snagit -- TechSmith

Camtasia Studio Learning Center

TechSmith tutorials

TechSmith downloads for Camtasia, Snagit, and more
download and install Camtasia and Snagit ... then request keys from TechSmith. You will get the keys before the trial period is over. Then you can unlock the software. Don't wait, do it today!

YouTube Videos

Bill Jelen's YouTube channel

Heather Ackmann's YouTube channel

Crystal's YouTube channel for Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint ... Office and Windows

Crystal's YouTube channel for Windows Phone and Windows 8 Development

Albert Kallal's popular video on creating an Outlook Style Calendar in an Access 2010 database on the web


Notes & Tips

Notes on Camtasia and Sound

Crystal's Camtasia Notes

How To Adjust Microphone Volume Levels in Windows

Decent, cheap microphone: Logitech 980186-0403 Silver USB Connector USB Desktop Microphone

Heather's pick for a headset: Sennheiser PC 151 Binaural Headset with Noise-Canceling Microphone & Volume Control


Make sure you are recording at ... and remember to click the REC button ;)


Production Tips

Timeline Shortcuts

E = Extend frame -- right-click on an extended frame video clip to change duration
S = Split -- first, make sure tracks you don't want to split, like audio, are LOCKED (lock icon toggle to left of track name)
C = insert Callout -- right-click on callout to change duration, double-click to see properties
T = insert Transition -- first, double-click video clip to make sure you are at the beginning; transition (ie: page turn, fade) will be between wherever you are and the previous clip. Right-click on transition clip to change duration
Z = Zoom -- double-click on marker to see properties -- drag corners and move focus region in upper left


Downloads & Captions

*** Captions ***

Crystal's Access database application to create CAPTION files for videos

Why to do Closed Captioning (cc)

Demo: Render to a file that can be shared, Upload to YouTube, Create Captions

WMV file showing Render, Publish to YouTube, and create Captions -- no audio -- uses Camtasia CALLOUTS (floating text, highlights, etc) to explain :)

captioning stuff starts @ 2:10
Anytime you want to replace captions, simply delete the caption track and upload another one :)

Do NOT put the captions into Camtasia. YouTube lets you upload separate caption files and that is the best way. On YouTube:

  1. click dropdown on your name in the upper right when you are logged in
  2. Video Manager
  3. click on Edit Video button below desired video
  4. click Captions from menu bar across top
  5. click "Upload caption file or transcript" -- this is currently a light gray button with white letters!
  6. pick file
  7. fill Track name -- if this is a translation, I put their name. For the English track, I put all or part of the title. For some reason, I did not do this on the demo ...



    8-Hour Challenge

    • first day, 4 hours
      • watch the 2 live meeting presentations when they become available on Connect, even though you may have attended one of them -- in order.
      • read this web page, and all the linked references

    • when you lay down to sleep that night and when you wake up the next day, think about what you will make a video about -- keeping in mind that it is easiest to start with something short

    • second day, 4 hours
        do it!
        record the screen and talk -- best for beginners. You can decide if you want to redo the audio or if it is good enough. You don't have to add callouts -- just produce it as you did it! It is nice to add an introduction and closing, but it doesn't have to be anything fancy.

        At the end of the 4 hours, see where you are :)



    Be a Winner!

    Do YOU have an idea for a tip? Submit your idea with the following: ... you might win a key for Camtasia or Snagit! Email with your idea -- give it a try! what have you got to lose? Open to MVPs and community ... so that is pretty much everyone :)


    Think of a good, descriptive Title that conveys what the video is, or will be about.

    Get wordy in the video Description -- repeat text from your video or outline. Make the first sentence pique interest so that when that video shows up on a search page, others will be want to watch. Be sure to USE your search terms (Tags) in your video description. Tags get indexed by YouTube and other search engines. The video descriptions are also indexed but do not carry as high a weight unless the term is also a tag. The more times you use a term in context, the higher weight it will carry.

    You can put links to resources in your video descriptions ... maybe there is an article that relates to your video and would add value to the viewer. Link to your own blog or website -- the more external links there are to a page, the higher its weight for search engines. This means more people may find you ... and if someone is reading your video description then chances are good they will want to read your other writing anyway.

    Tags should be words and short phrases that people might search for, including your name and screen names. Go to YouTube, for example, and type tags in the search box that you are considering. As you type, an indexed list is displayed -- what is easy to pick? What has a lot of hits and how many views do those videos have? What is missing that you cover?

    Here is a list of ideas for tips to get you started :) The sky s the limit!"

    something not so great now is better than never trying ,,, and you can always delete your first attempts as you decide to tweak and render it again. Many of the same people will probably watch your new video again.

    If your channel is synchronized with FaceBook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, then when you post a video, the first Title, Description, and Tags will be shared.



    Have fun making videos!