Since Camtasia for Mac came out last year, I have been using it to create screencasts. I had used different screencasting tools before buying Camtasia (Jing and IShowU), but they did not allow me to edit the screencast.

Camtasia is very easy to learn and you get the hang of editing a video quickly. I only wish that it were possible to copy shapes from one project to another. That would save time when I need the same items in multiple projects. Furthermore, the properties pane is a bit clumsy.

Nevertheless, it is a great tool to record the screen and then be able to zoom in and out to the details that are necessary to show, to add shapes and text and even have multiple video sources in one final video.

I knew that I could also record myself using my iSight camera. However, I had never tried to record both the screen and the camera at the same time always assuming that this would not be possible.

But, there is always a first time. Yesterday, we held our 6th TechLunch session. Prior to it we had decided to do away with the big DV camera for recording and instead do a screenrecording and use my colleague’s Flip camera to record me speaking to use that for the in-screen. Despite this plan, we did not have the Flip available yesterday and thus thought we would only do the screenrecording.

A few days ago I had downloaded the update for Camtasia for Mac. As my colleague, Bob Reuter, did not know the software, I showed it to him. Then he just asked: Can you also record the iSight at the same time as the screen? We just pushed the camera button and I was damned: We could record both. 🙂 That of course, saved our day because now we did not need any additional camera anymore, but could record the screen and the talking head at the same time with one computer. And of course, the quality of the recording is much better than filming the video projector image. Much crisper.

I don’t know if Camtasia for Mac could already record the iSight image in version 1, but it can certainly do so in version 1.1. The editing of the recording was thus also reduced by many hours because we did not have to use Final Cut anymore to transfer the DV video to the computer and then wait endless hours for the export.

The ability to record the screen and the talking head at the same time of course makes Camtasia for Mac well-suited for recording lectures or other demonstrations where one wants to have the speaker video as well. Even if the speaker walks around, the computer could be pointed in his direction to capture him but still always also have a very clear recording of everything that goes on on the computer screen.

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