How to use VNC & Camtasia to record presentations/demos from other laptops

Sometimes there is a need to record the content of another presenter or a group of presenters, and installing Camtasia on each and every laptop is not practical.

I’ve also seen this solved by using a “presentation” laptop, and often there are issues with the presentation & certain versions of presentation software or fonts or formatting.  I’ve done this once and at the end of the recording one presenter was confused with what was seen on the screen, did something and subsequently deleted the recording before I could get to the laptop to save it.

Another solution to this (and one of the more ideal) is through various pieces of hardware like VGA splitters and Frame Grabbers to go along with laptop and projector.  I’ll do a separate post on this later.

One of the more inexpensive solutions to recording content on a remote laptop is to use remote desktop software, in most cases I use VNC since I can connect to Windows, Mac, and Linux based laptops (it’s also free from realvnc.com, though this version does not have encryption).  My other choice when using Windows only is to use remote desktop.

All of this screen capturing is done over a wired or wireless TCP/IP network, and requires a fair amount of bandwidth on the local subnet.  If you were to do this across the internet or intranet, the latency of screen refreshes goes up which could impact the live recording and slow down the presenter.

Below is a little video I put together to summarize what I’ve done with VNC and Camtasia (PC & Mac setup/demos).  In addition I’ve included pictures of my wireless audio setup to capture the audio at the same time as the video.

The hardware pictured is of a Shure PGX wireless microphone system connected via a XLR cable to a Centrance MicPort Pro pre-amplifier which then connects USB to the laptop and appears to the system (and Camtasia) as a external microphone.

Enjoy the video!

– Dom

Direct link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK2bjqgm1Cs

Record in 3’s

One of the challenges of recording any kind of content (video or audio) to be distributed on the internet or a intranet is getting a good natural sounding “take”.

I came across this nice Camtasia audio article by Lon Naylor on capturing multiple attempts of the same audio to get a really natural “take” to be mixed or added to a longer audio sequence later.  The included youtube video is a great example of this (I’ve also included this video below).  The video also shows great microphone and pop filter placement.

This makes a lot of sense, once a person reads a script and gets comfortable with the content or phrase, repeating it will sound more natural the next time (also any nuances or word emphasis would be worked out by hearing yourself).  By the 3rd attempt it should sound good.

Thanks for the article and pointer to the youtube video Lon.

Enjoy!

– Dom

Direct link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t926G1FFzL4