ScreenFlow - Screen movie capture and editing

Apr 02, '08 06:55:00AM

Contributed by: robg

The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 8 out of 10]

No, this isn't a one-day-late April Fool's Day prank -- the Pick of the Week is back, hopefully somewhat more regularly than it has been in the past. To start things off, I've chosen an app that has really changed at least one aspect of my work -- my production of video blogs for Macworld. In the past, I've used Snapz Pro X (a member of the Pick of the Week Hall of Fame) to capture all my video for such projects. However, for my most recent video, I used ScreenFlow, and found it had some very nice features that made for a more user-friendly video -- things like zooming in on windows or cursors and adding callouts. ScreenFlow also keeps track of mouse clicks, key presses, and the mouse cursor, so you can add clicking sounds, display typed keys, and show or hide the cursor as you wish during editing.

The other key advantage over Snapz is that ScreenFlow captures are instant, so as soon as you stop the capture, you can start editing. Only when you're done editing and need to export out the final movie do you wait for processing. (With Snapz, you wait for the render after every capture, then go and edit your footage.) You can read more about ScreenFlow in this Mac Gems entry I wrote about it a couple weeks ago.

I'm now using a combination of Snapz and ScreenFlow in my worfklow, as both have their strengths. (Snapz Pro includes a still capture feature, and you can create "follow the mouse" movies that track the cursor as it moves around the screen.) But for a first-version product, ScreenFlow has a great feature set and performs well, even on slower hardware. I did all my captures on the latest video on a 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo mini, and never had any dropped frames or laggy performance.

If you do much at all with screen movies, it's well worth a look. It's not perfect -- you can't, for instance, specify a portion of the screen to capture -- but the combination of instant capture and useful editing tools make it a compelling choice to consider.

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