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Getting Into Screencasting (Jerol Harrington)

The following was kindly written by Jerol Harrington to help anyone who is interested in making a ShowMeDo.

I made my first ShowMeDo because I had started to use wxPython and realized how important it was to understand objects. Since Ian had produced ShowMeDo’s on Python, and Ipython, and Kyran had done the same for wxPython, I thought that there was a need to bridge the two groups.

I followed Ian’s ShowMeDo on using HyperCam, and found that I could produce a short video that was at least intelligible. The software is pretty robust, and not hard to learn at all. The performance part was the hardest. The pause key is a big help here. What worked for me was simply starting over (and over) again until the words flowed a little more smoothly.

Also, I tried to keep my examples as simple as possible as I found it hard to talk and type at the same time. My advice is not to attempt to cover too much in one ShowMeDo. Time goes by faster than you think. Also, using an outline helped a lot. I did not use a script.

What I liked about Ian and Kyran, is that they seemed like real people, not actors reading a script. Finally, if your brain is as shot through with as many holes as mine, check out VirtualDubMod (free) for cutting and splicing your avi files. I didn’t use it much, but when I needed it, it was indispensible.

Go ahead and make a ShowMeDo. I, for one, am interested in seeing it.

As Jerol notes, shorter ShowMeDos are easier – we find 5-10 minutes is a great length for absorbing new material. Several short ShowMeDos that compliment each other are much easier to record and they give the viewer more control over how they watch the segments.

If you’re interested in sharing your knowledge and giving something back to the Oper Source movement, please get in touch and we’ll have a chat.

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