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About Digital Art / Professional Premium Member ShalenFemale/United States Recent Activity
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This tutorial is available on YouTube!  I'm new to video tutorials, so please be tolerant of my awkward voice work.  Special thanks to Zigraphix and SimonWM for their advice.

To record your own video tutorials on the cheap, you need three things: a microphone, a desktop recording software, and a video editing software.

1.  Microphone

I'm using this cheap one from Amazon.  It is about $16 American if you're in the Prime Club.  As you can tell from the YouTube video, it actually records surprisingly well.  Not good enough for singing or ASMR videos, probably, but certainly good enough for the spoken word.  You might transition to a $200 Rode in the future if your DAZ Studio work really pays off, but in the meantime, the cheap one is fine.

2.  Desktop Recording Software 

I used CamStudio to make my video, and I'll probably continue to do that.  You can download it here.  It is free and open source.  Many DS artists use Camtasia or BBFlashBack, which are easy to use, powerful, and very expensive.

At this time I recommend using version 2.7 and NOT 2.7.2 (the latest one), because 2.7.2 has a bug when using keyboard hotkeys, and you will really want to use those hotkeys.

CamStudio can be finicky and easy to bug out, and it doesn't really edit; but for just a simple "talking over my desktop" video, it's great and very easy.

Be sure to set up a few things here before you start recording.

Region: I use Full Screen or Region depending on whether I want to record the entire desktop or a smaller area.  Region will come up with a blinking cursor for you to place your window.

Options: Check Record Audio From Microphone if you want to record mic audio.  Record Audio From Speakers is nice if you want to create a Let's Play and hear sounds from the video game, then add your audio later.  For desktop tutorials where you talk as you work, use the Microphone one.

Options--Video Options: It's very easy to screw these up.  I use the CamStudio Lossless Codec, quality 25, key frames every 40 frames, capture frames every 25 milliseconds and playback rate 40 frames/second.  There's a lot of good advice available out there on this too if you want to sort through it.  If you get playback with flashing black frames, as I did on first attempt, these settings are probably the reason.

Options--Program Options:

I use Minimize On Start Recording if I don't want CamStudio to star in my video, And I do not use play AVI When Recording Stops.  You can leave Directory For Recording at default if your boot drive is a big one, but if it's a small SSD like mine you'll want to change this to a directory on a different hard drive.

For Name of AVI file I have it set to always ask.

Options--Program Options--Keyboard Shortcuts:

This is something you want to use in order to start and stop recording without CamStudio visible on your desktop.  I use ctrl+shift+r and ctrl+shift+s, because those are uncommon in other software I use and I won't use them by accident.

Once you've got your settings set up, you can just hit your "start" hotkey, wait about two seconds, and start talking.  When you're done, hit the "stop" hotkey, and it will ask you where to save the video.  Boom, you've made your first video clip!

Now, how do you get rid of that pesky throat-clearing noise four seconds in...?

3.  Video Editing Software

I use plain old Windows Movie Maker.  It gets the job done, and can be used to chop out unwanted noises, stick clips together, and add a closing or opening credits page if you wish to do so.  And, like other free features of Windows, it is allowed to make commercial videos with it if you want to monetize your YouTube account.  Always be sure to read the whole EULA when you install, just in case!

If you don't already have Movie Maker, you can get it here.  The installer is for all of the Essentials programs, but if you choose Advanced installer you can just install the one you want.

When you've saved your video from CamStudio, you can right-click on the video, choose Open With, and Movie Maker is right there.  This is very non-destructive, since when you save as a project in WMM it does not overwrite your original footage, and you will export to a different format that also doesn't overwrite this project.

Once your video is open in the software, you'll be looking at the main GUI with all the keyframed sections of your video laid out in rows and a player on the left with a slider that you can use to move to different parts of the video.

The most relevant feature is under the Edit tab, where you can find Set Start Point and Set End Point (to chop out those pesky begin and ending clicks and pauses) and Split.  To use Split, go to the beginning of a section you want cut out, and click Split.  Then go to the last frame you want to cut out and hit it again.  Movie Maker will create a new section in its reel in the main display on the right of the player, and you can right-click it and click Remove.

In the Home tab there's also Add Videos And Photos.  You use this to put in your titles if you want to have titles, or to combine clips.  Just navigate to what you want to use.  You can drag things to the beginning or end in the main display area on the right.  By default it gives a 2D picture its own section that is 7 seconds long.  You can set its duration shorter in Edit if you wish.

When you've got it all put together as best you can, you can save the Movie Maker Project under Home by hitting the tiny purple disk at the top.  Then save the video itself out to a format YouTube or other sites can use using Save Movie on the far right. 

You can also upload directly from Movie Maker to sites if you have a Windows Live account and your computer is online.  The main work machine I use for recording is not on the internet for security reasons, so I use Save Video and the YouTube preset instead so I can save to a USB drive.

4. Brief Additional Notes

The microphone I recommended does not come with a stand.  I record with it stuck in my shirt collar, a low-tech but effective way to put it close to my face so it doesn't pick up all my typing and mouse noises.  You can experiment with this, or make a field expedient stand by cutting some holes in the box it came in.

The biggest mistake people make with desktop recording is to say "um" and "uh" a lot.  I practice pausing instead when I need to gather my thoughts, because pauses are easier to chop out if you need to afterward.  Not clicking or popping with my mouth just before I start a sentence is more of a challenge, and I'm still working on that.

My regional accent is from Washington State in the USA, which is reasonably comprehensible to most speakers of English.  Less useful is the fact that I sound sort of dweeby and pompous, but I've decided not to get overly hung up on that as long as people can understand what I'm saying.  I recommend you similarly try to remain relaxed about your diction and accent, and just have fun sharing your knowledge with others.


And that's all there is to it!  My challenge to you this week is to make your own video tutorial just for fun - even if it's something as silly as how to put up a desktop picture or your favorite render settings.  You will get at least one viewer if you link to it here, I promise. ;)
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: My own dweeby voice on a microphone
  • Reading: Blogs
  • Watching: BBC Poirot on Netflix
  • Playing: MineCraft
  • Eating: Turkey on wheat
  • Drinking: Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime


Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
I'm a 3d modeler, texturer and rigger. I work with making conforming items, characters and props for the Genesis figures in DAZ Studio.

My DAZ store:

And at Renderosity:…

Regrettably, I am no longer able to accept commissions for models. I just have too many projects going at any one time.


Add a Comment:
SimonJM Featured By Owner 11 hours ago
Am I going mad or did your Dead World Trench Coat for Genesis use to have an undress or drop morph (or morphs)?  If it did I can no longer find it!  More than happy to have it confirmed that I have lost what little brains I had left ;)
SickleYield Featured By Owner 11 hours ago  Professional Digital Artist
Nope, I've never done that for a coat.  Conforming to the arms ruins that exact sort of movement in a morph (where pants don't have the same issue).  It might be possible to do it for a specific pose, but only for that pose, and even then it probably wouldn't work when morphs were applied.

Now, I don't remember if there was a "prop" morph for it or not.  I'm thinking not.
SimonJM Featured By Owner 11 hours ago
Yeah, I had nagging doubts over the 'arm interactions', but I also have a pretty strong memory of doing an animation of the coat coming off/down ... one of my first delves into seeing what collision/smoothing could do!  Faulty memory, almost certainly!  I now suspect it was the baggy jeans from your Classic Pants Pack.
SickleYield Featured By Owner 11 hours ago  Professional Digital Artist
Now, those did have drop morphs. :)
(1 Reply)
HardBargainArt Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't have an immediate call for this product, however, I use many of your creations heavily with excellent results. I especially appreciate your inclusion of prop and drop morphs on trousers/pants. If you can ever see your way clear to creating morphs for the partial undress/removal of jackets, blouses and shirts, you may well be one of the very few content creators who do.

Excellent wares.
SickleYield Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
What product?  You posted this to my main profile. ;)
HardBargainArt Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, I know. I have been using a lot of your pants/trousers, primarily. I'm just about to get your super hoodie.
SickleYield Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
For generation 4?
(1 Reply)
Mavrosh Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
Your big ladies are in store now and wow, you have outdone yourself there! They came out beautifully!
SickleYield Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! :)  They are doing well, so it looks like people needed some!
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