Devonthink Video Tutorials

Sorry but this may be slightly off topic but critical to my business.

I have been watching the videos and really would love to know what software was used to create them. I have looked into both Camtasia and Screenflow but neither of those look capable of all of the features used in these training videos such as the drawing of boxes around parts of the window.

I would really appreciate some help with this and I tried to go to the link provided under the Concept & Production which should lead to Teacher’s Corner Media Services however the site appears to be down.

Thank you in advance for helping me with this.

For recording the movie we used a standard movie recording tool. For the boxes etc. the creator, IMHO, used OmniDazzle, and for editing he used Final Cut Pro. The text panes were created using Keynote.

I’m curious specifically which one of the half-dozen or so “standard” ones that is and maybe oldinc is, too. :slight_smile:

Thank you for your response.

I was really hoping that the “standard” movie recording tool did it all!

The good news I guess is that I already have Snapz for recording, I just downloaded OmniDazzle as they have now released it for free and I have both Keynote and Final Cut so now all I need is time to learn how to put it all together and some creative ability!

You can go that route with SnapzPro, et al. but it’s MUCH easier to do screencasting/videos these days if you use an integrated software program.

Personally, I love ScreenFlow. Excellent quality. Allows me to integrate video of my screen, with added images (if I want), add text boxes, add various other features all within its editing environment. First class all the way.

Another good option is Camtasia for the Mac. I don’t like it as well as ScreenFlow, but that may be partly because I’m already used to Screenflow’s structure.

Either way the learning curve will be much smoother using to use one of these great integrated programs rather than learning the various nuances of fitting together 4 or more programs.

oldinc’s original post mentions 'em both. :slight_smile:

Yes, he mentioned both pieces of software but I think he’s mistakenly thinking he can’t do what he wants with either.

Put more strongly, both ScreenFlow and Camtasia can do many more powerful and interesting things (including what the original poster wanted) relative to how the DevonThink videos were done. To be fair to DevonThink, I believe all their videos were made before these products were available. Camtasia is brand new, and Screenflow is about a year old. So the DT were using the best combo of tools, it seems, available at the time. The landscape has changed however.

Now it may be fair to say, “I can’t figure out how to do X, Y or Z” in these products, but that’s different from them actually not being able to do those same things.

Using something like Final Cut Pro these days for screencasting sounds like cutting butter with a chainsaw—it’ll work but . . .

DEVONtechnologies didn’t do the final assembly/editing of the video tutorials, which were created some time ago.

Bill: Okay, so someone else made them. I stand corrected on the technical issue. But the substantive question was how to make these kinds of screencasts (regardless of whether the person works at DT or not).

Here’s what I’d suggest considering if I were the original poster: There’s been a fourth “coming-soon video” placemarker for a video in the Support section of this website for years now. I’d propose one of the key reasons it never got done is because of the awkward combination of tools being used. (There were likely other reasons also.)

Proper screencasting tools (ScreenFlow, Camtasia) allow you to do things much more efficiently. I’m creating (and many others are also) about 4 hours of screencasts total per every 4 months. But I couldn’t do that without one of these two tools. In contrast, little over an hour of DT screencasts have been created over several years.

Why are such tools so important? Some say that the key to good writing is good editing. The problem with the setup proposed above is it’s not very easy to edit content. With good screencasting software you can go back, make changes, edit quite simply. It’s a huge difference.

No, the reason the videos have not been updated is that the existing series is obviously outdated by the evolution of DEVONthink 2.0 public beta releases. Many, many things have changed.

The video tutorials will be replaced with new ones after the final release of the version 2.0 applications, when all the planned features of version 2.0 are in place.

But michellm is quite right that there have been improvements in the software tools for creating such video tutorials since that series was started several years ago.

Thank you all for your input. It may be that I simply need to find time to get better acquainted with all the tools. The one thing I have not managed to accomplish with either ScreenFlow or Camtasia is to draw the box around part of the screen in order to highlight a section of it (such as a specific column in a spreadsheet. Michellm: are you able to do this using ScreenFlow?

Another question: Do you lay the audio down along with the screenshot or do you add it later? This may be a personal preference more than anything but just curious if there is a technical or time saving reason for doing it either way.

Thanks in advance!

I am doing this using OmniDazzle.

I’m not sure about the drawing the box technique since I no longer use that approach. However, as Eric mentioned you can use OmniDazzle to do this when you are capturing the original recording in SF. They “play well” together. That said, if you can add the box afterwards during the editing process then that’s probably better. (I tend to use the “zoom in” and other features in ScreenFlow instead of this box approach—but I understand why you like it.)

There are people much savvier about ScreenFlow tricks than I at their forum. I’d suggest posting there. Here’s the link: … entercat=y

In addition they have a very helpful “tips” page. It may give you some ideas that you hadn’t thought of on your own. Some of the tips you won’t care about, but others could be very helpful to you. This is a very active page that seems to get updated about once a week with a new tip. Very nice. Here’s that link:

The audio question is a bit trickier. And I think you’re write, it probably has a lot to do with personal taste. I tend to record with the screen recording—that has become pretty natural to me. However, I do export the audio later, do edits, enhance the audio, and then bring back into SF. SF has a “pause” and “speed up” editing function—so this would allow you to slow down, or essentially pause, the video at certain points if you devote a lot of audio to a specific area or screen.

However, unless you’re really an expert I’d suggest recording with the screen capture. Also if you make a mistake or just need a rest while recording, no problem at all. You can simply delete the bad passage later in the editing process very easily.

I hope this helps a little bit.

I know this is a late reply, but I just found out that it’s very easy to do the OmniDazzle type of highlighting in ScreenFlow after you record.

The relevant type of “thing” you do is to create a “callout action” to a section of your recorded video in SF’s editing environment. When you create a callout action you have lots of different options, but the first option you’ll want to take advantage of is the “highlight” option. This highlight option allows you to place a focus either on the cursor or on a foreground window (if you need other options then you’ll need to use savvier techniques). Once you’ve selected one of these then it’s very simple to make the background darker, add a border to your highlight area, and more. At least the way I used OmniDazzle in the past, this gives me exactly the same effect! It’s very easy and works extremely well.

They provide a brief video showing how to do this. It doesn’t go over all the options when creating callout actions, just the basics. Here’s a link to the short tutorial:
(click “highlight using callout actions” link on that page)

I hope this helps a bit. Savvy usage of callout actions, post recording, gives you a LOT of flexibility. And you can even change the look and feel of callouts, if warranted, in the future.

This has helped quite a bit and thank you all again for your input. I think for me the key is that ScreenFlow will do everything that I need to do. I also think that sticking to the one tool for everything will also be most efficient and effective.

I believe that Devonthink Pro and ScreenFlow are quickly becoming my go-to programs. Now I just have to learn how to best utilize them!