How to Record Your Webcam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Using a webcam recorder to add webcam footage to a video is a simple way to increase engagement and help viewers connect with your content.

Using a webcam recorder to add webcam footage to a video is a simple way to increase engagement and help viewers connect with your content.

Whether you’re trying to add webcam footage to the corner of a training video or you want to start a video with a live introduction, this post will walk you through the steps to create a video from your webcam.

What is the best webcam recorder software?

A webcam is a pretty versatile tool in your video creation toolbox. You can use them to make YouTube videos, create instructional videos, or add personality to any video.

When you choose your software, you have two options: a dedicated webcam recorder, or a screen recorder. Personally, I would choose a screen recorder.

If all you need to do is make webcam videos, a simple webcam recorder might work, but if you are creating product demos, training videos, or other types of instructions you want to be able to capture everything on your screen, including the webcam.

That’s why I would always go with a high-quality screen capture software.

For the example below, we’ll use Camtasia, since it is both a webcam recorder and screen recorder. It also has a full suite of video editing tools, making it ultra helpful for making full videos.

If you haven’t already installed Camtasia, download a free trial.

Here’s how to start recording your webcam.

Step 1: Start a new project

Open Camtasia and choose New Project.

Step 2: Bring on the video

To start working with video and webcam footage, import them into Camtasia by choosing File > Import > Media.

Then, select the video and webcam footage and choose open. Camtasia adds the videos to the media bin, where they’re now ready to use in the project. If you haven’t already recorded your webcam footage, you can do that using the Camtasia recorder.
Record webcam videos

Step 3: Position your media

Now you need to make a decision.  Do you want your webcam footage to appear at the beginning of your video, or do you want it to appear on top of your video, like picture-in-picture?

Webcam first, video second

Start by dragging your webcam footage from the media bin to the timeline.  Then, drag the other video files to the timeline and make sure they’re positioned directly after the webcam footage.

When Camtasia produces the video, the videos will appear in the order shown on the timeline. It’s important to note that Camtasia will only produce videos that are on the timeline.
Add webcam videos


To create that cool picture-in-picture effect, start by dragging the video to the timeline.  Then, drag the webcam footage to the track above the video. Think of these tracks as pictures in a stack. The topmost track is on top of the pile and anything underneath can be covered up by what’s on top.
Adding Webcam Videos
After adding the webcam footage, resize and position the preview on the canvas to make yourself look good.

If you’d like to do more video editing in Camtasia and you’re not certain how, check out our video tutorials.

Step 4: Save your video

Once your webcam footage is set, export your video by clicking on the green share button. This produces your video and allows you to choose the format and where you’d like to save it.
Save your project or share it to social media

Things to consider in order to make your webcam recording awesome

Now that you know how to use your webcam for recording, here are a few things to consider when creating your awesome video:


Tilt your webcam so that it’s at eye level and your viewers don’t have to look up at you. Position yourself in front of a solid color wall or hang a sheet behind you so your viewers aren’t distracted by a busy background.

Stick to the Rule of Thirds or position yourself in the center of the frame; you can check your position by hovering your mouse over the webcam view in your recording toolbar. Also, refrain from quick movements during your screencast so you don’t draw away from your content.


Make sure to focus on your video lighting. If you record near a window, avoid recording in front of it. Position yourself next to the window or facing the window. This way, you won’t be washed out or become a silhouette.

Built-in webcams

If you’re using the webcam built into your computer, the webcam will default to the computer’s system audio which may not be the best quality. Use an external microphone for the clearest audio.

Check to make sure that Camtasia is recording your audio input from the correct source. Then, test your external microphone before you start recording your voice over.

External webcams

Most external webcams have a microphone built-in; however, it would probably be safest to check the quality of the microphone. Also, make sure to turn on the webcam function in your recording toolbar before you start to record.

While using a webcam recorder might not be the best choice for everyone’s content, it could help you communicate better with your viewers.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Will this help me get my message across better?
  • Is it necessary to accompany your content?

Think about how you want to present not only your video content to your viewers but yourself as well.

Want to take things a step further?

Jazz up your video by adding animations and effects to zoom in on important details or make text dance across the screen. Check out the tutorials below!

Learn about Transitions, Annotations & Behaviors 

Learn about Animations & Effects 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Doug Brunner

Doug Brunner is an Instructional Designer at TechSmith. Fun Facts: • He's run a 52.4 mile race • Traveled to 11 different countries • Played drums in a Celtic band • Sings in his local community choir

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