Using A Webcam

This post is part of a series. Check out the first installment here.

Visuals are a necessary aspect of screencasting; however, it might help to put a face to your voice. By showing your face in a screencast, viewers can connect with you more easily and possibly understand your video content better. If you intend to have a picture-in-picture (PIP) effect in your screencast, you have a few things to consider:

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  • Set-up. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 might not be the best choice for everyone’s content, it could help you communicate better with your viewers. 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.


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Kelly Turner

Kelly Turner is the Social Media Intern for TechSmith. She studied Professional Writing at Michigan State University with a concentration in Digital & Technical Writing. You can follow her on Twitter @wordscreateus.

  • She's passionate about obscure words, reading to all hours of the night, and the Internet.
  • In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, catching up on her Netflix queue, and eating.
  • Peanut butter and chocolate are her reasons for living.