Reading documentation about software is sometimes a hard job. Writing documentation about software is even harder.Therefore I tried recoding video tutorials a while ago and found that they are not only easier to create, the are also much easier to consume. It turned out the difficult task is finding and configuring the right combination of software for the overall process. Here's what I use and how I use it.

  • A regular USB headset with a microphone
  • The free screen recording software CamStudio
  • The free video processing tool VirtualDub by Avery Lee
  • youtube to upload the result for the masses

Here's a step-by-step description of how to setup the environment.

  • Download and install CamStudio 2.7.x (32-bit) from http://camstudio.org for recording
  • Download and install the CamStudio Lossless Codec v1.5 (32-bit) from http://sourceforge.net/projects/camstudio for encoding
  • Download and install the x264vfw codec from  https://sourceforge.net/projects/x264vfw for also processing H264/MPEG video files from other sources
  • Set you screen resolution to resolution 1280x720 to ensure HD format
  • Start "Recorder.exe" from the CamStudio installation folder
  • Select "Options / Video Options... / CamStudio lossless video codec 1.5"

  • Select "Options / Cursor Options... / Show Cursor / Use Actual Cursor"

  • Select "Options / Audio Options / Audio Options for Microphone / Default Input Device with 44.1kHz, mono, 8-bit"

  • Select "Options / Record audio from microphone"
  • Select "Options / Program Options / Minimize program on start recording", "Hide flashing rectangle during recording" and "Save settings on exit"
  • Select "Options / Program Options / Temporary recording directory / Use Windows temporary directory"
  • Select "Options / Program Options / Output Directory / Use user specified directory" and set the directory you want to use
  • Select "Region / Full Screen"
  • Close "CamStudio" to save all settings
  • Download and install "VirtualDub" (32-bit) from http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net

It is essential to use the 32-bit versions of the programs and codes, because they won't work together otherwise. This also applies if your operating system is 64-bit.

Now you are done with the one-time setup steps. Here are the step to perform the actual recoding, editing and upload.

  • Start "Recorder.exe" from the CamStudio installation folder
  • Press the red recoding button or "F8" to start recoding
  • Press the blue stop button or "F9" to stop recording
  • Enter the name for the new ".avi" file in the file selection dialog
  • Start "VirtualDub.exe" from the VirtualDub installation folder
  • Select "File / Open video file..." to open the unedited".avi" file
  • Use the time line selection and the "Edit" menu to remove all unwanted parts from the recording
  • Select "Video / Compression... / CamStudio lossless video code 1.5" and quality "100%"

  • Select "File / Save as AVI..." to save the edited ".avi" file under a new file name 
  • Upload the edited ".avi" file to your youtube video manager