Building a Training Tutorial

The following is a process list for building a training video:

Step 1: Create Step-by-Step Document

The goal here is to create a document that'll:

    • Clearly outline the process covered in a step-by-step manner.
    • Be a reference for users (link below video).
    • Provide the main part of the script for the audio/video.

Use an existing document (.docx) as a template and work from there.

    • Try to keep text short and concise (avoid big paragraphs).
    • Add screen captures and arrows wherever helpful.
    • When complete, save as .docx and .pdf.
    • Transfer both completed files back to the Document* folder.

Important:  Never update the .pdf without the accompanying .docx as we need all updated files easily accessibly by everyone for future updates.  If this rule is not followed, then we'll run into situations where:

    • Bill recognizes a problem.   He downloads .docx file from Documents*, fixes, saves as .pdf and uploads only the .pdf.
    • A week later, Ed (who made the original file) sees a needed fix and grabs the document from his desktop, fixes it and uploads.
    • Six months later, Sue recognizes a required update, downloads the .docx file from Documents*, fixes, saves as .pdf and uploads.
    • As you can see, both Bill's and Ed's fixes are now lost and we have a old errors showing-up again and people get confused/frustrated.

Conclusion:  when updating, always grab .docx file from Documents*, update, then always upload BOTH updated files to Documents*.

link to DOCUMENTS* folder

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Step 2: Print / Annotate Document for Recording

This step may (or may not) be necessary. 

Read the document as you mouse through your steps on the computer.

    • All go smoothly?
    • Do you need to update document?
    • Do you need to add some pencil notes about where to pause more/less?
    • Do you have any extra comments that you want in the video?

Doing this step is simply about making a quality video that doesn't make you frustrated when you are trying to make it flow well (in later steps).

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Step 3:  Choose your Template

For each new project, it makes sense to consider the template (or previous project) that you'll want to base your new project on.   

Which of these templates is the best fit?

Template 1 Template 2

A screen captured video with some arrows.
Audio and video recorded together.

Explanation text, graphics, and arrows.
Audio built first.

Pro's:  Fast to make.
Con's:  Typically,  not as polished.

Pro's:  Typically, a more polished result.
Con's:  A few extra steps.



Download Template 1
(and save to your desktop)

Download Template 2
(and save to your desktop)

Please note that the "Template" feature in Camtasia is fine for beginning your journey, but you'll soon realize that just grabbing an existing project and modifying it works just as well (once you know what you're doing).

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Step 4:  Prepare your Camtasia Folder

Load your template into Camtasia, using the following steps:

    1. Open Camtasia.
    2. Click "New From Template"
    3. Save as...........title your project according to the question that you're answering (underscores vs. spaces)

Since we're now in Camtasia, let's get a bit familiar with the general layout of Camtasia and your custom template.   

With your Camtasia project folder/file named and titled, you're ready to learn how to add "the good stuff!"

Your final product will end up in the VIDEOS* folder, so you can store it there as a back-up as you continue work (Use: File > Export > Zipped Project).

link to VIDEOS* folder

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Step 5a: Screen Capture Video

One of the easiest items to add to your video (and potentially the only item if you choose Template 1), is a screen capture video.

As he walks through, here are some suggestions to keep it easy:

  • Selecting a custom screen allows you to show only the part of screen that you're interested in (skip browser top, bookmarks, etc...).   Keep the custom dimensions close to a 16:9 ratio to avoid distortion.
  • Camera off is typical.
  • Audio is off if you plan to have an audio clip in the background.   Audio is on, if you want everything at once.
  • If you're using Template 1, you can simply drag your new screen capture into the "placeholder" on the timeline.
  • You can use this method for Template 2, if you want little parts that show motion.


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Step 5b: Audio Clips

Sometimes you'll do audio at the same time as your video (eg. Template 1), but you may find that a more polished video results from doing the audio separately.   You can use separate audio to mix with a Screen recording (eg. going through the motions to match your audio), or you can add your own custom graphics to match your audio.

If you plan to try a separate audio recording/clip, check this out:

0:00  Intro to Audacity
1:15  Establishing Recording Levels
2:45  Hints for Recording Process
6:05  Processing your Recording
6:45  Saving your Recording

You can add your new audio clip to Camtasia:

      • Import Media > Choose your audio clip file.
      • Drag the clip from the library into the track/layers.
      • If you're using Template 2, you can just drag your audio clip into the "placeholder" on the timeline.

Your video now has audio tracks.  Time to add the visual aspect of the video to complement the audio.

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Step 5c: Graphics, Text, and other Visuals

Adding graphics to your project can be useful in many ways.   The graphics can compliment a video capture or can be used in place of a video capture (ie. transitioning from graphic to graphic).   Advantages of transitioning between graphics (in place of a video capture) include:  more precise timing, easy to focus attention, easier customization (eg. add fake data), and easy to update (update without rebuilding video from scratch).   Either way, knowing how to add graphics and/or text to your video is very useful.

Visual aspects for your video can come in various forms:

    • Screen Captures (using Snipping Tool).
    • Modified Screen Captures (Snipping Tool / Photoshop).
    • Camtasia Text and/or Shapes (Annotations).

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Step 5d: Zoom and Pan

Arrows are a great way to draw attention to areas on your screen.

Given that, if you find that you want to focus on something small, you can help your users by adding a screen capture of the area OR using the Zoom and Pan features in Camtasia.

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Step 6: Export from Camtasia

Time to publish your completed video.

Here are the export settings to accomplish a good quality outcome.

Export > to File > Custom production settings > MP4

    • Controller = unclick the controller (not needed in YouTube)
    • Size = already 1920 x 1080 (per template)
    • Video settings = automatic, 5, Baseline, Auto, Quality, 100%, NTSC
    • Audio Settings = 128 kbps
    • Include watermark = not selected
    • Production name = eg.  how_to_register_for_a_course
    • Folder = eg. your desktop
    • Organize produced files into sub-folders = selected


PS:  I know that the "Export directly to YouTube" features is tempting, but you'll have less options for ensuring top quality.

This is the point where you want to ensure that you've copied your development files to the group archive area.   Efficient future updating of your tutorials requires that you understand and carefully manage your Camtasia project folder (and files).    Thus, let's make sure that we have good understanding and a solid process.

    • New projects must be based on a similar project (or template) from the VIDEOS* folder.
    • All completed projects need their dev files to be zipped and stored in the VIDEOS* folder.
    • If a video is to updated, ensure that the original files are accessed from the VIDEOS* folder.
    • Once updated, ensure that all development files are zipped and overwritten in the VIDEOS* folder.

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Step 7: Upload to YouTube

Now that your video is published, it's time to upload it to Youtube.

    • Go to Google and login with SD23 Training Account (request un/pw if you don't already have it).
    • Go to YouTube (A).
    • upload 1 Click Add Videos (B), then Upload Video (C).
    • uploading 2
    • Drag your mp4 file into the upload area.
    • Wait for it to upload (have a quick stretch).
    • Fill in the fields:

Title: SD23 - What is MySparkRock and How Do I Access It?
Description:  default is already filled in
Thumbnail:  Pick the one with the intro screen (takes a bit of time to process).
Playlists:  skip
Audience:  Yes, it's made for kids.
Privacy Settings:  Unlisted
the rest: defaults

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Step 8: Embed Video into Tutorial/Course***to be finished

At this point, we're not totally clear as to where we'll be embedding all the videos.   Possibliities:

When we get to embedding, we want to have some standard approaches.

Example (this is the line of code in your lesson):

<p align="center"><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> 

    • EmbedVideo size:  640x360 is our standard
    • related:  YouTube suggests videos at the end.  Add ?rel=0 to the end of link to avoid awkward con.
    • center:  Since a centered video often looks best in a lesson, <p align="center">...</p>

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Last modified: Tuesday, 7 December 2021, 11:05 AM