This guide documents recommended settings to ensure compatibility with editing teams as well as optimal production for uploading to video hosting services.
Looking for capturing software? Faculty and staff at U of T can download Techsmith's SnagIt without charge. TechSmith Snagit can be used to record audio synced with the on-screen display of your computer or laptop (or other device). It also offers simple editing tools that allow you to excerpt portions from recording.
1. Set your capture area to a fixed region.
- Do not use a custom region size to record. Videos have a standard ratio: 16:9. This is reflected numerically at different resolution settings: 426 x 240 (240p), 640 x 360 (360p), 854 x 480 (480p), 1280 x 720 (720p), 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 2560 x 1440 (1440p) and 3840 x 2160 (2160p). Your ideal range is 720p to 1440p, with 1080p being the most common size currently. If you record your video with one of these established sizes, you will see those pesky black bars (known as "pillarboxing") as video players will fill in empty space with them.
- Do not use full screen to record. Depending on your device, your full screen might not be a true 16:9 ratio, even if it appears that way to eye.
- Expand the preset options using Settings (the gear icon).
- Change the radio selection to "Fixed Region."
- Manually enter the width and height values supported by your monitor. In this example, values entered would create a 1080p video recording. See "optimal video dimensions" for specific pixel ratios that comply with the above recommendations.
2. Disable "Capture Cursor"
The cursor is typically very small and is a poor emphasis tool. Ideally, emphasis on screen is done verbally and support with a strong, salient visual indicator (like a box, a background change, etc.). If you do not want your cursor recorded in the session, you can disable this before you begin recording.
- Capture Cursor Toggle: Toggle the cursor to "off," indicated by a grey background (instead of blue), with the white dot to the left.
3. Disable "Record System Audio"
Unless you are doing a software tutorial, no one wants to hear your email ping or any other system notifications. If do not want these included in the recording, you can disable this before you being recording.
- Recording System Audio Toggle: Toggle the cursor to "off," indicated by a grey background (instead of blue), with the white dot to the left.