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Advanced NUnitAsp Video

08 Aug, 2005

I've just finished something that I think is really cool. I've created a video for advanced users of NUnitAsp that goes into NUnitAsp's architecture and provides some tips for overcoming common challenges. It's a neat presentation, very compact, and well illustrated with animation and figures, if I do say so myself.

Watch it here.

This is the first time I've done something like this and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

So how did I do it? It took me about eight hours. I worked off of some PowerPoint material that I had already created for my upcoming Test-Driven ASP.NET course, although it turned out that several of the really complicated pages from that material needed rewriting. (PowerPoint presentations usually suck, but I guarantee that this one doesn't. It's very dynamic, with animated illustrations rather than bullet points.) I wrote a script and practiced it several times, making notes about changes and what didn't flow well. Then I used Camtasia Studio to record the video as I narrated the PowerPoint deck "live."

The first take came out pretty well, but I felt that I sounded a little robotic. I recorded another take--the video is only eight minutes--and I'm much happier with it. I used Camtasia Studio to edit out a few of my worst stutters and then produced a Flash video. It turned out great!

I learned a few lessons from this. First, having an interesting set of PowerPoint slides to narrate worked very well. Second, a written script is critical. (Thanks to Joshua Kerievsky for that insight.) I returned to the script over and over again, marked up where I stuttered, etc. Third, when you make a mistake, just pause and repeat the bumbled line from the start. You can edit out the mistake easily afterwards. Finally, a good microphone is essential. I have a fairly cheap microphone and it shows.

Producing this video took me a while, but not as long as I feared. I'll certainly do it again. Hopefully it will get faster as I go. This one took about an hour of production per minute of actual video. :-)