Preparing a screencast for youtube with OpenShot and SimpleScreenRecorder

I am clueless when it comes to video editing. My goal is to create a screencast to demonstrate the use of a web application. I created a series of MP4 files with SimpleScreenRecorder, recording my browser window. Then I figured out how to concatentate them with OpenShot. What I can’t figure out is the proper settings to use for export, after trying it a couple of times in a couple different ways. In one case the output was blurry. In the other, there was some static-like stuff on the right edge of the video but I uploaded it to Youtube anyway – and it was blurry once again.

When I play the clips one by one in the VLC media player, they look and sound ok, so I have to think there’s hope.

And yeah, I know, we privacy fans don’t care for Youtube. But I want to pitch my little product (FOSS of course) to as wide an audience as possible.

Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

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Hello again @mister_bludgeon!

There is a golden rule:

You should not change the format of the original material. Say, your screencast recording is a 1920 x 1080 MP4 video at 30 frames per second (fps), then this should be your export format in OpenShot. Every conversion will reduce the quality of your video.

If your source material looks fine, the editing should not make much of a difference.

If SimpleScreenRecorder works fine for you, that’s great. However, I had far better results with kazam when grabbing streaming TV (cough, cough, shame on me) whilst SimpleScreenRecorder recordings were not really crisp.

As for which screen recorder to use, there’s a comparison:

I think, you will get the best results if you record your entire screen and not a window or a section, do with 30fps and don’t change any formats in the following steps.

What I find surprising is that in your case than the youtube video was of less quality than your original. Generally speaking: Youtube has excellent import filters and they shouldn’t affect the video quality, unless you’re watching the video on youtube in a higher resolution than the source material.

You might try recording in MKV format instead of MP4. Perhaps that helps.

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I would add, that YT needs some time to fully process the uploaded video.
Say, you upload a fullHD content, a 480p stream will be available to play in a minute. Give it some mor time, depending on the length of your video maybe up to 30 minutes, until you will get the fullHD stream from YT.

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Greetings to you, I am glad to see you back! :smiley:

As for recordings, I had a lot of trouble with that over the past ~12 years. Started with FRAPS, went over several other FOSS and proprietary alternatives and none were really fitting my use-cases too well.

Now, after such a long time, I (think, I) settled on OBS.

For a long time I only knew it to be streaming software, but I had to find out, that it’s an excellent recording software as well. Since I got to know that, I use it for screen and window recordings, resulting in very well done video files.

That’s why I would recommend that one to you. You need to find out how to add the proper audio and video sources, but once you learn that, everything beyond that will be a piece of cake. You’ll then just have to select the right profile, click “Start Recording” and finish it with “Stop Recording” and you are done. It’s very easy and comfortable, once you have your profiles set up.

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Thank you everybody. This is helpful.

I ended up with OpenShot after reading another It’s Foss article about video editors. I tried a couple others that either crashed right out of the gate or else had UIs that were too bewildering for a novice, and OpenShot won by elimination.

I will try once again with SimpleScreenRecorder and OpenShot, using MKV and recording the whole screen and carefully noting all the whatever, screen resolution and fps. This time I will have the good sense to make a quick experiment before investing 2+ hours in re-recording my performance (the whole spiel was 13 minutes, but with all reviewing and the out-takes…). I am not quite narcissistic enough to enjoy listening to myself that much :smile:

btw thank you again. It’s quite a nice little community we’ve got going here.

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Yes upload to private so only you can see it, it processes quicker. Then when it’s processed fully to HD then release it to public. I used to make Linux videos, but have not bothered for ages in making them and don’t really miss it. There is nothing really new to report on in Linux, that no other site other than YouTube has not reported on.

With life getting in the way and no time I gave up doing videos. I was not in it for monetization or for billions of subscribers, as I’m not that good at speaking anyway. In fact my voice is so boring that many a time I would nearly be sound asleep at the sound of it. All those wasted hours making videos and hardly any views, simply because half who watched them were also falling asleep.

Then I tried live streaming and that went wrong, so yeah gave up. I still get the odd question about a Linux video tutorial I done, but it was so long ago that I couldn’t answer question, in fact the question was not a question at all, rather a load of muddled words. Then in 2019 YouTube had the child protection thing, where you have to mark all your videos as either for children or not. As a lot of parents out there leave their children to their own devices and let them watch whatever on the web, leaving the child to entertain themselves and YouTube had to put something in place. Enough of that, as I don’t want it turning into how to bring up a child debate. I took down and deleted some good, boring content and finished it with a live stream rant about YouTube.

I’m slowly turning my bedroom into a recording booth, to house all of my computers in and moving over to Twitch to do live streaming. I work night shifts and as the band I’m in cannot play anywhere at the moment, the only form of income is night shift work. So in a very long pipeline probably be in my nineties by the time I get my room done. I just enjoy my computers as they are. I can’t even be bothered anymore to try new OSES as my computers are running fine with what they are running. As for Virtualbox, can’t be bothered either, uninstalled it last week.

Once you’ve been through nearly every Linux OS and hopped to distro to distro for more than two years, you get to the point to just settle on one OS and call it a day of hopping around. Your hard drive can only take so much, whether it’s an SSD or a normal HDD. So for me I rather watch someone else’s review of a new Distro and not try it for myself.

For rendering video I used to use Kdenlive, but the problem with it, even though I used to install it straight out of the repositories, is all of it’s other stuff it installs. If you’re not using KDE then a whole bunch of other stuff comes down with it. You can install it as a Appimage, though it’ll probably ask you to install dependencies that it needs to run? The only time you need to edit a video is to make it streamable, as YouTube are not now that bothered as they used to be, it had to be rendered a certain way MKV was their choice, but MP4 has taken over.

OpenShot has choices for rendering for YouTube as Kdenlive doesn’t. Depending also on your bandwidth make your video the same as what you recorded in, with the highest quality at the same resolution. The only problem I find with YouTube is their way of thinking. Depending on the views you get, depends on the way that YouTube plays your video. In other words after uploading your video and YouTube has finished processing compare the two, from the original you made to the uploaded file and you’ll find a hell of a difference in quality the one you’ve just uploaded is bad quality. I still do not understand to this day why?

I know I’ve gone on about the negative, mostly in my experience. The YouTube filters are not as good as they used to be, you used to be able to make your video sharper or alter the color especially with gaming videos, contrast and brightness too, but they have taken that away, or at least they did six months after I started doing videos in 2016.

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@clatterfordslim Nobody ever said that making good videos is easy. Actually I’m always surprised by the sheer quantity of extremely well-made, informative and entertaining videos on YouTube.

Theoretically, an AppImage shouldn’t need any external dependencies, but, in this case, I wouldn’t be able to tell, as I use KDE anyway.

BTW: The recommended project and rendering settings for YouTube can be found here:

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Just a little follow-up: As @kovacslt et al point out above, YT takes time to complete the processing and that was causing the blurriness. Or maybe I just forgot to put on my reading glasses (just kidding). There is still some noise on the rightmost edge of the video but no matter. I decided my presentation is a little too boring, and although the subject may be inherently boring to some degree – database CRUD, emails being sent here and there – I am gonna do it all over and try to punch it up a little.

Thanks again!

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I have to mention here Daria Fissoun.
On her channel I found the very best, “right’, let’s ge to it” videos about Davinci Resolve.


This fits to this topic I think, because it’s an excellent example of the “extremely well done”.
And it tutors the basics DR, which works quite the same on Linux, as it is demonstrated by Daria.
Yes, she did her videos on Windows, but that should not disturb you, if you want to have a look into Davinci. I use it on Debian since a while. (It’s not FOSS, but proprietary, still an extremely capable and powerful app on Linux).
These videos are about version 12, today the up to date version is 16, but the basic stuff work the same.
As for KDEnlive, it was my first aspirant to be my editor on Linux, but its stability was khhhmmmm…
not too good. I think one day KDEnlive is going to be the best editor on Linux, but this day has not come so far.
Thanks God, I met DR, so I could ditch Windows, and turn to Linux 120%.
If anyone of you doesn’t fear of proprietary software, and has an (almost?) decent hardware (mine is i5 8500 + 16GB RAM + GTX1060 3GB and huge lots of storage space) may give it a try.
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I tried to installed quite some tools and VokoScreen is user friendly, useful and simple.

– VokoScreen (vokoscreenNG-Install)
– Kazam (https://launchpad.net/kazam)
– SimpleRecording (Main page - SimpleScreenRecorder - Maarten Baert's website)

might also try to use chrome-extensions