Info/Summary on David's Screencast/Field Guide Video Production Process?

First post here (though I’ve followed MPU and David’s blog for many years now) and feel like this falls between multiple categories…hence “uncategorized”!

I’ll pose my question and then backfill with some explanation/clarification:

Are people aware of any tutorial or discussion that David has done on the production process/workflow for how me makes the Field Guide videos?

I bought the Photos Field Guide on the first day and have loved it, even with just dipping into a few topics most relevant to me right now (backup, iCloud Photos). I’m also a professor doing lots of online and hybrid teaching currently (and have enjoyed some the currently-active threads elsewhere on the forums here dealing more specifically with creating material for that use), so I’m intrigued by this Field Guide as a demonstration of what I can do with Keynote and screencasting to create content.

I was stoked to hear at the start of Episode 537 (on Photos Field Guide) that the “after show” discussion would focus on workflows…but was then disappointed that it didn’t get as granular as I’d hoped. Good to know that David uses Screenflow and Keynote, but I’d love to know how he is stitching them together. (Sidebar: also good to know that he has people he pays to help him with this; good reminder to professors thinking that this all takes a ton time…it does, or you have to have multiple people working on it!).

Does anyone know if David has described this process on other episodes or other venues?

I feel like he should make a “How I Make Field Guides” Field Guide. I’d pay serious money for that!

Thanks for any assistance!

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Good to know, and thanks! I’ll look into that, though for my purposes (where I am teaching through my university and already have an LMS), I was primarily interested in the production of the videos themselves. It seems like a combination of Screenflow and Keynote. From what I’ve read over on another thread, I have a feeling this is all being stitched together using Final Cut Pro.

That’s great - thanks again!

So this probably answers by bigger question in the following way: David may be making his own Keynote slide decks and the material itself, as well as recording his screencast material. But, chances are, part of what he is getting help with (when he mentions having assistants) is putting this all together into a tidy package using an NLE.

I actually had Screenflow ages ago (an edition so old that they no longer give you any “previous owner discount” for it, iirc!) and did editing with it…but that was only using audio and video I’d recorded in Screenflow (not pulling in Keynote material).

I think this underscores that I should probably just bite the bullet and purchase Screenflow. Ironic and sad that all the money for these kinds of professional purchases at my public university were frozen/pulled back at exactly the moment we need to be experimenting with (and purchasing!) software!

I can tell you a bit about some of the things I do - with a note that this might not be what David does!

Keynote decks are great, especially Magic Move to add some awesome animation. I’ll prep those and then I present them and record that presentation with my voiceover using screenflow. Sometimes - like if I want to change an animation but not the audio, I export the deck or relevant slides in movie format to drop in. This usually requires me to fiddle with the timings in post - but it’s a lot easier than listening to my own audio and trying to line up the presentation and the recording.


Agreed on the clever use of transitions in Keynote. In a classroom setting I’ve always found transitions to be silly, at least the way I’m using slides as an instructor. But, when recording, they really do animate things in a way that amplifies what I’m trying to emphasize in the script/voice over.

I’m curious, Rosemary, why you use Screenflow for a narrated slideshow rather then Keynote’s built in recoding option? I guess once you’ve become familiar with the controls and editing in Screenflow it just makes sense to use it for all of this?

Just on a sidenote : Any idea about this bar like app (while selecting text with your cursor) I saw in one of the field guide video. Which app is this and how is it helpful?

Just on a sidenote : Any idea about this bar like app (while selecting text with your cursor) I saw in one of the field guide video. Which app is this and how is it helpful?

The app is called PopClip. I’ve been using it for years and find it very helpful and well worth the cost of admission.

p.s. In addition to the built-in functionality, there’s an extensive library of PopClip Extensions that can be downloaded and installed at no additional cost.

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I’m going to do a segment in the feedback show recording tomorrow and releasing next weekend where I go deeper into the production process.