Making a screen capture video

This section covers creating screen capture videos in two different ways using the programmes offered by the university. As an example, let’s suppose you have made a PowerPoint slideshow as a course paper as described in the previous chapter. Now, the teacher wants everyone to give their presentations as video presentations, because for some reason it is not possible to hold a traditional seminar during the course. Instead, the participants will watch and assess the presentations in the Moodle area of the course.

Screen capture video with Zoom

Perhaps the easiest way to make a screen capture video is to simply use the built-in recording function of some video communication tool. Next, we will review how this can be done using Zoom the university offers. To do this, you need to install the Zoom client software. Instructions for installing Zoom are available from Helpdesk.

  1. Always use your University of Helsinki user account to log in to the Zoom client programme in order to get all the benefits of the university’s licence. Make sure to sign by clicking on SSO (Single Sign Login) when logging in to get to the university’s login page.
  2. In the application, start a new meeting with yourself (New meeting), by using your personal meeting room, for example.
  3. Check that your voice can be heard (the microphone button is active and turns green when you speak) and that the video image is also on, if you wish.
  4. If you wish to display your own video, adjust the recording layout, i.e. how you want your camera image to appear in the recording. It can be on top of the shared screen view in the upper-right corner or next to it in its own window on the right, leaving a little less space for the screen image. You can set this in the Recording tab of Zoom’s settings. Please also see Zoom’s own instructions about recording layouts.
  1. Open your presentation and share it in Zoom using the Share Screen button
  2. Start recording by pressing the Record button and then give the presentation on your computer. You can choose to record locally or in the cloud.
  3. Once you are done with the presentation, end the recording and close the meeting. Zoom will then convert the recording to the .mp4 format that can be found in the programme’s folder.

This is one of the most agile ways to create a video presentation without any software dedicated to making videos. The same principle works on most video communication tools, such as Microsoft Teams.

Screen capture video with ScreenPal

An actual screen capture programme offers a bit more flexibility for producing videos. The university offers a paid version of ScreenPal (formerly Screencast-o-matic) for this purpose. Installation and operation instructions of ScreenPal can be found on the Helpdesk website.

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P.6 Screen capture with ScreencastPal – text equivalent

The above video covers the basics of recording a video using ScreenPal.

  1. Log in to ScreenPal and start the editing software following the Helpdesk instructions
  2. Press the Record button in the upper right-hand corner
    Picture: Where to start a new ScreenPal recording
  3. The actual screen capture view with tools will now appear in a floating box on your screen. First, choose the area of the screen to be captured by dragging the edges of the striped box, or select a standard size from the Size menu and fit the programmes on your screen to it (recommended). Note – if Max Time is set to 15 minutes, you are using the free version of ScreenPal – you need to login with your university credentials to access the unlimited recording time, see the Helpdesk instructions again for this.Picture: Record settings when starting ScreenPal recording
  1. Choose whether you want to include the screen, webcam or both. The location and visibility of the webcam image can be modified later in editing mode, so you can easily record the camera window and think about the optimal size/layout afterwards.
  2. Under Narration, check the desired microphone and make sure the green bars move, indicating that your sound can be heard, if you are going to record your speech while presenting.
  3. When you are ready to start, click the red Rec button – you get a 3 second countdown and then the recording begins.
    ScreenPal Recording Button
  4. To stop or pause the recording, press the now blue Pause-button
    ScreenPal Pause button
  5. If you press Rec again after the pause, the recording will resume from where it stopped. You can also view what you have recorded part with the Play If you have recorded multiple scenes using Rec and Pause, you can jump between them with the arrow buttons on the right side of the timer. Use the Delete button to start over. If the recording is successful and you want to keep it, press Done.
    Image of ScreenPal after paused recording
  6. After clicking Done, you can the filename to save your video with or export it directly to a publishable file (Save / Upload), or switch to editing the video (Edit Video).
    Image of ScreenPal when you finish recording

Now, the recording will appear in ScreenPal’s main view among your other recordings or imported videos as a ScreenPal video project. Remember, that these ScreenPal video projects always need to be saved as video files when you want to use them elsewhere! Click on a project to access the Save or Edit -functions again.

Alternative screen capture programs

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a widely used and versatile free programme for screen capture video. Getting started with it requires a bit more getting used to compared with ScreenPal, but it works very well and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

The OBS project web site:
P.6 Screen capture with OBS – text equivalent

You can also create screen capture videos with Microsoft PowerPoint. Detailed instructions can be found in section P.4 Creating a video with PowerPoint.

The easy-to-use Xbox Game Bar is worth a try for Windows 10/11 users as it is included in the operating system. It was originally designed to make streaming videos of games but is also suitable for other types of video.

Xbox Game Bar: Microsoft´s quick guide