I’m a big fan of Techsmith’s Screen Capture software. Camtasia is a POWERFUL video screen capture and editing tool. Perfect for teachers, but also really useful for any videos in which one needs effects, objects, animations and more. With a simple user interface and super-powerful tools.
But, when I need to capture either a still or video on my screen, I use Snagit! That’s right – it captures still images, full screen, part screen, menus, anything you want. It also captures video of your actions (with or without your audio and/or webcam). It has a simpler editor than Camtasia, and it’s quick, easy, and powerful enough for me to make quick demo videos and go further.
Also, both of these programs will allow you to edit video and still images captured from your phone or camera (not camera raw).
Have you guys ever wondered what software I use to create my quick captures of my screen? The shorter ones, that include arrows, pointers, that capture still images and video of my screen, that allows me to quickly point out what’s important in my capture, and allows me to share it quickly to my YouTube channel, or to the Adobe Community pages?
Snagit is more than just a screenshot tool. It enables better visual content, by providing quick tools and screenshot/capture editing power. Customize and edit every screenshot or video (or convert videos to animated GIF’s) with ease, power and performance.
Snagit 2020introduces two new creation tools and enterprise outputs to Slack and Box – With over 15 sharing outputs Snagit makes it even easier to share content at work
Create from templates: Use pre-made layouts to create visual documentation, tutorials, and training materials.
Create video from images: Talk and draw over a series of screenshots to create a quick “how-to” video or GIF
TechSmith Assets for Snagit: Create even better-looking instructional content with an annual subscription to TechSmith Assets for Snagit. A paid subscription gets you access to thousands of stamps, photos, and templates.
Get ALL of that functionality for $49.95 USD
Snagit is one app I can’t do without. I hope you find it just as helpful as I do!
People often ask me what I use to create my training videos and enhance my screenshots and my answer is: Techsmith Camtasia for videos, and I use SnagItfor quick captures (still or video).
Camtasia is a powerful, yet easy video editor, an screen capture tool. You can capture your monitor, your voice, your webcam, your keyboard entries, and even your computer’s system sounds, and choose whether to use or edit all of those parts, as you wish. And, it’s easy to add video captured on another device, like a video camera, a still camera with video capabilities, even your smartphone! The markup tools can be used to enhance what your viewer sees – you can add highlights, callouts of text or graphics. You can animate items in the app, you can even use your computer’s voice to speech capabilities to create closed captioning! The learning curve is simple and Techsmith has some amazing online free videos (and I teach this, as well). Check it out HERE!
SnagIt is a Screen Capture and Screen Recorder application. It will capture screenshots and Videos, and allow you to mark them up or simple quickly produce a video to share online. It doesn’t have the power of al the video editing capabilities of Camtasia, but if you need a quick and powerful capture tool with great markup functions, this is a quick, accessible tool to choose.
As all of my clients and students know, I’m a stickler for telling everyone to BACKUP their data – regularly – automatically, and in multiple places. Personally, I use 2 local backups (one is a clone of my data and a separate for my hard drive – AND I use MacOS’s Time Machine). But I also keep an offsite secure backup in the cloud. I live in earthquake country – and nothing would stink worse than if my hardware was all broken and my data irretrievable (of course, there’s always DriveSavers, but despite my discount, it’s quite expensive). Also, if you guys ever DO need a discount from DriveSavers, please use Discount code DS16297.
For my offsite backup, I’ve been using Backblaze for YEARS. Their uploads are unobtrusive, their security is raged as VERY GOOD, and their prices are extremely reasonable. They’ve also recently increased the speed of their ability to download files, and added the ability to choose specific files (instead of folders) to restore when necessary.
Many of my clients have been using Crashplan’s Home backup option. Well… they’ve stopped taking new subscriptions, and they’re shutting down the Home version of their options as of October, 2018.
Backblaze is VERY interested in picking up this business – and since I do appreciate their service – AND their support when I needed it, I’m writing this post to recommend them. Take a look at their options. AND, if you do like their offerings, and use my referral link, we both get a free month of service!
As I said, your data is irreplaceable. Have you noticed that when you create something, and work on it until it’s right, that you can never really duplicate it again, if you need to? It’s never quite the same? Backup is the only option, and as for Cloud Backup, I recommend BackBlaze!
Photolemur has such tremendous ease of use, and wonderful algorithms! It uses artificial intelligence based on a huge database of adjustments that can be made to an image, along with artificial intelligence to learn your preferred settings – and instantly improves your images without any work on your part at all – or, if you choose, just a little work. In addition, it works on jpeg images AND Raw images!
Watch my demo below and check out Photolemur’s websitefor more information on the software, it’s various versions, and it’s availability for both Windows and Macintosh computers.
As you all know, I’m a big fan of using my DSLR for most of my photography, but it’s rather bulky to carry – so often, I count on my Smart Phone to capture a moment or scene (in my case, an iPhone 5S). I love it’s convenience, but compared to the captures I can get on my Nikon, there are often issues I have to repair.
Noise (blocks of off-color pixels) is a major issue for me. I get it in skies, shadows, areas that should be smooth look broken and pixellated. This is a particular problem in Southern California, where the lighting outside can often be quite harsh. Please note, this software is Mac only.
Enter MacPhun Noiseless (and Noiseless Pro, as a Photoshop Plugin). With some truly intuitive settings, noise can be easily cleared from an image, while clarity and detail can be maintained and enhanced. Check it out by clicking the banner:
UPDATE! You should be informed – I heard back from Parallels today – SAME day I requested their flexibility – and they DID do the right thing! As I’ve been a loyal customer for many years, they honored my purchase, and offered me a new license key for the new version of the software! They ARE trustworthy!
As you all know, I believe in offering both praise an condemnation when appropriate. I praise Parallels today, for doing what’s right!
Many of you have seen me teach using Parallels to emulate the Windows environment on my Mac. Overall, I’ve found it to be the most reliable, user friendly emulation software among all the alternatives.
I’d delayed my purchase of their version 11, because I had no need of it until I upgraded my Virtual Machine to Windows 10. That was July 28th. Yesterday, Parallels announced the release of their Version 12. Oddly, their “free upgrade” for recent purchases section only allows free upgrades for software registered between August 1st (25 days prior to the release) and October 30th (when people won’t be able to buy the old version, anyway).
I’ve contacted them about the 2 day discrepancy – almost NO software company declines to offer free upgrades for purchases less than 30 days.
I’ve touted Parallels’ virtues to many of my students and clients over the years. I have my request to extend the free upgrade date on escalation. I’ll keep you updated on the outcome, as I’d never again suggest this software to anybody, if they choose to enforce their unreasonable and draconian rules in this situation.
As my Photoshop students have already learned, brushes can be made using any set of pixels and can be manipulated almost unendingly with the Brush panel. But sometimes, it’s very helpful to have a starting point. Grutbrushes.com provides some beautifully made starting points! The detail and settings of his brushes are unique in their realism and detail in use. They work well with just a mouse, but like any brush, take on their real strengths when using a pen tablet like the Wacom brand of tablets.
Normally, I pass by a lot of the ads I see on Facebook, but a few months ago, I decided to click on one and found an excellent resource.
At Grutbrushes.com, the (very responsive) developer Nicolai has made sets of brushes, ranging from inks to calligraphy, to natural media, and more. He even provides a PhotoshopExtension to open a panel in which you can organize your brushes into sets as you like them. Just recently, I used just one of his cloud brushes in a project, and created very realistic clouds. He offers a LOT of freebies, and if you sign up for his email list, you can get even more. He sells sets of them as well. His full set is a VERY reasonable $22.
Remember, all of the brushes are just starting points – Presets – from which you can use the Photoshop Brushes panel to manipulate them, resize them and alter how they work.
You all know, I LOVE Free stuff – and here, there’s a plethora of freebies along with the paid content. I think any Photoshop user will find a great deal of use and enjoyment of these. Plan on seeing some lessons on this within a few weeks.
Hi guys. As you know, I love Photoshop, use it extensively and work intensively with almost all of it’s features (certainly not all on one project, since it’s so very vast.
Long ago, I won a silent auction for OnOne Perfect Effects. I hadn’t used plugins in a few years, but the ease of use and functionality of this set of controls made what I usually did in Photoshop SO much faster, and gave me so many options, that I quickly became addicted. For any photo, we can run our entire workflow while only using On1 (they changed the name) and it’s functions. Please note, this set is for photo enhancement and adjustment – with very powerful features, but it’s not a replacement for Photoshop, since it’s not a program “about” compositing, 3d, video.
On1 is on their version 10 right now, and they’re offering a great deal: On1 Photo 10 (Photo editing, effects, masks, organization, state-of-the-art enlargement), a Training set, Presets (which, by the way, they send you new ones monthly for free), and a magazine – all for $80!
I now use quite a few sets of plugins (there are some really great deals out there, if you watch for them, or meet them at a trade-show), but On1 gives me so much functionality, it’s become a strong part of my go-to package.
It happened. My backup hard drive used for my daily backup died. It was one of those 4TB MyBooks, that is made up of a RAID of 2, 2TB disks. On that SAME day, I had to teach an online class, which often somehow screws up my Time Machine (which takes ages to fix, but is doable, and got done). BUT, I still felt my data was safe in the event of a serious problem because I’d just renewed my subscription (I’d gotten an initial free 3 month trial) for BackBlaze. I figured that having ALL my other work data on the cloud for only $50/year wasn’t a bad idea – and indeed it wasn’t!
BackBlaze doesn’t back up my operating system, applications or parts of my user folder, but I have several other terabytes of data that sits on my startup and other connected drives. I live in earthquake country and my office electrical is… let’s say… overloaded. I was given a gift of a new 4TB multi-interface replacement backup drive so I can have my local backup again (nice gift, right?)- AND I ALWAYS HAVE A SEPARATE LOCAL CLONED BACKUP OF MY STARTUP DRIVE – but for $50 I had peace of mind – and that’s a great thing!