I recently attended a course about screencasting at OUCS and have just produced my first project using Adobe Captivate:
I already have an online guide for St Hugh’s College Library which includes information about opening hours and how to reserve a book. However, some things are easier to understand when demonstrated, so I chose ‘how to renew your books online’ as my first screencasting experiment.
My first tip is to storyboard your tutorial before you start to make it – plan which bits will be screenshots, what the captions will be and which sections will be real-time screen recordings. I found Captivate quite easy to use, especially if you begin by importing slides from PowerPoint to begin your project.
I used Audacity for the sound recording (although Captivate can do this, I am told that files in Audacity are easier to edit). I added the audio files to captions in Captivate, and played around with the timings so that the project flowed well.
Using a different program to convert the .swf file to .avi did the trick, and the resulting .avi file was much smaller than the one produced by doing this conversion within Captivate.