FFMPEG Tips for Screencasting

Having just got a particularly complicated parallel debugger correctly installed yesterday it came time to write the documentation for the tedious point and click setup procedure. Rather than write 10 pages of screenshot-heavy web pages ( a horrifying process in itself due to the CMS that time forgot) I decided to try making a screencast.

So I installed Istanbul which did a good job of capturing the screen and voice-over. However I then wanted to trim the clip down and add a title to it. Of the two or three editors I tried Kino was the most intuitive. However it only accepts DV so I had to convert the Ogg Theora files that Istanbul produces into DV. Fortunately FFMPG is your friend here.

ffmpg -i screencast.ogg -target pal-dv screencast.dv

Kino imported that DV file just fine and I was able to trim the file. But now I wanted to add a title screen. After a bit of googling I found a video from Linux Journal explaining some video tricks in FFMPG. Using this I worked out how to take a single JPEG I had created in GIMP and loop it into a short section of video to use as a title.

ffmpg -loop_source -i title.jpeg -s 5 -target pal-dv title.dv

The resulting 5 second DV file can be imported into your Kino project. There are probably lots of better ways to do this but this was the easiest method I could discover in an afternoon’s playing around.