Demo Video: Making Of

We are working furiously on the new build and will have details and updates to share with you next week.  In the meantime, I wanted to respond to another overdue question that many of you have been asking about: the video production. This was one of the popular queries that we received through email and now have as a post on the forum.


“This is the most amazing video! It is crystal clear and looks great on youtube. Can you share with me the video settings that you used for size of screen capture, sizeing, format uploaded to youtube (mov, avi, wmv???) and compression algorythm, codec and all related settings?” 

– rumford 


Guys, getting this video right took just about a million attempts with the settings and iterations before we got around to making the final version.  


You make a video clip, produce it with certain settings, put it up as a private video, see how it comes out, and if you don’t like it, then you try all over again. 


All of this is of course, other than those sleepless nights which we spent on finalizing the content.

Eventually, when you finally nail both the video and the content right, you realize that YouTube picks up the exact center frame to create a thumbnail and that thumbnail is not catchy or interesting enough. So then what you do is reorder the clips and compile a new video to see what comes as a center frame while ensuring that the order continues to make sense.


First, we put up a longer version of our video on YouTube and, to this date, it has fewer viewings than the first week’s viewings of the video you all liked so much; one of the reasons for that being that the first one’s thumbnail is an unexplainable white dialog, and why would anyone want to watch that? Plus, it was a bit too long for anyone to comfortably view it and recommend it to their peers etc.


We actually inserted our current thumbnail way at the end, just as something that would grab attention. This was a very long and tiring exercise too, however, absolutely worth it at the end.


Another interesting aspect to making this video was ironing out last minute quirks in the software. You are trying to demo a certain cool feature, but it needs more visual cues to make sure that the next person understands your point. Our team is awesome that way because, they okayed those last minute requests and changes, even though they were ready to freeze code for Beta 1. In a way, this exercise also became one of the usability tests for Scrybe.


Now, I am going to outline the specific details of the video production.

  • Introductory clips before each feature were high resolution Photoshop images.
  • The fluid context explanation was actual snapshots we took in our meeting room. We used Freakonomics and Tipping Point from our small collection of interesting book.
  • ThoughtPad explanation was an actual video capture using one of our friend’s organizers.
  • The end Why Scrybe explanation is a large zoomed and panned image.
  • We captured all the software clips in Camtasia. YouTube recommends the following settings for best results:

·        MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format

·        320×240 resolution

·        MP3 audio

·        30 frames per second


We followed these recommendations to get the results right.

  • Capture the video at the fixed region setting either 320×240, or increase the size in proportion to this resolution, e.g. 640×480 and so on.
  • Produce the video as an AVI. Use the custom size option to set the video size to 320×240.
  • In our experience it was easier to compress the video in other video editing application, as an example Adobe Premier.
  • Convert the video into MP4 format. You may have to tinker with the settings on your own to make it fit within the 100 MB size for YouTube.

So that’s how we made our demo. We do believe however, that at the end of the day the video technology doesn’t help if what you are offering doesn’t solve problems that real users are interested in. The video struck a chord because it addresses simple needs that all of us have.


Hope our two bits on demo making will provide some insight in creating your own demos.





Filed under Technology

11 responses to “Demo Video: Making Of

  1. Bobert

    Wonderful receiving this insight – and I especially appreciate you sticking to that weekly update format (thank you very much!) that you promised us.

    Keep up the good work.

    I wait with great anticipation!

  2. baumdexterous

    Great post! Thanks for the information! We are looking forward to next week’s update!

  3. It was an exceptionally good demo video. I’ve seen others for similar and dissimilar products, and this one easily beats them.

    Eagerly waiting release (or hopefully beta invite)

  4. Thank you thank you thank you. We spent over 30 hours trying to do a video demo of and still are struggling with the resolution issues on youtube. The video looks cystal clear in AVI or MPEG or MOV… but the flash conversion looses the clarity…

    So now i will follow what you guys did and see what i can come up with. Also, nice tip on the thumbnail to make it more engaging. I am going to use that idea. 😉

    Thanks again and I wish you all the best.
    Rodney Rumford

  5. ceedee

    Thank you so much for taking the time to keep us informed.

    Breathlessly awaiting further developments…

  6. Keith Clarke

    I can’ t believe that after so many months of waiting unsuccessfully for an oh-so-elusive beta invitation, I am now being treated to a long, detailed explanation of the minutiae of the promo video. Forgive me for raining on the parade, but is someone losing the plot here?

  7. Roger

    Is it just me or does anybody else think that a lot of the comments on this blog read as if they are either phony, or have been written by the developers mothers.

    “Wonderful receiving this insight – and I especially appreciate you sticking to that weekly update format (thank you very much!) that you promised us.”

    “Thank you so much for taking the time to keep us informed.

    Breathlessly awaiting further developments…”

    Jeez, how cringe making.

    I also agree with Keith Clarke. If the developers have spare time they should be finding better ways to spend it.

  8. bobert

    Sorry to dissapoint, but the above comment is not fake.

    I honestly appreciate what I consider a step of good faith towards those of us who have been asking for regular updates – I, personally, like being kept informed. Having regular updates is something that we can rely on from week to week and look forward to, while we wait for the product to come out of beta.

    Time spent with consumers is every bit as important as time spent on the product. One should not be in the place of the other – BOTH are necessary.

    I am thankful that iScrybe is making further effort in listening to our concerns, which is why I felt a “thank you” was merited.

  9. Alan Phillips

    Interesting information, thanks

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your video creation tips…

    It’s a real challenge to try to figure out the best settings, and I completely know the agony of creating multiple different settings, and variations, until eventually you get to the one that works!

    I’ll be sure to try your settings for future videos that we produce as content for a non-profit we work with…

    Thanks! (I also can’t wait to finally get a beta invite!!)

  11. humpie

    well, I think that’s strange that it was months ago that the beta was released and not even one version can be found online! Is this fake or what? I have started to work with thinkingrock and fusiondesk. Very fast and also still in development. The difference is that you can WORK with the version and meanwhile the developer gives and asks feedback. ….greeets and Scybe..succes!

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