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Creating a speed drawing video

by Joseph Diaz

What better way to capture all of your time and hard work than recording your screen while you design? For this year's CorelDRAW® Design Contest, you can submit a speed drawing video along with your entry. This tutorial will explain how to record your speed drawing and then how to upload it. I'll be giving you a few pointers as we go.

To start, you need software that will capture or record your screen while you work. Luckily, Corel has a product for that — Corel® VideoStudio® Pro X5. If you don't already own a copy or don't have your own screen capturing software, I recommend heading over to Corel's website and downloading the trial or purchasing the video editing software. It is definitely worth having.

While you wait for VideoStudio Pro to download, you can take that time to prepare your project before you record. For starters, if you have your screen resolution set high, you may want to reduce it to a smaller size so when people watch your videos, they can make out your mouse pointer, the tools you use, etc. In CorelDRAW, close unnecessary dockers and open them only when needed. This is usually ‘a must' anyway whenever you downsize your screen resolution. I have also found that before I record a project, I like to practice creating my design first. If you are dealing with multi-page documents or importing content, it helps to prepare that as well. The better prepared you are, the smoother your recording process will go.

When VideoStudio Pro has downloaded, double-click the .exe file to start the installation process. Follow the instructions until the software is installed and ready to use. When you are ready, make sure CorelDRAW is open, and then start VideoStudio Pro.

In VideoStudio Pro, click the Capture step at the top of the workspace, then click Screen Capture. The VideoStudio, window will minimize revealing your CorelDRAW window underneath and a small dark gray Screen Capture dialog box. Click the Full Screen drop-menu, and choose CorelDRAW from the available options. This will record only your CorelDRAW window. If you click Settings, you will be able to specify where your video is saved and which format it will record. Youtube™, which is where you will ultimately upload your video to, will support most video formats. So the default WMV should work fine. Below that are the settings for audio recording. If you were recording a tutorial, that might be important, however since this is just a speed drawing video and because of localization constraints due to the multinational aspects of this contest, simply turning your voice and system audio off is recommended. If you wish to add music to the video, I'll explain how to do that in a later step.

Before you start recording, I have one more tip for you to keep in mind while you are working. Remember that people are going to watch your video. So if you are like me, and you love to use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out, or if you like to pan around, obviously there is no way to avoid this; however, doing it excessively makes the video harder for others to follow along, especially if the video is sped up. This is a complaint I've heard several times about my own videos and seminars, so just be conscious of that and you should be fine.

Click the big red Record button when you are ready to start recording and get to work! Also keep in mind you can pause your session at any time. I like to press F11 to pause.

When you are finished recording, click the Stop Recording button. Your newly recorded video will now be available in your Library within VideoStudio Pro.

The next step is to add the recorded video to the Timeline. I would also recommend creating a custom intro graphic in CorelDRAW for your new video. That intro graphic might include the title of your work, a preview image of the final design or piece of artwork, your name and any credits you might want to add. Export your CorelDRAW image as a bitmap with the dimensions of your final video. YouTube's aspect ratio is 16:9, so you could export your image at 1280 X 720 pixels for an HD video.

Next, if you would like to add music to your video, pick out a song you think complements your artwork and save it to the same folder as your intro graphic. It helps to pick music that won't scare away or annoy people. Try to pick something that will appeal to a larger majority of viewers and make sure to credit the musician and obey copyright laws. VideoStudio Pro does have stock-free rights audio and music files available in the Library.

You can add your intro image and music into the Library by clicking the Capture step at the top of the screen, then click the Import from Digital Media option. Browse to the folder containing your image on your computer, click OK and then Start. Check the photo and audio file you want to import and click Start Import. The next dialog box, by default, should have the Capture to Library and Import to Timeline options enabled. If that's so, go ahead and click OK.

Next, click the Edit step at the top of the screen to get to work. Your image, video, and music should now all be imported into your Timeline. Arrange these items on the Timeline however you think is best. You can even use VideoStudio Pro's selection of transitions by clicking on the icon that looks like a black A next to a white B. Be sure to test out your video by pressing the Play button in the preview window.

If you wish to speed up your video, right-click on the video portion of your project in the Timeline. Click Speed/Time-Lapse then chose the appropriate settings. Click Preview to test your settings and OK if you are happy with the results. If you alter the time of the recording, I would recommend noting that in a caption, or better yet the intro graphic at the beginning of your video.

Feel free to experiment with VideoStudio Pro. There is a lot more to it that what I have discussed here. When you are happy with your project, you are now ready to export your video. Click the Share step at the top of the screen. Then click Create Video File. From the drop-menu, you could select WMV or MPEG-4. Both are acceptable formats for YouTube.

Now that your video is finalized and ready to publish, go to youtube.com. Select the blue Sign in button in the top right hand corner of the screen. If you have an account, type your email and password, and then press Sign in. If you don't already have a YouTube account, select the red Create an Account button in the top right hand corner of the screen. Follow the instructions to create your new account.

Once you are signed in, you will want to click the Upload button beside the Search button at the top of the screen. On the next screen, you will need to click the Select files to upload button and then navigate to the folder on your computer containing your video. Click Open when you have it selected and follow the onscreen instructions.

Remember that for this competition, Corel requests that videos be equal or less than 10 minutes. However, if you want to just create a video not as an entry but for fun or practice you must keep in mind that Youtube has a 15-minute limit to the length of videos you can upload. To upload a video that is longer than 15 minutes:

Visit the upload page at www.youtube.com/my_videos_upload.

Click Increase your limit at the bottom of the page.

Follow the steps to verify your account with a mobile phone.

If for whatever reason you can't verify your account in order to upload your video, be sure to make your video no longer than 15 minutes.

It will take some time for your video to upload, so sit back and relax. Perhaps check out CorelDRAW.com while you wait, and enjoy the fantastic user forums and galleries of art created by CorelDRAW users from around the world.

When your video is uploaded, review it to make sure it uploaded properly. I would then recommend tagging your video with some of the following tags: 'speed drawing', 'speed painting', 'CorelDRAW', 'Corel PHOTO-PAINT'. By using these tags, you increase the chances of having your video found when people search for those terms.

Now that your video is live, be sure to submit it along with your entry, and good luck!