Technique for small (video) screen-captures

Video screen-capture example – the “custom fields” as seen on this post (used in

For small screen captures I find it most convenient (and free) to use the brilliant Cam Studio. I set “region” to fixed and in this case, fix the left corner in place too. Recording to MP4 is efficient, but still requires trans-coding with Handbrake anyway to use common codecs that most devices understand (despite the MP4 licencing issues). It’s cleaner and no bother, for short, small videos, to record to AVI, and then trans-code with Handbrake. It also permits the additional step, if required, of trimming the AVI with the venerable but indispensable Virtual Dub.

Screenshot of Handbrake showing device selection of Android 1080p30 and Picture size to be the same as the source captured by CamStudio
First I select a Device with dimensions that exceed my video’s dimensions and check the picture size is the same as the source. If there are dark bars in the video I would set cropping to Custom. I’m not considering Apple devices at the moment for streaming efficiency / codec compatibility. Just one simple mp4 video type.
Screenshot of HandBrake showing Web Optimized, Frame-rate same as source, and Fast Decode settings selected
For the output settings I select Web Optimized, and frame-rate to be same as source, and select Fast Decode. That’s sufficient for this video.
Screenshot of folder with the encoded output from Handbrake with a filesize of 126KB for 15-seconds no-audio video sized 1114 by 474 pixels
The encoded (in this case, from AVI, rather than trans-coded, more or less anyway) output for this 15-second video at 1114 by 474 pixels with no sound is 126KB. Small enough to serve from my blog’s server with no special streaming/bit-throttling set-up.