Aug 5, 2009

Expression Encoder 3 Screen Capture


Expression encoder 3 screen capture is a new product in the expression suite that is aimed at simplifying screen capture and screen cast production.

For anyone who has done screen casts before you have likely used Camtasia. The early versions of Camtasia were a bit confusing and clunky to work with, but they were still the best option out there for quickly putting together screencasts. The most recent version of the Camtasia product has really improved and is a fine product.

I am glad to see Microsoft jump into this area and develop a competing product. If nothing else this will spur competition and really drive the feature set of both products further.

Where Expression Encoder Screen Capture really seems to excel is in Hi definition video capture and in general screen capture performance. From the Expression Encoder blog:

“One of the benefits of our new implementation is that we capture to a light weight intermediate CODEC, developed by Microsoft Research, rather than attempting to capture and encode directly to VC-1 or H.264.  This leaves more of the CPU available for the application you are capturing.”

What I really like about ESC (HA get it.. Encoder Screen Capture… ok enough nerd humor) is the selection model is very smooth. When I want to capture just one window to record it is very easy to isolate that window and then start recording.

The post production workflow is very nice too. Since you have Expression Encoder installed as well you are able to open your captured video directly in Expression Encoder and then you have the full power of the encoding tool to make your video “distribution friendly”

You can see a screen cast that I produced using ESC here.

I think it is a very neat new tool in the Expression Studio 3 release and well worth checking out if you are you need to produce high quality screencasts with a streamlined post processing operation.


Blogger Sridhar V said...

Hi Brad.
Unfortunately, the Expression Encoder 3 Screen Capture doesn't come with a SDK. We are planning to develop a Silverlight Application with the Screen-Capture feature. Can you help us with finding some tools(with a SDK) that are Silverlight-compatible? The application what we are planning to develop is expected to work offline as well(out-of-browser).

I used Expression Encoder 3 and found it to be really useful, but I am not sure how long I need to wait for SDK to be released for th e Screen Capture functionality?


May 14, 2010 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

I believe Camtasia used to have an API but I think it was discontinued. Expression Encoder does have a very nice API but you are right, there is no hooks into the Screen Capture portion. That would be a really nice feature though. If you find something that works let me know.

May 14, 2010 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Sridhar V said...

Thanks Brad. Will surely keep you updated on this.


May 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Expression Encoder 4 now has the SDK for screen capture. You can use it to build your app.

June 28, 2010 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Hi Lin,

Thanks for the update. That is really cool. I will have to check out the SDK.

June 28, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

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