The other day I was talking to a friend and fellow Mac owner interested in recording a Google Hangout. In addition to recording Hangouts he also wants to be able to edit them and has an interest in making Youtube videos similar to mine.
After talking for a while about where to come up with ideas for content, etc, he asked me how much money it would cost him to get started creating videos. I told him I’ve invested a few hundred dollars in microphones, a green-screen and external camera HD camera, and that he can get started for much less than I did. Then he asked “how much will I have to spend on software?”.
I was as shocked when he asked me this, as he was when I said, “0$ ! Everything you need to get started is included with your Mac! He did not know that as a Mac owner, he already has everything he needs!
So if you are a Mac owner, here is a list of tools that you already have that you can use to record Google Hangouts, edit videos, edit sound, and just about anything else you need to create some awesome Youtube videos.
You can use Quicktime to record your Google Plus Hangouts, or anything else that you can watch on your screen (if you can see it, you can capture it). Quicktime records in high or low quality, with or without sound. You can also use Quicktime to record from your iSight camera or any video camera connected to your Mac.
UPDATE: Ronnie Bincer of TheHangoutHelper.com has pointed out to me that although Quicktime can be used to make high-quality recordings of your Google Plus Hangouts, the audio from the other people in the Hangout is not optimal (which I have confirmed). Ronnie recommends using a (free!) program like SoundFlower to properly mix/combine the the audio for best results. I will be trying Soundflower and plan to make a post/video with the results.
Photo Booth is great for recording Youtube videos if you want some awesome looking and easy to use effects.
The video in the screen grab image below was created with a green screen and a Photo Booth custom user-backdrop effect. For Google Plus Hangouts (or Skype) you can use CamTwist (free), to broadcast your video with these Photo Booth effects.
iMovie is where the magic happens.
iMovie has been my editor of choice since 2006 for all of my Youtube videos as well as my home-movies.
With iMovie you get a simple interface that is great as a “first editor” for hacking up your first youtube videos, but it also has some advanced features like Green/Blue screen, Picture in Picture, and overlays.
Like iMovie, Garage Band puts an easy to use interface on some pretty advanced features. With Garage Band you can do basic to advanced sound editing, although I have been able to do all the sound editing I need in iMovie.
The hidden utility of the Mac! To capture a screen-shot of your entire screen on your Mac hit Command+Shift+3 (that’s, the Command, Shift and 3 buttons all at the same time). You can get extra fancy and capture just a specific area or window by hitting Command+Shift+4. Your mouse pointer will turn into crosshairs that you can click and drag over just the area that you want to grab. When you let go of the mouse button, the image file of the screen shot will be saved to your desktop.
You can also use the “Grab” utility which you can find in the Utilities folder (in the Applications folder). Grab will let you save your screen grabs as TIFF (not sure why anyone would want to do that) instead of the default .PNG, and also will allow you to make a screenshot with a cursor in it which the button shortcuts I mentioned above will not do.
After you take all of those screenshots you can do quick and basic editing on them with Preview, the default file viewer for OS X.
With Preview you can crop, resize, add text, colored shapes, arrows, callouts, and thought bubbles. When you get really good, you can even use it to make pre-keyed images for special effects in iMovie.
For an example of what you can do with all of these Mac software tools and to see them in action, take a look at any of my videos posted in my primary YouTube Channel: youtube.com/Grownupgeek. You might even notice how my skills have improved over time when comparing the older videos to the most recent.