Making Android Videos

Since I agonized over how to make these videos both times I did it, I thought I’d write up a guide. I’ll assume that readers have already developed an Android application (or whatever else they want to take video of) and know how to run it for display.

To capture the video, I reccomend using Ubuntu and downloading gtk-recordMyDesktop. All of the mac/windows utilities I’ve found are paid and while some (read: Fraps) are pretty reasonably priced for the quality of the tool, free is always nice. Gtk will also record screen regions easily, which is ideal if, like me, you only want a portion of your screen recorded. In my case, I draw the record region around the mock cell phone displayed by the Android emulator. The program will output a .ogv file when recording is done.

To get this file into a format that your video editing software will care about, you have to do a little file format dance as follows. Open a terminal window. Write: ffmpeg -i inputFileName -b 5000k outputFileName.desiredFormat  (inputFileName is your output file from gtk. outputFileName is what you want the transcoder to spit out at the end. desiredFormat is .mov if you’re using iMovie.)

I’d like to note that I didn’t come up with that nice command-line jutsu on my own. I found it after Googling around for a while. I’m not entirely sure what all of those flags are for as I didn’t actually read the man page on ffmpeg.

Next, boot up your mac or whatever, transfer the files over, and edit away! Happy movie making!