The Quick & Dirty Way For Designers To Screen Record

It’s not this

We’ve all been there. You need a website, app, or experience recorded right now and needs to be better than a camcorder from the 80s.

If you need a screen recording with sound, some trimming, and a shareable video then this process is for you.

Through some trial and error, I’ve found a process that is as quick and dirty as it gets. I only have a process for macOS, so sorry windows users. The process has three parts.

Step 1: Install Soundflower (If you need to record sound)

This allows us to capture audio from our computer and feed it right into Quicktime when we screen-record. It also means audio isn’t going through your speakers anymore.

You can get the install file here

macOS will tell you that it can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. In System Preferences > Security & Privacy, click “Open Anyway” under Allow Apps downloaded from.

Now install SoundFlower. You’ll also need to restart your Mac to use it.

Switch your output device to Soundflower (2ch) available in your volume drop-down.

Reducing the volume of the Soundflower device is a good idea when recording so the audio isn’t too loud.

Sound is now going through Soundflower so you won’t hear anything from your speakers.

Close applications and disable notifications that might make sounds during the screen recording.

Step 2: Screen Recording With Quicktime

Open Quicktime and Select File>New Screen Recording. This will open new screen recording window.

Using the drop-down select our Microphone Soundflower (2ch)

I haven’t found a way to listen to audio output while recording. I did say this was quick and dirty.

You’re now good to screen record. After pressing record, follow Quicktimes prompts to either select a portion of the screen or click to record the whole screen.

This window will disappear when we start recording. To stop recording, right click the Quicktime icon in your dock or use the stop button in the taskbar.

If you have the 2016+ Macbook Pro, you can also press stop recording on the touch Bar. (Finally a use for it)

When you’ve finished recording, use File>Save to save a .mov.

Step 3: Using Adobe Media Encoder To Trim & Render Your Screen Recording From .mov To .mp4

Install Media Encoder if you haven’t already via Creative Cloud. You can also find a trial here.

Drag and drop the .mov you recorded into the Queue.

Adobe Media Encoder

Media Encoder will select your format as H.264, with the preset Match Source–High Bitrate.

Click H.264 or Match Source–High Bitrate to open the Export Settings.

Adobe Media Encoder–Export Settings

You can trim your video using the left and right arrows on the blue play head at the bottom of your video.

Under Summary>Output you can see the length your video is.

Trimming for social media: Twitter has a limit of 2 minutes and 20 seconds, and Instagram (which lets you trim further) has a limit of 1 minute.

Press OK, followed by the green play button to render your screen capture. Once done it’ll export the .mp4 to the same directory that you dragged your video in from.

Things to keep in mind when using Quicktime with Media Encoder

  • Quicktime’s screen recordings are 60fps.
  • If you change the fps in Media Encoder you might get unexpected results.
  • You can reset your settings in the right panel in Preset>Match Source–High Bitrate.

Bonus GIF Step:

If you need to convert a screen capture from a video to a gif. I actually used this to make the Media Encoder gifs above. They do have a time limit of 59 seconds.

This process isn’t perfect, but it’s fast, and it’s let me get more of the gskinner team’s work shared on our social media accounts.

You could use After Effects to output a gif, or Premiere to get more control out of the cropping, and edits for the screen recording you have. But if the goal is to be quick and dirty then this should work.

Let me know if you have a different or better solution to the ones I posted!