• Recommended Video Editing Tools

    We know that there are tons of software tools available to create and edit your lectures, and it can get overwhelming. To help you choose, we have gathered feedback from Udemy instructors and compiled this list of the most popular editing tools.

    No matter which software application you choose, we suggest starting with a free trial to make sure it meets your needs. If you’re not sure what types of lectures you’ll be making, try mapping out your course goals and outline first. Planning your content will give you a clearer picture of how you want to teach your course, and which tools you'll need in a software program to achieve your plan.

    Recommended Software and Programs

    PC or Mac

    • Camtasia Studio ($299): This tool provides easy zoom and pan features, and is our most popular tool with instructors.
    • Debut Video Capture (Free or $29)
    • Screenr (Free or Premium)
    • Jing (Free)

    Mac only

    • Screenflow ($99): This tool is only popular with more seasoned instructors.
    • Camtasia for Mac ($99): This tool provides easy zoom and pan features, and is our most popular tool with instructors.
    • iShowU ($20-69)
    • Quicktime (Free)

    PC only

    • CamStudio (free): This is an open source editing tool that includes Webcam integration.
    • Front Cam ($30)
    • Microsoft Expression (Free)

    Extra tools

    • You can get your videos edited for you! Check out Udemy's partnership with Videopixie, where you'll get 40% off of two separate video editing packages.
    • The Studio U is also a great resource for video production help.  Chances are, another instructor has already encountered every question you have.  Ask a question and see who’s out there to help!

    More Information

    For more information about recording quality video, check out these articles: 

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  • Video Quality: Optimal Video Export Settings

    Before uploading your lectures, be sure to export your video lectures using the optimal export settings we recommend below. The quality of your videos is really important to students, and is an important piece of our Quality Review Process -- so this is key information!

    Optimal Export Settings For Videos Recorded in 720p HD​

    • Adjust video compression format to H.264 or MPEG-4 (with an AAC or MP3 audio codec)
    • Data Rate/Bit Rate: 3000 kbits/seconds
    • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
    • Dimensions: 1280x720
    • For frame rate, we recommend different settings depending on the lecture format:
      • Frame rate for screencast videos: 10 Frames Per Second (10 FPS)
      • Frame rate for talking head videos: 30 Frames Per Second (30 FPS) 

    Optimal Export Settings For Videos Recorded in 1080p HD​

    • Adjust video compression format to H.264 or MPEG-4 (with an AAC or MP3 audio codec)
    • Data Rate/Bit Rate: 3000- 5000 kbits/seconds
    • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
    • Dimensions: 1920x1080 
    • For frame rate, we recommend different settings depending on the lecture format:
      • Frame rate for screencast videos: 10 Frames Per Second (10 FPS) 
      • Frame rate for talking head videos: 30 Frames Per Second (30 FPS) 

    Please note: students viewing courses with Udemy's new adaptive streaming player will see a 1080p resolution, provided they are utilizing the "Auto" quality option and have a strong enough internet connection.

    How to Change Your Export Settings Using Common Software

    Camtasia: 
    Select Share > Advanced Export > Select from Export list > Export to Quicktime MPEG-4 > Select Options to adjust rest of options

    Windows Movie Maker:
    Select Home > Save Movie > At the bottom of dropdown, select Create Custom Settings to adjust rest of options

    iMovie
    Select Share > Export Using Quicktime > Export to MPEG-4 > Select Options to adjust rest of options

    Screenflow
    Select File > Export > Customize > Settings to adjust rest of options

    Quicktime
    Select File > Save as > Format > 720p

    More Information About Video Quality

    Looking for more information to help you ensure top quality video for your lectures? Check out these articles:

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  • Video Quality: Optimal Video Recording Settings

    Once you’ve got your recording equipment ready to go, it’s important to use the right settings to set your video quality up for success. Make sure you check your equipment prior to recording to ensure that the settings are set up according to our recommendations below:

    • Quality Settings: Use high resolution 720p or HD settings
    • Compression Type: H.264 (with an AAC or MP3 audio codec)
    • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
    • Resolution: 1280x720
    • Frame Rate: 10-15 (preferred)
    • Frame Reordering: Unchecked
    • Key Frames: Automatic
    • Data Rate: Automatic

    Then, once you’re done recording, make sure to export your videos using the optimal export settings we recommend. Learn more here: Video Quality: Optimal Video Export Settings.

    Don't worry! If you don't have any experience creating videos, we have a team of experts who can help. You can submit a test video to our team who will provide personalized feedback on how to make high quality, engaging course videos

    More Information About Video Quality

    Looking for more information to help you ensure top quality video for your lectures? Check out these articles:

     

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  • Video Quality: Setting Up Your "Recording Studio"

    We know it can be tough to find a quiet place to record your lectures. If possible, setting up a dedicated space in your home to record your lectures is a great way to ensure that you record the highest quality audio and video. Here are a few tips to setting up your own DIY “recording studio”, wherever it may be:

    • Turn off any vents or fans in the room, as well as any electronic devices, including your television and your phone.
    • Make sure you record in a room away from other people.
    • If you have a lot of open space, take the time to soundproof your room if possible. Here are a few tips to set up your home studio.

    Ensuring Video Quality

    • Don’t have a professional recording studio at your disposal? No problem. Follow these tips for transforming any room into a workable studio.
    • Lighting is really important for your videos — if students can’t see you, how will they be able to learn? Check out this video for creating an amazing lighting kit, on the cheap.
    • Sometimes it’s scary being in front of the camera! This video gives tips on getting loose and staying natural in front of the lens.
    • If you’re interested in creating presentation-style lectures, consider PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi. Click here for more information about recommended video creation and editing software. 

    Ensuring Audio Quality

    Once you’ve got your home studio set up, here are a few steps you can take to make sure your recordings are as clear as possible:

    • Before recording, make sure your microphone is plugged in correctly and your recording software recognizes your microphone.
    • Speak clearly and directly into your microphone: This will help you avoid any muffled sound. Make sure the microphone is close to your mouth to ensure that all the audio is picked up!
    • Watch this video to learn a silly (but super effective) trick for getting good audio for your screencasted videos.
    • If you’ve already recorded your audio and you’re hearing issues, check out this article with common audio quality issues and solutions.

    Not sure if your video and audio quality is on the right track? Submit a test video, and the Udemy team will be happy to share feedback and ensure you’re on the path to success.

    More Information

    Looking for more information to help you ensure top quality video and audio for your lectures? Check out these articles:

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  • Video: Quality Standards

    First impressions are important, and producing a high quality video is critical to increasing student engagement. We found that 75% of students surveyed said that video/audio quality was essential to a good course experience.

    Remember, we do check for this as part of our Quality Review Process.

    Best Practices

    • Lecture Length: We recommend that lectures are between 5-7 minutes
    • Video Settings: HD video (720p minimum) with clear lighting, composition, and a steady camera exported in 16:9 format. These settings will ensure that your lectures are mobile optimized for mobile devices.
    • Lighting: Bright and balanced, with minimal shadows.
    • Framing: Use a clean, uniform, and non distracting backdrop. The background should contrast with the subject so that the speaker stands out.
    • File size: No larger than 1.0 GB. Compatible file types include mp4, .mov, and .wmv
    • Mobile Friendly: Featured text is large enough to read on a smaller screen.
    • Engagement: Use direct eye contact. Record as though you were speaking with close friends

    Before you record all of your lectures, submit a test video and have a Udemy team member review your video (and audio) recording settings to ensure you are set up for success, in the Quality Review Process and the Udemy marketplace.

    Minimum Requirements to Pass our Quality Review Process

    • Videos must be shot in HD (720p minimum) with clear lighting, framing, and steady camera. 
    • Videos must also include high-quality audio. To learn more about our audio quality criteria, click here.
    • Exported slide presentations with audio narration will not be approved unless they meet the following requirements:
    • Videos cannot be composed of a single static slide with audio narration.
    • All slides must be relevant to the narration and not simply subtitles for the audio. 

    Recommended Equipment and Software

    There are so many ways to create content for your online course and so many tools to help you shoot and edit video, we know it can get overwhelming. Check out the following articles for our recommendations:

    More Information About Video Quality

    Looking for more information to help you ensure top quality video for your lectures? Check out these articles.

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  • Promo Video: Quality Standards

    What Makes A Quality Promo Video

    The promo video serves as a preview of your course for students who haven't enrolled. It should accurately reflect the course experience (the production values, the teaching style, and the course goals).

    Think of your promo video as the trailer for your course -- it should get your students so excited about taking your course that they purchase it then and there!  So you’ll have to think about ways to make your promo video as well-produced, engaging, and eye-catching as possible while also giving students a real sense of your teaching style and the content that you’ll cover.


    If that sounds like a lot to cover in a quick video, fear not!  Here is our formula for Promo Video success.

    Overview

    • Your finished promo video should be no longer than 90-120 seconds. 
    • Show your face!  Your promo video should be all “Talking Head”.
    • Music can be a nice touch.  Think about adding in some tunes to make your video more engaging.
    • Be true to your course content.  If you are narrating your entire course, but have a different voiceover for your promo video, that’s misleading for students.  Similarly, if you say in your promo video that your course covers “x” but it actually covers “y”, that’s misleading.  Make sure your promo video is a polished but accurate trailer for your teaching.

    Formula for Promo Video Success

    Follow these steps (feel free to tweak them, like the instructors in the examples below!) to ensure that your promo video is optimized for conversions.

    Step 1. 
    [20-30 seconds].  Welcome your students to the course and introduce yourself.  Give a 1 sentence intro to your course, and a 1-2 sentence overview of what makes you a credible instructor.

    • Example: “Welcome to Pasta Making 101, where I’ll take you through the entire process of creating your own pasta, from scratch.  My name is Mario Batali and I’m an awarding winning chef, owner of 3 restaurants, and an enthusiast of everything Italian.”

    Step 2. 
    [20-30 seconds].  Course Introduction and Overview.  At a high level, describe the benefits of the course, what is covered, and what skills the student will have upon completing the course.

    • Example: “Pasta Making 101 is an introductory course for home chefs seeking to improve their Italian cooking and pasta-making skills. Throughout the course we will cover techniques used by executive chefs throughout the world, and walk you through a step-by-step process for creating these masterpieces at home, and we’ll even include a few “secrets of the pros.” 

    Step 3. 
    [10-30 seconds].  List (don’t describe) the major components of the course.  Think of this as a bullet list.

    • Example: “Because our goal is to get you up to speed as quickly as possible, we’ll cover the different kinds of pasta around the world, equipment basics, ingredient prep, shaping techniques, the ideal water-to-starch ratio, boiling methods, and some of my favorite family recipes.  At the end of the course you’ll be a past-making maestro, with enough confidence to open a pop-up restaurant, or just host a delicious dinner party.”

    Step 4. 
    [20-30 seconds].  Ideal Student description.  Describe your target audience, and who youd ideal student is.

    • Example: “This course is designed for enthusiastic home cooks who want to take their skills to the next level.  You’re a beginner cook, who’s comfortable in the kitchen but wants to know more.  You have an itch to host dinner parties, and a real love of pasta.”

    Step 5. 
    [10-20 seconds].  Thank you and Call to Action.  Thank your potential students for watching your promo video, and let them know the next steps to purchase the course.

    • Example: “Thanks for your interest in Pasta Making 101 -- I hope you’re as excited as I am!  If you’re ready to learn more and sign up for the course, go ahead and hit that Enroll button, or take a test drive by using the Free Preview feature.  See you in the course!”  

    Examples

    Great Promo Video                       Bad Promo Video

    To Summarize:

    Your promo video should be short, sweet, well-produced, and gripping.  Let your students know how your course will help them, and what they’ll get out of it.  Your promo video should make your students want to purchase your course immediately after watching.

    • Your promo video should give students information about the course - goals and objectives, course outline - and should function as an intro to the entire course.
    • Your promo video should not violate Udemy's community guidelines and must be within Udemy's audio and video standards.  


    If you need to learn how to upload your promo video please click here.

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  • Best Practices for Video Recording

    There are so many ways to create content for your online course and so many tools to help you shoot and edit video, record great sound and set up lighting, that it can get overwhelming. Here are some tips to help out!

    Best Practices

    • Lighting - keep it bright and balanced.
    • Audio - use a quality microphone and make sure your audio is clear, crisp, and audible. Remember that 2/3rds of good video is good audio. In fact, if you are going to invest in equipment, buy a quality microphone before a quality camera.
    • Video - use high resolution 720p or HD (most modern smartphones and digital cameras can record in 720p). 720p format has a resolution of 1280x720 or an aspect ratio of 16:9 (think widescreen tv). Here are the best export settings to use. 
    • Framing - have a clean background and frame your objects in easy view. For portrait style video, have the objects well lit with a contrasting background (bright or dark); upper torso shot is recommended (for fitness courses, the closer the better). 
    • Video length - we recommend your videos are between 2 and 20 minutes in length, but most video lectures fall within the 5-10 minute mark (the exact will vary based on your content). 
    • Type - keep files to a 1.0 GiB size limit, use .mp4, .mov, or. wmv format, and use widescreen 16:9 ratio (even though 4:3 is accepted).
    • Connection - imagine you are speaking to someone as you record your video. Look directly into the camera to connect with your audience.

    Video

    • Any camera works, from DSLR cameras, to Flip cameras, to Webcams (not typically recommended but make sure you test your webcam for a high quality picture.) 

    Audio

    Screen Recording Software

    • Camtasia Studio ($299) PC or MAC- Easy zoom and pan, most popular tool with instructors.
    • Screenflow ($99) MAC only- Popular with our seasoned instructors on MACs
    • CamStudio (free) PC only - Open source, includes Webcam integration
    • Camtasia for Mac ($99) MAC only - very easy to use, most popular tool with instructors.
    • Debut Video Capture (Free or $29) MAC or PC
    • Front Cam ($30) PC
    • iShowU ($20-69) MAC only
    • Microsoft Expression (Free) PC only
    • Screenr (Free or Premium) MAC or PC 
    • Quicktime (Free) MAC
    • Jing (Free) MAC or PC 

    Lighting

    • Lighting can be created by using home lamps to buying actual kits. Consider softbox lighting.

    Presentation

    • There are several ways you can create a presentation. Consider PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi. 

    Make sure you do a quick free trial for any of the recording software applications and see if it does what you are looking to achieve when teaching via video for your online course. Think about what your course goals are for a particular lesson, then decide how you want to teach online it via video. Try mapping out the educational experience first and then it'll be easier to know which tools you'll need in a software program.

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