Capturing crisper screenshots

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At the risk of going too far into the inner workings of my job, reader Mark Thomas has put his foot into a flavor of soup with which I’m intimately familiar. He writes:

I’ve watched several of the Macworld vodcasts and wondered how you create your crisp, clear screen shots of various apps. I would like to produce video tutorials for the teachers at my school. I used SnapzProX to capture my actions on the screen and then put them in to iMovie to create the tutorial. But no matter what settings I use in iMovie, screen captures seem to come out blurry. What software do you use to capture your screen actions and put together the vodcasts?

I can only speak for myself because each of us who produce the Macworld videos—Jason Snell, Rob Griffiths, Dan Frakes, Brian Chen, and Dan Miller—do things a little differently. From my perspective, you’re on the right track. I use SnapzProX as well. Where our techniques likely vary is that when I invoke SnapzPro to capture a still, I capture at 400%. This helps ensure that when I import the stills into iMovie HD, iMovie doesn’t blow up a capture of, say, 200-by-200 pixels, so that it becomes a fuzzy mess. Snapz has some way of enlarging images so that they look sharp when blown up and then packed down again to fit an iMovie frame.

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