Make Animated GIF Screencasts Easily With Byzanz
People always love videos. We’ve all heard the saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Now it has changed slightly: “A video is worth a thousand pictures and words”. A video will describe things much better than pictures and words i believe. Now a days mostly bloggers and writers are switching to make video tutorials instead of text tutorials and uploading them to their blogs, sites and social media video sites such as YouTube etc. In my personal thought, making a video article is much easier and time saving process than writing a text article with lot of images.
There are so many tools available out there to make videos of a running X desktop, the one today we are going to discuss is Byzanz.
Byzanz is a simple tool and GNOME applet to record a running X desktop to an animated GIF, OGG Theora or Flash for presentation in a web browser. Byzanz records animations for presentation in a web browser. The user interface and source code of Byzanz are simple and easy to understand and don’t contain any necessary features.
Byzanz does not interfere with the task you are recording, neither by keeping a large settings window around nor by consuming all your CPU during a recording. Furthermore it consists of two different tools, byzanz-record, which allows you to make recordings from the command line and byzanz-playback, which makes it possible to convert debug recordings into other supported formats.
Install Byzanz On Ubuntu. Linux Mint & Debian
Add the Byzanz PPA using command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/byzanz
Update package list with command:
sudo apt-get update
Now install Byzanz using command:
sudo apt-get install byzanz
Application Options: -a, --audio Record audio from the default input device. This only works if the output format supports it and will otherwise cause an error. -c, --cursor Record mouse cursor -d, --duration=SECS Duration of animation (default: 10 seconds) --delay=SECS Delay before start (default: 1 second) --display=DISPLAY X display to use -h, --height=PIXEL Height of recording rectangle -v, --verbose Be verbos -w, --width=PIXEL Width of recording rectangle -x, --x=PIXEL X coordinate of rectangle to record -y, --y=PIXEL Y coordinate of rectangle to record
Help Options: -?, --help Show help options --help-all Show all help options --help-gtk Show GTK+ Options
Output file: After byzanz-record is finished, the recording is written to FILENAME. The format is determined by the filename extension. The following formats are supported: byzanz - Record to Byzanz' internal debugging format. This is useful for benchmarking Byzanz or if you want to convert the recording to multiple formats later. You can use byzanz-playback(1) to convert the file. flv - Record to a Flash Screen video. This recording method is lossless. Use it if you want to postprocess the file in other applications. gif - Record to an animated GIF image. Use this if you want to record a mostly static screen with a limited amount of colors, such as using a file manager or an office application. This is the default and will be used if an unrecognized extension is used. ogg, ogv - Record to an Ogg Theora video. This format supports audio. Use this if you want to record dynamic contents, such as video playback.
Sample Video creation
Here how i created a short animated GIF video in my Ubuntu Desktop. Open up the Terminal and type the following:
byzanz-record --duration=20 --x=0 --y=0 --width=1024 --height=800 sk.gif
The above command will create a GIF file named sk.gif in the current directory. Open it up using any image viewer or Firefox browser.
References: Ubuntu Byzanz man pages
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