updated 06:15 pm EDT, Wed August 10, 2011
Freehand callouts, video annotations, more
Video software maker Telestream today released a major update to its screen-capture and screencasting software ScreenFlow -- updating to version 3.0, which adds new Lion features such as automatic saving, along with greater efficiency and control features including timeline enhancements, and a new ability to highlight or obscure screen details. The new version also features a new iPad preset for export, and the ability to publish screencasts directly to Vimeo.
The update also fixes hundreds of minor bugs and a handful of major ones, including an issue on machines with the Intel GMA 950 chipset that would cause color distortion upon export in Lion; a "lost audio" issue with YouTube publishing in Lion; an error that allowed a locked clip to be split if the "Ripple Delete" effect was used; a bug that ignored the "preserve aspect ratio" command in letterbox videos when exporting, and a Lion-based but that prevented ScreenFlow from recording a second monitor.
The new version brings further Lion compatibility and inherits Lion's new features, including auto-save and version control, resume, overlay scroll bars and full-screen viewing for editing or playback. Users can now change the background color of the canvas, use arrow keys to move video clips around, group and ungroup clips, and set an exact position for an object by entering screen coordinates.
The new freehand callouts will let users draw directly onto screen recordings, using circles, squares, lines and arrows similar to the annotation controls in Preview, but over video rather than images. Annotations can be customized, including drop shadows or adding movement and transitions, and callout styles can be saved as defaults. Areas of the screen can also be blurred out, either to put a highlighted area into "focus" or to obscure personal information (it should be noted that blurring and some other callout features aren't available on machines with Intel GMA video chipsets).
Timeline enhancements include new abilities to easily re-order, remove or resize tracks, as well as the option to add space or close gaps in tracks. Users can now set default timeline height, default duration of still images, default durations of transitions and more in a new "Timeline" preferences section, as well as use SMPTE timecode, jump to a marker in the timeline and preview or customize transitions.
Version 3 also offers previewing of audio and video clips in users' media libraries, the option to view audio waveforms and clipped peaks, a feature that can remove background noise, and the ability to smooth volume levels across clips or even convert text to synthesized speech. User can open an empty ScreenFlow document without starting a recording in v3, and export options have been improved -- including customizing export presets, letterbox options in YouTube (and 720p or 1080p YouTube publishing), and full integration with the Elgato Turbo H.264 device.
ScreenFlow v3 now requires Mac OS X 10.6.4 or higher (Leopard users should stay with the last version of 2.x), with at least a Core2Duo recommended. The program costs $99 and is available from Telestream, resellers and the Mac App Store. Upgrades from v2 to v3 are available for $29, while upgrading from v1 will cost $49. A free trial version is available from the company's website.