ScreenFlow 4 and the new nested clips feature
Many ScreenFlow users may not fully understand the capabilities of one of the new version 4.0 updates called nested clips, so I think it’s a good idea to give some examples of how you can use this powerful new feature for your screencasts. .
The most obvious feature of this feature in ScreenFlow 4 is to help keep your timeline clean and organized. This in itself is a valuable tool because when you’re making screencasts, especially those longer or more complicated types, you know how intense your workflow projects can get. Layer upon layer of audio tracks, images, annotations, callouts, and screenshots can make your workflow downright confusing at times.
The other benefit is the ability to add effects to all tracks within the nested clip. I did a lot of work with this feature during the beta version and I am convinced that it is the most important update the software has ever had. The ability to add a video action to a nested clip basically allows for the effects to be duplicated, since presumably some of the tracks within your nested clip will already have video effects applied individually. For example, you can apply an opacity effect to a single track, then nest that clip and add a resize video action on top, causing them to run simultaneously.
The ability to combine the 2 video actions running at the same time really does smell like professional video editing software and, if combined with a little creativity, you can now create some amazing effects on ScreenFlow.
Below are some of the effects I’ve already tried with nested clips.
I created a moving logo to appear in my video within its own nested clip. This created the common television effect of having a brand, title, or preview running in the corner of the screen while a show is running.
I also use the new feature to embed multiple title lines independently, then split all those tracks and combine the last half of all of them into a nested clip so that I can move all the titles off screen together. If you’ve ever watched kinetic text videos, this is what I did with my titles on ScreenFlow.
During my beta test, I also created intros and outros, based on the same nested clip. I would just do one for the intro, then copy and drag it to the end of my video and make some minor adjustments to make it clear that the video was ending. That saved a lot of time while keeping the visual theme and branding of my video very tight.
I get a lot of effects ideals from watching TV because a lot of TV channels and shows get quite creative using graphics, particularly news shows like the ones you watch on CNN. They use lower thirds a lot and nested clips are perfect for creating lower thirds that you can copy and paste anywhere in your video, where you may need a new title or introduction to a new section. What I’m doing now with the lower thirds is copying and pasting them from one video to another, not just within a project, and they seem to transfer with ease.
The last thing I did a lot of work on during beta and nested clips testing was making my own transitions. I use it because the type of transitions I was using were more like layers on top of my video that closed together, added a logo, and then opened again to a new video topic so I could move forward with the content. Similar to lower thirds, a nested clip that comes into contact with a transition is also easy to transpose anywhere in your video or another video project. That’s great for creating a YouTube video series.
These are just a few of the things that I have used nested clips for in this short time since the release of ScreenFlow 4. I really think the feature is only limited by your own creativity, so I hope that many ScreenFlow users will push this program to make some really cool and amazing graphics in your screencasts and video marketing.