For anything from presentations and tutorials to the more frivolous, ScreenFlow has been the app of choice for Mac users who create screencasts for a living. Version 10 adds a whole slew of new exciting features and works with macOS Catalina and Big Sur, including full support for M1 Macs. I tested it with a basic iMac mid-2017 i5 27in with 40GB of RAM.
To me, the most interesting new feature is that ScreenFlow 10 can now capture audio from Mac applications separately, meaning you can remove apps’ sounds that cause distraction. Even better, ScreenFlow 10 can act as an output device for any DAW. If your presentation involves audio editing, this allows you to set up things yourself instead of depending on ScreenFlow’s settings. Professional audio engineers and sound buffs won’t settle for anything less.
An eye-catcher is ScreenFlow 10’s all-new titler engine. It has over two dozen lower thirds and titles with motion graphics. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the new titles and the ease with which you can customise them. Even stretching the on-screen time is a matter of dragging the title with animation taken care of by the engine.
The automatic Background Removal filter is another eye-popper. If you don’t like to expose your working environment and don’t have a green screen, regardless of whether it’s a wall painted green or blue, or white even, this filter will help. It is powered by advanced machine learning algorithms and optimised for Apple’s M1 Neural Engine, but it isn’t perfect. The bookshelves behind me were gone but so was a quarter of my face unless I didn’t move. It work best with a uniform background.
Unbelievable as it may sound, but ScreenFlow did not yet support visual mouse cursor motion and clicking clues. It does now and in a grand way. It has an option to smoothen mouse cursor motion. Moving the mouse is jerky. The smoothen feature takes the jerkiness out of mouse movements and that really allows you to focus on the content with less effort. Furthermore, you can now have an attention disc around the cursor to better see where the mouse is, and radar or other effects on clicking.
Another improvement is a set of updated video filters and the ability to import Adobe Cube LUTs, meaning there’s no limit on the number of unique looks you can add to your video.
In the area of user experience, when you now right-click on elements on the canvas, you can alter their properties without having to scroll through the timeline.
Other improvements are under the hood. For example, with ScreenFlow 10, captures from cameras are up to 250% smaller and take up to 75% less CPU than in ScreenFlow 9. On my iMac this was perceivable. If you have a fast machine, it may be less outspoken.
Telestream says ScreenFlow 10 has up to 300% faster thumbnail generation on the timeline. I can’t say if that is correct; it’s faster, that’s for sure.
It’s almost self-explanatory that ScreenFlow 10 brings a fresh, updated look for macOS 11 with updated Preferences. There’s a customisable toolbar and optional light or dark mode overrides.
Last but not least, ScreenFlow 10 provides a destructive archive option that stores what’s being used in the final recording and nothing more.
I’ve reviewed ScreenFlow since pre-Telestream times. Since then it has evolved from a single-trick screen recording app to a full-blown editing tool that is intuitive to use with power that surpasses many a user’s needs.
I wouldn’t have used ScreenFlow for anything else but screen capture and title creation up to version 8. With version 8 and 9, I found myself hesitating to use Final Cut Pro X for anything that involved a camera. With ScreenFlow 10, I’m not hesitating. It’s powerful enough to edit everything, including the camera recording which, for example, has full GoPro Webcam driver support.
Even on my machine, I could record the screen, an iPad, separate audio for each app, my voice via an Apogee Element 24, and the GoPro HERO 8 or 9 via the Webcam driver. On my Mac, that was the limit before the audio recording began to stutter and the fans would start spinning loudly.
ScreenFlow 10 retails at $149 and is available from Telestream’s website. Remember, you need macOS Catalina or Big Sur.