Integrating a phone/tablet video into another Panopto recording

This technique is useful if you want to record handwriting (on paper, using a smartphone, or on a tablet), and add it to a Panopto recording made on a computer (with audio and webcam, and perhaps slides).

Carrying out the recording

If you are recording on your phone/tablet, and simultaneously in Panopto on your computer, then you will later need to align these videos (since you are unlikely to manage to start recording on both simultaneously).  To help this, start both recordings, then make a movement that will be visible on both cameras (computer and phone/tablet).  You could move both hands at once (one in front of computer, one under phone camera), or move one hand in front of your computer while making a mark on your tablet.  Then wait for a couple of seconds, before you start recording.  This will give you a reference point for aligning the videos later, and you can trim it when you edit the video later.

Then go ahead and record (see the separate instructions for how to do this, link on the main Panopto page).

Combining the recordings

You will need to transfer your phone/tablet video to your computer.

Your computer recording in Panopto is the main recording.  You then need to add the phone/tablet video as an additional “stream” in Panopto.   Note that the audio from your phone/tablet video will not be transferred in the process; Panopto will use the audio in the computer recording.

  • Open the computer recording in Panopto, in editing mode.
  • Choose “Streams” on the left-hand side.
  • Click on “Add Stream”.
  • Drag the phone/tablet video file onto the “Drop a secondary video or PowerPoint file” box, or click on this box and find the file that way.

You should now be able to see the extra stream added in the visual timeline at the bottom of the screen, as well as in the list of streams.  (You might need to refresh the view in your browser.)

It would be a good idea to choose a sensible name for the new stream, as this will be visible to viewers in the final video (it appears as a sort of tab under the video).  In the sample video, the computer stream is named Screen (Panopto’s default), and the phone stream is named Handwriting.

There is Panopto guidance about adding and editing video streams, with screenshots.

Aligning the recordings

The next step is to align the recordings.  You will do this by changing the start time of the phone/tablet stream, to start it earlier or later than the main computer recording, so that it aligns correctly. 

Make sure you have the Streams view open (choose the Streams link on the left-hand side if not).  This is the same view that you used to add a stream earlier.  You should see your phone/tablet video listed as a secondary stream.

To change the start time, hover over the relevant stream, click on the three vertical dots, and select “Edit”.  You can now choose a new start time.  Note that times can be negative as well as positive. 

You will probably need a few attempts to choose a suitable new start time.  Find the point in the computer recording where you made your movement for aligning the recordings, and keep watching that short section of video as you try different start times for the phone/tablet stream, until you find one that suits.

Editing and post-production

The final step will be to do any editing required, and post-production (captions and so on).  There are separate instructions about these in the links at the side of the main Panopto guidance.  The information about editing secondary sources separately will be relevant.  For example, you can create the effect of switching between slides and handwriting by editing the relevant streams so that only the right one remains visible at any one time.  If you don’t do this, and leave more than one secondary stream visible at a given time, then the viewer can select which they see, which might be more appropriate in some circumstances.