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Tool to Display Blender Keystrokes in Video Tutorials


thumb.jpgVideo tutorials are great but, it's very difficult for authors to articulate every keystroke and mouse-click, along with performing everything else. Even when it can be done, it tends to make for longer tutorials because the author has to slow down.

Well, here's a tool for video tutorial authors that may prove to be quite helpful.

Using the Windows open-source utility called AutoHotkey, Salvatore Agostino Romeo has created a compiled script that displays every keystroke and mouse-click that's performed.

He writes:

...I noted there are many tutorials to see, but in almost all you don't know what the
author is doing with keyboard and mouse. So I made a little program (about 200KB)
to help tutorial writers: osdHotkey. It is a standalone program: just run
it (no-install). It is open-source too.

Salvatore provides the source code, documentation, and a link to the scripting tool used to create it (AutoHotkey). You can also change the foreground and background colors, the size of the window, and you can use it to capture keystrokes for applications other than Blender.


You can check it out, here.


  1. Now this is very nice. :D I wonder what we Mac users will do about this... :P But ayway, we should be seeing some snazzy video tutorials come from this.

  2. Oh mean, I was just looking at some head modelling tuts .. and I was thinking that this would really help out, as I had no idea what the person was pushing.

    Excellent! I hope tutorial authors take to using this!

  3. omfg just what i was looking for, damn i've even considered coding something like that myself.
    thank you thank you thank you

  4. All what I always looking for and never expect that exist !
    This little tool will be ideal , cause till now I was always in obligation to just write some shortcut list above my video , without can't explain when I use it.
    Now, my tutorial will be more exact.
    Thanks Salvatore !

  5. Very nice :) is it possible to add some sort of font selection dialog in options? At least to change the font size?

  6. As tutorials mean a lot for the blender community (I really like the video tut's on!), I thinks this script is great progress!
    Couln't this be built into Blender itself? So it appears just as the properties dialog (NKEY) does?
    This will make it easier to make tutorials, and it can be used no matter what operating system you use!

  7. "Couln't this be built into Blender itself?"

    I've been discussing this with Ton long ago.
    Blender could be creating a text file with timecoded device events (mouse and keystrokes) to be used as subtitle track in video dvd's... But editing would be a problem.
    So it blender should also be storing the screendumps,... It became a SOC project but was never finished.

    Now it seems that video-dvd is not the best way to do tutorials. dvd-rom can fit much more hours of screen capture. The issue stays if you would want to be able to turn the keyevents overdraw off on playback. If not, this tool is perfect. Or yes, blender could draw little icons on screen in a "tutorial record" mode. If yes, then flash might be a good playback format to look at. flash can read external xml files and has no problem drawing over video.

  8. I have to say that this has made my life so much easier as a tutorial writer now. Having keep in mind and remember to say which hot keys are being used breaks your flow so much you can forget what you were doing (oooh so many times). This overlay tool is so useful, so big thanks to Salvatore for writing this one up.

  9. thanks a lot Salvatore. I'm doing a short intro to houdini for a few co-students tomorrow and this will certainly come in handy.

  10. Many Thanks to Salvatore for creating this wonderful tool! I am now using it in conjunction with Hypercam's own Keystroke display feature. The OSD works great, but there are some key combinations it does not show very well which is why I use it together with Hypercam's keystroke display tool.

    Here's a tutorial I created on Youtube using this tool.

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