A different kind of transition

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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I would like to see transitions have the ability to "crossover" or "blend" from one scene to the next without stopping the action. For example, if I have a video clip running (clip 1) and I transition to another scene or video clip, currently, clip 1 starts to fade out as the transition starts but stops as the transition progresses until it is gone. Then the next scene comes in, stopped, until the transition completes. I would like to see clip 1 keep moving until it is gone during the transition and when clip 2 comes in, start moving while the transition completes.

You could also omit a special effect transition (i.e. page turn, cube rotate etc) and physically overlay one clip on top of another. This would really give a smooth transition from one scene to the next. I have seen this option work both in Premier and Vegas Pro and would really like to see it here.
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David Frazier

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  • excited

Posted 9 years ago

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Randy Schott

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In certain areas, Camtasia feels underpowered when compared to a professional video editor. It probably has something to do with the fact that we aren't explicitly targeting pro-level customers. Like you said, Premiere and Vegas already have that nailed down :-). We aim for a balance between "This is really easy to use!" and "Wow, I didn't know I could make a video like that!".

This request seems to be aimed at making videos look better, but there is a lot to think about when it comes to ease of use. The transitions in CS7 can be considered "static", because you are transitioning through two images that don't change. The transitions you are looking for could be called "dynamic", because the source and target images are changing while the transition is happening.

The main issue with dynamic transitions is that you have to pull some time from somewhere, and this can easily affect the continuity of your timeline. Without a transition, there is a hard boundary between clips; one clip plays until its end, followed by another clip. "Static" transitions follow this principal because we add time in between the clips, but we transition between the last frame of the first clip and the first frame of the second clip. When you add a dynamic transition, the second clip actually starts playing before the first clip is over. In some video editors, this is accomplished by pulling the second clip onto another track and overlapping it with the end of the first clip. If you had audio synced to both clips, now your audio is overlapping and you've broken the continuity of your timeline. Also, like you said above, you can't do some of the more elaborate transitions, such as a cube rotation, unless both clips are on the same track (it's a technical issue).

An alternative way to do this is with a concept call pre-roll/post-roll. This concept is a relic of the older days of video editing. Basically, every clip you want to use will have a certain amount of footage at the beginning and end as padding. In some pro video editors, you are required to select what part of a clip you want to add to the timeline. Anything outside that range is considered pre/post-roll. When it comes time to do a transition, both videos stay on the same track and in the same position. The pre-roll of the second clip is used during the first half of the transition (before the second clip actually starts), and the post-roll of the first clip is used during the second half of the transition(after the first clip ends). Editors that use pre/post-roll for transitions typically have a "slip editing" tool that allows you to change what part of the file is being used on the timeline. That way if you don't like the footage being used in the transition, you can slide it over a little bit. These features, while very powerful, can be very confusing and intimidating for users without a whole lot of editing experience.

A third possibility is that the editor automatically handles some things. For instance, if you add a transition between two clips, we automatically trim in the second clip and use the trimmed part as pre-roll for the transition. We could also auto-trim and cross fade any linked audio to make sure it stays in sync. This sort of functionality is a lot more work on our end, but it makes it dead simple for the user.

Needless to say, we definitely want to do dynamic transitions, but we need to figure out the right balance between power and simplicity. I would love to hear some feedback on how users would expect dynamic transitions to work. Is manually overlapping clips an acceptable solution? Is pre/post-roll too much to learn? Is it alright for Camtasia Studio to make changes to the rest of your timeline to keep your audio in sync?
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David Frazier

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Wow!!! Thanks for the quick reply and explanation. I knew from the start that there would not be a simple solution and I understand your reasoning. I don't consider myself a "professional editor" because I am just an "IT Trainer" turned video-caster-editor-script writer-idea guy" etc, you get the picture. Personnaly, I would like to see the overlapping option and allow Camtasia to sync up the audio. In the videos that I have created, I am usually done talking or demo'ing by transition time so there isn't any audio......usually. It's just that "static" image with that dumbfounded frozen look I have when the cube turns or the page rolls. (Okay, I hear you saying "just change your expression dummy!, I get the hint, but still............. :-)

The pre/post roll sounds to much for me. I like the KISS method best so if you do it, allow manual overlapping and auto audio sync with option to "tweak" the audio line.
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kayakman, Champion

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This is actually possible with the current CS 7 Editor. Use the PIP track and a little creative editing.

Example ...

http://cookbookplus.com/temp/TechSmit...
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kayakman, Champion

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Example 2;

Here are 2 dissimilar screencasts joined with a dynamic transition; each plays during fade in/out; watch the cursor.

http://cookbookplus.com/temp/TechSmit...
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kayakman, Champion

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This is a much better example; used some high frame rate clips to make the dynamic transition effect more obvious.

http://cookbookplus.com/temp/TechSmit...
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David Frazier

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I see the differences but it is still not as smooth as I would like to see when a dynamic crossover is done. Also, it seems to be a lot of work to get what you are doing probably because I'm not sure how you are doing it. You mentioned the Pip track in a previous post. Is this how you are doing this? How? Currently, if you have 2 tracks, 1 and 2, the beginning of track 2 will not go pass the end of track 1. I envision being able to take the beginning of track 2 and slide in past the end of track 1. This overlap would be the dynamic fade out/in. Maybe Techsmith can keep the default setting, not allowing 2 to go past 1, but then add a key press (Alt or Ctrl) to let you manually move 2 pass the end of 1. Make sense? I hope so. Any way, thank you for your ideas. If I can figure out how to do what you are doing, I'll give it a try.
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kayakman, Champion

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The technique I use is actually simple and fast.

It's not perfect, but it's a possible workaround [for me, it beats a blank] until a better method is available.

I'll try to do a little how-to screencast later this AM.
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kayakman, Champion

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While drafting the how-to screencast, I tweaked the process to yield a little better result.

Here is my latest example ...

http://cookbookplus.com/temp/TechSmit...

I'll do the how-to screencast now.
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kayakman, Champion

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Sceencast on [my current technique] on how to simulate a dynamic transition ...

http://cookbookplus.com/temp/TechSmit...

I suspect that this technique could be improved upon.

See previous post for a link to the produced video.
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Mike Curtis, Employee

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Thanks Bob. I know I for one just learned something.
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David Frazier

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Now that is interesting. Never thought of using the Pip like that. Even though you still see the first clip stop for an instant, you still get the dynamic movement from the pip line. Good work-around and one that I will use; but I still would like to see a true crossover. Hey, I'm at least persistent.......just sayin...... :-)
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Brad, Camtasia Studio QA

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Official Response
Hi David (and others viewing this thread),

I think you’ll be happy to learn that our latest release of Camtasia Studio (version 8.0.0) now has transitions working exactly as you described in your above post! By default, transitions now allow the video to continue playing during the transition. Not only that but they also have the ability to use pre-roll and post-roll from your videos if you create it via trimming. This means that when you have one video transitioning into another, both videos will play for the entirety of the transition as long as content exists for it to use.

We also have an option called “Use trimmed content in transition” that can be accessed for a single transition by right clicking on a transition on the timeline or globally in the Tools > Options menu. This option is enabled by default and is what allows the pre-roll/post-roll workflow to work. However, if you disable it, creating pre-roll and post-roll will no longer allow the video to play through the entirety of the transition, it will always pause/unpause at the halfway point (This option is to prevent unwanted trimmed content from showing up during transitions).

Transitions can also be used on a single video to transition to or from black. In CS7 this was only possible by using a black Title Clip and the video would still pause during the transition. The above three workflows work the same way in this case as well (except you’re transitioning to/from black and not another video).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks!
Brad
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David Frazier

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Brad, thanks for the update. I was one of the fortunate ones to have the opportunity to beta test CS8 and when I saw those transitions, I flipped out I was so excited. There were/are so many changes to CS8 that it will still take me some time to learn them all...........proficiently. Thanks for putting this effect into CS8 and thank you Kelly for giving me the opportunity to test CS8 before anyone else knew about it. I do have to say I laughed at a lot of the posts about transitions and multiple video tracks and all I could think was, "don't give on on CS yet, because the best is just around the corner". I wanted say something but I didn't as Kelly requested. Again, thanks and a great job on CS8.
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Brad, Camtasia Studio QA

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Thanks David! I'm really glad you like CS8 and I hope you continue to help us out with beta testing in the future!

I'll make sure Kelly sees this as well.

Brad

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