Ability to flatten objects or groupings in Camtasia (2018)

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I am creating a movie about a learning platform ("LMS").  The LMS comprises of videos, courses, and Learning Paths.  A video is the smallest piece of knowledge.  Courses are a collection of videos.  And Learning Paths are a collection of courses.
I was looking to represent that hierarchy as an animated visual wherein videos multiple out in to a single course.  Then the Course graphic multiplies out into a single Learning Path.
This creates a HUGE number of objects that Camtasia needs to manage.  It breaks down like this.
Video bubble = 1 filled shape + 1 text line
Course bubble = 1 filled shape + 1 text line + 10 video bubbles ("20 objects")
Learning Path bubble = 1 filled shape + 1 text line + 6 course bubbles ("132 objects")


My system is an i5-8350U, 24GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe.  Trying to simply play through the timeline pretty much crushed my system.
After looking for various solutions, I ended up using SnagIt to grab a single Course bubble and then re-inserted that as a single piece of media.  Then I made five more copies of the graphic.  Took my total object count down to 8. (1 filled shape + 1 line text + 6 Course bubble .png)
No surprises, the system had no problems handling & animating 8 objects.

What could've made this process WAAAAY simpler would have been to be able to take a grouping of objects and flatten them within Camtasia in order to create a single raster or vector graphic that automatically(?) gets added into your project's Media Library.  I would imagine this would use the same or similar underlying code that SnagIt uses to flatten layers.

There were plenty of additional "Grrrr!" moments I had to deal with when using the inserted SnagIt graphic, such as dealing with the original drop shadow, getting the inserted graphic lined up exactly where the previous graphic was, etc.  But at least I was able to work with a fairly responsive system at that point.  
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Andre

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Posted 1 year ago

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Rick Stone

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Hi there

If you grouped them you could then add the group to the library.

Or, if you really want them "flattened", you could export a frame with them visible. Then just use the image that results.

Or, another way to flatten them would be to make a timeline selection and produce it as a small MP4 that could be then used again.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Andre

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Hmmm...the exported frame.  Yeah... I forgot about that.  *scratching my chin*  Maaaaybe...  

I saw another recommendation about creating MP4(s) of particular sections and then stitching them in.  That just seems overly cumbersome to accomplish what would seem to be a fairly obvious function given that Camtasia and SnagIt share so much look & feel.

...Even if either of those solutions are a workaround, I still feel there's value in being able to flatten objects or groups to a vector/raster graphic. 
C'mon Camtasia Team... Go steal some codebase from the SnagIt Team down the hall!!!  *Laughing*
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Andre

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Rick, I was re-reading your post.  I did initially group them for ease of use.  Didn't think of adding them to the Library.  Even if I pull the group from the Library, am I not still just adding X-number of objects to the timeline.  So I'm not sure what performance issue would be resolved?
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kayakman, Champion

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have you considered using button-style menus to accomplish what you want?

these a very small hotspot-only projects that link to content; you can structure the hierarchy any way you want

here is an example of one of mine ...

http://www.cookbookplus.com/Videos/CookBookPlusDesktop2014/Menues/CookBookPlusDesktopVideosMenu/CookBookPlusDesktopVideosMenu_player.html

this one is only 2 levels deep, but you can make them go as deep as you want 
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Andre

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Kayakman, I'm not certain that you have there is entirely what I'm looking for, but thanks for the reply!  That is an interesting video you created.  Was that entire webpage essentially created with Camtasia (the sliding nav menu and all that?)
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kayakman, Champion

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yes; it's a 100% Camtasia production; basically an MP4 w/smart player production; the project has no video media content per-se, just lots of hotspots, and the images from the app

the "sliding nav menu" is just the standard TOC as produced by Camtasia, but where I modified the TOC background opacity and widened the TOC width; both are simple edits that can be made, using any text editor, to the produced techsmith-smart-player.min.css file

I have a version that has a 75 button main menu, and 75 sub menus, each with 75 go-to-URL hotspots
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Joe Morgan

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Well Andre,
Saving/Exporting a still image is the equivalent of flattening all those annotations, without actually doing it.
If you could flatten them.They would no longer be vectors.Converted to a Windows BMP, PNG, JPEG,or GIF.

You could save all that work to the Library for safe keeping, Like a .snag in case you change your mind? Or want to update it before you complete the project. Or delete it, strictly a judgment call.

Regards,Joe