Adding Sequential Images as an Asset

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I use Blender 3D for creating animations ranging from simple to complex. Blender (and I imagine many other programs) doesn't offer a video format which has a transparent background that is compatible (importable) with Camtasia. Camtasia doesn't seem to have the ability to select a sequential series of files (e.g. PNG) and "group" them into a video asset. If I'm correct, then that's my suggestion: import sequential images as a video stream.

I have solved my issue, but it requires an intermediary (FFmpeg). Someone may find the following useful for future reference...

1. Download a command line copy of FFmpeg (Windows 64 bit version).
2. Move the files into your Windows Programs directory (C:\Program Files).
3. Add FFmpeg to your system (or user) PATH. Example: C:\Program Files\ffmpeg\bin

For testing, I created a ►very simple◄ animation in Blender 3D (a rolling tire and rim). I rendered the animation to a sequence of transparent PNG's using the following settings in Blender:
✦ Insure no background has been set (e.g. Compositing nodes, or in the World → World panel).
✦ Output Panel → Browse to correct directory, and set the filename.
✦ Output Panel → Format: PNG | RGBA
✦ Shading Panel → Alpha: Transparent
✦ Dimensions Panel → verify dimension, start/end frames, etc.
✦ Render Panel → click the Animation button.
✦ Blender generates sequential files in the format filenameNNNN.png where NNNN begins with 0001.

Then convert the PNG's to Quicktime...
✦ Open an MSDOS/cmd window
✦ Change directory to the sequential files
✦ Enter the following command:
 
<code>ffmpeg -start_number 0001 -i filename%04d.png -acodec copy -vcodec copy -f mov myFinal.mov</code>

The video (myFinal.mov) can now be imported into Camtasia.



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KimberTLE

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Posted 10 months ago

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kayakman, Champion

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perhaps try this ...

if you have an animation as a sequence of png files, import those images into media bin; set image duration [in preferences] to a very short value [like .1 sec], put images on timeline [in correct order]; produce as MP4 [no controller]; put the MP4 in  Library as your animation
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KimberTLE

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Thanks for your response. I'd already figured that method out, which is exactly why I sought a more useful solution.  Your proposed method is a lot of work for repeated procedures.  300  images is only a 10 second sequence @ 30fps.

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kayakman, Champion

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have you tried just apply animations to a PNG of the wheel?

you can both rotate and translate ...
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kayakman, Champion

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made from 1 transparent PNG ...

Spinning Moving Wheel 2018-12-17
https://www.screencast.com/t/biJ3nSHn

or perhaps I may be misunderstanding the problem?
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KimberTLE

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 ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍Again, I created a ►SIMPLE◄ demo for proof of concept. You're correct: the wheel could easily have been done with a single image. But more complex animations can't.

 ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍That said, the actual suggestion is: Give us an option to click the usual "+" in the media bin, choose "Import sequential images," we identify the images, and POOF! Done!!!

 ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

 ‍ ‍ ‍  ‍ ‍ ‍Side Note: I've created a DOS batch file in a permanent "intermediate step" directory. From now one I produce the output from Blender, the files will always be named p-NNNN.png, and the batch file will produce the video (my.mov) and delete the PNG files, then I can move my.mov to whatever Camtasia project I'm working on, and I import it.





(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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thanks for the additional explanation; sorry I couldn't be more helpful
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kayakman, Champion

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still trying to understand ...

you use Blender to make animations; you use Blender to export a sequence of transparent PNGs; correct? [I am unfamiliar with Blender]

you believe that "Camtasia doesn't seem to have the ability to select a sequential series of files (e.g. PNG) and "group" them into a video asset"

correct; grouping does not [per-SE] make a video asset

however, you can import a sequence of numbered PNGs into the media bin, put them all on the timeline in a single action; their minimum duration cannot be less than 3 frames; but you can use clip speed to make them 1 frame images which will make for better animation

then, select them all and add to Library, then, reuse that asset and you'll have a animation sequence that can be used in projects that you produce into a video

Sequence Of Images Issue 2018-12-17
https://www.screencast.com/t/NNksp1Eexs

if I'm totally off base here, please disregard ...


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Joe Morgan

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Well kayakman,
he's talking about importing image sequences. When you import an image sequence in a program like Premier Pro or After Effects. The images are automatically imported as a video file. You don't have to go through a long drawn out process of turning them into one frame individual PNG images and group them together. They import as an actual video.

In the video below the person alludes to the convoluted process of importing images separately in the first part of the video.

And then at the one minute mark of this brief two minute video. He demonstrates how importing an image sequence works in Premier Pro.

I thought I would show you a video of how it's should work to help you understand what he's looking for. I export image sequences from Crazy Talk Animator on a regular basis. I cannot import them natively into Camtasia. I would like very much to be able to import image sequences into Camtasia without jumping through hoops to do so.

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kayakman, Champion

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thanks for that; it helps me understand
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Fred Grover, Champion

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That helped me unserstand more of what they wanted to Joe. Thanks for sharing that and it would be a great option to have in Camtasia. Have a great day/night and thanks for posting.