Best Way to Frame Video Tracks?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 weeks ago
What's the best way to frame video tracks so they have clean consistent borders? Today export a powerpoint slide with gridlines to png, usually a 6x4 grid, but in this example 3x1. Import that. Then I scale and crop my video clips to fit that grid. Then I make a separate black frame in powerpoint to match the grid, but with thick lines, export to png, and use another tool to make the background transparent. Then I lay that down on top of my framed videos to look like this. It's not easy, but it looks good. It's also a lot of work if I need to change it and add new people/clips to the video.





Photo of danlthom

danlthom

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 3 weeks ago

  • 1
Photo of Leif

Leif, Employee

  • 190 Posts
  • 126 Reply Likes
What version of Camtasia are you running?  There are likely multiple  ways to do this, more available in newer versions (track mattes, border effect, etc).

I like your sample image. Looks like fun with all of the instruments.
Photo of danlthom

danlthom

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I'm on Camtasia 2018 on Mac. It was highly fun with all the instruments. I recorded them separately using camtasia recorder on zoom sessions in order to get the faux-green screen background tha zoom provides. And then I brought those clips into Camtasia where I scaled, cropped and positioned them. And then overlaid them with a matt I built as a png. There are so many tricks you can do with Camtasia but it makes you work for it.
(Edited)
Photo of Leif

Leif, Employee

  • 190 Posts
  • 126 Reply Likes
I'm not sure why you need to overlay grid at all.  If you size, crop and place your videos where you want them, why do you need the overlay grid at all?  If you want something different than the black color as a border, you can change the canvas color in the project settings.  Or you could place a shape callout on a track beneath the videos and size it to fit the canvas. Then you can set the color to whatever you want, or choose a gradient.  You could even animate the color over time if desired.  I doubt that would be super useful here since it may detract from the videos which is what you want to call attention to.

Another time saving step if you need to use your overlay grid, is when you make it, skip the transparency step and use the "Remove a color" effect in Camtasia.  As long as the frame color is significantly different than the background color, just apply remove a color and choose the background color as the color to remove (click the color swatch in the 'remove a color' properties panel and then click the eye dropper.  Move it over the color you wish to remove and click again).  That color will become transparent and you can tweak the parameters to make the grid have a hard or feathered edge as desired (use the tolerance and softness controls).
Photo of danlthom

danlthom

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Good ideas. Really that was my question, is there a better way to do that grid overlay. And why do I need it? It's a lot easier to frame the images than trying to align corners of each video track by hand, unless there's some option to set the position and size of a video clip that I'm not aware of? That grid overlay covers up a lot of problems with things being positioned a few pixels off.  

'Remove a Color' is very handy.



Photo of Leif

Leif, Employee

  • 190 Posts
  • 126 Reply Likes
Being a musician myself, I'd love to see some of the videos you've made.
Photo of cristi.cotovan

cristi.cotovan

  • 35 Posts
  • 20 Reply Likes
I would recommend the track mattes, but they are only available in Camtasia 2020, so I don't know if you're thinking of upgrading.

The way you do it sounds good, with PNGs. I would create beforehand, the PNG grids I want and reuse them... with different layouts as you do. Considering the version of Camtasia you have, I don't think there's a much easier way, honestly.
Photo of danlthom

danlthom

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Yes, I've built a collection of PNG grids that I use, as well a collection of hz and vt lines. Also a PPT deck of various gridlines with 6x4 being the most useful, although I had to do a 7 across grid and mat frame last week and a rainbow flag to match it, all of which is easily imported from PPT to Camtasia.

Maybe I should put this stuff up in a git repo someplace.