Camtasia 2020 - Zooming on grouped clips scales at lower resolution

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I'm using Camtasia Studio 2020. I record my screen at 3840x2160 with my project canvas at 1920x1080 so I can zoom in with sharp video. This works as expected when zooming in on a normal clip. But if I group several clips together and then zoom in on the group, the resolution of the group appears to lock at 1920x1080, causing the image to look soft and blurry when zoomed in. 

In CS 2018, I was able to zoom in on groups without issue, giving me the sharp 4k image I would expect. But in CS 2020, it seems like I'm zooming in on the group itself, not the clips inside the group, causing a loss in resolution. Switching back to CS 2018 resolves the issue, so it's not my computer causing it. Anyone else experiencing this in 2020?
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slpatterson

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Joe Morgan

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I don't use 4K monitors, so I wouldn't know.

Are these videos sequenced one after the other on the timeline? I'm trying to understand why your grouping them to begin with?

If its because you cannot stitch them together to match zoom level and X & Y coordinates.
You can copy and paste clip properties from one clip to the other.

I'm not saying what you've encountered isn't a bug. It may very well be.
I'm just suggesting a way forward, if I'm understanding the problem.

Regards,Joe
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slpatterson

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Thanks for the reply. The reason I group clips together is because I use the clip speed effect extensively to adjust the speed of mouse movements throughout my videos. You can't stitch two clips together when one of them is using clip speed, and many of my zooms stretch across multiple clips. So the only thing I can do is group the clips together and then apply the zoom to the group.

If you're using 2020, you can test the issue out yourself even without a 4k monitor. Just record the screen at its native size and set your project canvas to half the size. Then group a couple of clips and apply a zoom to the group. If you're having the same problem I'm having, the zoom should look soft and dull. Then try zooming on a clip that is not part of a group and the zoom will look sharp.
(Edited)
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slpatterson

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Thanks for making the video. Maybe it's my eyes, but the text did look soft to me when you zoomed in. I just tried doing the same thing you did, adding a callout in front of my video clip, then grouping both tracks together and zooming in, and my result is definitely soft.

If possible, could you try zooming in on your group, and then ungrouping them while still zoomed in? If you're experiencing the same problem as I am, you should see a definite change in sharpness between the grouped and ungrouped versions.
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kayakman, Champion

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I can see a very slight difference, but not enough to offend; my zoom-in was at an extreme level

un-grouping then and zooming-in [both] gives slightly sharper results
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slpatterson

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Well, that's interesting. Maybe the softness/blurriness issue is not as pronounced at 1920x1080 as it is at higher resolutions. Actually, I'm going to try 1920x1080 to see if it makes a difference.
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slpatterson

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Nope, same problem at 1920x1080 with the project canvas at 960x540. Zooming on a normal clip looks great, but zooming on a grouped clip looks terrible.
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kayakman, Champion

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maybe try zooming in, then grouping

when I do it that way, no discernible difference, even when using high quality photo
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Joe Morgan

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Well, slpatterson
Its not your eyes so I did a comparison screen shot for you.
Which version of Camtasia are you running? I'm running 2020.0.2 that could be it as well? 2020.0.3 is out, I haven't installed it.

I didn't watch kayakman's videos.
I just got done doing some work on my house. Thought I jump back into the conversation.

Here's me with a 2K video zooming in to 200%. The clip is not grouped, the project is 1280 x 720.
The zoom looks pretty darn good.



I undid my actions. Grouped the clip and applied Zoom.
It's horrendous.


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Joe Morgan

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I downloaded the update the other day. I just installed it. It didn't help. {:>(
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kayakman, Champion

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More Zoom Group Issue Feedback 2020-06-14
https://www.screencast.com/t/wQHfXKaVeSaG

sorry for the shooting in background
(Edited)
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slpatterson

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Could the reason why you're not seeing the blurring be because your canvas zoom level is so low (37-39%)? If I set my canvas zoom level to, say 50%, I can barely notice the blurring at all when I zoom in on a group. But at 75% it's noticeable, and at 100% it's painful.  In Joe's screenshots which show the blurring, his canvas zoom level is at 100%.

Maybe try viewing your canvas at 100% and seeing if it makes a difference.
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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I just checked using a detatched canvas [which is 100%]; still no issue when grouping/zooming

but I could be misunderstanding what's going on

I'll play around some more
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Joe Morgan

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To kayakman
In the first video you've focused on what occurs to a vectorized callout when zooming in.Not the video itself.

In the second video you've placed a 1620 x 1080  image inside of a 1920 x 1080  canvas. Theres almost no difference in resolution between the canvas and project size.

None of that mimics what slpatterson is doing in his project.

Or I for that matter.

I took a 2K 2560 x 1440 video.
Set my project dimensions to 1280 x 720.
Scaled the video to fit.
Zoomed in to 200%. It looked fine. Hit undo a couple of times.
Grouped the video and zoomed in to 200%. It looked terrible.

I can do the same thing it Camtasia 2019 without running into the horrible blurring.

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kayakman, Champion

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I set the dimensions to 960x540 per his suggestion; no issues
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Joe Morgan

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Yet, you're not zooming in on a .trec screen recording in either example.
You've chosen a callout in the first one.
And a still image in the next.
The problem reported is with screen recordings.
My images are screen recordings.
Understand?
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kayakman, Champion

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well, I'll try a trec tomorrow; not sure why that would make a difference 

but I thought the issue was with zooming and groups, not media type
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kayakman, Champion

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decided to do a quick trec test; 1920x1040 clip in a 960x520 canvas

still no issue as reported

but I was able during these test to occasionally get a slightly blurry image in the canvas , but it always resolved by toggling the state [grouped/ungrouped]; and it happened very rarely, which I ascribe to an intermittent graphics display thing?
(Edited)
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slpatterson

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For me, even an imported image shows the same blurriness when grouped and zoomed in, while the ungrouped image looks sharp. Doesn't matter if it's a high resolution or low resolution image. The blurriness is obvious.

kayakman, which version of Camtasia are you running?
(Edited)
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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Groups have explicit sizes in Camtasia 2020. Behind the scenes the group is rendered as a texture with the explicit size of the group. So if you scale down media, group it, then scale it up you will get softness / jaggies. The recommended practice is to create a group with all media inside it at 100% scale. You can then scale everything down and up within 100% without loss of quality. If you want scale native shapes (text, callouts, shapes), create them at large sizes, group them, then scale them down.

You can control the explicit size of groups. Right click and choose Resize Group. This will change the overall size of the group. Think of the Group as if it's a mini project and you are setting the project dimensions for it. You can choose Visible Size (the union of max dimensions of all objects at their x y positions), Canvas size (Group Size will be set to the Project Settings Canvas Dimensions) or Custom Size.

Another way to think about this is that the renderer treats a group as if it were a rendered video clip (think you brought in an MP4). This is for performance and memory purposes. 

So create assets at max dimensions before Grouping. Scale up down within those dimensions. I've got a number of videos about Group Size up on my youtube channel and will be posting more about this topic.

Hope this helps.

Brooks
Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
TechSmith
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Joe Morgan

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So, this is great to know.
However............

Will this behaviour be amended in the future???
What fueled the decision to render groups differently than other media?


Unless one is aware that there is a secrete sauce that exists. One that must be applied to a clip under some circumstances.
At the time, they don't know if they will be re-scaling that media in a group.Or adding it to a group for that matter.
The clip/media dimensions could be larger or smaller than project dimensions.
The clip/media could be full screen or displayed as picture in picture before grouping is considered.
Given the variables, how can anyone protect themselves from this inherent degradation?

This strikes me as a problematic. For a lot of workflows.

This can be expected when editing images in Photoshop. You apply a Smart filter to alleviate degradation.

Regards,Joe
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slpatterson

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Thank you for the clarification Brooks. I can confirm that scaling clips to 100%, grouping them and then scaling the group up to 100% does maintain the sharpness.

However, at the default group size (Canvas Size), grouping a clip crops away everything outside the canvas, making it impossible to pan around the clip. I had to right-click on the group, choose Resize Group, and then choose Visible Size in order to view the entire boundaries of the clip again.

I have to say that as a long time Camtasia user, I have found this sudden change to group behaviour incredibly frustrating. I understand the need to improve performance, but as someone who uses groups extensively, I was ready to give up on 2020. 
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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I see it as a step backward for creativity. Limiting some of your options.