Camtasia 9 needs to allow users to set more defaults

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I'm bringing this up again.

I use a lot of fonts and really like using behaviors, but I'm changing the same things every time:
-  I change the "During" for behaviors to "none."
There's no reason for someone's name in a lower-third to keep jumping after it's jumped in.
It's nice to have an instruction "pulsate" in but it shouldn't keep pulsating.

-  For fonts I always get rid of the drop shadow. Against a black background a drop shadow looks like a smudge. It's terrible after I've rendered my video and missed removing a drop shadow.

Someone suggested putting my own defaults in my library. That's not efficient when I use lots of fonts and lots of behaviors. Also, my library already has enough stuff to scroll through in that small window.

 It'd be easier to have a window to set some defaults: no drop shadow, and behaviors shouldn't do anything "During."
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Oz du Soleil

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  • working unnecessarily hard

Posted 3 years ago

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Joe Morgan

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I agree with you to a certain degree.

I believe being able to save Behaviors and Fonts as a "Custom Preset" would be the best approach.

However, presets would be completely unpredictable when applied to behaviors.

To be honest, I think Camtasia has an Achilles Heel that is growing.
It's been designed to function as an "Editing Program For Dummies"
It automatically controls and adjusts far too many things. IMO
I invest more time turning off automated behaviors settings, than I do selecting and applying them initially.

Frankly, automatic settings are beneficial for someone that knows "Very Little to Nothing" about video editing.
However, to an experienced editor. This behavior can get in the way.
In the long run. It can even inhibit one’s ability to excel as a video editor. When a program does most of the thinking for you. You are given the tools to bypass learning basic editing principals. As a result, you can find yourself at a complete lost when trying to utilize a traditional editing program.

I started with Ulead's Video Studio as my first advanced video editor. That is, after realizing Windows movie maker was no longer enough for me.

Ulead had the same "Video Editing For Dummies" automation for effects, settings, etc. and so forth.
Trouble was, a time came that my skill set outgrew Uleads functionality. I had to learn how to use a "Another" video editor.

I went with Premiere Pro.
Yes it was difficult to learn the program. However, learning Ulead was no walk in the park either.

In retrospect, learning Premier Pro was actually harder to learn in the long run than it should have been. I had to invest a lot of hours Deprogramming and/or Unlearning Ulead's functionality first.

After which, I began to process and understand what Key Frame editing was all about and why it’s the industry standard with most editing programs.

My Point???
Camtasia is not a traditional Key Frame editing program. That’s makes it very difficult to control Behaviors with any predictably.

Behaviors are adjusted based on "Percentages of Overall Duration".

When a clip or annotation is 5 seconds long. The behavior applied will "Behave" in a predictable way on subsequent 5 second clips.

It will behave quite differently when applied it to a clip that's 30 seconds or longer.
The animation speed is based on a % of the clips overall duration.

The end result is this. Applied behaviors are only predictable when applied to Clips that are identical in duration.

Without traditional key frames, you’re left to guess what percentage might work when applied to any given clip. Odds are, you will guess wrong and trial and error is time consuming.

With traditional Key frames, you simply adjust the animations based on the duration of the applied effect. This duration is unwavering and predictable as a result.  


Bottom Line, Behaviors are complex animations. Customizing them to taste will always be a bit of a struggle. That’s simply because Behaviors create High End animations, lacking traditional key frame controls.

 I’m not trying to knock TechSmith’s functionality here.

I’m just sharing my take on the problems one would encounter with regards to controlling behaviors overall.

 Custom settings could still be created and saved as a preset. But they can lack predictability.


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Oz du Soleil

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Thanks Joe,
You describe some things that I've wondered about. Having behaviors default to these very vibrant settings could give a beginner a jumpstart and inspire ideas, as opposed to just having behaviors sitting there available and only hardcore users would bother with them.

You've got way more experience with digital video editing and a much richer context than I do.  I appreciate the overview and comparisons. Regarding the behaviors, I just want to be able to default the 'during' to "none." I don't know how hard that would be for TechSmith to offer as a setting option or as a whole new interface for custom settings. 

It's just weird to have a default for text to jump in and keep jumping while people are trying to read it; or have a picture of a map hinge in, and it keeps flapping while people are looking at it. 

I can live with something jumping in and then jumping out. I can change one or the other, or just let it be. But, thinking about this from a presentation perspective, there's no good reason to have text jumping if the text is meant to be read.
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Joe Morgan

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Oz du Soleil,

I agree with you 100%, I can’t think of any reason that the basic settings associated with Behaviors.... cannot be saved as a preset.  

I failed to articulate my point in my earlier post. The problem I see with Behaviors is 2 fold?

As created, 3 unique animations all lumped into one, is far too complex to be practical. If you simply drag and drop a Behavior onto a Video or Annotation. The motion applied “In my Opinion” will clash with just about any theme or title you are attempting to create.

That’s the rub, that’s One point I was attempting to make. There’s no such thing as a simple Drag & Drop “Complex Animation “. For the most part, Drag and Drop’s a myth. They usually require some tweaking to look really nice.

 To me, Behaviors would be far more practical. If they were created as “Basic and Singular” Animations. “In, During or Out”. Not all three at once.


 My other point? Adding Behaviors was like opening a can of worms. Camtasia is a relatively simple video editor to use. My intention is not to be insulting when I say Camtasia is a “Video Editor for Dummies”. Oh contraire, I say this because it’s geared towards ease of use and the novice.

Behaviors are muddying these “Ease of Use” waters.  Adjusting a behavior is all a guessing game of Percentages based on Duration.

Coupled with.... Animation speeds. At their core, Behaviors were probably created using key frames. These key frames can be altered on a curve to create smooth animations.

 They are adjusted in Camtasia using obscure terms like Sine, Circ, Quad, Quart, Quint, Expo. What they represent are “Transition Curves” This Graph is a representation from another program as an example.

It’s a way of controlling the speed of an animation on a curve and is traditionally applied to key frames. One example, like when a car is driven up to speed. It starts out from a dead stop, accelerates, then smooths acceleration until it cruses at normal speed. Selecting the correct animation curve can make motion look more realistic.You can see an accelerate curve in the first thumbnail.Although, smooth would be a better choice for the car movement I described.

As created, Behaviors don’t fall under the category of “Ease of Use”. IMO

Without a transition curve graph for reference, detailed instructions, some sort of user’s manual. It’s all pretty much a guessing game to adjust behaviors. Even if the proper instructions were provided, they will be difficult for many to grasp.

In their current form, they are clunky and awkward to use. I would be surprised if the average College Professor or Educator has much time or patience to use them. In short, behaviors feel more like bloat ware at this time. That’s a bad direction for TechSmith and Camtasia to go.


If TechSmith improves Behaviors. I’ll gladly change change my opinion.

Regards, Joe     

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Oz du Soleil

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Ok! I'm understanding better now. Thanks for hanging in there.

1.  I agree. 3 unique animation all clumped together is problematic. YES!
Stand-alone behaviors or ready-made single animations would have been much better than these packaged oddities.

2.  Thanks for explaining something I've wondered about: Circ, Quad, Quint, etc.
It's definitely been a guessing game for me. You've provided me access to figuring out how better to use these.

I agree, the Behaviors as they're presented don't fall under "ease of use." They're easy to use, but not good for design or presentation. I do like them, though, and would rather have them than not have them. But they do require a lot of fiddling with.
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Joe Morgan

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Hey there Oz du Soleil,

I found a graph that will help you select some Behavior settings. I cleaned it up in Photoshop. The original was black and white.

You read curves from left to right.

The left represents the start of an applied animation. The right represents the end of the animation.

The bottom gray line of the graph is the equivalent of "Applied Animation ..........  0 %"
The top gray line represents..............................................  " Applied animation .....  100%" 


See Image Below, Click to Enlarge

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Thank you, Joe! This is exactly what I've been looking for.
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Oz du Soleil

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Thanks for that!
I'm going to play with the settings in Camtasia and see what comes of it.