Camtasia Mac 3 - Quality Problems

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Hi- 

I'm an instructor using Camtasia to record online lecture supplements. I've recently upgraded to Camtasia 3 on Mac with the hopes of eliminating some ongoing quality problems.  Two issues are of concern:

1. I have a Logitech c920e webcam, that supports up to 1080p resolution. Camtasia only records in 720p (which is acceptable). However, whenever there's motion in the frame, Camtasia pixelates the webcam image being recorded. This is apparent in the original recording, as well as the exported file.

2. I export my recordings to Vimeo. Even though I export at the highest data rates possible in Camtasia 3 (30,000 kbits / sec), I still get warnings from Vimeo of low data rates in my finished product (1,110 kbits). 

I love the simple workflow that Camtasia affords me, allowing me to quickly produce my videos. However, the quality issues are becoming difficult to ignore. Ultimately the quality of the finished product is all that concerns my audience, and Camtasia is failing me.

Please let me know if I'm missing something that can help me optimize my workflow.

Thanks
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Ed Hebert

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Posted 2 years ago

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Jack Fruh, Champion

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Hi Ed, For #2, it might be helpful to use a tool like Mediainfo (you can get it on the app store) to see what media info says about your bitrate for both audio and video.

Also, I've noticed issues with Camtasia exports on "Auto" settings - specifically, I noticed that if I recorded at 10 frames per second and exported on "Auto" it exported 30 FPS, and created a much larger file than needed.

This is different than your bitrate issue, I only mention it in case a similar issue exists with Bits per second settings.

I think the first step would be the verify that what you're getting from Camtasia is what you think you're getting using mediainfo (This is how I identified that my 10FPS recordings weren't exporting at 10FPS.)

For #1, I'm not of much help, first thought is to try it in a different program like photo booth or quicktime and see what those record, next thought is that there's a Logitech Camera Settings App, maybe it has the ability to change the default resolution of the camera. 

- Jack
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stefan

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Hi Ed,

I have the same issues with Camtasia 3 and the webcam ... this is an old problem. 

Stef
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falarcomwillian

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Yes... this a Old Problem... 
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Ed Hebert

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Thank you both,

 I'll look into Mediainfo. My recordings are set up for 30fps, but I'll use the app to double check my settings are in fact what I expect.

re: # 1, I do know that in Quicktime, I can record in 1080p with a dramatic improvement in video quality. Sounds like Stefan might have a similar experience.
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stefan

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"Hi Ed, For #2, it might be helpful to use a tool like Mediainfo (you can get it on the app store) to see what media info says about your bitrate for both audio and video."

Quicktime will also show you this information: window > show movie inspector

.. You have to load the video in QT of course.

Stef
 
(Edited)
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Ed Hebert

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Thanks, Stefan.

And according to QT, my last video exported at 1.52 Mbps (1520kbps), even though I configured it to output at 30,000Kbps. Frame rate is as expected, 30fps.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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On webcam: Camtasia kind of gets whatever the webcam wants to give it by default; I'm not sure if there is somewhere you can control this in Logitech's software for that webcam?

On Vimeo: do not worry at all about this message. Vimeo usually gets real-world video, and at the large resolutions you send from your screen, they are expecting the files to be much bigger. That's because high-motion real life video takes up a heck of a lot of space (aka, very high bitrate). Screen video on the other hand often has a lot of pixels that just stay the same between frames and can be nicely compressed for small files and small bitrates (this is a GOOD thing). 

So, if Vimeo tells you it's not good enough, ignore the warning- it's just thinking that the bitrate is awfully low for real world high-motion video, and they want to make sure you're sending them a quality video. You are. As long as it looks good locally when you look at the file, it should look good there too. 
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Ed Hebert

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Hi Paul-

The camera is driven via the Mac OS - no Logitech software. When recording webcam video in Quicktime, I am given a choice of quality (high = 720p, maximum = 1080p). These work as expected in QT, and the 1080p video looks good. I have no option in Camtasia to support the higher resolution capabilities of my camera.

Thanks for the clarification / explanation on the export settings in Camtasia - much appreciated.

The pixelation I'm seeing in Camtasia during object movement is there even before I export anything. So that's probably not related to export data rate anyway. Perhaps some compression is being created in software before export?


 
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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I agree that the pixelation isn't due to export quality if you see it in the Camtasia editor. We should probably do some experiments with this camera at some point to see if there is a way to control these settings, but in the meantime I guess you can work around it by recording the camera with QuickTime and dropping it into the timeline with your screen recording. 
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Jason

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I even tested the built in iSight camera on my MacBook Pro and it gets pixelation and bluring while recording in Camtasia 3.
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joesepi

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Paul: do you have any insight into why Camtasia would record poorer quality than Quicktime with the same input source (iSight camera on a MBP, for example) or perhaps how to remedy it? Thanks!
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Yes, we use what is built in to the system (it's sort of a generic, Apple-provided interface to your camera) that, apparently, has limited options. We don't get control over what resolution it records at, or the quality of the encoding.

However, since QuickTime is able to get at this, it makes me think we could be lucky and Apple provides a way for us to get a greater level of control. It's something we need to research further.
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camtasia

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Hello Paul - I sort of have to call BS on your answer. I found posts in the forums with hacks to the plist to change the record resolution from the tech smith staff. I don't know why these "features" are not part of the core product.

Regardless, the pixelation is way more of a problem than resolution. I don't get pixelation with any other software (open source, competitors, or Apple) so it is definitely something tech smith is doing that no one else appears to do.

0.02

Tom
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Jason

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I have this same issue.  Logitech C920 on my MacBook Pro the Camtasia 3 recording has pixelation issues big time.  You don't even have to be moving that much and it really chops up the video.  I don't want to use the QuickTime software because I am also screen casting at the same time.  And yes, the camera supports 1080p.  I use the same camera on the PC and get much better recordings.  Not cool, because my PC is a desktop that I can't take to a nice place to record.  :)
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peterparker

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I am also facing the same issue
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joesepi

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I see poor video quality captured with Camtasia as well. I am on a very recent MBP with max RAM. I see much better quality recording with Quicktime app. However, when I import the QT video, the video and audio get out of sync somehow. I was quick to buy Camtasia based on some recommendations, but I am wondering if I should have shopped around some more before doing so. :(
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camtasia

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Hello everyone.  I am also using a C920 and essentially had to stop using Camtasia for full sized videos due to the pixelation.  I was hoping 3.0 would fix it, but it does not.  I've been using Quicktime to record all the video, and Camtasia for screen recording.  Since I leave my video super small during screen recording, any pixelation is not a problem for me in the final output.

All that said, it really sucks that such an expensive piece of software has this critical defect - and yes, it is a defect of this specific software since other software on the same platform does not demonstrate the problem.  I'm not paying for any sort of an upgrade until the issue it fixed.  And I'm looking for a complete replacement, which is sad because I really like the software.

-Tom
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Akshay Hallur

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Please fix the issue. I'm on trial of Camtasia for Mac, reconsidering to purchase it.