Camtasia 8: Increasing Editing Dimensions to Match Recording Dimensions Yields Black Bars All Around

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Why do I get black bars all around my video when I increase the editing dimensions to match the recorded dimensions?

More specifically, I recorded at 1920x1280, and then when I imported the recording into Camtasia Studio I chose 1280x720 as my editing dimensions. I did a bunch of editing and produced the video at 1280x720.

After that, I decided I wanted to try producing at 1920x1080 (the recording dimensions), so I toggled the Editing Dimensions in Camtasia Studio from 1280x720 to 1920x1080. When I did this, I now end up with a full black frame (4 black bars) all around my video.

Is there anyway to increase the editing dimensions in this way after I've already done some editing in Camtasia?

thanks,
Lee
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Lee Feigenbaum

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Posted 6 years ago

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Richard Campbell, Champion

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Generally, I rrecord at 1024 x788 which is an aspect ratio of 1.33 to 1 and produce at 640 x 480 which is also an aspect ratio of 1.33 to 1. I do not get any black bars.
The aspect ratio is the key.
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Lee Feigenbaum

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I don't think that's my issue. 1920x1080 and 1280x720 are the same aspect ratio. Also, aspect ratio issues tend to give you two black bars (on the sides or on the top/bottom), not 4 black bars.

I believe my issue is related to what I did in terms of doing my original editing at 1280x720 editing dimensions and later trying to go back to the higher recording dimensions of 1920x1080.

thanks,
Lee
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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When you set the editing dimensions the first time, the 1920x1080 clip is scaled down to fit inside the 1280x720 editing dimensions.

When you change the editing dimensions later to the larger 1920x1080 dimension, we do not make any changes to the clips on the timeline, so the recording remains at the 1280x720 size, centered on a 1920x1080 canvas.

To fix that, select the clip on the timeline, and on the Visual Properties tab, set the scale property back to 100% by clicking on the reset button shown here: http://screencast.com/t/T4PQ3ujnV

Aside: I think you could make a good case that after changing the editing dimensions, we should try to adjust everything on the timeline to accommodate the added space. In this case, that would mean the 1920x1080 clip would be returned to 100% scale automatically, thus filling the canvas, and avoiding the black bars. We may change the current behavior in a future release.

Hope this helps.
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kayakman, Champion

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Dave, I would vote you change future behavior to accomodate the added space from increasing editing dimensions

I run into this issue all the time with photo slide show videos

With JPGs that are fairly large [1500x1000], upsizing editing dimensions from something like 1200x800 to 1500x1000 [to look better on larger monitors] has always left me with the need to resize the media [either via select in canvas and drag to resize, or select and use visual properties].

The problem with visual propertiers is that using 100% in visual properties against all will oversize photos that are 1000x1500 in the canvas; these then have to be hunted down and resized manually; this is no small chore when there are several hundred photos in a project.

A way to just select those 1000x1500 guys would be helpful
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Lee Feigenbaum

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Thanks, Dave. It does help though will be somewhat annoying to reposition various of my elements that I've layered on top, similar to what kayakman describes.

Would it make sense in the meantime to edit at 1920x1080 (basically largest dimension that matches my aspect ratio) so that I don't have this issue, and then produce at lower resolutions as needed? Is there any issue with that?

Lee
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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@kayakman: Thanks for the vote and for the additional detail on your workflow. I can see how that case would be tedious. As I said, I think a good case can be made for this behavior. There are cases where it's better for us NOT to make any adjustments to accommodate the new editing dimensions, but I think these are the minority. I often find myself changing the editing dimensions, and wishing that clips would automatically scale to fit. Most of the time, I think this would save me steps. We'll consider it.

@Lee: Here are the drawbacks with scaling at production time:
1. The scaling used with the editing dimensions is GPU accelerated by default. Scaling by changing the production dimensions to be different than the editing dimensions will use the CPU, which is slower on most systems, and may increase your render times.
2. Callout text may not be as sharp, because the callouts are composed onto the frame at the editing dimensions. If the production dimensions are different than the editing dimensions, then the callout text gets scaled with the rest of the frame, thus reducing the quality of the text. The effect will be less noticeable with larger, anti-aliased fonts, and more noticeable with smaller font sizes.
3. You lose some of the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) experience we've tried to deliver with the preview window. If your editing dimensions match your production dimensions, your video should look very close to what you saw in the preview window (WYSIWYG). But if you scale at production time, you're effectively taking the image that was in the preview window, and you're scaling that image. Scaling always affects quality to some degree. So you won't truly know the quality of your video (especially text with smaller fonts) until the production finishes and you view the resulting video.

Hope this helps.
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Thomas Mertz

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My problem is that I accidentally recorded in 320 X 240. I change the editing dimensions to 1280 X 720 and then used the handy reset button you show in: http://screencast.com/t/T4PQ3ujnV . But now all my animations are out of whack. Is there an easy way to get them to reset proportionally to the new size without having to redo them all? Thanks!!
(Edited)
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Fred Grover, Champion

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I think but am not 100 percent sure myself Thomas. That if you click on that Reset Button it would take it back to the original size of the 320 x 240 that you originally recorded your video in. So this could have an adverse effect and you might have to redo it which is not what you probably wanted to hear. So when you recorded at the 340 x 240 and changed your editing dimensions to 1280 x 720 did you have any issues with black bars or anything else other than animations? By the way what kind of animations were they? Callouts or something else? Just curious. Like I said you might want to wait for someone else to chime in here too before just redoing the video(s) unless you choose to do so. Also you could contact TechSmtih Support below in the link provided and see what they have to say.

http://support.techsmith.com/

I hope this helps a little and sorry for your problem. Let us know what they have to say if you contact them and thanks for posting. Have a great day.
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Thomas Mertz

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I changed the editing dimensions from 320 x 240 to 1280 X 720. After that there was a big black border. Then I selected the clip and clicked the reset button and it filled the edit screen -- no more black bars. In the video, I added animations to zoom in on where I was typing and pan across the screen. These are no longer consistent with what's showing on the screen. Thanks, Fred, for your comment. If I hear nothing before Monday I'll contact tech support. I'll be sure to post what they tell me.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Your welcome Thomas. Let us know and sorry I could not help you a little more.
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andy.aronson

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Thomas,
What did you find out from support? Is there any way to keep the animation locations consistent after resizing the resolution (1280x720 to 1920x1080 in my case)? Thanks much.
Andy
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m.fox

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I would also like to vote in favour of rescaling all the content and animations to fit the new Editing dimensions. I am currently in the same situation, where I thought 720p would be suitable for my presentation because it was going to be shown on YouTube, but now I learn that my client needs to show it on a 1080p monitor at exhibitions. Sure it is quite easy to rescale all the video clips back to 100% but now all the callouts I have animated are completely in the wrong place and I will have to manually re-animate them all - and there are a lot.

It would be really useful to have the option to scale all content up or down when changing the editing dimensions.

Come on TechSmith it's been three years since this was raised and yet the latest version of Camtasia still requires laboriously re-sizing all content and animations by hand. Don't be like Adobe who just give us what they think we want - listen to your customers and develop your software to suit their needs.
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kayakman, Champion

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FYI: I got an email with re post for this by Joe, but it's not showing in these threads?

anyway, try ctl-A to select all, then ctl-G to group all; then just scale the group object
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m.fox

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Perfect, CTRL-G is the secret. Thanks
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Hi,
Camtasia 9 has just come out, and while it doesn't yet have the ability to sort of... proportionally resize everything when you resize the canvas, it does have something that may help. The first media you add to the timeline will tell Camtasia that's how big you want the canvas to be. Up to 4096x4096. So it should help get it right the first time, instead of having to re-edit. 
In general, you are still better off doing your editing at the size you want it to be, instead of trying to adjust after the fact.

That said, I hear how it would be beneficial, and we're still considering it. I know it was asked for a long time ago, but a lot of other things were too, so it's hard to respond to every request with a feature change.

Thank you for your patience, and I hope this helps.
https://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.html
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tati.tchoubar

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Hi, I recorded a PPT slide by slide. Is it possible to scale down only two chosen slides, that I have re-recorded later (importing another PPT), because now all the old slides have a black frame, only the new ones show up to 100% of the canvas.
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kayakman, Champion

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have you tried resizing the old one to fill the canvas?

that should do it if all clips have the same aspect ratio [W/H]
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tati.tchoubar

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Please could you kindly send me a screen shot of where to resize only some of the slides? When I choose the slide on the timeline, and rescale in in the Properties, all the other slides got resized in the same time. It does not work in the upper horizontal menu neither (where I can see cursor, crop, and 100%)
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kayakman, Champion

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are your slides organized as separate clips, or are they all within 1 clip?
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tati.tchoubar

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One clip by slide, all together in the same Camtasia project. I managed to equalize the size of the slides by scaling up the old ones (the smaller ones). Thank you!