Choppy jerky video fix

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  • Updated 1 year ago
I was reading some of the copious complaints about the choppy replay. It has caused me to stop making videos. I was told it was a hardware problem by this site. It is not a hardware problem. For whatever reason, Techsmith does not seem to want to acknowledge this issue. Don't throw away another computer!
Someone suggested that it was the mp4 that was the problem. They said to upload to youtube and download it. others suggest using handbrake and converting the file.
I uploaded an HD video to youtube and downloaded it. Voila - easy editing like when I first started using camtasia.
Techsmith guys: quit blaming hardware. admitting you have a problem is half the battle. your software is un-useable unless you do as I said. I would guess that converting the files will also work, but I know the youtube upload - download works great.
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Posted 5 years ago

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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Official Response
Hi there!

Thanks for stopping by to post your
thoughts/ideas/concerns regarding Camtasia Studio; positive, negative or
neutral we encourage our users to speak up when it comes to our

Regarding the topic of "choppy" or "jerky" videos there
are a few things that can cause this particular behavior. Below I've
listed a few of the potential causes, though that does not mean there
are not other unforeseen issues that may arise.

  • High framerate files
    - Camtasia Studio 8 currently has a maximum framerate cap of 30 frames
    per second (FPS). Videos recorded at higher framerates can appear jerky
    and/or choppy in both the preview window as well as post-production.
    This happens because Camtasia is actively cutting every frame above 30
    FPS; as an example, if you bring a 60 FPS video into Camtasia Studio it
    will actively cut out every other frame. This action causes the preview
    window to 'lag' and appear choppy. Utilizing content that is no more
    than 30 FPS is required if you wish to have a smooth editing experience
    as well as a smooth video upon completion.
  • High bitrate files
    - Camtasia Studio creates highly efficient, high quality content,
    whether you are recording or importing files into Camtasia for editing,
    the more efficient (i.e. low bitrate) your files are, the better your
    experience in Camtasia Studio will be. As an example, Camtasia Studio
    works wonderfully with content whose bitrate is below 20 MBps; note that
    smart phones (iPhones, Samsung Galaxies, etc.), digital video camera
    (including GoPro), and some recording technologies (such as OBS, Fraps,
    Bandicam, Mirillis Action!, etc.) all record at high bitrates. In some
    cases, GoPro cameras and game recording technologies can have bitrates
    reach as high as 145 MBps. These high-bitrate files will absolute cause
    the choppy/jerky behavior which is why we recommend what is called
    transcoding (a process of rewriting a media file to more standard specs,
    often including a lower bitrate). Uploading a file to YouTube then
    downloading it subjects the file to YouTube's transcoding process which
    is why those videos work well. We (TechSmith) tend to recommend the free
    utility HandBrake as it is fast, easy-to-use, and at the perfect price
  • Storing files externally - As Camtasia actively
    synchronizes content between the camproj file and the source files,
    storing on an external hard drive, network drive, or in a
    cloud-synchronized folder can, and will cause this behavior. Due to the
    sync between Camtasia projects and the source files we strongly
    recommend that you store all items pertaining to the project on a local
    hard drive (meaning it is inside the computer)
  • Large project files
    - This issue has been continuously improved upon in Camtasia Studio 8,
    though it does still leave room for improvement. Essentially the issue
    is that long projects with a massive amount of cuts can cause this
    particular behavior due to Camtasia Studio's 32-bit architecture. While
    we are working on a 64-bit version of Camtasia we still recommend that
    your recordings be short, simple, and follow a practiced script; the
    reason behind that is the fact that short, practiced videos take far
    less editing (and thus stress on the application) and make the overall
    experience more pleasant.
  • Hardware conflicts - While it
    may seem like it is a cop-out, hardware can certainly cause this type of
    behavior, especially when working with large/long files or notoriously
    difficult-to-decode content (like MOV files). Though Camtasia has
    relatively low hardware requirements, users will want to keep in mind
    that Camtasia is not the only application that is running and therefore
    it needs to compete with other applications for the resources.
  • Non-standard codecs
    - One of the greatest things about technology is that there is an
    incredible number of ways to go through and accomplish something and
    when it comes to the encoding and decoding of media files you will have
    any number of different ways to go about it. Custom or proprietary
    codecs are running rampant in the video creation world which can
    cause all sorts of problems (choppy/jerky issues included). To be able
    to support 100% of codecs out there would be an impossible task,
    especially since the mass majority of codecs require some sort of
    royalty be paid. We have developed Camtasia to work with the industry
    standards for codecs (Windows Media Video 8, Windows Media Video 9,
    AVC-encoded h.264, TechSmith Screen Capture Codecs 1 and 2, full
    frames/uncompressed, etc.) but many manufacturers, especially digital
    video camera manufacturers, will create their own specific codecs that
    use industry standard codecs as a "skeleton rig" to avoid paying
    royalties. This unfortunately means that some video files will not work
    within Camtasia even though the file format is a common format (while
    people are simply "people," each and every one of us is different on
    some levels; media files and their codecs are no different). We
    recommend transcoding as it will rewrite the media file into an industry
    standard file which will in turn allow us to work with the files.
mentioned above these are just a few of the more common causes for your
particular issue (and can be applied to both video and audio files),
there could be any number of potential causes for this behavior, but
these are the most common that I have personally seen. If you are
working with low bitrate files that are recorded at 30 FPS or less and
they are stored on your local drive then I would strongly recommend
contacting our support team as they may be able to look into why an
acceptable file is playing poorly on your machine. It could be
conflicting hardware (like preamps/mixers), conflicting hardware
(DisplayFusion or a host of Stardock applications), or it could be
issues with drivers, indexing issues, or even in some cases, down to
simply having a slow hard drive (hybrid SSD "green" hard drives can get
very slow performance).

Hope this helps shed some light on what could cause choppy, jerky, or laggy videos in Camtasia Studio.