Creating Videos from Images

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Hi,
I recently developed a program that renders images of the mandelbrot set.
Now I want to create animated zooms. Therefor my program calculates about
5000 several images. The Problem is, that it is very "unhandy" to load 5000 Images into
a camtasia project, set them on the timeline, and set the duration to 0.1 seconds.
If I do that, it will result in 4999 gaps between the images and I can't find a menu-item "close gaps".
If camtasia would have better support for such tasks like mine, I would by your next update.
Sure, as a programmer I could manipulate the project file programmatically, I could insert the source-items to the source-bin etc. But I don't want to.
This is a task for you, not for me.
Maybe as a new feature in a future version of camtasia?
What do you think?

Sincerly,
Klaus Messner, Germany
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Klaus Messner

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Posted 5 months ago

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kayakman, Champion

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in edit menu/preferences, set image duration to .1 sec

be sure your images are numbered sequentially

import all images into media bin

select all images at same time

add them to timeline

they will go on at .1 sec and there will be no gap between them
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Klaus Messner

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Hi,

first of all: Thank you for all the answers!
This shows that I'm not the only one who has this problem.
The first answer from kayakman directly solved it.
I simply overlooked the duration in the preferences.
Sorry for that!

Second:
It worked, but it was as Joe Morgan described ... it took more than half an hour to
load all the images, to put it onto the timeline and to create the video as mp4.
Some of you say, that is acceptable, but for me it's clearly NOT!
Here is why:
If you open a camtasia project in a text editor (e.g. notepad++) you can see the
structure. There is a sourcebin and in it you see description-blocks for all images.
Each Image has a unique ID.
Then, in the timeline, you also find a block for all the images (with unique IDs
and references to the filenames).
It would be no problem (for me) to write a little program to create such a project-file.
This program would take only seconds(!) to create the project file.
You would open it in camtasia and produce your video.
So you would avoid such long loading times.
I actually tried it and the first two attempts failed and my own created project file
was not accepted by camtasia. I thought it over and came to the conclusion
not to look for my errors, because that this is not the right way.
Maybe camtasia would change the structure of the project files in future updates
and each time this happens I have to update my program.
That's why I think this is a task for the camtasia developer team not for me.

Third:
Yesterday I found a way without loading 5000 Images into camtasia.
I added a button to my Fractal-program that sets a timer to 0.1 sec and each
timer tick it loads the next image. So I have a more or less "jerkyfree" animation.
If I load the images from a ssd disc the results are even better.
Now I used camtasia to record this.
The results are OK and it took only some minutes to create a mp4-video,
not half an hour!

Now some replies to your comments:

@Joe Morgan:
Many thanks for your tips. Maybe next time I tried it with Adobes Premier Pro.

@Ed Covney:
You really created the mandelbrot-set in Excel?
That's a little bit crazy, but it's cool man!
You asked me wich program I use.
It's my own program, written in VB.NET.
The idea to do it with excel is so crazy that I should try it for my self
... but not now.

Greetings from Germany,
Klaus Messner

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Joe Morgan

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Glad you worked it out.
With Camtasia.  

The .1 duration frames like you’re working with. Are actually 3 frames in Duration on Camtasia’s Timeline. An image should only appear for 1 frame of duration. When you’re stringing together images together on a timeline to create a video.

The "jerkyfree" animation you are trying to achieve through recording should be achievable through clip speed  adjustment to your images .

What your seeing in Camtasia? I'm confident is the result of 3 frames of duration being applied to all of those images? You didn’t mention applying a clip speed adjustment to your images.

 That’s why I was referring to the need to apply clip speed to all the images. To drop that duration to 1 frame. You cannot import images at 1 frame of duration.

Camtasia’s timeline is hard coded to edit at 30 fps. Camtasia 2018 introduced 60fps as well. 60 fps projects add .1 duration images at 6 frames of duration.

 If you apply clip speed to all the images with a duration of .1 Change the duration to X 3. That will reduce the frames to 1 frame of duration in a 30fps project. There should be no jerkiness after that. It should play smooth as silk. Applying clip speed to 1,000’s of images takes a long time. Not ideal.

That’s the point I was trying to get across yesterday. .1 duration images simply aren’t enough to create a smooth video.

And yes, it makes for an unacceptably slow workflow.

Premiere Pro could make life much easier. I use it. And it doesn’t have to be told that image sequences are created/assembled with 1 frame of duration per image. Same with that Free program Hit Film Express.

 Regards,Joe

(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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I missed your comment to Ed about creating the Fractal in your own program, written in VB.NET.
That's pretty neat {:>)
Above my pay grade.
If you share one on You Tube or Vimeo some day. I'd like to check it out if you don't mind sharing it.
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kayakman, Champion

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Klaus Messner

I noted your comment re failures when trying to create your own project file pro-grammatically; that should be doable as the tscproj is only a text file, but one with rigid formatting; I offer the following for what it's worth ...

I've successfully used copy/paste actions, many times, to create custom tscproj files, but I've always started with a baseline, empty tscproj created by Camtasia; I've then created a block of text [manually edited] containing the media files criteria, and them pasted that text into the otherwise empty project file; that has always worked for me

How To Populate Empty Project With Multiple Media Files By Editing Tscproj File 2019-04-01
https://www.screencast.com/t/9hapMsm6S5h

I've done this with blocks of text describing up to 500 JPG files; when working with placeholder JPGs [simple 1620x1080 JPGs with only a # on them], once the modified tscproj is loaded [about 15 sec], it would take about 30 sec to load the timeline, and another 1 min to produce the 500 clip video [each JPG at .1 sec]

I'll also add that it is possible to edit the tscproj to cause the JPGs on timeline to show at 1 frame duration, each; so no need to apply clip speed adjustment in project; but that's another scripting task
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kayakman, Champion

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Example - Add Media Files To Clip Bin By Editing Tscproj File 2019-04-01
http://www.screencast.com/t/CXfOFiPpK

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Joe Morgan

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Whats the point?
If you create a brand new project.Import images into the media bin. Aren't you accomplishing the exact same thing without all the extra steps?

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Ed Covney

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Image if you were putting 500 or 5,000  pics on the time line, and you did that chore every week or two, using kayakman's technique, I'd write a simple program to grab a list of full files and update the Tscproj file  in a minute or less.
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Joe Morgan

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I see what you're getting at.
If it were a fully developed feature. I can see where it would come in handy.
So shouldn't this be posted as an Idea instead?
 
I suppose you could write a program and develop it if you want to Ed? Share it with others.

You can use the New Library pretty much the same way. I know it’s difficult to select a lot of media from the media bin "Selectively". The media bin needs folders and a serious make over.

However, you can create a folder in the library and import large groups of images that way. In the image below I imported I,000 images to a new folder.

You can use shift click technique selecting the top image first and moving to the bottom hitting Shift and left click to select all the contents of the folder.

Then add them to the timeline at the playhead.Or drag to wherever you chose.



Theres more than one way to skin this cat and this technique needs no further development.

If you save your projects as zipped projects like kayakman is a fan of doing. You can delete the library files upon completion without breaking the project files.

(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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I agree with you 100 percent Klaus Messner,

I would like to see this feature brought to Camtasia. With Adobe’s Premier Pro and most programs, it is referred to as importing image sequences.

 

My advice is don’t waste your time trying to import 5000 images and converting them into a video with Camtasia. Here’s why I say this.

I run a strong computer here’s my specs.

4th Generation Intel Core i7-4770 processor 3.40 GHz (8M Cache, up to 3.9 GHz)

16GB RAM Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz - 4 DIMMs EA - -

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 1.5GB GDDR5 EA - -    Supporting   4 Displays

Samsung 860 EVO V-NAND 1TB SSD’s           3 EACH

 

I created a 5000 image sequence just for this test. I used small images of only 800 x 600 pixels. Primarily because I didn’t want to wait for a full HD image sequence to render.


However, in the long run. It is also much easier on Camtasia and system resources to work with such a small image.

I started by trying to import them into the media bin. After losing track of time and surfing the Internet the images finally appeared in the media bin.

When I tried to select them to add them to the timeline. Camtasia became responsive once again. Making the whole process incredibly frustrating and rather pointless. I gave up when Camtasia wouldn’t let me select and add them to the timeline due to unresponsiveness.



Undeterred, I closed Camtasia with task manager and tried dragging the images directly to the timeline.

This time I opened a stop watch. To time how long it would take for the images to appear in the timeline. 9 minutes later all the images were on the timeline.


Then, I applied clip speed to all the images. It took over six minutes to apply clip speed.


Now, with a default import duration of five seconds applied to all of the images. Which in my case 5 seconds was the setting. You would change the clip speed to 150 percent. This will change all the frames to one frame per second if you’re working at 30 frames per second.

Obviously, there are other mathematical formulas to work with. Based on the duration of the images. But it was quite clear that 5000 images overwhelm Camtasia.

 I didn’t change the clip speed. Doing things that slowly. Watching Camtasia choke and go unresponsive with every Mouse Click and Keystroke. Is not for me.  

Forcing the CPU to do all that processing in real time. Just to produce one frame per second video. Is jumping through far too many hoops. And asking more far more than Camtasia has to offer. “Realistically”

For NOW, what you really need is a Program or Converter that converts image sequences into a video. And it’s really as simple as that.

 

To ensure that there was nothing wrong with the image sequence itself. I opened it in Adobe’s Premier Pro as an image sequence. Premier Pro converted it into a video in the Blink of an Eye. So there was nothing wrong with the images.

Had they been 1920 by 1080 or larger images. I suspect it would’ve taken Camtasia far longer  to respond.

Regards,Joe

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kayakman, Champion

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I use Camtasia to produce slide show videos all the time; it does a great job; I've made well north of several thousand such productions; most have involved full color digital photos produced to 1080P HD dimensions

for practical reasons, I usually limit a single video project to 1000 1920x1080 JPG or PNG images; Camtasia does take some time to process that many images [into bin, onto timeline, etc], but it has always worked just fine for me; just takes patience; and I work with a modest Lenovo i5 laptop with a 245 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM

if a project involves more than 1000 images, I'll make separate 1000 image MP4 videos, then I just combine those MP4s into a single, composite project; so there is no practical limit on how many images can be reflected in a final production

JMTCW
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Joe Morgan

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On a final note,

I imported 1000 images into media bin. Camtasia was able to handle that many in the bin quite easily.
My computer is 100% SSD run and the import was very fast.

I added them to the timeline with the duration set to .1 seconds in preferences. I started my timer at the beginning of the import.

I selected all the images in the media bin and placed them on the timeline. Added clip speed. Adding clip speed took the longest. Changing it was almost instantaneous. I wasn't expecting that.

It took 9 minutes and 16 seconds to process 1,000.... 800 x 600 pixel images. Higher resolution images would have required more processing by default.More pixels, more to process.


It took about 10 seconds to render a video.

Total it all up. 9:25

Times 5 for 5,000 images. Your looking at about 46 minutes to produce 5 separate videos.

Then combine them into  a 2 minute and 45 second video using Camtasia.

I'll take Image Sequence importing as a feature Please! {:>) 
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kayakman, Champion

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taking less than an hour to process out a 5000 image production does not seem unacceptable

but I guess faster would be better

I work in Camtasia, on average, 6-8 hours/day; 50% of my workload involves image based projects

seems to me that Camtasia already adequately handles image sequence importing

but it would be nice if it was possible to set image duration, in preferences, to a 1 frame duration [an improvement over the current .1 sec limit]

that I would find helpful


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Joe Morgan

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Hit film express is a free video editor that imports image sequences. This would be a much better way to convert the image sequences to video.

https://fxhome.com/hitfilm-express


It can also reverse videos and do a lot of other things that Camtasia cannot do. It’s not a bad little asset for Camtasia users to have in their toolbox.

I only played around with it myself and didn’t realize that it imported image sequences until today. I was searching around for free video editor that did it because 45 minutes plus to create an image sequence to me is unacceptable.

Considering importing an image sequence. Requires only a second when a program is set up to do so.

 I don't think anyone intends on reassembling them the hard way "Camtasia's Way" when they producing them. Sometimes that's the best option. 

 


Importing image sequences is a standard function of high quality video editors. This may be slightly outside of Camtasia’s wheelhouse. I fail to see how difficult the process can be. Considering every program I’ve ever used. Imports and assembles them immediately.

Hit film express is a pretty good program. For free you can’t beat it. You can purchase special-effects packages to improve the free version.

 Hit film Pro, or Hit film studio cost more but include more.

https://fxhome.com/

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Ed Covney

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Klaus - what program are you using to create the mandelbrot sets?
I created this in Excel:
https://www.screencast.com/t/CJSfKKrtkkCX
It's a 37 second clip, the first 28 seconds or so are directly from Excel. In the remainder of the clip I manually positioned the paly head in a re-recording. 
The original Excel graphics of the two morphed parametric equations produced at about 6.8 fps, Excel graphics need a lot of help, but lots of fun.

If you're in no hurry, and can share your formulas, I'd love to experience your problems first-hand.
Ed(dot)covney(at)gmail(dot)com.