CS8 quality at 100% zoom is blurry compared to CS 7

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I'm a Camtasia 7 user, and upgraded to 8 to see if it was better. Some things it does is render through my clips entirely without any errors, but it's REALLY really slow, I have the latest version too. It seems about 2-3 slower than Camtasia 7, but the file sizes are really small. The second major thing I noticed is that it's a lot blurrier in Camtasia 8, the text and everything else. I'm recording on my 30" monitor 2560x1600 resolution, which gets downscaled to 1280x720 with smart zooms going up to 100%. The text and graphics in CS7 is clear and really nice. The text at 100% zoom in CS8 is really blurry. Even in the UI it's blurry, so it's not a codec issue after the fact. Is this a known problem? Needing high quality videos for tutorials, this step down in quality is not a good thing for me. Thanks.
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ackdoh

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  • sad and frustrated

Posted 7 years ago

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Mickael A.

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Camtasia Studio seems to limit videos or images to its maximum production output which is 2048x2048 pixels.
Videos or images wider than 2048 pixels is scaled (up or down) after being resampled to 2048 pixels.
I opened this thread 3 months ago about this issue:
Blurry images and videos when they are larger than 2048 pixels

You need to know that Camtasia Studio 8.0 didn't get this limitation concerning videos size as this issue has been introduced by version 8.0.1 and 8.0.2

I reported this problem also but I am not sure if it is a normal behavior or if it is a bug...
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Hello,

Sorry you are having trouble - and thanks for posting here. I can't speak to why you are seeing major differences from CS7 to CS8 (hopefully someone else will shortly), but I did want to chime in on the downscaling.

Have you tried recording instead at 1280 x 720? I have had much better results recording/editing at 1:1 rather than downscaling. In fact, I always record on my smaller (laptop) monitor to limit - if not eliminate - downscaling.

-Josh
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Ackdoh

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Mickael: Ahh I see...thanks for that! It seems you've reported on it a long time ago, and still no acknowledgement on the bug? CS7 had no issue with this so it's definitely a CS8 issue (and related to 8.01/8.02 as you pointed out) Any way to download version 8.0 again? Do we know what the major differences are in the version patches?

Josh: Thanks for the reply! Recording it that small is just not feasible either, as I work with large scale images using Photoshop, and need the UI space as well for the palettes, full screening doesn't work in a small window like that and I need that for my workflow to browse through the image more efficiently. The thing is, I don't really mind that it's a little blurry when it's downscaled, but when I zoom right up to 100%, there should be no blurry *at all* -- it's 100%. So what I think the latest version of CS8 is doing, is that it's scaling the entire image down, then scaling it back up to 100%, which is wrong in the math, it should be concatenating the zooms and should be done one right after another, not one, rasterize, then two, zoom in again on rasterized image.

Catmasia 7 didn't have this issue, so Camtasia 8 shouldn't as well (well the latest version that is) Do we know if anyone at Techsmith has recognized this officially?

Thanks!
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Mickael A.

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Any way to download version 8.0 again?

Camtasia Studio 8.0 (msi)
Here the usual link for older version" (Camtasia Studio 8.0 is still not there)
Do we know what the major differences are in the version patches?

Camtasia Studio Version History
23 October, 2012: Camtasia Studio v8.0.3 Maintenance Release
-Made lower volume levels more distinguishable on the timeline audio waveform
-Arrow keys now scroll the playhead instead of the timeline
-Tooltips now show for locked media
-Improved ability to scroll the timeline while playing
-Added ability to specify duration when extending a frame
-Adding ripple moving and trimming of media on the timeline
-Inserting space on the timeline by holding shift and dragging the playhead
-Added option to include under video captions in a variety of outputs
-Improved audio editing for timeline selections
-Keyframes now automatically fit in available space when added to media
-Improved messaging when uploading media to private or password protected folder on Screencast.com
-Fixed an issue that caused extended frames to show incorrect cursor effects
-Added ability to set the default animation duration to instant
-Fixed an issue causing table of contents to not be initially visible
-Improved memory usage and performance on the timeline
-Fixed issues causing CS7 project upgrades to fail
-Additional bug fixing

24 July, 2012: Camtasia Studio v8.0.2 Maintenance Release
-Fixed a startup crash in the Camtasia Studio editor
-Fixed a variety of issues that caused projects to fail to open
-Fixed a variety of project upgrade issues
-Fixed a variety of issues relating to SCORM functionality
-Shift + scroll now scrolls the timeline horizontally
-Fixed an issue that caused incorrect cursor data in some recordings
-Fixed a crash in Recorder when DivX 8 is installed
-Improved noise reduction responsiveness
-File names with hyphens should now upload correctly to Screencast.com
-Fixed an issue causing a thin white line to show in the preview window
-Fixed an issue causing the preview window to appear blank
-Improved production rendering performance
-Fixed a crash when uploading to YouTube
-Fixed a few issues with showing captions on YouTube
-H.264 AVIs should now work correctly in the Camtasia Studio editor
-Added undo/redo buttons on timeline toolbar
-Added a tooltip for duration of a range selection on the timeline
-Fixed an import issue for camrec files with blank system audio
-Additional bug fixing

26 June, 2012: Camtasia Studio v8.0.1 Maintenance Release
-Added support for small screen quizzing displays
-Fixed an issue causing an artificial line on the right edge of the video in preview and production
-Fixed an issue that did not allow adding key frames to media under a transition
-Changing project information should now mark the project as modified
-Black bars should no longer show on top and bottom in PPT recordings
-New callouts should no longer have a fade in when the last transition had it turned off
-It should now be possible to disable quizzing when the controller is disabled in the production wizard
-Fixed a crash when opening projects from a network location
-Markers on a media under a transition should now be included in a produced table of contents
-Fixed a crash when adding a video with large dimensions to the timeline
-Fixed various issues interfering with Camtasia running on Windows 8
-Additional bug fixing

That's a lot now and the issue is still in version 8.0.3...
Do we know if anyone at Techsmith has recognized this officially?

Here the last reply I get from Techsmith support
I now see exactly what you're referring to. I showed our QA guy and he was able to see it as well. He has logged a bug to get this fixed but Im not sure we have an immediate workaround for you.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,
Mike
Senior Support Specialist

I will probably ask again for news about this issue.

But, for all of you who are annoyed by this problem, you should add your vote or nothing will ever get fixed.
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Ackdoh

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Oh wow, yeah that's a lot of fixes since 8.0 version, definitely downgrading could cause more problems :( lol...hmm awesome that you got the reply! I'm hoping more people can jump on this too, since their last version update was more than 3 months ago doh...this is a big issue for people using 30" monitors or even 27" monitors at a professional work setting. Downgrading to 2k or less to not lose quality just doesn't seem professional as a standard resolution these days. Thanks Mickael!
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Mickael A.

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The reply from Techsmith' support I posted is 4 months old now, so I contacted again the support team. I will post here if I get something new about this issue.

However, this thread and the one I created show only two persons has this issue. I doubt they will do something for just two persons.
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ackdoh

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I'd also like to note that viewing in CS8 is blurry, but the recording itself done in CS8 is fine. I took the media and imported it into CS7 with the 100% zoom to 1280x720 and the text was super clear. So the bug is totally inherent with CS8.01/8.02
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Mickael A.

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That was fast, I got the reply from technical support.

1) the issue you referenced a few months is still logged but other issues have been deemed higher priority so it hasn't been fixed yet.

2) All images will scale to 2048. This is an improvement over version 7 where they scaled to 1280. Im afraid this won't be changed soon as we are running into a limitation.

So I will wait for a fix but I am pleased by their honest reply.
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Ackdoh

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Ahh interesting, thanks for the followup Mickael. But weird, Cam 7 I never saw the blurry issue, it was taking my full 2560x1600 res and scaling it down correctly to 1280x720 100% zoom with no blurry issues. I can see they have bigger fish to fry though, so we can only hope they resolve this issue soon :)
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Mickael A.

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The 2) was in fact about another issue with image callout and it does not concern video. So he said image callout in Camtasia Studio 7 was scaled at best to 1280 pixels. Camtasia Studio 8 can now display image scaled to 2048 which is much better (even if I would prefer a higher resolution).
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Ackdoh:

I am glad you got a response from Tech Support, and I appreciate the understanding both of you are displaying. A couple more quick things:

1. Any time you ask software to scale graphics for you, even scale them down, you may see a loss in clarity. The program needs to take X amount of pixels and convert them into Y amount of pixels while still attempting to display the same thing, and you can see loss of quality - especially with text. We always recommend recording and editing at the same dimensions when possible. (I realize that this doesn't work for you in this case.)

2. Your numbers above are not 1:1 (1280 is half of 2560, but 720 is not half of 1600). This slight distortion might be causing some clarity issues as well. Have you tried to edit at 1280x800 instead?
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Mickael A.

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Hi Josh,
first, thanks for taking the time to help us and sharing your thought about our issue.
Because you are sincerely trying to help us, I would like you understand perfectly the reason of Ackdoh's choice. Of course, I am not Ackdoh so I may be wrong but as (s)he said, (s)he is using Camtasia for recording Photoshop.

When you are recording a Photoshop tutorial, the user interface is not necessarily the most important part of the video. The image you are working on (in Photoshop) can be the most important. So, recording at higher resolution allow you later to choose what is more important to show:

  • The UI, so you can zoom in at 100% and show perfectly sharp image

  • or the image you are working on, so you just don't want the palette of the program you are recording take too much surface on the produced video.
    Remember that a program like Photoshop allows to navigate inside our image, so, most of the time, the image displayed in Photoshop isn't displayed at actual pixel size (100%). That's the reason why we don't care about preserving a sharpness that isn't there at the first place.


This kind of flexibility is allowed if we are recording at a good enough resolution. Now, what you are suggesting works only if we would like to show only the UI.

About video output ratio, I suppose Ackdoh doesn't care it matchs recording dimension as it is not necessary to show the whole screen content permanently.
That means there is no link between video output and recording dimension. The video is imported in the time line and we uncheck the keep aspect ratio so there is no link anymore between recording dimension and output dimension.
In such way, we can choose later to display occasionally the whole screen with black band or we can zoom in to show exactly what we need to display without any kind of distortion.

I hope my explanation makes sense to you.
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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It makes sense, for sure. I was just trying to make sure Ackdoh wasn't distorting the recording to fit into a slightly different-shaped canvas. I figured (s)he probably wasn't doing that, but I was just checking.

My comments were just as much for others who might be reading this thread at some point. It is a common misconception that downscaling doesn't affect clarity. We also often see users who squash or stretch their videos to fit canvases with different aspect ratios. So, to all the people out there, don't do it! :)

Thanks for your time and thoughtful reply.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Well I have found that no matter what settings and screen resolutions I use for recording when previewing after recording the video is clear. After I produce the video in the same resolution and aspect ratio the videos look blurry or fuzzy. I record my videos at 1280x720 and produce to the same dimensions or if I reduce them I keep the aspect ratio(s) the same. My videos seem to look less blurry or fuzzy when I did the same thing using CS 7. I have been using this software for quite sometime now and never had this issue. Any suggestions TechSmith or anyone else having this same problem?
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kurrykid, Champion

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Mine look a little blurry and fuzzy too but I thought it was normal. If you look at the screencasts from Techsmith, they look the same way (at least they look like mine).

I thought it was part of v8...I didn't have much experience with v7.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Dave I have used Camtasia since it came out and yes you are correct even the videos from TechSmith look a little blurry it seems to me to be worse than what it was in version 7 of Camtasia Studio. I don't know if it has to do with the new TechSmith Codec or not. Maybe someone will chime in on this. It has only happened since I updated to the newest build version in CS 8. Thanks for your input and post.
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kurrykid, Champion

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I do most of my work on a Mac but I moved over to my Windows machine to do some CS8 training videos. The videos I did on the Mac for Camtasia:Mac are almost crystal clear. However, I recorded those with Captivate 6 because recording Camtasia with Camtasia was a little too clunky for me. I just did the video recording with Captivate...I then edited and made it into a screencast in Camtasia.

I am wondering if the capture is that much better in Captivate. I don't have the Windows version so I can't compare (I guess I could download the trial...it would be good to know if there is a difference).

Honestly, I am not that happy with the final outcome of my CS8 training videos because of the fuzziness but they are what they are so I just moved on. I am planning to do quite a bit more training so it would be good to know if there is a way to improve them.

Thanks.

Dave
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Dave, Fred:

The only thing I can tell you is that we try to produce our training videos at a comfortable compromise between bit rate and file size. It is important to us to keep the videos accessible to those with potentially slower internet speeds. We also scale/zoom to 100% whenever possible to eliminate any scaling whatsoever.

If you are seeing unwanted blurriness in your videos, have you tried increasing the quality slider at production? If you max it out, are you still seeing blurriness? A link to a screencast video or two might help us compare.

On a side note, this is all really helpful stuff. We are working hard to build training on video quality, aspect ratios, production settings, etc. So, thanks for posting.

-Josh
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Josh, yes I have tried maxing out the quality with both quality and bitrate settings. I will try later to upload something so you can see the quality. Thanks for posting back on this subject Josh.
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kurrykid, Champion

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I think I found my problem. I am recording full screen (1920x1080) and when I save my recordings out of Camtasia, I save them at 1280x720. I thought since they were the same ratio, it would handle the conversion without issue. Apparently not!

When I recorded my screencasts on the Mac side, I recorded them all at 1280x720. I changed when I needed to start to record the taskbar at the bottom as part of the video.

I just recorded a screencast with Camtasia at 1280x720 (by resizing the application) and then exported at 1280x720 and it looks great.

Unfortunately, my monitor doesn't have a 1280x720 setting but it does have a 720p setting...I wonder if that will work?
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Well, I just set my second monitor resolution to 1280x720 and recorded an application and produced to those dimensions and it looks crystal clear when viewed on that monitor. If I try to view it in full screen it looks clear until I view it on a monitor with higher resolution settings. Then it is blurry and fuzzy looking. This is what I don't get. Even if you record something at 1280x720 and view it on a monitor with higher resolution I would think it should still be as clear but, maybe I am missing something here. I know with CS 7 I did this and it looked better than what it does with CS 8.0.3? I am not sure if it is in the new codec TechSmith uses or not. I will try to upload a video later so people can view it and see what they see and provide some feedback.

Dave can you upload your small video and I can take a look at it and tell you how it appears on my monitor with the highest screen resolution setting? Thanks and have a great day.
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kurrykid, Champion

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I'll upload the video momentarily but what I found is if I watched the 1280 video on the 1280 monitor, it looked blurry. When I changed my monitor back to 1080p, it looked great...exactly the opposite of what you've found!
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kurrykid, Champion

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Here you go...

Good 1280 Video

FuzzyFull Screen Capture

I usually look at the menu items across the top (i.e. File, Edit, etc.)...that's where you can see the most fuzziness.

Please let me know what you find out.

Thanks.
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kurrykid, Champion

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Fred...when previewing it from Screencast.com, it actually looks a little worse than on my local machine. If you can't download it from the website to try locally, let me know and I'll send it over to you to try.

Thanks.

Dave
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Yep Dave the Good 1280 Video still looks a little fuzzy on my monitor not set to 1280 but the other Fuzzy Full Screen is real bad. When I view either one of them on the monitor that is set to 1280 then they are clear. The Fuzzy Full Screen you uploaded on the 1280 monitor of mine looks clear but the text is small and harder to read. It is a puzzling situation isn't it?
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ackdoh

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Hio Guys,

As we found out earlier along with Mickael's 4 month old post, if you record anything higher than 2048, such as on my 30" monitor at 2560x1600, and then you resize it down to 1280x720, but then use the zoom feature to go back to 100%, the text and images are blurrier than expected. They shouldn't be, as Camtasia 7 handled this correctly. What Camtasia 8 is doing, is that it's scaling all video higher than 2048, down to 2048, which immediately is already a loss in resolution, but it shouldn't be doing this, it should be keeping a temporary scale of the 2560 video down to your selected video output size with the same aspect ratio, in my case, it was 1280x720 with black bars on the side, then as you use the Zoom feature, it should zoom back up to 100%, there fore a 1:1 representation of the video at a 1280x720 window, with no resizing. In CS8, you even see the original recorded video size of the image in your 1280x720 crop.

Think of the Smart Object feature in Photoshop, where you are allowed infinite transforms and resizes, while it still retains it's original resolution, so if you go smaller, then go bigger back to original size., it'll remember the original size, and won't lose resolution. This is what Camtasia 7 did before, but Camtasia 8 (v.01,.02.03) is not doing.

So currently, the solution is to get that temporary resize back into the Camtasia 8 engine, which was lost through updates.

Just to reiterate, when you use the ZOOM feature in Camtasia back down to 1:1 or 100% resolution then viewing that with any windowed resolution, such as 1280x720, despite any recorded resolution higher than that window, it should look perfectly crisp because there is no scaling...the only other issue is the codec, and I haven't seen the codec causing any blurring issue, in fact, Techsmith Codec 2 is amazing with really nice file size compression with quality, although it renders really really slow :( A plus and a minus.

- David
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kurrykid, Champion

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Thanks for jumping in David and taking the time to explain...appreciate it!
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Thanks for jumping in on this converstion David. Greatly appreciated to see and hear others views and suggestions. Now I tried experimenting with these options and the video(s) were a lot clearer but I had black bars on either the top and bottom or the sides. Is there a way to remove them and keep them at the Full Screen with the clarity? Thanks again and if you have time maybe make a video to show others.
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D Thomas

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Whichever way you slice it, this 'feature' is causing problems that were not apparent at all in V7.
Currently I am forced to record in V8 (so it doesn't crash on really long recordings) and edit in V7. Hardly ideal.

And yes - I really DO need it to be in high resolution. I have two monitors at 1920 * 1280 each, = 3840 by 1280 - two side by side concurrently timed recordings. By the time V8 has finished with it, it's unusable as evidence for a Courtroom - which is where is needs to be. None of the text is legible because of the scaling.

By any definition this is a bug that has been introduced that did not exist before.
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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I would say that if the text is illegible, you should open a case with tech support if you haven't done so already:

http://techsmith.custhelp.com/app/uti...

You will have to sign in/register to open a ticket, but they should be able to help you, especially if you can share some non-confidential examples of what you are seeing.

I think (and I may be wrong) that what some people are seeing is some loss of crispness depending on recording dimensions and viewing dimensions - but this is the first I have heard of outright illegibility.

-Josh
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D Thomas

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Hi Josh - the illegibility is due to reducing an image that is 3840 in width, down to the maximum that v8 supports - 2048 in width. Any simple webpage (such as this one) - the text is reduced to a point where it is unreadable simply due to the scaling down. V& does not have this problem because I can edit it in the same dimensiojns it was recorded - 3840 by 1280. Cheers

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