Does Camtasia Offer A Way To Display 2 Videos Side-By-Side With A Blended Border Between Them?

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Not directly; there is no built editor function that enables this.

However, the effect is possible to achieve using a custom constructed Library asset.

How To Build Library Assets That Create Gradient Blending Effect Between Two Video Clips
http://www.screencast.com/t/txOnW1PPMK

The described technique requires the creation of a template Library asset that imposes the desired overlap between the videos; once the asset is created, any media can be hot-swapped in by using "update media"

The Library asset is constructed in 2 parts ... left side and right side assets; these are then combined to form the final template asset

Because update media is used to enable the asset to be reused for different media files, strict protocols must be followed

The update media function [right click on media in bin, or on timeline] only works for same-type media swaps [trec for trec, MP4 for MP4, etc]; the nature of the design of the template asset also requires that the EXACT SAME MEDIA DIMENSIONS be used.  For simplicity, most all my asset testing was based on media dimensions of 1920x1080 EXACTLY

Accordingly, assets for each different media type would be necessary.  However, due to the design of the asset [200 tracks of media], and inherent Camtasia production limitations, only an asset for trec file-type media is practical.  Assets for MP4 media can be constructed, but, based on my testing, they will only work if a 20 step gradient [or less] is used.  With higher count MP4 gradients, the projects would never produce [system overload because producing from MP4 source is much more demanding on Camrasia than when producing from trec media based projects; and Camtasia would crash

The "gradient blending" effect is achieved by discrete changes in underlying video opacity; opacity values in Camtasia are limited to whole number values; the best outcome is obtained by using a 100 step gradient, in 1% increments. However, fewer increments can be used, but if fewer than 50 steps per side, opacity changes can often be noticed as vertical lines in the blend zone in the resulting productions [i.e. 20 steps = 5% per step, a 5% change in opacity is easily noticed]

I've made many of these assets using the method in the above tutorial; it was really brutal the first few times around; but after a little practice, the assets are actually easy to make, but they take time to build.  I now budget 2 man hours to build out each side's asset

I have some examples to share ...

Example Gradient Blend Center CNN On Botton Tour De France On Top 2880x1080
http://www.screencast.com/t/JaVFdcvJB

This asset has a 50% overlap zone, it looks like this



Example Gradient Blend Narrow Tour De France On Top
http://www.screencast.com/t/CMyh9TFjXBp

This asset has a 25% overlap zone; it looks like this



Example Gradient Blend Full Span Tour De France On Top
http://www.screencast.com/t/HyKF2lslET

This asset has a 100% overlap zone, both videos are fully overlapped; it looks like this



Final notes ...

when inserting the desired media with update media, the relative order [who's on top] will have an effect on the final look; the video on top in the project will slightly dominate the gradient blending effect

these assets result in projects with 200 media tracks; I've only tested with 1 minute duration projects; with 1920x1080 trec media, these 1 minute projects take 50 minutes to produce on my modest i5 laptop with SSD and 8 GB RAM

There may be a better way to do this, but I haven't figured out how


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kayakman, Champion

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Posted 3 months ago

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kayakman, Champion

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I received this anonymous feedback about the how-to tutorial ...

"You failed to demonstrate what was originally asked for by the guy who posted the feature request. He asked for two videos placed over each other and faded at 50%. This would mean the final output would be 1920x1080. Your video is the opposite of that.Frankly speaking, who would want to go through this many steps to do this? I would think there is a better way to achieve the actual desired result without this much hassle."

some clarification ...

the tutorial describes how to make a 50% overlap template; the original requester asked for 100% overlap; the technique described in the tutorial is exactly the same that is used to make a 100% overlap template, only requiring an adjustment to the overlay grid so it covers the entire video frame; the 3rd example above is exactly that type of project ... 2 videos, one over the other, 1920x1080, fully blended together

it definitely takes many steps to create the Library template project; but once made, it can be used in any project where update media allows quickly hot-swap-inserting any video clips desired [subject to the limitations described above and in the tutorial]

unfortunately, I know of no other way to do this with the existing Camtasia editor

but I'm open to suggestions



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Joe Morgan

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Well, I will give you credit for attacking this effect with tenacity.

The anonymous feedback, I suspect is Britt.

However, sometimes workarounds are more trouble than they’re worth. To me, this one is the epitome of that, and then some.

To work with 200 video tracks. Is beyond the call of duty for any effect. Is no quick easy, or simple workaround. With render times approaching 1 hour per 1 minute of video. It is incredibly inefficient.

Plus, I can still see the individual lines of opacity in the 100% overlapped gradient. It’s pretty good, but it’s still not an actual gradient.

 I can create dynamic star fields, flaming streaking comets or dissolve images into tiny grains of sand. Plus, a whole host of other special-effects. And render them much faster in Adobe’s After Effects.


The last line in your post you said. There must be a better way to do this, but I haven’t figured out how.

For me, the answer to this is simple. Download the free video editor Hit Film Express. Take the time to learn how to use its masking features.


Hit Film can render this effect just as fast as it can render any standard video file. Not 1 hour per minute.

 You can use it to reverse videos and any of the advanced editing features it offers.

The ones Camtasia doesn’t offer now,

Hit Film Express isn’t the only free video editor capable of feathered masking.

The company hosts a large volume of online tutorials on YouTube. So learning how to use it, is not that difficult to do. And the company’s tutorials are good. Well-made and informative. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIMX7KaXAFkJG7uPsQBepfA

 Regards, Joe


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kayakman, Champion

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no argument here re "more trouble than they're worth"

I've never had the need for gradient blending, but I decided to see if it could be done at all; so I approached it as sort of a challenge.   Also, the original request insisted on a solution that was 100% Camtasia, so any 3rd party approach wouldn't do

from my perspective, this was actually insightful; I learned a lot about trec vs. MP4 productions [limitations I was not previously aware of]; I also found out that there is absolutely no available help documentation, or tutorials, regarding the update media function

takeaway for me from all this is that I now have 3 templates in Library good for 25%, 50%, and 100% overlap effects for 1920x1080 trec media; who knows, maybe some day I'll see a need to use them again
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kayakman, Champion

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this is an updated version of the tutorial referenced in my initial post above ...

How To Build Library Assets That Create Gradient Blending Effect Between Two Video Clips
http://www.screencast.com/t/BxoQjPoPGpaC