Edit the cursor path

  • 174
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 months ago
  • Implemented
  • (Edited)
(This idea comes what what we’ve heard here in this community as well as from other customer feedback methods we utilize. The feedback we gather here will help us gauge how well it fits our users’ needs. Please let us know what you think)

The Problem:

Moving a cursor smoothly is the finishing touch on a good demo video, but controlling the cursor path so it’s smooth and natural requires a lot of “takes.”

Potential Solution:

A simple way to set the beginning and end of the cursor path and have Camtasia create the smooth animation of the cursor between those points
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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Posted 2 years ago

  • 174
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Rick Stone

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Wow, LOVING what I'm seeing with all these voting posts! Indeed, adjusting the cursor path would be amazing and allow us to produce better and more polished video.
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elmurray

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I've often had to record a video several times because I thought my mouse was too wiggly across the page.  I wish there was a way to do a smooth movement from one part of the screen to another.
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Mai.Nguyen

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This would be AMAZING!
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dcg

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Would like an easy way to make the cursor "disappear" in segments of the video. Although it CAN currently be done, it's a time-consuming process.
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kurrykid, Champion

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This would be a great feature!
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proportal

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I desperately need this feature - my videos are spoilt by my jerky mouse movements and 'talking' with my hands whilst recording. 
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Steve Maguire

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For each video I produce, I probably spend 25% of the time animating the mouse cursor to remove jerkiness and unnecessary flashing between cursor types. The end result is SO much better which is why I'm willing to invest the time. This would be my #1 choice for a feature.

I could see implementing this idea in a couple of ways. One is an "auto smooth" type of command that just smooths out the cursor path along the currently selected range. Choosing this multiple times could result in progressively finer smooths. This alone wouldn't correct all the stuff I normally fix, but it would help with a lot of it.

Another possible solution would be to separate the cursor track the way we now separate audio and video tracks. There are plenty of times where I add graphics and other elements and want to place the recorded cursor track above all the new stuff. The cursor track could use some sort of "edit point" mode like we have to audio tracks, where each point can be set to some sort of cursor motion state from that point until the next point. I'm thinking of settings like "Straight line to next point", "Curved line to next point", "Use recorded motion", "Select cursor type", etc.

I would expect the same cursor to be used from point to point, switching at the end point if there's a different cursor recorded there. This would be important to me because I do a lot of browser recording, and even if you move the mouse really straight, it flashes between arrows, I-beams, hands, etc. as you move from one point to the next, when all I'm trying to do is move from one spot to another spot without unnecessary visual distraction.

Just my 2 cents on the feature, but I would pay a full upgrade price for this one feature alone.

- Steve
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Buddy

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LOVE THIS IDEA!!!!  If you could do the same with Callouts (arrows, etc.) so that you could EASILY plot a path over time, it would be even BETTER!
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William Raymond

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This would be a fantastic add, especially when developing on-screen training videos. Frequently, I fade from one capture to another just so the viewer does not see the mouse jump from one take to another.

While I would be fine with a path option, it would even be better if you know where the mouse is from one scene to another and handle that for us.
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nickleus

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it should be as simple as drawing a path/line in an image editor or simply setting grid coordinates--click to set or input coords:
start point
end point

then allow:
adjust speed
choose cursor type

in addition to effects/functionality already implemented:
scale
opacity

seems like a given, especially for screenrecording.

otherwise a great product so far.
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kayakman, Champion

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you can do this now by using an image of a cursor [transparent background], and moving it around using animations
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bbailie

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We used a competitive product for a long time because it had this feature. It really should be much higher in the priority list than most anything else mentioned. Just because some of the others are low-hanging fruit doesn't mean this should be pushed down the list. If you really cared about making good video, this would be at the absolute TOP of the list, as it really cannot be done any other way for a demonstration-length video. Other things such as audio controls, who cares? There are tons of third-party ways to manage. You even show them in your own blogs. This has no workaround and frustrates the entire industry. Thank you for the consideration.
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Moshe Davis

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MadCap Mimic can record the cursor path as a vector (start point + end point +path between), and all three components are editable. This also significantly reduces output file size, as doesn't have to take 30 screen shots/second if the only thing moving is the cursor. Not sure why Camtasia can't implement something similar.
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lukas

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@bbailie: +1!!!

I really can work great with Camtasia. But the inability to edit cursor movements during editing really makes me think about changing to another software that includes this feature. There aren't really that much features in a professional screen capturing software that are really essential. This here IS essential!
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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Official Response
We are actively developing a cursor path smoothing effect that we hope to ship with the next major of Camtasia.

Brooks

Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
TechSmith
(Edited)
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davemillman

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Having spent many hours editing individual frames of cursor paths, this will come as a welcome enhancement!
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lukas

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Hi Brooks,

this is really exciting news (although it sounds like it does not enable us to fully edit the cursor movement)!!

Does the effect include a way to smooth/connect the cursor positions when clips are cut (or from different takes) so that the cut would normally jump around between the clips...? Because this is the main problem I have with cursors...

Best, Lukas
(Edited)
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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Hey Lukas, I’m not sure we’re going to handle that particular problem as elegantly as you might want. But what we’ve got cooking is a pretty cool first step. I will be interested to hear how it performs for you. It’s definitely an area where we can see a lot of future improvements.
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lukas

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I think I unterstood it right so that you're going to add an effect that automaticly smoothes the cursor movements (maybe with a customizable intensity?). Although it's not exactly what I was hoping for it's 1000% better than now: Having to re-record every jerky cursor movement or replacing the cursor with an transparent PNG and adding animation (although it gives the biggest flexibility).
So I'm really looking forward to any enhancements here :)
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lukas

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Hi Brooks,
in my current project I made heavily use of the new cursor smoothing effect. The only (but essential) thing I need it for is smoothing cuts where the cursor would jump without the smoothing.

The big problem about the cursor smoothing is that if you hover over a menu you see very clearly that the mouse is at another position than the original recording (menu entries are selected where there is no mouse cursor). That means that I have to manually adjust the areas where the cursor smoothing effect is active which takes a lot of time (I think the cursor smoothing effect should actually save time) because the effect can't be cut so it has to be dragged every time again onto the clip and has to be adjusted to only cover the cuts.)



So would it be possible to add another option "Only smooth cuts" or "Only smooth cursor jumps" or similar? So my mouse movement would only affected where I've cut a clip but the pure mouse movement would be retained?

I would really like to use the new cursor smoothing effect but currently it does not really help in my cases.

Thanks and best,
Lukas

PS:  Here's a little video snippet that shows the problem:
https://youtu.be/X9nBPMjcJ8s

(Edited)
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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You can drag / copy past more than one cursor smoothing effect onto a clip and you can adjust the duration the effect is applied. We mad sure it worked that way so you could avoid problematic menu rollovers where cursor gets out of sync with the menu highlights. That doesn't work for your situation, or is too much work?

Would be helpful to send me a short video of how you are using the cursor smoothing effect and explain exactly what you are looking for. 
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lukas

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Thanks for your answer Brooks!

Yes, as you said, dragging multiple cursor smoothing effects basically works but it's very fiddly and takes a lot of time if you have many cuts and need to drag another effect and adjust the duration for each of them. I myself don't really need a cursor smoothing for every movement... the critical parts are only them where the cursor suddenly jumps to a completely different position due to a cut in the recorded screen video.

Here's a short video that shows how I use the cursor smoothing effect (sorry, it's the German version because the English one has problems with German keyboard special chars):

https://youtu.be/16h-iVk6Yow

That's why I said that an option that only smooths the "big" cursor jumps or an own effect for that would be awesome. At the moment the cursor smoothing effect indeed helps in my case but not as much as it could because many adjusting is still needed to make it work.
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lukas

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Or what about an appropriate option in the cursor settings for a clip? :)

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bbailie

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Thank you for beginning work on this. Smoothing is helpful, and once you obtain that ability, you are well situated to the ultimate goal of cursor location editing, which would simply consist of movement endpoints (start/finish) placed along the timeline, and location (start/finish/curved path) on-screen. I know this is well within your capabilities and it fits the metaphor of the UI. Thank you for taking up this task -- at any level, it will be a hit.
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lukas

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Agree!
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lukas

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Hmm. Any way (as a workaround until there's a sophisticated cursor path editing) you could implement a "create animation points from cursor movement" command if a screen video and a image media (containing a cursor icon PNG) is selected? This would already save a whole lot of work and since the cursor coordinates are already there (included in the .trec file) it shouldn't be as time-consuming as a complete cursor path editing feature...