Feature request: To be able to render a project while working on another

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Hi all.

The following is long but worth the read. Can a software engineer at Techsmith please review, discuss with colleagues and post a comment? Thanks.

Can Camtasia 9 please allow a project to be rendered simultaneously while I'm working on another. A good idea would be to let the batch rendering feature spin off as a separate application that renders in the background while I continue to work in the main application. Also it would be good if the batch rendering can also allow me to render multiple projects in parallel.

I can presently do all of this with a 'hack' I came up with.

Camtasia 8.x won't allow multiple instances of itself to run simultaneously and while rendering I can't continue to work. The result is I have to working on a project, put it to render and then do something else. That's a problem for me. So to get around this I run multiple instances of Camtasia in a sandboxing application called Sandboxie. Sandboxie was designed to be used for safe web browsing without virtualization. It runs an application in a separate memory space and stores its files in a separate sandbox folder. You can however recover files from the sandbox and move them to other parts of the system. I use it to run multiple instances of Camtasia 8.3 at once, work on a project in one and batch render in another.

The nature of the work I do requires me to create multiple 15min videos so my workflow is as follows:
  1. Launch Camtasia outside of Sandboxie
  2. Create and edit Project 1
  3. Save Project 1
  4. Close Project 1
  5. Run Camtasia in Sanboxie by right-clicking Camtasia short cut and choosing "Run Sandboxed" (you get this option when you install Sandboxie)
  6. Camtasia now launches an instance in Sandboxie where I then launch a batch rendering of Project 1
  7. While Project 1 is rendering in the instance of Camtasia running in Sandboxie I then create a new project in the instance of Camtasia running outside of Sandboxie
  8. Continue working on Project 2
I've had no access to Camtasia 9 but I've heard that it's faster at rendering and that's good. But I'm sure that it still won't max out my CPU/GPU's abilities. Camtasia 8.x only uses 20%CPU and 30% GPU resources on my machine. I'm running an Intel i5-6600 and a low end GeForce GT 730 video card. Even if Camtasia 9 is better, if I were to upgrade to a GTX 1060/1070 I'm sure much of the GPU's resources would still remain idle. This prevents me from scaling my hardware and benefiting from it with Camtasia. This limit has caused me to consider moving to Adobe Cloud multiple times because it scales better with hardware. The only reason I stayed with Camtasia is because I created the above 'hack'.

Also with the registered version of Sandboxie I can create multiple sandboxes and therefore run multiple instances of Camtasia in Sanboxie; one instance in each sandbox. I can therefore render 2/3/4 projects simultaneously!

The procedure is as follows:
  1. Launch Camtasia in Sandboxie Sandbox1
  2. Initiate batch render of Project 1
  3. Launch Camtasia in Sandboxie Sandbox2
  4. Initiate batch render of Project 2
  5. Launch Camtasia in Sandboxie Sandbox3
  6. Initiate batch render of Project 3
With the above procedure I noticed that my lowend GT 730 GPU gets maxed out when 3 projects are rendering simultaneously and my CPU is pined at around 70%. Rendering in Sandboxie adds some overhead but from my benchmarks the above procedure reduces my rendering time by 60%! A 1hr batch render session of 3 projects only takes 24 mins!

With this 'trick' I can in theory scale my hardware and benefit. I'm able to pull it off with Camtasia/Sandboxie because Camtasia uses DirectX for GPU acceleration.

  • Have the Batch Rendering ability spawn off as a separate application from the main application. That way we can run a batch rendering operation while still working on another project.
  • Within the batch rendering application allow us to configure how many jobs we want to render simultaneously so as we upgrade our systems benefit from it. With our workflows we can divide and actually conquer!
  • OR allow us to run multiple instances of the batch rendering application so we can setup how many jobs we want to run simultaneously ourselves by running multiple instances of the application.

Thanks for reading the whole post.
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Odin McKenzie

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Posted 4 years ago

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Paul Irvine

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Sounds good Odin, but even After Effects 64 bit won't allow you to render and work at the same time. Moving to 64 will open up the full resources of the PC and while I cannot comment specifically on C9 performance, I do know that from a technical point of view this would effectively lock up the system at best or at worse cause it to exhaust resources and crash.

I run a 3.2GHz i7, 32GB RAM and 2GB ATi 7800 ...even with that After Effects and other similar 64 bit apps take 100% CPU and a good 90% of RAM during a render.
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Odin McKenzie

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Hi Paul. I take you point well but with the above tricks I can indeed that that and the system does not freeze. I render and work on new projects side by side. If the CPU/GPU is low end to mid range running multiple tasks may lockup the system. But with my system that isn't a problem. I can render one job and edit simultaneously or I can run up to 3 simultaneous rendering jobs and then I hit my max resource limits. If I'm walking away from the system I want the resources maxed so the jobs can finish faster. The system doesn't freeze though but I guess that's because it's a highend system.

My main problem is that I want to be able to scale when I upgrade my hardware and not have to wait for a software update. Running editing and rendering simultaneously or rending multiple jobs simultaneously does that.
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I had the same problem with the multiple projects I was creating for my last client.  Each one was very complex and took 1-2 hours to render.  I have the other licenced version of Camtasia on a high spec laptop,  So I export the project as a zip (with all supporting files) to a USB drive which doesn't take long at all, and load and render on to that laptop while I carry on creating the next project back on the 1st machine.  I found having a development machine and a rendering machine to be a good production line method that suits the way I work.
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Klaas Hobo

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I would also like the option to run camtasia more than once and work in parallel. If my hardware would not be sufficient then I can see for myself. 
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Official Response
Hi and thanks for submitting your idea/feature request!

As outlined in our New Community Processes post, feature requests are open to voting up through the first, where we will then tally the votes and present the findings to our product teams. To ensure we have the most accurate data, on the 1st of the month we will be locking the threads that were listed in the Feature Request Round-up that was posted on the 15th. Once we have reviewed the submitted feature requests, our product team(s) may respond to the request, and if that is the case then that thread will then be unlocked for further discussion.

In the event that your idea is not selected for a response feel free to resubmit the idea and share it with your colleagues to garner as much exposure as possible!

Thank you again for your idea and we look forward to hearing more from you!

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David D, Technical Product Manager - Camtasia

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Official Response
Hello All,

Want to comment on the idea of producing the video in a background process. Camtasia 9 on windows does take better advantage of the machine resources but, as is pointed out, it does occupy the Camtasia UI while producing a project. Camtasia on Mac does allow a user to work on another project while another project is produced.

There's several ideas that we've been discussing to could allow a user to continue working and get their project produced. This is of higher importance for users that use the product more frequently.

More generally, we'll be looking for ways to save users time in product so that they can get their work done faster and get on to their other work.

David Dooley
Technical Product Manager for Camtasia