How can I add animated handwriting from a graphics tablet to a video?

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I want the writing (recorded over a graphics tablet) to appear on the video as it is written, not static. How can I do this?
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dubidoo222

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Posted 4 years ago

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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Hi there,

Can you tell us which TechSmith product you're using? Is it Camtasia Studio 8 (Windows)? Mac?
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dubidoo222

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Yes, Camtasia Studio 8 (Windows)
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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If you have a graphics tablet, there is an option for drawing on the screen while you're recording: http://blogs.techsmith.com/tips-how-tos/screendraw-whiteboarding-with-camtasia-studio/

The one big caveat with that option is that the drawing/writing is burned into the recording, so keep that in mind. 

Otherwise, some users have separately recorded drawing/writing on a solid color background and then used the Remove a Color editing feature to  remove that solid background, leaving the writing only. This can then be placed over other images and recordings on the timeline.  Kayakman linked a couple of his tutorials in a comment on this thread: https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/camtasia-draw-tool-access-is-atrocious

Hope that helps!
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dubidoo222

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Thank you, that is some brilliant information! I don't understand though, what do you mean with "the drawing is burned into the recording"?
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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I mean that you cannot edit what you wrote with ScreenDraw separately from the rest of the screen, using Camtasia Studio's editor.

So if for example you have a map on screen, and you're drawing with red ink over top of it, you cannot later choose to change the color of the ink, or decide to not show the ink altogether.

This is different than using Camtasia's callouts. Callouts are added during editing and can always be adjusted. That (combined with the fact that very few people have a graphics tablet for writing on screen) is why most people choose to point things out with arrow callouts or add text in the editing step.

Does that help?   
(Edited)
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dubidoo222

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yes, it makes sense now :) thank you again for taking the time to explain this, it was very helpful!
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Kay Nicholson Greenhaw

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This may be way to lame, but I've done something similar just using a transition left to right.
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dubidoo222

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ummm...sorry, can you explain that in a way that someone who has very little technical knowledge would understand? :)
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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I hate to assume .. but I will anyway :)

I believe Kay is talking about applying a transition to text callouts that will reveal the text from left to right. Gradient Wipe is good for this, and can be found here and then added to the text callout:



The result is something like this:
http://www.screencast.com/t/qCQYyPkc4EK
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dubidoo222

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the link didn't work for me, but I think i know what you mean...this is not what I want though...i don't want the text to be "revealed", i want it to be shown exactly as I write it (if that makes sense).

I think the easiest way will be to use "screendraw", as Josh mentioned. In the video however, there is no mention of a graphics tablet, it seems that the drawing is being done with a mouse. Can I simply replace the mouse with a graphics tablet? Also, Kayakman is drawing on a "static" background, not a video. It looks like the background could be anything on the computer screen though, so am I right to assume that you could simply play a video instead of the static background, and then draw on it and record it?
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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That's correct. You can use either a mouse or a graphics tablet.  And you can indeed play a video and draw over that as well. 
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dubidoo222

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sorry, i mixed something up, I was referring to Josh's video not Kayakman's!
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dubidoo222

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very cool, thank you :)
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dubidoo222

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Something else...referring to the original topic of placing a background (with writing) on a video...would it be possible to place two backgrounds (with the solid part removed, of course) on the video? Basically, I would like to insert the video of me doing the handwriting on the top of the video, and on the bottom of the video i just want a line of solid text. Could this be done with "three layers"?
The other thing I was wondering about...how can I make writing on the screen appear and disappear? Meaning, I don't want to keep on writing on the same background until the whole screen is full, I want to write a line, the let it disappear, and then write the next line on a blank screen (well not really blank since the background video will be there)?
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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To answer you first question:
Yes, you can have as many layers of text as you'd like, and if you'd like to display them all simultaneously, you would stack them up on separate timeline tracks. There is no realistic limit to the number of tracks you may have in a project. 

As far as "clearing the board", probably the easiest thing to do is hit your ESC key, which will close ScreenDraw and clear what you wrote on screen, but will not stop the recording. Then, click the ScreenDraw icon on the recorder again and start drawing/writing your next segment. Repeat these steps until your recording is complete.
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dubidoo222

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Thank you! For a newbie like me it is always a thrill to find out my creative endeavors are actually possible :)
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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That's great to hear! If you're looking to work with layering tracks, you might want to watch this tutorial (5 min):
https://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-camtasia-8-timeline-in-depth.html
(Edited)
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dubidoo222

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When I am drawing on my video now, I have one issue: when I try to put the dot on the "i", the pen doesn't work and the screen stays blank where the dot should be. I can draw words and lines just fine, but not a single dot. Do you know why this could be?
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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It will take more than a single click to make a mark. It's looking for a click and hold, followed by movement. You may need to give a very small drag or wiggle to the dot of the eye in order to have it show on screen. 
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dubidoo222

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Thanks, will try that! I would prefer having a simple dot but if that's not possible, then I will have to make it a tiny line..
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dubidoo222

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I have now done the writing on the video by placing the video with the handwriting (with the background removed) over the other video, and i am quite happy with the results. However, I have one problem. I want to speed the handwriting video up as it is a bit too slow in the original. When I change the video to 200%, it starts getting jerky and not running smoothly anymore. Is there anything i can do about this?
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Hmm, usually speeding things up makes them look smoother, if anything. I'm wondering if it's just the canvas preview that's having a hard time rendering the handwriting at a faster playback speed. Have you tried producing the video to see how the final video looks?

 
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dubidoo222

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Yes, i have produced it (MP4) and played it with UM Player, same problem. Is the problem maybe that the two videos are different speeds? (100% and 200%).
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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As far as I know, there shouldn't be anything technical that's causing any jerkiness. But I haven't tried adjusting the clip speed of handwriting often. Maybe speeding up the handwriting clip (which will drop frames) just creates an effect that the human eye doesn't like much.

Hopefully someone else may have a suggestion. Otherwise, if you think there is something buggy going on, you can contact our free technical support and they will work with you to explore the issue. https://support.techsmith.com

Sorry I couldn't be more help.
-Josh 
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dubidoo222

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No, i don't think it is an effect on the eye...the jerkiness isn't just in the up-speeded handwriting, it is also in the background video (which is playing at normal speed). Hopefully someone will be able to suggest some solutions, I am not sure what else to try.
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dubidoo222

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It seems like it was an issue with my PC rather than with the video...I have been playing it on another PC and it was running smoothly there.

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