Making of... videos

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I'm sure that TechSmith is no different than any other company when it comes to wanting to put our best foot forward with the things we do. In that vein of thought, consider the videos we see. For example:

https://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-ca...

And even the video that is shipped with Camtasia that we can open and look at.

The only problem here is that I believe we see things in the videos that were created using other tools. They weren't made entirely using Camtasia. And that presents a small problem. The problem is that many folks will see certain effects and make an incorrect assumption that it's something easily done in Camtasia.

Because of this, I'm suggesting that TechSmith actually consider creating a few "how this video was made" sort of videos where they pick apart the different aspects and explain how they were achieved. If they used Camtasia to achieve the effect, show folks where to find it in Camtasia. Or if an effect was created using a different tool, just advise that it was created using (insert tool here) and the result was dropped into the Camtasia timeline.

Thanks for listening... Rick :)
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Rick Stone

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Posted 3 years ago

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Bob Lewis

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That would be great. I also think they occasionally produce a video using features that are in the beta version but for whatever reason do not make it to the currently released version. Maybe they are working out bugs or just want something to add to an update as a new feature.
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Jack Fruh, Champion

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Rick I can't figure out how to 'like' the original post, but I agree, a few "how we did it" videos would be a great addition!
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Bob Lewis

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You can go to the top and vote if you want.
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Jack Fruh, Champion

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Ah, I totally didn't see that in the UI!
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Oz du Soleil

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I really like this idea.
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d.brunner, Employee

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Hi Rick,
I’m an instructional designer on the Camtasia team and I thought I’d jump into this conversation to clear things up a bit.

First, all of the tutorial videos and the getting started project (the video that appears when you first launch Camtasia) were essentially made entirely using Camtasia.  Adobe Illustrator was used to create the graphics, however, everything else was done using Camtasia, including all of the animations and effects.  This is something we take great pride in and our plan moving forward is to continue creating all of our tutorial content exclusively in Camtasia.

Second, I really like the suggestion for creating a few videos explaining how we made our tutorials.  I’m more than happy to look into this and see what we can come up with.

Thanks,
Doug
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Rick Stone

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Appreciate the info! Indeed, I'm not really sure most of us would care about how images were created.

But when we see things such as the first three seconds of the Intro video in the Getting Started project, where it's just a video clip that was added, I've seen others ask about how an effect like that was achieved.

Happy to know it's going to be considered!

Thanks again... Rick :)
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Hi Rick,

I'm just confirming what Doug said in that the only video editing tool the instructional designers use is Camtasia. In the last couple of years, we've occasionally created complicated animations with Camtasia instead of strightforward screen recordings. In fact, I wrote a blog post a while back that explains the why and a little bit of the how:

http://blogs.techsmith.com/inside-tec...

For the Getting Started Project specifically (and I don't want to speak for Doug here, but I know this was something he considered) I think it helps to have a very simple timeline, since the project is used as an intro to video editing in general. If it had many tracks and many clips, it may be a little overwhelming for people brand new to video editing. But I concede that by simplifying the source media, it does hide a little bit of the magic. I'm sure Doug has the project file he used to create that three-second intro. Maybe he'll make a walkthrough for the curious user. :)

-Josh
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Rick Stone

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Appreciate the info, Josh!

I do understand the reasoning. Even agree with it. Perhaps a solution would involve providing access somehow to the true source of things so one could see first-hand what was involved?

Cheers... Rick :)
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Bob Lewis

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Thank you Josh for the link. It would be great to see a step by step video of how something seemingly so complex is created. And slow enough or a written step by step guide for us to add each element one by one to follow. How do you keep up with 23 Tracks for instance? TechSmith's regular videos are very helpful to show each feature. Some of us need something like your Link has with a step by step guide like in baby steps. Thanks
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davemillman

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How do you keep up with 23 Tracks for instance? 
Like this:
  1. Use two monitors, dedicating one to the canvas and the other to the timeline. 
  2. Use the greater than-less than keys to step frame by frame forwards and backwards
  3. Use the hide button (eye icon) on tracks to make them visible and invisible
  4. Select a track in the timeline to see the clip highlighted on the canvas
  5. Use the Group function to combine many tracks into one
These may seem obvious, but those techniques let me keep 18 tracks visible, two of which may be groups of 5-12 tracks each!

But I'd also love to see the project file for some of the more advanced Camtasia demo videos. Great idea!
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Bob Lewis

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When you put it like that it seems easy. ( I'm Kidding. )
I am sure only when you have done it repeatedly until it is second nature like most skills. 
That is why I need baby steps until my experience has caught up with my ability. 
Thanks,
Bob
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Sharyn

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Hi Josh, I read your article. Some things come to mind:
1. I loved the article. 
2. I would love to see more article such as this from the developers
3.  In the article you say "Just start with the actual UI and then begin simplifying, bit by bit..."  I guess my question is, "How do you make the wireframe for each of your images?"
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Hi Sharyn!

Thanks for the kind words.

Like I mentioned in the article, if the mock-up is going to be fairly complicated and I need to be able to turn shapes on and off easily, I'll use Adobe Illustrator. However, if it's simpler, something like this can easily be done in Snagit (also made by TechSmith, if anyone's not aware). Here's a silent, sped up video where I take a menu screenshot and then build shapes, text, and a mouse stamp over it in the Snagit editor (feel free to slow the playback down if you need to see the steps more clearly, but this should give you a general idea). http://www.screencast.com/t/z13WDSjPc

-Josh
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Sharyn

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Thanks Josh! That was extremely helpful. I am going to try it out now!
It's going to be so useful.