Overriding Gap Space

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Hi there. I am new to Camtasia, and so far I am loving it. There is just one thing that's getting to me, and that is that clips do not override the gaps space when edits are made. In other words, they do not force align on the track. Now I read a few topics on a similar subject about removing gap space after deleting clips, however, my issue is removing gap space after speed or duration adjustments. I do a lot of complex editing, and it would take too much time to manually move each clip. Can this be done?
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leducdude

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Posted 10 months ago

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Mal Reynolds

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> There is just one thing that's getting to me

Just one? You MUST be new.

> and that is that clips do not override the gaps space when edits are made. ... my issue is removing gap space after speed or duration adjustments.

Mmm. Annoying, isn't it? Infuriating, if you have to make something like 70 such adjustments as I did in one project the other week. Still, some people will tell you that a fix for this problem is "unnecessary". Others, such as thee and me, will have experienced WHY it is necessary.

> In other words, they do not force align on the track.

Correct. On the other side of the coin it does not force space if the clip is slowed down.

> I do a lot of complex editing, and it would take too much time to manually move each clip.

Oh, I hear you. Partly because I've experienced this myself, and partly because I'm bothering to actually listen to you.

As I've mentioned in the past, the entire process of altering clip speeds is ridiculously inefficient and currently takes 8 steps. An EFFICIENT process would be to select the range to be changed, have user-assignable shortcut keys to your preferred speed(s), and have the entire process (split, add space for a speed reduction, change speed, ripple delete space for speed increases) in ONE selection and ONE keystroke.

> Can this be done?

I suspect yes. Will it is another matter. One key problem is the system of requesting improvements. Supposedly someone raises an "Idea". Then other people vote on it. Then if it gets enough votes. Techsmith will think about implementing it.

What really happens on this platform (amusingly known as "Get Satisfaction") is that someone raises an idea, maybe it gets a couple of votes, it sinks to the bottom of all of the "How do I" posts within days, someone else raises a similar idea, it gets maybe a couple of votes, it sinks to the bottom within days, lather, rinse repeat over a period of half a decade (and yes, there have been needed improvements floating around for at least that long, and longer)... and the improvement never gets done because "It had only a couple of votes and didn't make it into the end of year roundup that we may or may not have.

For instance? Well, I know that there is at least one idea thread that I voted on in relation to this because I recall raising the issue of inserting time for clip slow downs, which had not been raised in the idea. Do you think I can find it now? No, because Get Satisfaction does not Give Satisfaction.

However we have this idea thread from Video Engineer which has a meagre three votes. Because it's a bad idea? More likely because hardly anybody who's affected by this saw it, including me until I went looking for it in response to this post. That was from a year ago. Then we have this very similar idea from Darren Macneill from TWO years ago. And I'm sure that if I spent the time I'd find more.

My suggestion would be to at least vote on the thread from Video Engineer, and don't get your hopes up.


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leducdude

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Loud and clear, Mal Reynolds. Haha.

Well thank you for the time, but seeing how there's not a quick and easy way to work this out, maybe Camtasia isn't for me. But I will say that it got a lot of things right, and it's very easy to dive in and get working. And there are not too many video editors for Mac.
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Mal Reynolds

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Yyyyeah, don't be TOO hasty. You hit the nail on the head in the last sentence. There would be Premiere Pro, I expect (AFAIK most Adobe applications are on both platforms), but it's massively difficult to master and it doesn't provide the built in recording integration that Camtasia has.

They need to fix this, they really do. It should have been obvious to whoever wrote the code that this was going to be an issue and for the series I'm recording at the moment it's a massive time sink. But it hasn't been enough to make me kick Camtasia to the kerb (yet, at least) because aside from shortcomings like this it's a pretty easy and intuitive way to get from A to B.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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I'm not quite sure what you're asking for, leducdude, but maybe what you're saying is that when you select a range, and hit delete, it leaves space there instead of collapsing it? You could try "ripple delete" instead, which both deletes the range AND collapses all the tracks on the timeline when removing that time range.

Let me know if this helps, or if there's something else you're trying to do.
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Mal Reynolds

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Perhaps you missed this bit, because it's what we are both talking about:

however, my issue is removing gap space after speed or duration adjustments
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leducdude

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Thank you for the reply, Paul. Yes, I'm familiar with ripple delete, but it's more so with the result after speed or duration adjustments. For example, if I speed a clip up, then it will shorten in length and become smaller on the timeline leaving gap space to the clip in front of it. I'm looking to make changes with future clips fall immediately after each other.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Ah, I follow now, thank you both for the feedback.
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davemillman

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@leducdude, you are adding a complex video effect to a single clip on the timeline. When you add any other effect or behavior or animation to one clip on the timeline, it does not add that effect or behavior or animation to every item that follows. While I understand your use case, I'm not sure I want a "smart" feature to make such adjustments unless I can turn it off. My timeline has 300+ clips on it...

By the way, if you select a clip, then option-rightarrow, camtasia selects all the clips to the right of that clip on the timeline. I don't know if that helps you or not.
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Mal Reynolds

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Hi Dave,

I think you're misunderstanding the nature of the problem.

People will sometimes need to speed up part of a playback. For example, I had to demonstrate a piece of software in a recent series of videos. The software often had some lag (for reasons that aren't relevant here). The options were to either:
  • Cut out the lagging bits, which would make the video as jittery as a 1930's Disney cartoon; OR
  • Cut out the lagging bits and overlay a fade (for example) which would have needed to be done so often that  it would have made the viewer feel like they were spending half the film coming out of anaesthesia; or
  • The lag could be sped up so that the natural flow of the program's functionality remained in tact.

So how do you speed up a clip (for those who have not had the pleasure)?

It is a slow and tedious process (if you have to do it a lot, which I do) which really needs to be addressed in its entirety, but one part is worse than the others. You start off with a clip that you need to speed up.



You split at both ends:



So this effectively creates 3 clips from one; before, during and after.

You select the During clip and apply the speed adjustment; I find the context (right click) menu to be the fastest way. You then have to go to the Properties panel and input what the new speed is:



The increase in playback speed of the "During" clip naturally shortens it on the timeline. And so you end up with... THAT:


A great gaping hole between the "during" clip and the "after" clip. You need to select that gap, then ripple delete it. (Especially if you have further content beyond the After clip.)

It's even worse when you slow a clip down because the slow down process will not insert time. You have to Insert Time ahead of the "after" clip, and push that (and anything else to the right) aside so that the "during" clip has space to expand into. (And just to make that worse you'll probably need to insert more time than necessary to make sure that it has space to fit, meaning that you will AGAIN need to select a hole in your track which you need to ripple delete.)

In one series that I do on a regular basis I need to do this not less than 10 times per week.

In one other pair of episodes that I did recently, the aforementioned software instruction, I had to do it over 70 times in the course of 55 minutes of content. (Or at least it was 55 minutes AFTER applying the speed-up.)

70 times, I had to select both ends separately, split, specify a speed, then select the resulting gap, then ripple delete the gap. And I thank my personal gods that I only need to go faster, not slower.

Two things that would alleviate the problem would be either:
  • Having the option of a speed change automatically triggering a time insertion or ripple delete as the case may be. (I say "option" because there may be occasions when it's not wanted); OR
  • Having a command which will automatically close gaps via ripple deletion on an entire project. (The one thing that might be a little tricky with that would be if there was content on another track at the point where the closures occur; there would be the question of what to do with those.)
For those who are fortunate enough not to need to change clip speeds it's not as much of an issue; but for anyone doing more advanced productions it certainly will be as leducdude alluded to originally.


(Edited)
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JMichaelTX

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@Dave:
While I understand your use case, I'm not sure I want a "smart" feature to make such adjustments unless I can turn it off. My timeline has 300+ clips on it...
Seems a like a simple, effective solution that gives control to the user is to simply add  a checkbox to the Clip Speed dialog that says "Ripple Delete/Expand After Speed Change".

My wording may not be the best, but I think you (and everyone) can get the idea.  If the user checks that box, then it auto performs that last step in @Mal's workflow.

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davemillman

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@Mal Reynolds,

I understand the problem precisely. In my current production, we purchased a number of stock video clips @24fps. We're producing @30fps, so they all get 1.25x added, and became correspondingly shorter. And regarding your software demos, I'm a perfectionist (lunatic?), I cut individual frames when necessary to eliminate pauses in cursor movement. Even a fast recorded demo can be cut by 40-60%. Here's an example at one frame resolution:


You can imagine that I really don't want a smart feature adjusting other clips on the timeline! I'll make those decisions myself, thank you very much.

But as long as we retain the option to disable any new "<action> and then ripple delete" feature, who could object? 
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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I'd like to thank you all for taking all the extra time to make this feedback very clear. Mal, I'm sorry you're so frustrated that feedback like this often does not quickly result in a change in the software. I don't blame you; as a power user, you've thought through the workflow and know what would make your use more efficient. 

On our end, we receive thousands of differing (and often conflicting) bits of feedback from sources beyond these forums. It's not easy to prioritize amongst so many competing priorities. I say that not to earn your pity, but to try to reassure you that the issue is not us ignoring your (or others') feedback. We value it greatly, and we do notice/read the multiple threads that often aren't consolidated as we'd all like.

I'll make sure the Camtasia team sees this post, so they can consider where it might fit in to any upcoming workflow changes.
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leducdude

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Thank you, Paul. I appreciate it.
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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On behalf of the team, I'd like to echo Paul's thanks for the feedback, and for taking the time to illustrate the issues you're having now.  It really does help focus our conversations internally.

In response to this thread, we had an internal thread in our group chat, including both Mac and Windows devs, as well as product leadership.  We noted some things that may help now, as well as some areas that we may be able to improve for the future.  I'll do my best to summarize the current behavior, but I cannot comment on future plans.

This may not suit all cases, but both Camtasia Mac and Windows allow the use of modifier keys during drag operations on the timeline.  This is useful when you want the clips to the right to be affected, and this can be used to close up gaps.





Here's an example of ripple split (on Windows):


Here's an example of ripple move (on Windows):


Here's an example of ripple trim (on Windows):


Here's an example of ripple clip speed (on Windows):


The timelines shown here are simple, but if you have a more complex timeline, some of these techniques may help you close up gaps, or prevent them in the first place, depending on the use case.

Here's a training video from our instructional designers that covers some of these same concepts in more detail: https://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-camtasia-ripple-move-and-extend-frame.html

Thanks again for the feedback!  Please keep it coming.
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JMichaelTX

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@Dave O'Rourke

Thanks for a fantastic response from the dev team!  This is by far the best I have seen in any product -- it is timely, comprehensive, and directly addresses the issue reported. 

I wish all developers were this responsive.

I will be very interested to see the response from the folks who are having the issue.  I haven't tried it, but the last example of "Ripple Clip Speed" seem to directly address the issue, and even solve it.  But I wait to hear from those with the issue.
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leducdude

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Thank you for the example, Dave. I didn't realize that could be done.
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paul.landers

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Camtasia 2019 for Mac. Perhaps I'm not grasping the workflow properly and someone can help me. I added 100+ photos to the timeline. They are from multiple sources and not named sequentially, so ordering them was tedious, Adding them again is not an option. After adding them, I realized the default duration was 5 seconds, so I selected all and set the duration to 2 seconds. This produced gaps between all clips, and I can find no way to close all the gaps at once. I then manually closed all gaps. Then I realized 2 seconds is too short. I can now find no way to adjust the duration to 3 seconds on all clips at once. These seem like very simple processes, and surely there is a way to do this. Please help.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Did you try the workaround that Dave O'Rourke suggested, by adding clip speed to all of the clips? Or maybe more simple, since you seem to being a relatively simple slideshow, group them all together into one group, and then use Clip Speed to slow down that whole group altogether?
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davemillman

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paul.landers, your problem is easily solved.

First, make certain 3 seconds is what you want. Create a mini version of your production with about 6 clips, all 3 seconds long, and watch that a few times. Adjust clip length as necessary to get the perfect duration.

Assume: 
  • Your preferred duration is now 3 seconds
  • Project called "Old" has clips named 4, X, 7, A in that order on the timeline. Although you mentioned they are all 2 seconds long, they could be any different durations.
  • Project called "New" has nothing in the media bin, and nothing on the timeline.
Steps: 
  1. In in Camtasia preferences, change the default clip duration to 3 seconds.
  2. Arrange your windows so you can see the New TIMELINE at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Look at your Old timeline. The first clip is 4.
  4. Drag clip 4 from the Old MEDIA BIN to it's place on the New TIMELINE. 
  5. Look at your Old timeline. The second clip is X. 
  6. Drag clip X from the Old MEDIA BIN to its place on the New TIMELINE.
You are using your Old timeline for the sequence, but dragging from the Old media bin to the New timeline. Each clip appearing on your New timeline will be 3 seconds long.

Does that make sense? I just tried it, it works and is rather quick (about one second per drag operation, just 100 seconds for 100 clips)
(Edited)
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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FWIW, Camtasia 2020 will ship with a track toggle that makes a track "magnetic." This will remove all gaps on that track and will allow you to perform ripple inserts, ripple moves, ripple replaces, ripple trims and ripple extend frames. Apply Clip Speed effect and you can drag the effect timing and the entire track ripple moves along with your drag. 

It should solve several of the scenarios that are described above.

Brooks
Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
TechSmith
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Mal Reynolds

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Point of clarification; will the magnetic track drag the content on all other tracks with it? If not I foresee captions and non-screen recording audio getting badly out of sync.
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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First pass it will not. Keeping all other tracks synchronized is something we've been thinking long and hard about. Lot's of edge cases (e.g. what happens when there are collisions on other tracks). We haven't gone all in and burned things to the ground a la the reboot of Final Cut, but we've been looking at what other editors / compositors bring to the table and how we can iteratively move towards some of the concepts. 

Magnetic tracks will solve the gap removal and ripple editing problems described in several of the comments in this thread. I've been using it quite a bit in my workflows. I flip it on for the main video track I'm editing that often includes a screen recording and perform all of my edits on it. I typically do this first and then build things out from there, or if I've got a boilerplate structure (e.g. bumpers and lower thirds) I'll lock everything else and edit the main video track, then adjust timing of any composited tracks that are above it.

Definitely not perfect, but still very useful. We've gotten positive feedback on it in our beta testing as well as requests to also synchronize other tracks as you are suggesting. Not sure if we'll have the time to get there this cycle, but definitely on our radar.