Why do I see poor quality with export to mpg4?

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The export to mpg-4 (basic export option and any configuration in advanced export option) has so low quality so it doesn ́t make sense for me to use camtasia for mac!
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Josef Jaud

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Posted 8 years ago

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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Make sure you are using "MainConcept MP4" if you are going "advanced export", or just use the quality slider in the normal "Share->Export..."
For me, at the default quality, the mp4 it creates is nearly indistinguishable from a lossless video. It's quite fantastic.

Please let us know how it works out!
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Marcus Kreuzer

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Have you removed Main Concept MP4 from version 2 ?
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Conan Heiselt, Employee

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No, it's still there but now named "Export to MP4"
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Josef Jaud

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mh. Strange. In my case it was very fuzzy and with a lot of artifacts.
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tony.calice

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The default Camtasia setting for exporting video reduces quality by 50%

Try bumping it up to 100%
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tony.calice

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I just followed my own advice and upon comparing the two videos (50% quality to 100% quality) there is no improvement on the text.

This is disappointing as my client tends to have a lot of small print. Is there some sort of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) effect that can enhance screen recorded text?
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davemillman

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Tony,

It looks like you are using Camtasia Studio for Windows. You are posting in an old thread on the Macintosh Camtasia forum (easy mistake to make on TechSmith's forums). 
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Josef: I just realized (from your other post) that you must not be on version 2, because you noted that your trial has expired. We just very recently came out with an all new version 2.0 that has significantly improved exporting quality, IMO. Would you mind taking a look at it, to see if it is up to snuff?

As I noted in my previous post, make sure to use our "MainConcept MP4" or just the default Export... dialog, instead of Apple's mpeg4 encoding (which is not as good).

V2 gives you a fresh 30 day trial, so you can try it out before committing to purchasing it.
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Josef Jaud

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Hi Paul,
Thanks for the hint! I ́ll try V2. will give You feedback!
Sorry for the late reply. The notification email of your recent post was in my spam folder!
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Steve Burris

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I'm running into the same issue. I'm using Camtasia for Mac v2.0.0 (54596). I recorded a powerpoint slide deck on a Thunderbolt cinema display. The quality looks good in Camtasia, but when I export it at the highest quality settings it loses a lot of quality. To the extent that the text is unreadable in full screen view.

I'm on a trial version. Does the trial version not allow for good quality exports?
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Are you using "Share->Export..." or "Share->Advanced Export..."? The first is probably what you want. I'd love to see a sample output if that isn't working well for you. You could send it up to Screencast.com for free so we could have a look at it...

The trial version is fully functional, so that should not be an issue.
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Steve Burris

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Paul,
I used Share->Export and Share->Adv Export. I uploaded to Screencast.com. Is there a way I can communicate with you offline so I can even potentially share with you the Camtasia project file as well?

Thanks,
Steve
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Certainly; contact our tech support (http://support.techsmith.com) and tell them Paul Middlin wanted to get in direct contact with you for this issue. That way, I don't have to put my email address on here for the spambots to find ;)
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Steve Burris

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Thanks Paul. I just submitted a message to support.techsmith.com with links to all the files you can download from my dropbox.

Thanks for all your help.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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I'm repeating here my message I sent to Steve via Tech Support in case it is useful to anyone else:

Here are the things that I think are having an effect on how good it looks in the end.

First, you're right, having JPG into PowerPoint is not ideal. JPG is a lossy format, so you get a little fuzziness there; I'd highly recommend PNG instead. Files are still small, but lossless quality. Also, because it's powerpoint, your slideshow will be full screen at some resolution that does not necessarily match the size of the photo. That means it will be either stretched or squished to fit the screen. That will introduce some fuzziness as well. Perhaps you could bring the screenshots into Camtasia directly, and just use the audio from your recording, to get the best detail? Or make sure powerpoint displays at the same resolution as the size of the images?

Second, when you're in Camtasia, there is a zooming slider in the bottom right of the canvas area. This zoom value doesn't affect your final video, but it can cause things to be a little deceiving while you're editing. If you zoom in close, things will look really nice (because we have the original full size video to 'render' from), but remember that you're actually exporting a shrunken down version of your video so that it fits on people's screens or on a web page. So, to see what it really looks like, set this to 100%. That will show you the canvas at the size it will be in the final video.

Third, your scale levels. You did a really nice job panning around and scaling to draw attention to particular details, and scaling back to show context. When you scale in, though, you often zoom to like "117%", and that will be a little fuzzy. Try to always set the scale to exactly 100% (use the properties area on the right to set it, or use the "Scale to 100%" animation). An example is at 8:50 In your video. When I change that to 100%, it looks nicer. Same at 5:20.

Your last option to get it looking nicer is to adjust the size of your canvas, or final output video, to be a little larger. By default we shrink what you recorded down by 50%. In your case, that meant taking your big 1440x900 monitor and creating a 720x450 size video to work in. You could consider an HD size (1280x720), but that can be a bit large for many people's web pages. Perhaps just a little more wiggle room, at iPhone size, would work: that's 960x640. Even 640x480 would give you another 30 pixels vertically.

So. In the end, you're not really doing anything wrong, and there isn't much to be done on the encoding side of things. The .H264 mp4 video you create is as good a codec as there is. It's a matter of giving it really good stuff to work with, and these things might push you over the edge to make it look great.
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Tony Konichek

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I'm having a similar issue trying to export from Camtasia 2 with intent to import to FCP7. I'm recording full screen and exporting to Apple ProRes, H.264, MP4. They are all giving me fuzzy image quality, both in playback in Quicktime and after import in Final Cut. Downloaded an trial of ishowu and while I enjoy your interface and options more, their export quality was significantly better, i.e. not pixelated. I'd love to use your product instead. Any ideas?
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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If you're planning to do further editing elsewhere, then you probably want to make sure to change your canvas size to be as large as the original video. By default, we assume that you do not want to publish (export) a video as large as your entire full screen recording, so we size it down to 50% of the size of your screen.

So, do Edit->Adjust Canvas... and make it the size of your screen. Then you can size the video to fill it. To avoid this for future videos, change the preference so that instead of sizing the canvas to 50%, it says at 100% (if you plan to use this workflow often).

For exporting, I suggest using the normal Share->Export... and adjusting the slider. If you DO use the advanced export, do not use Apple's "Quicktime MPEG-4", as it's quite inferior. In v2.2 and later, the name of the codec I recommend is just called "Export to mp4". In earlier versions it was called "MainConcepts".

I hope that helps.
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David Brooks

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I guess I'm a bit surprised. I've always heard that Camtasia is the best screen capture software available. Yet, I am having the same problems as everyone else here. Is this unique to the Mac version of the software?

I have tried several times to record some test video. The recording is fantastically easy. When I open the file in the Camtasia editor, it looks great. In fact, I can zoom in 300% on the video within the editor, and it looks good. However, when I try exporting the file, it is garbage... totally unusable. I have tried using both the basic exporter at the highest quality, as well as the advanced export function across multiple formats. All garbage.

Does anyone actually use this software? Again, is this unique to Mac? Any other options that work?

BTW... I'm no developer, but this MUST be an encoding issue.
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David Brooks

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Ok, so MAYBE I'm wrong. MAYBE it's not an encoding issue. After playing around a little bit with the software, I am under the impression that there is a simple software coding issue that is causing all of this heart-ache.

If you select the Full Screen option, it is somehow getting stepped down by a factor of 2 so that when you view your recording in the editor, it is showing the reduced image as 100% of the original recording.

If, however, you choose to set your own parameters, just select the entire screen and it works fine. You should notice that when you view your recording in the editor, it should be in the 63% range (which makes sense, because the preview or canvas view is basically half the size of the full screen image).

I've had a little too much wine, so this doesn't read very coherently. The bottom line is that if you want it to work, do not use the default full screen option... instead, select custom and then select the whole screen. Should work nicely.

Thanks!
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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You're on the right track- the comment I just posted above to Tony Konichek applies to what you're talking about. We assume that people do not want to publish very large videos so we get your started on the path to zooming and panning around a bit by making your canvas smaller. You can change the preference to avoid this if that's not what you want.

It is, I can see, very confusing and misleading. Sorry about that.
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bertrand

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What if I want to export high quality video for full screen people?
That s a message specially for Paul Middlin...
I ve been doing Camtasia 2.2 for couple of weeks and spent many hours on it... and I experienced same quality problem on the exporting (at the beginning). Here is the solution to make it perfect "You need to have your screen resolution to 100%":
Couple of steps to do it:
1) Basically when you are working inside your camtasia, click on the screen (the video you see in the middle). the screen will get a white border with 8 small dots all around
2) click on any of those 8 dots: and the size of the screen you are using will appear. For example, if I d chose Color LCD before shooting, it will result with a 50%... 50% of what ? 50% of the real screen, so 50% of pixel quality...
so quality is not gonna be good when putting on full screen (blur, and not clean...)
3) Personally I need high quality resolution, so here is what I do: I select CUSTOM REGION before shooting, I drag to the whole screen and do my recording.
4)Inside the camtasia, when I click on 1 of the 8 dots, normally I ll see 100% appearing.
5)if you still can't get 100% (it happens sometimes): there is another solution:
Let s say you have 85% but you want 100% or even more 135% (which is possible)
a) under the camtasia screen to the right there are 3 buttons: select the ___% button (right side but the button on the left)
b) click on it and choose: ADJUST CANVAS...
c) select PRESET button (in the middle): choose the last one at the bottom: YOUTUBE HT 1080...
d) click on APPLY
e) as you can see, your recorded screen looks smaller and surrounded by a bigger black color screen
f) click on your video (middle of the screen) then click one of the 8 white dots
g) draw to the outside until you reach the size you want: 100% or more...
h) replace your screen to the centre
i)lets say you ve chosen 100%, now you have to get rid of the black color around, right?
j) do again as a) and b)under the camtasia screen to the right select the % button (the button on the left)
click on it and choose: ADJUST CANVAS...
k) this time when you select PRESET, click on FIT TO VISIBLE, then APPLY
l) the black color is gone and you have the screen to the highest resolution you needed....
When you export to mp4, you ll see that the final result is pretty perfect...
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bertrand

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That s a example of video I put on youtube, using Camtasia and Keynote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPrzkj...

Quality is pretty good is full screen too...
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bertrand

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Sorry but the message for Paul Middin is actually here:
as you could read in my previous thread, I ve found out my way to export to highest quality ever. Actually I m developing tutorial material for different courses, like how to set up a complete WordPress site, how to make business video and much more.
Therefore, I need people to be able to see my videos into big screen and in high resolution.
Here is my problem: Making the screen to less than 100% decreases the quality badly, but I want to use smart focus....
Smart focus works only if the canvas is lower that 100% as it zoom to 100%...
Why isn't possible to zoom to 120% or even 150%? it would be so nice and easy.
using smart focus on a canvas higher than 75% to 80% looks useless on the final video...
Using it on a 75% canvas, looks pretty ok, but the video quality looks really poor on a full screen, and on YOUTUBE too...
any other options for smart focus?
thanks
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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The purpose of SmartFocus is to help you zoom in on areas of the screen for when you aren't doing large video. That is, if you are planning to just use the whole 100% size video, then perhaps you do not need to zoom in?

The reason you are feeling that the quality is "low" when you have your video zoomed out to 50% scale (which is what happens by default) is that it is, as you note, shrinking it down. But, this is only intended to be done to show context. You then can zoom in and pan around to show the interesting parts of your screencast at 100% size, which is what SmartFocus tries to do. During these parts of the video, when the real action is happening, you are at 100% size, though you can't see the whole screen (some is off the edges of canvas). The cut off parts of your screen are, presumably, the uninteresting parts.

When zoomed in like this, the video should look plenty clear, plus, your viewers can watch it in a smaller window without having to be full-screen. Additionally, they don't need as much bandwidth because the video's dimensions are not as large, and consequently the video itself is not as large. It does not use as much data per second as a smaller-sized video that leverages good zooming and panning.

But. Perhaps you want to have a big video that just shows the whole screen much of the time and is most often watched full-screen on YouTube. That's fine too. I'd say do this, then:


  1. Set your preferences to NOT automatically scale down your canvas to 50%; set it to 100%. Time saver for you- less tweaking.

  2. Do your own custom zooming. Drag on a blank animation, and set the scale in the properties or drag/pan it around until you get the framing you like. It'll seem very large when watching full screen, and not necessary, but if somebody is watching it smaller (at low-res on youtube, perhaps), then they'll appreciate it.



Does this make sense? Sorry SmartFocus doesn't help much in this case, right now. But, your needs make a lot of sense, and I'll make sure to pass this on to the rest of the team.
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Victor Kline

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Can you tell me were to find Edit then Adjust Canvas to increase the size of my video.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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The edit menu is right at the top of the screen, next to File, etc. Or, you can right-click on a blank spot on your canvas as well.
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Conan Heiselt, Employee

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This thread is really old, but I noticed that some of the issues seem, at least partly, due to a lack of clarity in how Camtasia resizes videos and how zooming affects the quality of screencasts.

I created a quick tutorial that explains what zooming really does and why it can cause problems (or be your best screencasting friend): http://www.screencast.com/t/Sz8dB6hXdX7z

Hopefully, that will be helpful to someone.
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Marcus Kreuzer

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The video helps but only in part. Here are the problems that I encounter:
1) you recommend that record the screen cast at full size (i.e. full screen) and leave the scaling to editing stage. I follow this advice
2) You then suggest that we adjust the canvas size during the editing process. This means that the original recording will be scalled down the size in which we want to displayed. Your video does not provide an actual example, you only talk about it. (a general problem all the videos by the way) Anyway, you than point out that the % number in the drop down menu where yo adjust the canvas should be less than 100% if you select for example a YouTube format. But this does not happen in my case. The percentage stays at 100%.
3) Generally, when I record at full screen size, anything that I export has incredibly poor quality. I talked to my IT folks you suggested that I record at a smaller format. And wouldn't you know it, this improve the quality of the videos that I export. But, this goes directly against the instruction in you videos.

So, I am confused and a fair bit frustrated that it is so difficult to produce decent quality videos with Camtasia.
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Conan Heiselt, Employee

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Hi Marcus,

Here's a whole thread talking about that video here: http://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmi...
Some of the comments may be useful to you.

There are a lot of different situations and needs for recording and exporting different sizes of video, which is why that video was so general. Its goal was to help you understand what's going on when you zoom so you understand why/when there's a loss of quality. As you pointed out, though, it's missing some practical examples so help you implement the principles.

The two classes of workflows to get good quality are these:

1) Record big, edit at a nice viewable size, use zoom/scale animations to show important details clearly. (this is what I talked about in the video)
- great if what you're showing is big or takes up lots of the screen
- common for web pages, large/full-screen apps
- There's a tutorial on using zooms and pans with Camtasia here: http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-cam...

2) Record at the same size you want to share, edit at that size, don't use zooms
- best if what you're showing is small
- common for small apps and Powerpoint/Keynote presentations
- this seems to be what you tried in your 3rd point above

When the video is scaled at 100%, either because you're zoomed in or because you're editing at the dimensions you recorded at, your video will be clear--or at least as clear as possible, since YouTube really isn't the best for screen video.

Also, in your 2nd point above I think you're talking about the canvas zoom level (http://www.screencast.com/t/4Gns8PAN5) not the actual scale of the media, which is done via the right-click menu on the canvas (http://www.screencast.com/t/yzF3iLnmGU) or in the properties (http://www.screencast.com/t/EnaRkDQOs).

Any thing I missed?
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pamelahuntington

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My videos are very fuzzy in full screen and this is becoming a problem...
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Conan Heiselt, Employee

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Hi Pamela,

Could you provide more information:

What size are you recording at?
What size is your canvas (Edit > Adjust Canvas...)?
What method are you using to share?

Thanks,

Conan.
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James

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I'm having a similar issue.

Recording in Camtasia 2.0 at 1920x1080, looks crisp when opened directly in camtasia or quicktime.

I used to export all camtasia (1.x) videos via compressor to ProRes to edit in final cut pro but it seems with camtasia 2.X the cursor is no longer 'burned' into the .mov and is instead recorded separately; this means I can't export directly via compressor.

Loading the file into camtasia, making sure the canvas is set to 1920x1080 in preferences. Dropping the file onto the timeline. Advanced Export > Quicktime > ProRes 422 or ProRes 422LT, dimensions are set to 1920x1080 HD.

Once the file has finished encoding it looks slightly soft; not pixelated from upresing (and earlier problem I had) but soft. Compared to the direct export from compressor (sans cursor) the quality difference is apparent.

Any suggestions ? :/
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James

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Hi there.

Unfortunately, I need it for editing (and I'm merging it with live footage), so I can't use a long GOP/compressed codec like MP4 and Animation is also going to cause issues with my timeline.

ProRes itself is more than capable of putting out a quality file but for whatever reason exporting direct from Camtasia softens the image. I might just have to edit it in prores and then re-export a version in animation to reconnect at the end; although this doubles the back end work.

On that topic; the lack of a batch-export feature on camtasia for mac is a pain, as is the strange bug that exports the file out twice (almost like a second pass?) as that all adds to time.

Yes, that was a not-so-subtle suggestion that Camtasia needs a batch exporter ;)
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Just thought it was important to mention that if you were doing a full-screen recording (not a region), camtasia does default to making your canvas size be 50% of the size of your screen. So even if you export it large, it will have been shrunken and then re-expanded, making it blurry. So, for your next recording, change your "preferences->Canvas->Scale By Percentage" setting to "100%" instead of "50%". For existing projects, modify the canvas size to the same size as your screen, then change the "scale" property of the video on the canvas to be "100%".

Let us know if that helps...

Also, it would helpt to export to exactly the size of the recording, instead of 1920x1080, unless that is coincidentally the size of your screen.
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James

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It's not a scaling issue, the res isn't down or upsized. Try my process, repeat in compressor, compare the results and you'll see the issue.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Hm, I don't have "ProRes 422" but perhaps that's because I don't have Final Cut?
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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And just to make sure I understand- since you did make it clear that you canvas size is set to 1080p (good), is that the size of the area that you recorded? If so, it will indeed make your video a little less crisp than it would be if you were pixel-for pixel. I'm not saying there isn't a problem with how we're exporting to ProRes; there may well be, we'll have to try it out. But it sounds like you'd like to get the absolute best results possible, too. Since you're doing your editing outside Camtasia (why?) you may want to get all of the pixels out to start with.
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Chimply

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Same problem here i'm using Camatasia2 for mac ugly video when exporting, still using trial. If something simple like exporting doesn't work no way i'm buying the full version.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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You shouldn't see ugly video; the export quality is generally top notch. A sample? You can post back here or contact our free tech support, too. As you can see looking through this long thread, there could be a lot of reasons, but the simplest is that by default we don't export the video at the same size you recorded it, screens being so large as they are. We make it half size in both directions for a full screen video. You can change that preference before you record, to make it 100% size, if that's what's making it look different from what you expect.
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cole

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It's obvious from this thread that Camtasia's assumption that users won't want to export full resolution videos, and instead cut videos down to 50% by default is a bad one. I was bitten by this assumption and it's cost me over an hour of wasted time and a lot of frustration. I still haven't figured out how to get my full resolution capture to export. 

Most people who have done some screen capturing with quicktime or screenflow have come up with solutions to achieve reasonable resolution when exporting. In my case I reduce my laptop's display dimensions down to 1152x720 before capturing. 

I came to camtasia because I was ready for a more professional solution. I expect that given the higher price tag. Instead I'm being treated like a baby.
(Edited)
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C.P.

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"It's obvious from this thread that Camtasia's assumption that users won't want to export full resolution videos, and instead cut videos down to 50% by default is a bad one. "

Amen -- I just spent several DAYS recording a complex presentation / walk-through, my export looks hideous (looks great INSIDE of Camtasia, but terrible outside).  ....I finally found this thread....

Isn't it a MUCH better user experience to have people create files that are Too Big and then reduce them, than to make the *hidden* decision to reduce it 50% but not tell us ahead of time that this will happen

Best solution is to make it 100% as a default and assume that your users are rational adults who know what they want. If it's too big, they can simply export at a lower quality level later on.  MUCH easier to go from big -> small than the other way around. 

Second best solution is to have a pop-up appear when a user goes to record in full-screen: "Hey! Just a head's up that your recording will look like it was made in 1997 *unless* you first go through these steps to increase it to 100%". 

I  literally can not envision the use-case / "customer story" where  "I wish my file size were automatically made smaller for me, without asking me for permission to do so first" > "OMG, I just spent almost five days pain-stakingly editing, at times frame by frame, a tutorial recorded at full-screen, only to upload it to Vimeo and see it look like fuzzy crap." 

This product is not for mere hobbyists (it certainly isn't priced that way) -- so don't make your default settings cater to hobbyists.  

And if you're going to irrationally stick to this default setting (due to inertia,  pride, denial, etc.) , then for the love of Marty Cagan, at least have a warning message pop up to let us know! 

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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Ironically, it's for the non-hobbyist that that choice was made. The use case we had in mind we using panning and zooming- something that only really makes sense when you are not producing a video that is as large as the one you recorded. If you shrink it at the end, you've missed your chance to zoom in to a pixel-perfect size. This is often the best way to produce a small-than-screen-size video, but with full readability.
Nevertheless, the size chosen is clearly causing a problem. In the next version of Camtasia (2.8), we're trying something different.
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C.P.

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Thank you for this reply -- perhaps the solution is to somehow let the user know: "Ok, if you plan to zoom in on this screen, use settings XYZ; if you'd like a sharp full-screen image, then do ABC".   Thank you!
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helenahandbasket2000

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Can anybody suggest a decent alternative to Camtasia? I just spent all day putting together a piece and when I went to export it, it was so crappy and pixelated that it's completely useless. I've been looking everywhere for a solution (hence this board) but what I'm reading makes me think that Camstasia is far more hassle than it's worth. I'm ready to cut my losses on this piece rather than spend several additional hours dicking around trying to get decent video quality. Thanks to whoever suggested ishowu (I'll try that right now). Has anyone tried Jing? I hear it's similar but I don't want to recreate my piece on ishowu or jing and run into the same time wasting issues. I'm really too busy to deal with this crap and I'm quite furious I just wasted a day of my time (I imagine my boss will also be thrilled when I let her know we've wasted an entire day and are no closer to completing this project). On the up side, at least the demo was free so we didn't waste our money on this as well as our time. Nonetheless, thanks a bunch Camtasia. There's nothing I enjoy more than wasting five hours on work I'll have to re-do on what was supposed to be my weekend.
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davemillman

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Helen, many of us have been producing high-quality video from Camtasia for use on broadcast television, cable TV, big screens at trade shows, and high-definition monitors for years now. Camtasia is quite able to produce non-pixelated content with the proper settings. If you are having quality issues, it has to do with your output settings.
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Frank

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Your comment is absolutely naive and useless.

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pamelahuntington

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And really unkind, too...!

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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Sorry to hear that you're having such a rough time; I somehow missed your post until these replies came in. If you're still considering Camtasia and would like some help with getting great quality video, please let us know by posting here or contacting our free tech support. (http://support.techsmith.com
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pamelahuntington

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Hi Helen,
I have had a very similar experience and I do a lot of videos for on line venues.... and I have yet to have anyone here give me any real help.  As to your question I am looking at the newer Adobe stuff for video, and
Final Cut Pro.. but Final Cut Pro is pricey... also going to check imovie.. you never know!!  Good luck, and I totally understand your frustration..!
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Hi Pamela,
I'm sorry to hear that you didn't get the help you needed. I see that Conan asked you a couple questions but that was a year ago, so if there is anything we can do, please reach out either here or via our free tech support (http://support.techsmith.com
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wiziwiz

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so how do we output the screen exactly without the downsizing effect?
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Stephen Wagner, Employee

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In the preferences, under the Canvas tab, set Canvas Dimensions for Full Screen Recording to 'Original Recording Dimensions'.  After you do this, when you make a recording it will create a canvas the exact size of your recording and the recording will be scaled at 100%.  If you have already made the recording, you can set its scale to 100%, and the resize your canvas to match the size of the recording.
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Frank

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INCREDIBLE! Simply incredible!!!

I am an Mac user and I just bough Camtasia 2.5 for Mac and I am absolutely disappointed.

1.     An user that buy a software like Camtasia is  a PROFESSIONAL user, a baby will look for other solution FREE.

2.     The professional user need and want PROFESSIONAL results.

3.     90% of the users NEED to export in MP4, is the standard. Is obvious that user WANTS a standard format NOT CAMTASIA format.

Now the resolution of the screen recorders made in Camtasia and exported in MP4 IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ACCEPTABLE, not readable!!!Try to take  a look a this video I just published on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYyuqpoKS1o Is tremendous. Of course YouTube can loose a bit of quality but I can assure that the original MP4 is only slightly better.

The few persons on this thread that are trying to give useless and ridiculous justification-resolution are absolutely in bad faith. The web is full of Camtasia user that denounce problem of quality exporting from Camtasia

The solution is that user must click on MP4 and video obtained must be perfect, KIS: Keep It Simple. If this is the Camtasia standard TechSmith Corp. is cheating their customers.

I will try other software and keep you soon informed what can be a serious and professional alternative to this ridiculous product.

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wiziwiz

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what about for windows?
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victorhooi

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Just to clarify - when you say scale down - do you mean that the video is scaled on the canvas to 50%, and you can drag it back to 100% to get full resolution?

Or are you saying that by default, Camtasia will record at 50% resolution, and literally throw away data?

Because if it's the second, that seems like a pretty unfriendly default...I may have just wasted time recording a whole session, to find out I now need to re-record it in a mode that doesn't throw away data.
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davemillman

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Victor,
If you have recorded footage in hand, go render 5 seconds right now. Do it at a couple of different resolutions. Keep the quality slider high. Compare the results then come back and search the forums for answers to your questions. 5 seconds is enough to judge the results, and will render quickly.

Any answers we try to give you now may be irrelevant for the video you have already recorded.
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Victor,

Any scaling is done in the editor, not during recording. There is no way to record a smaller scale screen recording. When editing, you can always choose to show an un-scaled, 100% view of your recording, which will give you the best possible quality.

-Josh 
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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That's right- all recordings are full-resolution, and then it becomes a question of "how big do you want this video to be?".
Things have also changed a bit since this posting, which is that we don't default to 50% of full screen, but rather to 720p, as a way to get you a reasonably sized final video without sacrificing too much quality.
But again, as pointed out above, if you prefer to go with full size and take the trade-off of a larger file size (and higher bandwidth requirement for your viewers), then go for it. You can adjust your existing project to make the canvas the same size as the video you already recorded (and then make the video fill that canvas). You can also change your preferences so that the canvas always matches the size of your recorded video to avoid that step in the future if you like.

I hope that helps!
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Benedict W

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Hi there,

So:

- the canvas is full size
- and I'm exporting full size (in ProRes)

and still the quality drops massively. What is going on? I've read this entire thread and applied everything that the Techsmith employees have suggested and the quality is still terrible. And this is ProRes! It's supposed to be lossless. I've bought Camtasia but will start looking for alternatives if there isn't a fix for this.

Benedict
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Benedict W

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Oh wait: I've worked out what the problem is (which is quite silly). When exporting in ProRes, Camtasia defaults to "Quality: Medium", and doesn't give you the option of changing that. I can actually get a batter quality video if I export in high quality H.264 and then use MPEG Streamclip to covert is to ProRes, but that's a ridiculous waste of time. Shouldn't Camtasia just allow users to adjust the quality of ProRes exports?!
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j. rodman

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I recorded a single window, removed some uhhs and stalls, and then exported it at the same resolution as the original window.  No resizing was intentionally done by me, and I can't see anything in camtasia that would imply resizing.

The mp4 output remains pretty bad.

This is what text looks like in the original program, and in Camtasia's canvas:


This is what the text looks like in the mp4 playback:


One notable difference is that VLC says the mp4 content is 1200 pixels wide, while camtasia says the original content is 1201 pixels wide.  However, it's worth mentioning that other applications show the same blurry results from the export.

I'm using Camtasia 2 for mac, and have tried "Main concept", mp4 baseline, mp4 high.  I'm going to try a stupidly large kbps value next, but this is pretty frustrating because an algorithm like gif-differentials would do a better job.

--------------
Okay, so to try to figure out if this is a codec problem or camtasia problem I exported to ProRes 422, which isn't lossless, but should be quite close.

This is what the output looks like:

This looks a *little* better than the mp4, but not much, and is probably the mp4 codec struggling to deal with what camtasia is apparently breaking.

What do I have to do to record a window in Camtasia and then produce a video of it that isn't mangled?  I'm beginning to suspect that Camtasia has a bug that is rescaling the 1201 pixel data to 1200 for no reason.
(Edited)
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j. rodman

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Okay, so firstly, sorry this all ended up in the wrong spot.  I was just trying to figure out how all this works and not really thinking of this as a support request or something.  It should probably have been a new question, but the title would have been all wrong anyway.  I was expecting mp4 to perform suboptimally for the purpose, because i know it's not designed for it, so I "knew" what the problem was, like any typical user.

That aside:
 * Yes I checked in a variety of playback software, though only one one computer, I did check using ffmpeg, vlc, and apple quicktime solutions, which is what I was trying to suggest by the brief "other applications show the same blurry results".
 * I checked many times to try to see that the video was "native" or "100%", though the UI wasn't terribly clear to me.  It's still that way now.

Testing the suggestions:

Trimming the canvas to 1200 does indeed produce vastly superior crispness in the off-white on medium-gray text.  HOWEVER, things are still very strange.  In the export dialogues, selecting "custom" after choosing "current" for dimensions still shows a width of 1201.  Does it "remember" this value?  If so, that's kind of weird, but maybe an OS X oddity.

While the crispness has improved remarkably, there remains this unfortunate, unrelated color-bleed issue, which I'm much more convinced is an mp4-encoder problem, but does still kind of sour the idea of screen-recording this way.  Surely there has to be some better approach like ffmpeg's -qr 0 on libx264

Original data:
Encoded data:

Oh well, so it goes.

As for the problem, I'd say there are a few things to consider.

 * If Camtasia requires multiples of four in the video, it should probably acquire the data in multiples of four.
 * However, given that you can import video files into your projects, it seems like this size constraint cannot be guaranteed.
 * When exporting the video, if it is not sized in multiples of four, the image should not be exported or cropped *silently*!  That's a defect.
 * If automatically (with user-notifiction), the image is being transformed, surely it should default to a one-pixel crop as opposed to a one-pixel resize!  Maybe some heuristics are needed to choose one vs the other, so this is possibly not trivial to do, but it's doable, and pretty central to the program's value.
 * When exporting to codecs that *do not* require multiples of four, camtasia should not transform the video to multiples of four.
 * When selecting the output size for the video in pixels, a value in pixels that will not be honored should be evident in the ui when entering the numbers.  Failing that, a value that should not be honored should at least result in user-notification.
 * When the video size selector selects a value that indicates the video should not be resized on encode, it should not be resized on encode.  There are a variety of ways to achieve this, some awkward and some complicated.  The choice among the various tradeoffs is certainly a tricky one.  Good luck.
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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I don't think you'll get much of an argument on most of your points. Thank you for articulating your ideas and feedback. Generally, that's a big part of this forum's purpose. We have Paul's attention, so that's a great start. 

Also, yes the color bleed issue you see is very much an .mp4 problem. Reds are notoriously problematic in this respect, as you found out. If there is any way to avoid small red text in the future, that's the best advice I can give in this case.   
(Edited)
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j. rodman

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Sorry, I did a number of additional tests with the color bleed problem.

Here's what an animated gif export looks like:


It doesn't have color bleed (though with its limited palette the color fidelity isn't all there), but it does have blurring.  ProRes similarly has bleed to a lesser degree.

At this point, I'm pretty sure that Camtasia is introducing blurring here as well, which turns into unnecessary levels of bleed in the fuzzier codecs.
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Thanks for passing that on, too. I didn't mean to imply that it was not something we could improve, just that it was a known issue with .mp4 production from Camtasia. My wording should have been more clear. 
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j. rodman

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More testing: I tried a different recording program, Screenflow.  It has similar problems with bleeding with a lower contrast red.  I certainly accept that it's a codec problem (there is literature on the web in general about the class of problem), but the blurriness is absent.

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