Problems with Mac Retina display and 4x the data...

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  • Updated 6 months ago
I have been a customer since Camtasia 2 on the Mac, and I'm frustrated.  Today I was forced to finally upgrade from Camtasia 3 because the green screen function wouldn't work on my MacBook Pro...I'm guessing because the older version doesn't work with a Retina display and the Remove a Color function.  I have held off upgrading at all because I wanted to be sure that any new version addressed the Retina display issue.  It hasn't

I have been in communication in the past with tech support over this issue, and the solutions are not acceptable.  The problem is that with a MacBook Pro or any other Mac with a Retina display is that in order to capture a "normal" sized window, the video captured is FOUR TIMES LARGER than if I had recorded it on my older, non-Retina iMac.  The solution provided by TechSmith was to simply record at that size and downsample to 1080p, which negatively affects the video quality, takes up 4x the space on my laptop, and makes my laptop run hot enough that the fan is constantly going and it's picked up on the audio (separate studio microphone).  

My dream was to travel and do instructional videos, so I bought a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro to do it.  Camtasia is a fantastic piece of software, but this one thing is the thorn in my side and leaves me with no real solution.  

My only workaround was to buy a portable external USC-C LCD monitor, and Camtasia can record on that screen just fine, and at the 1920x1080 resolution.  So I KNOW that the computer can generate a video file at the correct resolution.  Why can't you guys tap into that?

The main issue isn't the extra processing time and power it takes to downsample...and I have a 2TB solid state drive...but there is NO REASON that I should be capturing 4x the data to make a video.  The software I'm trying to use screen capture with is already a very processor-intensive piece of software (ZBrush, CAD), so the face that my Mac is working extra hard to try and capture 4x the video just doesn't make sense.

Can you please put someone on this issue?  Lots of us in this new "gig" economy are working in remote coworking spaces and coffee shops, and portability is important.  Buying a PC is not an option for me, and most Mac laptops have Retina displays.  Please address this.

Thanks so much.

This attached image shows a 1920x1080 video capture on a Retina display.


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kat

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  • frustrated, ignored, angry

Posted 7 months ago

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bill.raymond

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I hear you and feel your pain. I think it would be very helpful if Camtasia had a screen resolution option that adjusts the selected monitor, so maybe that should go into this site as an idea.

That said, here is what I do and I think you will like the solution. You can buy any external monitor you like. I actually have Apple's recommended LG hi-DPI Ultrafine monitors designed specifically for the Mac. One of them is set to 1920z1080 and I chose not to use HiDPI.

Unfortunately, you cannot just make that change to your monitor in the Mac without going deep into preference files, so you can purchase a product called SwitchResX. I think it is $US16, which is really cheap. 

https://sites.fastspring.com/switchresx/product/store

You can see from the attached screenshot that you can select hiDPI (Retina) or non HiDPI. I use non-HiDPI. If you cannot see the resolution, go to preferences and you will find options to show more resolutions.



Just because the videos are not hi DPI, the quality is really good and my clients are very happy with it. A 3-minute movie at 1920x1080 outputs to 50-60 MB and the Camtasia file is about 60MB. I am also using a professional Shure microphone for input.

Hope this helps!
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bill.raymond

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I guess I did not understand the question. That is right. You will set one of your monitors (I prefer to use an external monitor, but that is your choice) to the 1920x1080 resolution using SwitchResX.

So long as you choose the "Full Screen" recording option in the Camtasia recorder, Camtasia will record everything in the exact resolution you want (see screen capture).

FYI, SwitchResX offers a free 10-day trial, so you can just download it and see how it works for you.

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davemillman

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Thanks!
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Joe Morgan

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Something doesn't smell right here.
A  Retina MacBook Pro Touchbar 15 has a screen aspect ratio of 16 x 10. Like most retina displays.
In 2014 some iMac's introduced 16 x 9 aspect ratios.
Since partnering with LG in 2015 or 2016, all stand alone monitors became LG UltraFine 16 x 9 aspect ratio monitors, to the best of my knowledge.

The MacBook Pro touch bar has a 2880 x 1800 pixel display at 16 x 10. I don't see how its possible to record full screen at 16 x 9 without cropping or re-scaling involved. The screen doesn't support it.

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bill.raymond

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SwitchResX essentially forces the Mac to use the resolutions you want. It will absolutely crop out useable parts of the monitor if you choose a resolution/aspect ratio that the monitor normally would not support. Try it if you like. It has a free trial. I’m not affiliated with them, it’s just the best solution I could find for the Mac.
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davemillman

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@Joe, you are of course correct that a Retina MacBook Pro is not natively 16x9. The problem we have is nicely illustrated by the first screenshot in this thread. So we've been discussing how to trick our MacBooks to scale down to 1080p output resolution. I'm really happy @Bill Raymond found SwitchResX for us.
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Joe Morgan

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Thanks Bill,
It will absolutely crop out useable parts of the monitor if you choose a resolution/aspect ratio that the monitor normally would not support.

That was the question I needed answering.
With Windows, you can select many different resolutions quite easily. If I wanted to record at 16 x 10 on my  2K 16 x 9 monitor. I could quickly switch to 1920 x 1200 using standard windows settings.


However, it would crop the sides to fit within monitor constraints. And blurry to my eyes to boot.
Technically, you can record the screen using full screen mode as well.
Yet, its a simulated full screen capture.At least, thats the way I look at it.



When you wrote.............
Unfortunately, you cannot just make that change to your monitor in the Mac without going deep into preference files.

That made no sense to me.After all, changing the resolution of a monitor is a piece of cake.

I thought you may have found a way to split the monitors input signal.

Working in full screen mode and duplicating the signal.
Converting the duplicated signal to another resolution.
Then, capturing the converted signal with Camtasia. Which could be awesome.

It won't currently work for many reasons, but if you could.I wanted in on the secret.

When using multiple monitors in Windows. You can chose to duplicate all displays.

In my fantasy set up. I would use my higher resolution monitor. Capturing my work on a smaller 1920 x 1080 monitor with Camtasia. 
Due to scaling discrepancy's. Among other things. It would take some pretty special algorithms to make this possible.

In this example, the image is scaled to 57.33% in Photoshop's canvas area. The secondary monitor couldn't possibly capture everything your doing.As the displays don't match.

 

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bill.raymond

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I understand. MacOS is hard core about the resolutions you can select. Windows is much easier.