recording+quality+Camtasia+8

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I've been trying to get Camtasia 8 to record clear screen images for a while and, having followed instructions from various forums, I'm still not getting any kind of quality (so bad you can't read the words on the screen).

Following the latest advice I'm recording using Widescreen Dimensions: 1920x1090 and editing using exactly the same dimensions. I then produced using HD MP4 only (up to 1080p) - not good. I also tried producing using MP4 with smartplayer up to 1080 and that was even worse. I finally tried producing using custom setting to create a WMV file using the same dimensions I recorded (1920x1090) and that is marginally better, but still doesn't give me a video quality I can share.

Do I just have to accept that recording screen quality in Camtasia will always be fuzzy and the only solution is to record small parts of the screen in big print? Or are there settings that will allow me to record fairly detailed screen content that can be produced to a standard that people will be able to enjoy?

Because the primary reason Camtasia exists is to record a screen and turn it into a video, I'm hoping this is all extreme user ignorance.

Any help is hugely appreciated! This is now impacting my ability to get a job done.

Tina K

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Tina Konstant

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  • Frustrated!! Really need assistance here.

Posted 4 years ago

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kayakman, Champion

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I have no problems creating very sharp productions with CS 8.5.1;  I screencast software apps at 1920x1040 that have busy UIs with very small fonts; so I cannot reproduce your issue

how [by using what viewer] are you watching the productions?  locally or off a web site?  looking at them full screened?  are you trying to view on a small device or a wide screen PC at native resolution?

if you capture at 1920x1080, edit at 1920x1080, do custom production to MP4 with controller at 1920x1080, with quality set to about 70% [slider] and HTML5 set to high, when viewed on a PC and launching with the xxx_player.html, in Chrome or IE 11, the video should look perfect

perhaps make a short test production, using the steps above, host on Screencast.com and share the link here, perhaps we can see the issue your are describing
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Joe Morgan

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Quality set to about 70% [slider].
No longer possible in Camtasia 8.5 or above.
I was going to upload my standard You-Tube settings image. I did not because you cannot set the quality to 70%  any longer.
I did not want to try and explain how to arrive at this setting using a tape measure or any other technique.
That's why I reverted to 8.4.4 It's an important feature that many people use. Here is yet another example of what it's was, and  is still, needed for.
Regardless of how you go about guessing where 70% should  lie. It sounds very unprofessional to explain.  I would be surprised if any approach would impress and please a majority of people. Especially those who are unfamiliar with Camtasia.
Regards, Joe
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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Joe, I must respectively disagree

in 8.5.1, if you set the slider to about the 70% position, you will essentially get what you want; to make it easier, place it 1/2 way between midpoint and far right [75%]

I have made extensive A/B test [earlier versions than 8.5.1 vs. current version], where I estimated the slider position vs.using the [previous] text box value and, in the resulting MP4 videos, I really could not SEE any differences when viewed

even when looking at the MP4 file sizes, the differences [like 72% vs. 70% desired] in the resulting files sizes, was immaterial

accordingly, I stand by my assertion that if you want to achieve a quality of about 70% just put the control about there on the horizontal bar and get on with it
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Joe Morgan

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I “Re”-respectively disagree, if there is such a thing. LOL

 The image below makes the most importent point for me. Hitting 70% exactly would be pretty tough. So I rendered a short one minute video at 1920X1080 at 68% quality and also at 73% quality.

 The 68% quality video had a file size of 65.8 MB.

 The 73% quality video had a file size of 100 MB.

 That's a very large difference in file size. Upload times increase dramatically with large files.

 

 Quality wise. I'm willing to bet the difference between the 68% quality video and the 73% quality video is very marginal in most cases. So I don't think how good things look to the naked eye of whoever is producing a video, is a high enough standard for video production. Especially when you’re looking for consistency, speed and overall efficiency .

 Other people have expressed that  they wish this feature had not been removed. They want the ability to tell others what quality they want their final video produced at. Just approximate? Is that really a desired way to create a video for a business.  What if your not very good at approximating  placement?

 Considering that a swing of only 5%  can nearly double the file size. I think the ability to be exact is important. Time is money, file size = time invested.

@kayakman,  I realize you seem to have made peace with "Close Enough" . I'm glad for you, however.

 

For more reasons than I have posted here, Close Enough is Not Close Enough.

Regards, Joe


(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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Joe, not to beat a dead horse to death, but ...

first, if that text box was restored to the quality set function, that would be just fine with me

second, re the files sizes, the results will depend a lot on what the project is made of

after my post, knowing that you would be responding :), I made more A/B tests in 8.5.1

the test project was made with 3 narrated .trec captures of the CS editor UI; captures made at 1920x1040; project is 1 min 8 sec in duration; edited at 1920x1040

for production, I used custom to MP4 with controller, initial quality set on slider to about 72% position [I really don't need the ruler], produced to 1920x1040 size with audio at 256 khz; my keyframes are every 1 second

for these tests, I made one at the initial [base] position, another at next possible higher quality position, and another at next possible lower quality position from initial value [I'm "guessing" that the range varied about +- 4%

note: the slider cannot be "nudged" but instead has to be moved with mouse grab, so adjustment was made by going to next "slider click" position; it was possible to change with 1 up-tick, but it requires 2 down clicks to get different result

at the base production, MP4 file size = 11,555

next available higher quality click = 11,907 or 3% larger than base

the lower quality [from base] = 11,339 or 1.9% smaller than base

third, regarding ... "So I don't think how good things look to the naked eye of whoever is producing a video, is a high enough standard for video production. Especially when you’re looking for consistency, speed and efficiency overall." ...

for me, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder; if it looks good, than, for my purposes, it's good enough; how it looks actually varies a lot with what you view with; different browsers = different look

I agree that larger files take longer to upload/download than smaller files; but I'm not seeing the extreme file size variances that you are reporting with small quality setting differences

from my experiences, internet traffic loads seem to affect the file transfer times as much as if not more than the file sizes themselves; I host on my own web site, and my high speed pipe is from Comcast; transit times are very, very fast in early AM, but slow down noticeably in early evening when everyone is hitting the internet

the large file size downloads are mitigated by the streaming-like behavior of the current controller because the files are usually downloaded in multiple, short blocks [as confirmed by my web site logs]

anyway, I hope you get your quality text box back

however, but if it doesn't make the cut and isn't returned, I'm not going to lose any sleep

keep smiling ...
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Joe Morgan

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Well, kayakman. I got a lot of respect for what know, your Library Knowledge is practically Legendary. 
But really?
Apparently,  you experimented with some approximations and got the results you desired. So therefore, what's the problem?

I run 8.4.4 and it has the percentage box. SO, My tests were exact. No margin of error.

 The Video was only 1 minute long. Actual video, not a bunch of still images. That will make a big difference. The difference between 100MB and 65.8MB is actually "34.2%" That's significant to some.

Everyone, from a regular person to a Collage Professor, a Business Owner, etc.  use  Camtasia.
You say that removing the percentage slider is no big deal. I get that. I hope Adobe never decides to think this way, I'm confident they never will.

My 1 minuet renders tell a story of their own. 
 I feel that you have decided to look past the actual needs of everyone else. That's what TechSmith did when they removed that feature. I didn't say they don't care, I see it as a poor decision for many users.  Are you just defending an unfortunate program change by TechSmith? Because, I can't understand how you see nothing wrong with this picture.

Conceder this,
 How this impacts others who collaborate and share in project creation?  What restrictions or standards  they need to meet or exceed with minimum file sizes as a consideration?
What is the proper setting for in house Company Based Training videos? 
How do you assure with confidence that you did not accidently place the slider at  64% instead of 70%? The rendered video quality could be rejected by the boss. 
This is the preverbal tip of the Ice Burg. 
  
Even if you had selectable Settings of ....

                             1.                           Yuck,
                             2.                            A Little Better,
                             3.                           Better Yet,
                            4.                            Getting There,
                            5.                            Very Good,
                            6                              Now were talking
                            7                              Upload Standards             

At least a setting of 3 will always be 3. Not very close to 3.

I'm Smiling. But I'm sticking with 8.4.4
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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well Joe, for the record ...

re "The Video was only 1 minute long. Actual video, not a bunch of still images" ...

my test project WAS a video project; 3 narrated .trec Recorder screen captures, no images

re "You say that removing the percentage slider is no big deal" ...

I don't recall saying that; but its absence has not affected my work, nor the quality [as perceived] of my productions

re "I feel that you have decided to look past the actual needs of everyone else" ...

my intentions here are to simply suggest ways to work with what currently is available in the app

re "Are you just defending an unfortunate program change by TechSmith? Because, I can't understand how you see nothing wrong with this picture" ...

I am not defending anything; not my place; but it is what it is at this time; I hope for your sake [and others?] that the text box gets restored; I personally did prefer just entering the value over fooling with the slider

re "How do you assure with confidence that you did not accidently place the slider at  64% instead of 70%? The rendered video quality could be rejected by the boss." ...

as I advised in the earlier thread where this issue first came up, I set the initial slider position, as best I can, using a ruler when I first install any new version; that position is remembered session-to-session thereafter; so its "set once and forget"

and since I am the boss, my work will not be rejected

:)
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Joe Morgan

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There's this, kayakman
I'm not seeing the extreme file size variances that you are reporting with small quality setting differences.

This is my definition of Actual Video. Lots of changing colors and variables from frame to frame.  This is the video I was working with. I captured it with Camtasia. This is a .trec file. 1920 X 1080. 30fps.


A standard screen capture usually has far less video information to process. That's how you can achieve a slightly higher or lower quality production without affecting file size very much. Try rendering something like this as  Blu-Ray or 4K. The % swing would grow even larger.
                                             
re "You say that removing the percentage slider is no big deal" ...  I don't recall saying that;
 Fair enough , I should have said you inferred it. I didn't think no big deal was that much of a stretch.
But if it doesn't make the cut and isn't returned, I'm not going to lose any sleep. 

 my intentions here are to simply suggest ways to work with what currently is available in the app                                                            
How does somebody who has yet to successfully render a quality Camtasia video, supposed to set the video quality to around 70% when no such setting or scale even exists? 
 That was pretty much my original point. That's why I responded in the first place.
I also had some legitimate points about file size that I was trying to make.

 You seem pretty determined to demonstrate how you can change quality settings slightly  without effecting file size much.   

Joe, I must respectively disagree
in 8.5.1, if you set the slider to about the 70% position, you will essentially get what you want; to make it easier, place it 1/2 way between midpoint and far right [75%]  
  
"Generally" Speaking, can't argue with that. 

I don't see you complaining about the lose of that feature.  Maybe that's not actually defending it's loss, but it's being complacent about it. I'm glad you finally got around to stating this in the last post.
 I am not defending anything; not my place; but it is what it is at this time; I hope for your sake [and others?] that the text box gets restored; I personally did prefer just entering the value over fooling with the slider

I have little faith the feature will be returned. For myself, that means if another update comes around that I can benefit from. I can only have it through the sacrifice of that feature.
I would also be very surprised if you can find a professional video editor that would be OK with render settings that are OK in General.

Regards, Joe
                                                               
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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Tina, hello

First off>>> I got off topic and forgot to help YOU! I created a video that I hope will help you with your problem. Be sure to select Full Screen when viewing. The video is 1920x1080.

http://www.screencast.com/t/Gm6CmPCWjp2


 
Tech support is also available to help you out as well.

This is a Free Service. Submit a ticket at,

https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

 

Or call, >>> 1.517.381.2300

 Toll Free: 800.517.3001 (U.S. & Canada Only)

8:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST Monday through Friday

 

Regards, Joe 

(Edited)
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Tina Konstant

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Joe!

Hello and thank you!!

Yes, I did get lost in the conversation between you and Kayakman but that's OK - it was a bit of a master class :-). I ended up putting all the responses in a folder until I was ready to make my next video. So today, I opened the conversation threads, went through them all and found your last message (which I'd missed entirely last time). Perfect. You've answered my question and solved the problem. Much appreciated. I'm building the script this week and making the video next week. Now that I think I know what I'm doing (dangerous statement...) I'll have a busy time remaking the ones I messed up before.

Thanks again and have an excellent day yourself.

Tina



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Joe Morgan

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Glad to hear it. Good luck!

Regards, Joe

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