Spotlight and Magnify Effect Distorting Text

  • 3
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
My company uses SnagIt v13. We're on the fence about upgrading to SnagIt '18 due to the following issue. Our client likes the Spotlight and Magnify Effect. However, when we implement that effect on a screenshot of their proprietary system, the text, in the text fields, on the field labels, and really, anywhere on the screen, becomes distorted (not in a good way). Please note, I am not talking about using the Magnify tool, which (although a rectangular implementation, already requested by other users on this forum a number of times, would be great) works well in that little to no unwanted distortion of text, etc. occurs.

With the Spotlight and Magnify Effect... screenshots grabbed using SnagIt's capture tool, all at the highest possible resolution (so as to start with a crisp image)... I tested a few things -- i.e. using different system screenshots, general web-page screenshots, and screenshots of text documents (e.g., Word, .txt files, etc.). Spotlight and Magnify Effect settings were: zoom 120%; dim 35%; blur at 0 (or 1, which is supposed to be like 0... but I have another post open about that issue); drop shadow is off; and, H&V positions set to 0. These are the settings our client wants employed. The results were the same on all screenshots. The Magnify tool scales up text without issue. The Spotlight and Magnify Effect distorts the text, to varying degrees. 

I attached screenshots so you can see what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, due to confidentiality issues, I can't show screenshots of the system. So, I used a Lorem Ipsum generator and grabbed a shot from the web page using SnagIts capture tool -- not quite apples to apples, but it shows the issues we face. Whether captured from a web page or from an all-text Word, or other, doc, you'll see below that the Magnify Tool provides clearer results compared to the Spotlight and Magnify Effect, which appears grainier. Our client doesn't want us to use the Magnify tool, given the "round" focus on the text. They want the Spotlight and Magnify Effect in play but, understandably, can't tolerate the grainy nature of the text (screenshots are used in training materials rolled out to a large number of sites across our state). We know we can work around this issue, e.g., by capturing a "normal-zoom" screenshot of the system window and darkening it in SnagIt, zooming-in on the portion of the system window we want magnified, capturing it, and layering it on the original, in SnagIt. But, should that be necessary given more work results since the a Spotlight and Magnify Effect exists -- especially knowing the Magnify tool executes magnification so well?

Is anyone else experiencing this issue with the Spotlight and Magnify Effect? FWIW, this issue occurs with every member of our team -- all using SnagIt v13 on business-grade HP EliteBooks: Win 10 x64, 8GB of Ram, Core i7's (4600 processors), with integrated graphics (should any of this relate to the issue).

Magnify Tool:

Spotlight and Magnify Effect:



Thank you all, community members and TechSmith reps, for any insight.
Photo of Gene

Gene

  • 17 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
  • Confused

Posted 2 years ago

  • 3
Photo of Paul

Paul

  • 1637 Posts
  • 1223 Reply Likes
I see exactly the same issue as you and i think it's related to the resolution of the initial capture. 

You can see the same effect if you grab a piece of text and then use the resize tool at the bottom middle of the screen to increase its size to 200%.  Here's part of your post which has been given that treatment


 

Unless there is more detail in the original, any magnified portion has to be grainy because the pixels just aren't there to support the magnification.

So the real question is, how do we capture with increased resolution.  If we are screen capturing we are, presumably limited to the density of the display, and how the image is rendered.

By contrast, the following capture of part of your post was taken by zooming in on the browser before taking the capture:



As you can see, on this occasion the image is much sharper because the browser has re-rendered the scalable font for the selected zoom level.  Spotlight and Magnify aren't scaling the font, they are scalin the capture.

Unless someone has a better idea, I suggest that is one avenue to explore, manually creating the effect by overlaying a zoomed capture on top of the original.

Whether SangEEt could emulate that process in the Spotlight and magnify tool is something onlt TechSmith could answer
Photo of Gene

Gene

  • 17 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
Thanks, Bill, for the detailed response and effort. You're right of course... it's akin to the old adage, garbage in, garbage out (or semi-grainy in, even-grainier out) ;). SnagIt is, indeed, scaling the capture and not the font, which I'd expect as the capture is an image. But, I'd expect a 1-to-X scale and re-render.

I should've posted our monitor specs too -- EliteDisplay E240c's (1920x1080; 92ppi); not the greatest by any stretch, but a huge upgrade from what we had before. I wish I could post a pic of the system, but I can't. That's where we notice the biggest issue. I'm not even allowed to tell you the font used, which might help.

What you suggested (capturing with increased resolution by manually creating the effect) has been our workaround ever since the client told us they were unhappy with the results -- i.e., capture the original at normal zoom, zoom in on the original (in the system window), capture the zoomed system window, overlay the zoomed capture on the original capture. We're fortunate that our client hasn't implemented auto-wrap/scale in their system. If they did, we wouldn't be able to use the browser zoom feature, as text, fields, and images would shift upon zoom, possibly making the magnification confusing to the learner as it isn't a 1:1 magnification. Our learners are detail-focused and picky.

Still, I have to ask... doesn't the workaround defeat the purpose of Spotlight and Magnify Effect? And, how is it that the Magnify tool can magnify with almost no distortion, but the magnification component of the Spotlight and Magnify Effect can't magnify with similar results? Whew, that was an eye-full.

I can't begin to comprehend how difficult it is to code any of this. I'm simply a user. So, please take any questions, FWTW, the perspective of a user. :)

As always, I appreciate any and all efforts you all make. I also greatly appreciate your insights.
Photo of Paul

Paul

  • 1637 Posts
  • 1223 Reply Likes
God Eye weesh ewe cud ed it psots afterwoods. My tie pins kills are just knot up to it!

So the video articulates what I was saying.  If you zoom your browser before you capture, you are effectively doing an optical zoom on the original.  If you capture and then zoom you are doing a digital zoom and SnagIt has to interpolate the extra pixels,
Photo of Gene

Gene

  • 17 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
Agreed, Paul, FWIW. BTW, I loved the initial response. I needed a laugh.

I'm still at a loss as to how the Magnify tool interprets and redraws the pixels so well, compared to the Spotlight and Magnify Effect. I guess that's really the short version of all my posts. :)
Photo of Joe Morgan

Joe Morgan

  • 7243 Posts
  • 3949 Reply Likes
Hello Gene,

I talked to Tech support. That 1% blur. Is in fact 1% applied blur. I can't seem to detect it myself, but your boss is spot on. It's there alright.
It's supposed to make the magnification pop out at ya.Why they don't offer 0%? I don't understand?

So I guess you know what that means.

Regards,Joe
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 5634 Posts
  • 2672 Reply Likes
Whelp... I tried it. Also recorded the process to demonstrate.

https://www.screencast.com/t/n32ttewD

Cheers... Rick :)
Photo of Rick Grunwald

Rick Grunwald

  • 1418 Posts
  • 981 Reply Likes
I see it. Mine goes  to zero as long as I don't touch it
Where is Techsmith on this?
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 5634 Posts
  • 2672 Reply Likes
LOL, likely in the back room hiding from the other discussion about linking to local files from Camtasia!
Photo of Paul

Paul

  • 1637 Posts
  • 1223 Reply Likes
Definition of cabin fever

: extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation or a confined area for a prolonged time
Photo of Rick Stone

Rick Stone

  • 5634 Posts
  • 2672 Reply Likes
Cabin fever? Nooooo cabin fever! Where see cabin fever?