SVG & EPS Media Integration in Camtasia Studio

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Kindly enable SVG and EPS media in Camtasia Studio, this would allow to make smooth videos rather than zooming that distorts the image pixels.
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Zujaj Misbah Khan

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Posted 11 months ago

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Keith Shull

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Great suggestion - I'd appreciate that too!
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davemillman

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While it is true that native SVG/EPS support in Camtasia would eliminate one export step from Illustrator, Inkscape or GIMP, there is no reason that you should experience pixelation in your videos. The problem is upscaling: You get pixelation when you export an image at 100px then upscale it to 200px in Camtasia, for example. So always export at dimensions that will ensure you are downscaling in Camtasia.

Steps: 
  1. What is your target video resolution? Mine is always HD 1920x1080.
  2. What is the largest size vector objects will appear on screen? For me, 800 pixels square.
  3. Export 800pixel PNG images from Illustrator or whatever.
Occasionally I know exactly how large an object will be sized in Camtasia, so I export a PNG in those exact dimensions from Illustrator. That saves one scaling step in Camtasia. But Camtasia seems to do a fine job of downscaling, so the steps above work fine.


(Edited)
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Brooks, Camtasia Technical Product Manager

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We did add support for PDF images in Camtasia 2019, so if you export to that format from whatever tool you are using, then you'll get smooth vector scaling for your images. SVG is something we hear about semi-frequently and are considering for the future; EPS not so much. 

Brooks
Camtasia Technical Product Manager
Mobile Technical Product Manager
TechSmith
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Owen Iverson

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Given the Office adoption (finally!) it would be great if Camtasia Studio also allowed SVGs.

Will try PDFs in v2019 for now. Thanks!

UPDATE: PDFs work very well in the latest version.
(Edited)
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TS Sr ISD/LXD

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Having SVGs available will open a lot of doors for us from a graphic design perspective. 
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Rick Stone

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Hi all

I note that the original post for this thread suggests that these formats help keep things smooth. And I do understand that this is a huge bonus for SVG. Regardless of the size you make it, because calculations are made in order to present things, it's always nice and crisp.

But here is where it gets sticky in my own mind. 

Typically, when you are zooming in, you are zooming in on either a recording of the computer screen, or perhaps a photograph, where you want to see finer detail.

Perhaps it's just my ignorance here, but both of those recording/capture formats are always bitmapped, are they not? Or are there applications that record the screen or take screen captures or photographic images and store them in these formats?

I note that TS Sr ISD/LXD states that it would "open a lot of doors for us from a graphic design perspective".

For the ignorant among us such as folks like myself, can you expound on that? Because as a typical Camtasia and SnagIt user, my understanding is that what I can see on my computer screen, I can capture or record. So I'm struggling to understand exactly how being able to use SVG would suddenly open doors that are previously closed.

I honestly hope my reply here is taken in the spirit I'm intending. I'm not trying to shoot the idea down, just trying to gain a better understanding of the issue.

Happy Friday all... Rick :)
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Jeff Conn

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vector graphics in camtasia would avoid pixelation in the diagonal lines in line illustrations such as zooming into isometric illustrations. Accepting .svg and .eps would be a significant improvement to the application
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TS Sr ISD/LXD

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SVGs would be added post-recording, during the edit process. I could add SVG logos, graphic elements layers to create visual hierarchy, to provide additional ways to do call outs, highlights, provide additional special effects and so on. SVGs are extremely versatile, don't pixelate at any zoom in/out settings, infinitely scalable and are extremely small in file size. 

I can always use Adobe After Effects for certain events or segments like intro sequences for the reel, sections or branches and so on, but that would mean additional pipelines for any future changes. 

Also, PNGs with transparent backgrounds need to be supported. This greatly limits choices on graphic elements I may want to add during the edit process. 
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Rick Stone

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Strange. I use transparent PNG files all the time. I've never seen that happen for what I do.

What was used to create the image?
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TS Sr ISD/LXD

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Adobe Photoshop. I am using the same icon image file in Adobe Captivate and it displays properly there...just Camtasia is having issues with it.
(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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Do you have SnagIt? If so, are you able to open the image in SnagIt and save it back out from there?

I'm not a Photoshop user myself. I mean, I DO have access to it and I open it from time to time, so it seems odd to me that Captivate would like it okay. But since both Photoshop and Captivate are both Adobe apps, who knows what they may be doing internally.

It would be interesting to know what the differences are.
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Owen Iverson

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I think the confusion between PNGs and SVGs is in their fundamental construction. PNGs are "bitmaps" (not to be confused with the "bitmap" file format, "BMP"). JPGs, PNGs, TIFs, GIFs, BMPs... those are all "bitmaps' - that is, they are made up of a grid of individual pixels. Each pixel is a single color.

For bitmap files, your canvas dimensions determine the resolution, typically measured in "pixels per inch" or "dots per inch".  A JPG from a 12 megapixel camera will have 4000 pixels across the width and 3000 pixels from top to bottom.

Contrast 12 million pixels with something like a button in an application or an icon on your desktop. That icon on your desktop will usually only have 32 pixels on a side - like a 32 x 32 PNG.

If you take a screenshot of just one icon on your desktop and save that to a file, you'll get roughly a 32 x 32 pixel image. Bring that into Camtasia, and try to make that icon the full size of your canvas (which is 1920 x 1080 pixels for an HD video). That icon will not look clean and crisp - it will look like it's been muddied up. That's the problem we're addressing.

SVGs, in contrast to any of those bitmap formats, do not use pixels. The geometries created in an SVG file are not represented by a predetermined number of dots, but rather by a mathematical equation. (So a circle in an SVG only needs a center point and a radius - no pixels are involved). In this way, the sharpness of an SVG image is preserved regardless of how big or small it is.
(Edited)
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Owen Iverson

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For the transparent PNG issue - that's gotta be a problem in your file where the alpha channel hasn't been set properly. Transparent PNGs have worked for a long time (as others have noted).
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davemillman

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To be clear: PNG images with transparent backgrounds have been supported for many years and work perfectly in Camtasia. I create them in Photoshop and other apps.

Here are two logos and an equipment photo, all with transparent backgrounds, placed over a photo in Camtasia:

(Edited)
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dmey503

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Haha I'll give you that. The selection/direct selection thing is very confusing at first. 

I do highly recommend Inkscape. It's UI is less intimidating than Illustrator's and it supports SVG and AI vector formats. I had an employer who wouldn't let me get Illustrator because they were afraid of the Creative "Cloud" from a security point of view...so I had to download and master Inkscape. 

It's my favorite open-source program by far and 100 percent free! 
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Owen Iverson

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Here's a great quick look at Inkscape. If you're gonna learn a new application, why not learn one that's open source and widely used?
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqazFFzUAPc5lOQwDoZ4Dw2YSXtO7lWNv

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dmey503

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Agreed. If you want to get good at making videos in Camtasia then Inkscape is a must (unless you have AI).

Inkscape is also a great sandbox where you can slap together shapes and elements of a video scene and storyboard it out. Then you can export PNGs and incorporate them into Camtasia. I did this with 90 percent of my text callouts so I didn't have to deal with the clunky Techsmith callouts. 

And I freaking love the bitmap tracing tool! 

*gets off soapbox*
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Rick Stone

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I'd like to politely request a command performance back at the soapbox!

I'm confused about how Inkscape is a must in order to become "good" at making videos in Camtasia.

Can you please expound more on what you mean with this statement?

advTHANKSance... Rick :)
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Owen Iverson

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The sentiment is that when you're doing creation, you want to have the best resolutions possible for your content. If you have to scale up a bitmap image (JPG, TIF, PNG, GIF etc) you're losing quality and your videos look a little hackish.

By creating your work in SVG (using any vector illustration application, but Inkscape is free) you end up with a file that is divorced from resolution.

So if I make a lightning bolt once, but need it at 32px by 32px for an icon, I can export the SVG to that dimension. But then if I need that lightning bolt at 10,000px by 10,000px, I can export the SVG to that resolution and it will look great rather than upscaled and resampled.

Think of it kinda like how layers in Photoshop give your workflow more power - putting stuff on a bunch of different layers means you have the flexibility to change things easily down the road.

Creating content in vector format (as opposed to pixels) allows you to get any resolutions you might need down the road.

And many content creation applications allow you to import the vector graphics straight away so you don't even need to export them to PNGs or other pixel-based image formats.

(and the SVG files are WAY smaller!)
(Edited)