Text looks bad (like a print cartridge was runing ouf of ink)

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I downloaded a trial version of Camtasia Studio 8  this week and I made several tutorial videos yesterday.  Looking back at them today in order to edit them, I notice that all the text is fuzzy.  I'm trying to demonstrate the usage of our library's electronic databases. When I type in a search string, for example, the characters look terrible, as though they had been printed with an ink cartridge that is running out of ink sort of.  What might be causing this? Thanks.

Ken 
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kennethlitwak

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Posted 4 years ago

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pearsonm

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Are you talking about callout text? Try setting the font to something standard like Arial or Tahoma

Not sure what you mean by search string in relation to the video. 

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kennethlitwak

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No. I am building a tutorial on a library web page.  When I type into a search box that is part ofhte web page (e.g., keyword, author, title), the resulting text in the video is very hard to read.  I did not use any zooming features in Camtasia. I simply recorded my mouse and typing actions and then watched the video.
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Rick Stone

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You might find the page linked below to be helpful.

https://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-ca...

Cheers... Rick :)
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kennethlitwak

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Rick,

   Thanks.  That's helpful to know, but I'm not sure it applies to my situation. I did not use any zooming tool in Camtasia. In current technology, what is the recommended size to make a video at? I'm asking Camtasia to do 1024 x 576. I don't know if that has any relevance.

Ken
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Rick Stone

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Hi Ken

I'll answer your question with another question. How long is a piece of string?

Sure, it's a snarky answer but one that fits precisely. Because each situation is different. For example, perhaps the audience you are creating the video for will all be using Smarty Pants Phones to view the video. In that case you would need to determine what the optimal resolution would be for those devices and create accordingly.

Likewise, if the audience is a group of people in a corporate controlled environment, you have some known values to shoot for.

The bottom line is that if you want crystal clear output, you need to record it and display it at the same resolution. Any deviation will result in what you should have seen in the video.

Cheers... Rick :)
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kennethlitwak

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Rick,

   I understand that.  So, I normally run my laptop at a resolution of 1024 x 768. I asked Camtasia to record the screen. When I was done, and still in the same camproj, I played the video unedited.  So I did not change the resolution of the Camtasia video at any point. Are there other possible reasons for the problem? I have not tried to produce it yet. Thanks.

Ken
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Joe Morgan

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Make sure that your Editing Dimensions match your Video dimensions.

See Image Below, Click to Enlarge. 

Regards, Joe

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Rick Stone

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In addition to what Joe offered, it sounds more to me as if you were referring to what you see in that Camtasia Preview window. And for that, you may need to click an icon to adjust the scaling of what you see.



Cheers... Rick :)
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Another tip:

If you want a pure preview of what your video will look like when produced, set the canvas view percentage to 100%: 



The Camtasia canvas will display the entire recording by default (called "Shrink to fit") but at a smaller percentage so that you can see every corner of the video. Making the switch to 100%, even temporarily, should give a better picture of the text clarity a viewer would see. You might watch this short tutorial, if you haven't already: https://www.techsmith.com/tutorial-camtasia-8-05-explore-editor.html

Lastly, there's a small chance that your canvas is not displaying your recording correctly. If you could provide a screenshot of what you're seeing, that might help as well.

-Josh
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Joe Morgan

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You beat me to it Josh.
I was preparing a screen shot with some scaled text as an example. You saved me some work.

Regards, Joe
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Rick Stone

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It will be interesting to discover exactly where Ken is seeing things. Because I think Joe and Josh are talking about something totally different than what I offered. ;)
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Joe Morgan

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The point was this Rick. You never mentioned scaling the video to 100% in your last post. You just said rescale it.
 
Anytime you rescale a video you lose some clarity. That includes when you are viewing it on the canvas. Had you suggested that he try rescaling it to 100% I would have never responded and I doubt Josh would have either.
 It looked to me in the image you posted that you were suggesting he try shrink to fit.

Regards, Joe 
(Edited)
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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I think between the three of us, we have it covered ... maybe. :)

Text scaling is unfortunately a concept with multiple points of prospective failure. I appreciate Rick linking to the original text scaling tutorial, because we have to understand that before we can start to point out the handful of scenarios where text gets scaled.

Hopefully we haven't overwhelmed Ken. If all else fails, Ken, give us a call: https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us

-Josh
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Rick Stone

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LOL, i know exactly what the point was. As it turns out, both you and Josh were spot on. That's awesome. But it could very well have been that what Ken was seeing was in that preview that you see immediately after recording. And that was the point. At least to me it was. ;)

And clicking that icon simply toggles from being scaled to whatever size the preview is to 100%. At least that's what it does on my own machine. ;)

All's well that ends well. Have a good Friday gentlemen!
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kennethlitwak

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Thanks everyone for the input. Let me preface this by saying,  First, changing the view to 100% dealt with my problem. Second, however, looking at the editing dimensions. I am very concerned.  What the dialog is showing me in the screen shot is 800 x 600.  That's nto what I want. I expected, based upon what I saw here and in a tutorial on this is that I would see information on the original dimensions.  Since the tutorial recommends producing at 720p for Youtube, I'm wondering if I can choose that without the screen looking bad. I would not have chosen 800 x 600, but I might not have set that at all when I recorded. Can I change it?  Based upon what Rick has said, if Camtasia thinks I recorded at 800 x 600, I cannot change this without video looking bad.  Is that correct?  Thanks.


Ken  
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Josh Holnagel, Employee

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Glad to hear you're seeing text clearer in the canvas! Let me address your latest post:

1. Your dimensions in the above screenshot are set to Custom 800 x 600 because I believe at some point, maybe for a different project, you set them as such. Camtasia remembers your Editing Dimensions choice from project to project. If you're going to be using YouTube regularly, I'd set them to one of the 720p sizes. 

2a. If you'd like to publish to YouTube, I'd suggest changing those dimensions to 1280 x 720. It's going to make your canvas bigger, and you'll have to go down your timeline and resize the video clips to fill the new, larger canvas. Unfortunately the recordings won't be resized automatically. Depending on how many separate clips you have, this might be a significant amount of work. However, if you were to send a 800 x 600 video up to YouTube, what will happen is that YouTube will make a version of that video that is only 480 pixels tall, causing text scaling (much blurrier text than you saw in the editor). Maybe that will still be acceptable. You can always send an unlisted test video up to YouTube to see what it looks like.

2b. If you're not set on YouTube as a hosting destination, you might try sending the video to Screencast.com (a TechSmith service with a free account option) instead. There are pro's and con's to both services, but one big pro for you here is that Screencast.com will accept your 800 x 600 video as is, and display it at that exact resolution, giving you text that's just as clear as the text you saw in the canvas preview.

Because of the complexities of screen text scaling, it's best if you determine where you're going to be putting the video before you start the project. Then, you can set a canvas size that's best for that destination, and record a screen region that best for that destination as well. 

Please ask more questions if you need to. This is probably the trickiest concept I have to teach as an instructional designer for TechSmith.

-Josh