Using H.265/XF-HEVC for green screen and Camtasia for screen capture

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I am about to get the new Canon XF705 which records 4:2:2 10 bit video in H.265/XF-HEVC formats, which should deliver really smooth green screen quality live video recordings and backplates. I'll be doing these recordings mostly for eLearning and software demonstrations and therefore I would like to use Camtasia (Mac) to edit either the whole program or at least the screen capture components for SW demos and PPT presentations. I also have available Adobe Premiere CC and I edit (for now) on a MacBook Pro 15" 2016 Touch Bar.

The challenge is that that Camtasia doesn't support H.265/XF-HEVC and the Canon XF705 can only output 4:2:2 in H.265/XF-HEVC  format, it drops to 4:2:0 8 bit for H.264/AVC

How do I fix this conundrum? I have a complex option I hate in mind:
  • Record and edit all my SW/PPT screen capture on Camtasia and then export the clip(s)/movie from Camtasia
  • Edit my live video with its chroma key layer in Adobe Premiere CC and integrate the Camtasia clips in Premiere as well, exporting the final movie from Premiere
It's kind of a convoluted and time-consuming workflow... I wish TechSmith would come out already with support for H.265/XF-HEVC  media/exports. I really don't want to lose the high-quality video bit depth provided by H.265/XF-HEVC when doing green screen work.

Anybody else shares my frustration? Any workarounds you know of? Is my proposed workflow adequate or how would you improve on it? Thank you in advance for your comments.

Photo of eliutflores


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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of davemillman


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Congratulations on the new camcorder! 

If you need to take full advantage of the capabilities of that camcorder, Camtasia was not designed for you and may continually frustrate you. This goes far beyond the codec support. Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC are much better solutions.

However, you also mentioned elearning and software demos. How much of your content for those projects will be 4:2:2 content? Having never needed more than Camtasia can handle, I have no idea whether any of the computer-generated content that you mentioned ("SW/PPT screen captures") is going to be at 4:2:2. I suspect the only 4:2:2 content you'll be working with is live video you shoot through that lens. I also don't know whether the elearning platforms can handle content exported in that format.

Whatever you end up doing, it would be great to see a sample!
Photo of eliutflores


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Thank you Dave. The 4:2:2 codec is primarily required for smooth green screen. Camtasia would capture the screen. The final videos will not be stored in the LMS but rather on Microsoft Stream, which supports HEVC. I'll only place a URL in the LMS.
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Joe Morgan

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Hello there,

as long as you’re not using Camtasia to create quizzes or any of the features exclusive to Camtasia.

Then please don’t take this the wrong way. I think your real conundrum is this. You’re purchasing a state-of-the-art $7000 or $8000 camera that is designed strictly for live broadcasting. I think it’s a real shame that such an expensive camera doesn’t offer an alternate format as well.

Camtasia is designed to record a computer monitor and edit that footage. Along with importing various other footage. But it’s a far cry from editing at broadcast level at this time. And frankly, I doubt it will ever get there. I don’t know why it would be required.

That being said, there aren’t many programs out there that are ready for your camera.

 I’ve done enough green screen work to know that Camtasia’s remove a color doesn’t work very well. So you would want to do that in Premier Pro anyway.

If you’re using Camtasia to record your PowerPoint presentations and editing them in Camtasia. I’m not sure what it is you’re doing in Camtasia that you can’t do in Premier Pro as well. However, if you prefer to use Camtasia due to its simplicity. You can always export it as a high quality AVI, and it will produce through Premier Pro as a high quality final production as well

 I don’t know if you use Windows or Mac as you posted to both forums. If you wanted to edit or import the PowerPoint recording into Premier Pro. In Windows, you can place the recording into the media bin. Right-click and extract the contents of the.trec file. That negates the need to produce the video. A.trec as you may already know, is a high quality AVI file.

If it were me personally. And I was using that camera. Even if Camtasia could process that footage. I would be processing it through Premier Pro anyway. I use both programs, and Premier Pro has a much better toolset and is a much smoother running video editor.

Regards, Joe

Photo of eliutflores


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Thank you for your response, Joe. Canon's XF705 does support H.264 but only up to 8 bit, therefore you lose the higher 4:2:2 chroma subsampling needed for excellent greenscreen with that codec.

I edit on a Mac. I use Premiere as well, but until now I didn't think there was the capability to perform screen capture for Premiere. After reading your, post, I started researching and found Adobe Captivate (2019 release), which will capture desktop and mobile device screens and add quizzes, VR, and more.  I just downloaded it for a 30 day trial.Let's find out what it's capable of and how difficult it is to use!

Perhaps I'm asking too much of Camtasia and it's time to let the platform go and start using professional NLE for my educational videos. I also opened a ticket with TechSmith and they just confirmed my analysis and workaround, with no word on whether there is a Road Map to support H.265.

Alas, it seems that I have finally outgrown Camtasia with my needs and objectives...
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Rick Stone

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For others that may be wondering about the  4:2:2 10 bit video mention, here is a YouTube video that helps better understand what is being talked about.

Cheers... Rick :)