Why is my Camtasia (Mac) video blurry / doesn't fill the screen?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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My recording comes into the Camtasia for Mac editor and when I produce, my video doesn't seem as crisp as I think it should be?
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TechSmithFAQ, Employee

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Posted 10 years ago

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TechSmithFAQ, Employee

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Official Response
The likely issue is that the video is automatically scaled down 50% when first placed on the video editing canvas. This can make text in particular look worse. We'll improve this process in the future. For now, there are a couple ways you can remedy this.

Option 1: Use zoom and pan keyframes, or SmartFocus to auto-apply zoom and pan keyframes. Not only will this help you achieve the pixel-perfect quality, but zooming and panning can help direct and hold a viewers attention.

Option 2: Restore video to original size. Right (or control-click) on the canvas and choose Scale to Actual Pixels. You may want to then crop the part you want to keep.

A video of these options and more information is located here on the Learning Center.

Do others have tips in this area?
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Best results are achieved when your recording resolution and output resolution are the same.

I also find that Flash swf and mp4 give the best quality. QT / mov are okay provided you use very high settings. The downside is the file size is high.

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Robert Douglass

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This software is crazy. I used Edit > Adjust Canvas to set the width and height of the canvas to the exact resolution of my screen at the time of recording (1024x768 - I'm preparing for a presentation on a projector). I then right clicked on the movie window and told it to Scale to Actual Pixels. I then exported. The first clip in the movie played "lossless" - no fuzz. Then the subsequent clips shrunk into a tiny window with a huge black frame. There's no good way to describe how stupid this all is.

Tachsmith: When people export their movie, *THEY WANT IT IN FULL QUALITY*. This should be the *DEFAULT* behavior, and it should be hard to break the movie and make it fuzzy. The algorithm of your software is just flawed, and I'm going to ask for a refund.

-Robert Douglass
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I'm also having severe issues with this and am going around and around trying to figure this out.

If I'm going to Scale to Actual Pixels after shooting at full screen, then that means I must crop some part of my video while editing? I don't want to crop anything, I want to keep the entire thing.

I've tried playing around with the size of my browser and making it much smaller than full screen, so that the size I shoot at is the same size I will be editing at, but I can't ever get the sizes to match.

I've watched tutorials on this issue and don't really understand. Why is this so confusing? I spent hours filming some tutorials for bloggers and couldn't use any of my exported videos because they looked so awful.

Please help.
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This is ridiculous. At least TELL PEOPLE you're doing this with the software... instead of making me spend an hour troubleshooting it. "Default" to smaller resolution outputs on export, if anything... never import... wow.
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Andrea Perry

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Official Response
Hi Jason,

Thank you for sharing your frustrations with us. I noticed the official response to this topic is a little out of date, so I thought I'd chime in and reassure you that we are following along. The Camtasia for Mac development team is aware that there is a disconnect between the recording, canvas editing, and exporting and is taking that into consideration as we move forward. There is a new tutorial onChoosing Dimensions for Quality Video Production that addresses some of these issues. Another good tutorial is the video on Editing Essentials: What You Really Need to Know. You can skip to 0:43 if you just want to hear about setting the canvas for production.

Hope this helps, and again, please know that we value your feedback and do consider it as we plan for the future.

Andrea Perry
User Assistance
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I'm using Camtasia for Mac, and I'm a bit confused about the best resolution to use. My videos are deployed on YouTube, and I was told to output to 1080. On the canvas preview scale, I used the YouTube HD/1080p preset. On YouTube, the video is viewable at 1080, but it doesn't fill the screen. (Screen shot is attached.) How can I remedy that? In record mode, I used the Color LCD setting. Was that the problem?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Video resolution.
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I'm using Camtasia for Mac and I'm having an issue with the video becoming blurry when there is any movement on screen, eg. the cursor moving or a new window opening.

When the page is completely static the video is crystal clear but as I'm recording tutorial videos on using a software program and how to navigate through it, I need to be able to show where I'm clicking and moving the cursor. The video is so blurred when there is any movement that nothing can be seen.

When I'm watching the video in Camtasia it's perfect, the problem only occurs when I export it to mp4.

What is the problem and what can I do to fix it?

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Katie Steele

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I have been attempting to make the text clear in my videos and I am failing.

I recorded and produced in the same size-- still blurry.

I adjusted the canvas, then set to actual pixels-- still blurry.

I just don't understand why I can't record my whole screen and have the text show up clearly on Youtube. I've watched all of your videos. I am stuck.

Look at my videos on Youtube-- all named "test" https://www.youtube.com/user/ZIAhelpma...

is there something I am missing?

I need a step by step process on doing this.
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Stephen Wagner, Employee

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At which resolution are you viewing your video? It looks pretty good to me when viewed in high definition.

It is a little blurry on my screen, but I think that is because my screen is slightly larger than yours, and everything is stretched a little when I view it in full screen mode.
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Katie Steele

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It looks good in 720P. You are right! Phew.

Is there a sequence I should follow-- for instance...

1. finish recording
2. Set canvas size
3. Set all clips to actual pixels
4. Edit to fill the canvas so it doesn't appear like thishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS0MHt...

Specifically, How do I prevent videos from looking like the link above?

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