Inside Camtasia Studio 5: Part 5 | WebReference

Inside Camtasia Studio 5: Part 5


Inside Camtasia Studio 5: Part 5

By Nathan Segal.

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As mentioned in earlier articles, there have been numerous enhancements to Camtasia Studio 5. Of these, the stability of the application has been improved, there are new auto-save features in case of a program crash and editing is now available at 30 frames per second (fps).

This week we look at some of the production improvements, such as Flash SWF recommendations, Express Show, additional playback options, the onyx template for video instead of SWF, and options for sharing your video, including FTP and Screencast.

When you load a video from a previous session into Camtasia Studio 5, you're presented with the Project Setting dialog box, which helps you determine what type of video to produce.

Another option (which gives you more information), is to access the the Production Wizard when editing a project (you click on the heading Produce video as... under the Produce section in the Task List). When deciding what format to use for output, here's a handy table that will help you with your decision.

Presets Output Size in pixels File Type
Web 640 x 480 ExpressShow (Single SWF)
CD-ROM 800 x 600 AVI
Blog 400 x 300 ExpressShow (Single SWF)
iPod 320 x 240 M4V

As noted in an earlier article, when you choose any one of these settings, you'll see an output preview of your video.

About Output

When you decide to produce your video, it's important to think about how your video will be viewed. Here are some things to consider:

  • If you're producing files for the Web, one of your considerations is how fast the file will load. Your best results will be obtained with slow motion captures, such as software demos and PowerPoint presentations. It's not recommended to use PIP (picture-in-picture), animations or transitions. In this case, the recommended file type is ExpressShow Single SWF.

  • If your videos contain PIP, full-motion video, camera video and many changes when you run your presentations, use the Adobe FLV format. You can also edit this video in other programs. The end result is a file which is smaller than SWF, yet offers high quality.. It also creates an HTML file. This needs to be launched in a Web browser in order for the file to play properly. This file is good for Web distribution, as well.

  • If you're planning to produce videos that contain a lot of content and activity, consider using the WMV (Windows Media Player) format. This file type works well with photography, dithering and gradient fills, yet still produces small files. These file types play in the Windows Media Player and can play off a server or your hard drive.

As noted above, if you produce a video for the Web or for a blog, the recommended output is ExpressShow (Single SWF). When you create a video in this format Camtasia creates a thumbnail of the first frame and an overlay with a play button.

Clicking on the play button brings up a screen similar to the one above. All the playback controls are embedded into one file. Unlike the previous version of Camtasia, you have much more control over the way your videos play back. At the bottom left is a play and pause button and in the center is a slider that allows you to view your video from any position. To the right of that are several icons, which change depending on how you produce your video. In this case they are a volume control, a table of contents icon (when clicked, brings up a popup with info about the video which can be moved to any place on your display), an information button (which opens another window with information about the video) and to the far right is a counter that shows the length of the video and the elapsed time.


Created: June 5, 2003
Revised: January 4, 2008