Version 3.1


    Camtasia Studio

The Fundamentals of
   Screen Recording



           By TechSmith Corp.
TechSmith License Agreement
TechSmith Corporation provides this manual "as is", makes no
representations or warranties wit...
Camtasia Studio 3.1                                                                                                    The...
The Fundamentals of Screen Recording                                                                                     C...
Camtasia Studio 3.1                                                                              The Fundamentals of Scree...
The Fundamentals of Screen Recording                                                            Camtasia Studio 3.1




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Camtasia Studio 3.1                                                            The Fundamentals of Screen Recording




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The Fundamentals of Screen Recording                                                               Camtasia Studio 3.1


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The Fundamentals of Screen Recording                                                           Camtasia Studio 3.1


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The Fundamentals of Screen Recording                                                        Camtasia Studio 3.1

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Camtasia Studio 3.1                                                             The Fundamentals of Screen Recording

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Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording
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Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording

  1. 1. Version 3.1 Camtasia Studio The Fundamentals of Screen Recording By TechSmith Corp.
  2. 2. TechSmith License Agreement TechSmith Corporation provides this manual "as is", makes no representations or warranties with respect to its contents or use, and specifically disclaims any expressed or implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. TechSmith Corporation reserves the right to make changes to the content of this manual, at any time, without obligation to notify any person or entity of such changes. The software described in this document is furnished under a license agreement. The software may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of the agreement. It is against the law to copy the software on any medium except as specifically allowed in the license agreement. No part of this manual may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval systems, for any purpose other than the purchaser’s personal use, without the express written permission of TechSmith Corporation. TechSmith Corporation reserves the right to make changes to the content of this manual, at any time, without obligation to notify any person or entity of such changes. Copyright © 1990-2007 TechSmith Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Trademarks TechSmith, SnagIt, Camtasia Studio and Morae are registered trademarks. EnSharpen and DubIt are trademarks of TechSmith Corporation. All other registered trademarks and trademarks are the property of their respective companies. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Getting Started: The Fundamentals of Screen Recording 4 Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production............................................5 File Size, Bit Rate, Bandwidth and Data Transmission ...................................................6 Bandwidth and Streaming Media File Transmission .......................................................7 Video Compression and Key Frames...............................................................................8 Key Frames versus Delta Frames ....................................................................................................... 8 Frame Rate and Bandwidth ................................................................................................................ 8 Network Congestion, Bandwidth Spikes, and Buffering .................................................9 Audio and Bandwidth.....................................................................................................10 Understanding Video and Audio Codecs.............................................................................11 What is a Codec?.............................................................................................................................. 11 How do Codecs work? ..................................................................................................................... 11 Lossless vs. Lossy Codecs................................................................................................................ 11 Identifying the Codecs that are Installed on your System ................................................................ 12 Determining the Codec a Video is Compressed With ...................................................................... 12 About the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) ...................................................13 About the Microsoft Video 1 Codec ..............................................................................14 Audio Codecs Overview ................................................................................................16 The Best Overall Codec Options While Recording .......................................................18 Getting Great Sound in your Recordings ............................................................................19 Barely Audible Recordings ............................................................................................20 Monitoring your Audio Level as You Record ...............................................................21 Solving Common Sound Problems ................................................................................22 Recording Audio from Other Applications ....................................................................24 Looking at Several Different Kinds of Microphones.....................................................25 Tips for Recording Audio in Various Scenarios ............................................................27 Learning about the File Size .................................................................................................28 Video Dimensions ..........................................................................................................31 Video Production & File Formats 34 Produce your Video ...............................................................................................................35 Share your Video............................................................................................................36 Table of Contents www.techsmith.com • 1
  4. 4. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Help Me Choose a File Format .............................................................................................37 Audio Video Interleave (AVI) and CD-ROM Distribution ...........................................39 Audio Video Interleave (AVI) & DVD Productions .....................................................40 Macromedia Flash (SWF/FLV) .....................................................................................41 QuickTime (MOV).........................................................................................................42 Windows Media (WMV - Streaming Format) ...............................................................43 Recommended Settings for Normal Screen Recordings .................................................................. 43 Recommended Settings: Higher Motion Screen Recordings & Camcorder Videos ........................ 44 RealMedia Streaming Media (RM)................................................................................45 Camtasia for RealPlayer (RealPlayer Plug-In(CAMV)) ................................................46 GIF Animation File (GIF) ..............................................................................................47 Looking at the Different Media Players...............................................................................48 Comparing Media Players ..............................................................................................49 About Camtasia Player...................................................................................................50 Making Camtasia Player your Default Player................................................................52 Camtasia Player & Pack and Show ................................................................................53 Looking at Common Media Player Problems ................................................................54 Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices 56 Preventing Blurry Videos......................................................................................................57 Preventing Blank (Black) Videos..........................................................................................58 Using the Hotkeys and Keyboard Shortcuts .......................................................................60 Camtasia Studio's Main Interface...................................................................................61 Camtasia Audio Editor ...................................................................................................62 Camtasia MenuMaker ....................................................................................................63 Camtasia Player..............................................................................................................64 Camtasia Theater............................................................................................................65 Tips for Scripting and Audio ................................................................................................66 Before you Record Worksheets ............................................................................................67 Screen Resolution Checklist...........................................................................................68 Video Quality and File Size Checklist ...........................................................................69 Video Compression Checklist........................................................................................70 2 • www.techsmith.com Table of Contents
  5. 5. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Video Type & Playback Checklist .................................................................................71 Audio Compression Checklist........................................................................................74 Contact TechSmith Technical Support................................................................................75 Index 76 Table of Contents www.techsmith.com • 3
  6. 6. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Getting Started: The Fundamentals of Screen Recording The information contained within this guide will help you understand the guiding principles behind successful screen recording. Before you begin working with Camtasia Studio, we recommend that you read through this guide to become familiar with some of the terms and concepts that you will come across when making your videos. Please refer to the Camtasia Studio Help file for a comprehensive explanation of all Camtasia Studio’s features and options. You will find the following topics included within the scope of this guide. Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production on page 5. Understanding Video and Audio Codecs on page 11. Getting Great Sound in your Recordings on page 19. Learning about the File Size on page 28. Produce your Video on page 35. Help Me Choose a File Format on page 37. Looking at the Different Media Players on page 48. Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices on page 56. Preventing Blurry Videos on page 57. Preventing Blank (Black) Videos on page 58. Using the Hotkeys and Keyboard Shortcuts on page 60. Tips for Scripting and Audio on page 66. Before you Record Worksheets on page 67. 4 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production
  7. 7. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production Bandwidth is simply a measure of the amount of data that can be transmitted through a connection over a given amount of time. Bandwidth, also called data transfer rate, is usually expressed in bits per second (bps). Bandwidth is synonymous with capacity. Every machine on the Internet is connected by a cable or another type of connection. This cable has a capacity; it can carry a certain amount of information through it, similar to a hose. This cable may have a high or low capacity. If you compare a garden hose to a fire hose, more water can pass through the fire hose in a minute than a garden hose. The slowest of these capacities is the bandwidth of the line; it’s the fastest you can communicate between the ends. Think of the cable as a long tube with someone pouring water into it on one end, and someone draining it out the other. You cannot take out more than was put in, and if you pour it in too fast the water will spill (losing data). For example, a 28.8 kbps dialup modem connection is much slower than a cable modem connection. The cable modem connection can download more data than the 28.8 kbps dialup modem connection can over the same period of time. The cable modem has a higher bandwidth connection than the 28.8 kbps dialup connection does. High bandwidth allows fast transmission of data or high volume transmission just like the fire hose. Continue with the following topics: File Size, Bit Rate, Bandwidth and Data Transmission on page 6. Bandwidth and Streaming Media File Transmission on page 7. Video Compression and Key Frames on page 8. Network Congestion, Bandwidth Spikes, and Buffering on page 9. Audio and Bandwidth on page 10. Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production www.techsmith.com • 5
  8. 8. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 File Size, Bit Rate, Bandwidth and Data Transmission This section describes the measurements used for file size and bandwidth and describes how these measurements relate to data transmission. File Size File size is measured in bytes. One kilobyte (K or KB) equals about 1,000 bytes. For example, a small image file might be 20K or about 20,000 bytes in size. To learn more about file size, continue with Learning about the File Size on page 28. Measurements and Conversions The following chart describes the units, measurements, and conversions for data transmission. Usage Measurement Equivalence (Abbreviation) (Abbreviation) File Size 1 kilobyte (K or KB) 1000 bytes Conversion 1 byte 8 bits Bit Rate 1000 bits per second (bps) 1 kilobit per second (kbps) (Bandwidth) Data Transmission Data transmission measured in bits per second (bps) is called the baud rate or bit rate—it is the measure of bandwidth. If a computer can receive 5KB (5,000 bytes) in a second, it would take 4 seconds for it to receive a file 20K in length. But bandwidth is not measured in bytes—it is measured in bits. 1 byte contains 8 bits. So, if a computer can receive 5K (5,000 bytes) in one second, it can receive 40,000 bits per second. 5,000 bytes x 8 bits = 40,000 bits per second or 40 kbps. Data transmission measured in bits per second is called the baud rate or bit rate and is the measure of bandwidth. It is commonly measured in thousands of bits per second or kilobits per second. The abbreviation for kilobits per second is kbps or simply k. One kilobit equals about 1,000 bits. If a computer connects to the Internet using a 56 kbps dialup modem, in theory, it means that the computer could receive 56,000 bits per second (56 kbps). That would mean that the computer could receive about 7,000 bytes per second. Remember that a byte equals 8 bits, so 56,000 bps/ 8 bits = 7,000 bytes. So, to receive the 20K image file, the 56 kbps dialup connection would require slightly less than 3 seconds to receive the file (20K/7,000 bytes=2.85 seconds). Data transmission measured in bits per second is the bandwidth of the connection. In this case the bandwidth is 56 kbps. Note: A 56 kbps modem cannot actually communicate at 56 kbps. In reality it’s more like 35-45 kbps. A 56 kbps modem connection generally only provides 35-45 kbps of bandwidth. Continue with Bandwidth and Streaming Media File Transmission on page 7. 6 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production
  9. 9. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Bandwidth and Streaming Media File Transmission Computer video files are basically a number of still images called frames that are combined sequentially into one file. When the file is played on a player such as Windows Media Player, it goes through the video file and displays each frame sequentially in quick succession to create the illusion of motion similar to a video film rolling through a movie projector. When a file is streamed, frames are continuously delivered from the computer that is streaming the video to the computer that is playing it. Each frame is displayed as it is received. For example, consider a computer connected to the Internet using a dialup modem. If the modem is connected at 40 kbps, that would mean that it could receive 5,000 bytes (5 KB) of data per second. If each frame of the video was only 5K then the modem could only receive 1 frame per second. Commercial motion pictures are 24 fps (frames per second), television is 30 frames per second. The more frames per second (fps), the smother the video playback appears to the viewer. So, a 1 fps video is a very slow and choppy video. The number of frames per second (fps) is also called the frame rate. With a higher bandwidth connection, more frames per second could be received. With a 128 kbps ISDN connection for example, 32 5K frames could be delivered per second. But, a 5K image or frame is not very big. A small 320x200, 16 bit JPEG file can easily be 20K in size. So, for the modem connected with only 40 kbps of bandwidth, it would take 4 seconds to receive only one frame of the video! At that rate, the video would degrade into a slide show, and not be a video at all. This is the reason why many videos that you see online or on news sites are very small, and why a dialup Internet connection just does not have enough bandwidth to enjoy a very rich multimedia experience. Continue with Video Compression and Key Frames on page 8. Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production www.techsmith.com • 7
  10. 10. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Video Compression and Key Frames As static image files are compressed using various compression algorithms the video and audio data in streaming media files is compressed. This reduces the number of bytes in each frame thus reducing the bandwidth requirement to deliver the video. While data compression helps considerably, another step is taken to reduce bandwidth requirements. Video files are simply a number of still images called frames that are combined sequentially into one file. Each frame is displayed at some given number of frames per second (fps) to create the illusion of movement. But many times there is no movement or change in the video between one frame and the next. For example, a video demonstration of an application may show the opening of a new window and then not change for several minutes while the audio narration explains the application. If nothing changes, there is no reason to send a new frame of video data. The player can just sit there and display the same frame. This hugely reduces bandwidth requirements. Consider a video that is a demonstration of an application. Perhaps, all that is changing in the video is that the cursor moves around the application as the author of the video points out different areas in the application. Instead of sending the entire frame, only the changes to the new frame are sent. If the only change between one frame and the next is that the cursor is in a different position, then the only change to the image is drawing the area where the cursor was to the cursor in its new position. The mouse pointer is very small and the number of bytes of video data that represents it is minimal, so very little video data needs to be transmitted to reflect the change between frames. Sending only the part of the frame that has changed can also greatly reduce bandwidth requirements. Changes from one frame to the next, increases the bandwidth requirements of the video. The more movement occurs, the more area of the screen is changed, resulting in larger amounts of video data that must be sent to update to the next frame. If the entire screen changed from one frame to the next, the entire frame would have to be sent. Key Frames versus Delta Frames There are two types of video frames: key frames and delta frames. Key frames contain all of the pixels that comprise the complete frame. Delta frames only contain what has changed from the previous frame. Key frames are placed in the video at regular intervals, either every so many seconds or so many frames. Windows Media Encoder, for example, defaults to 1 key frame every 10 frames. It looks something like this: Key frame | delta frame | delta | delta | delta | key | etc… If there is no change from one frame to the next, delta frames can contain 0 bytes of data. If the only change from one frame to the next is the movement of the mouse pointer, the delta frame would contain very little data. If the entire screen had changed, the delta frame would be as large as a key frame, as it would have to contain bytes of data representing every pixel in the frame. Although high key frame rates increase file size, they improve seeking. Frame Rate and Bandwidth Frame rate may or may not have much effect on the bandwidth requirements of the video. If there is a lot of change between frames, then the size of each frame is larger and more data must be transmitted for each frame. In this case, higher capture frame rates require increased bandwidth. But, if there is little or no change between frames, then little or no video data is transmitted for each frame. So, depending on the content of the video, increasing the frame rate may have little or great effect on how much bandwidth is required. Continue with Network Congestion, Bandwidth Spikes, and Buffering on page 9. 8 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production
  11. 11. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Network Congestion, Bandwidth Spikes, and Buffering Streamed video is displayed as it is received. With streaming video, the video can start to display the data before the entire file has been transmitted. If for some reason the data stream is slowed or interrupted, the video will stop playing. Network congestion and other problems are fairly common, and to help ameliorate the interruption of the data stream, buffering is implemented. Buffering works by storing a portion of the video locally, and then playing the video by retrieving data from the local buffer. Before the video starts playing, the player downloads some amount of the video and stores it locally. Generally this is not a large portion of the video, usually 10 seconds or so. It then plays the video from this local buffer while continually downloading more of the video to keep the buffer full. If the network becomes congested, or if the stream is interrupted for some reason, the player can continue playing from the buffer, and hopefully the interruption will be corrected before the buffer is depleted and the video stops playing. Buffering can also help with encoding videos that contain spikes of high bandwidth. This can occur if something in the video suddenly requires more bandwidth. For example, in a video demonstrating an application, the only movement might be the mouse pointer moving across the screen for many frames. If the author of the video clicks a button in the application that causes a new window to open, the entire frame might change, requiring a large block of data needing to be transmitted to update the next frame. This causes a spike in the required bandwidth. Modern media encoders take into account the extra time afforded by the buffer. While the extra data caused by the increase in bandwidth is being delivered, the video can be played from the buffer, thereby not interrupting playback. Increasing the amount of buffering time can make the difference between a failed or a successful encoding process. Continue with Audio and Bandwidth on page 10. Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production www.techsmith.com • 9
  12. 12. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Audio and Bandwidth Audio is a very important factor when considering streaming content and bandwidth. Audio requires bandwidth just as video does. The higher the quality of the audio, the more bandwidth it will consume. That is why streaming media encoders such as Media Encoder always use compressed audio. Uncompressed audio gobbles up bandwidth. PCM uncompressed audio, 22.050 kHz, 16 bit mono for instance requires 43 kbps of bandwidth. If you consider a dialup modem connected at 40 kbps, it is evident that any attempt to stream this is doomed to fail. Highly compressed, lower quality audio such as ACELP.net 8 kHz, mono, for example, requires only 5 kbps of bandwidth. Continue with the following topics: Understanding Video and Audio Codecs on page 11. Audio Codecs Overview on page 16. 10 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Bandwidth and Streaming Media Production
  13. 13. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Understanding Video and Audio Codecs What is a Codec? The term codec is an abbreviation for compressor/decompressor. A codec is an algorithm that compresses data when you are recording and producing a movie and decompresses the data when the video is being viewed. Codecs affect both the image quality and the file size of videos. Certain codecs are better to use than others in certain situations, because of the way they compress content. How do Codecs work? A codec is encoded to a file when a video is recorded. The codec compresses the data to make the bit rate and file size smaller. This allows for the video to be easily stored and streamed over a network. When the video is played on a media player, such as Microsoft Windows Media Player, the player decompresses the video file for playback. When a video is compressed with any particular codec, that same codec must be installed on the computer that is going to view the video, because the video must be decompressed with the same codec that it was compressed with. If the codec is not installed on the computer playing the file, then the media player will try to download the codec so that it can understand how to decompress the file. There are two main advantages of using a codec for your video file: • Storage space – A compressed file takes up less storage space than an uncompressed file. This also allows you to store more files on your computer, add more content onto CD-ROMs, etc. • Transfer time – Compressed file sizes are smaller than uncompressed file sizes. With smaller file sizes and lower bit rates, video files can be stored and streamed over a network more quickly and easily. Lossless vs. Lossy Codecs Video codecs can be divided into two categories: lossless and lossy. Lossless codecs maintain perfect image quality when the video is compressed, while lossy codecs sacrifice image quality for compression. Many video codecs such as Microsoft Video 1 are lossy codecs, but the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) is lossless. If you start out with a video made using either a lossy audio or video codec, each time you reproduce the video the quality will degrade. It is similar to making a copy of a videotape and then proceeding to make a copy from that copy. The video quality of each copy is severely degraded, and eventually will become too difficult to view. We recommend using the default codec options (TSCC and PCM uncompressed mono audio) to record your video. Since the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) is lossless, it does not sacrifice image quality for compression, making TSCC an excellent choice for recording your master video. Understanding Video and Audio Codecs www.techsmith.com • 11
  14. 14. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Identifying the Codecs that are Installed on your System • In Windows 2000: Select Windows Start > Settings > Control Panel > Hardware > Device Manger > Sound, Video and Game Controllers > Video Codecs or Audio Codecs. • In Windows XP: Select Windows Start > Control Panel > Sounds, Speech, and Audio Device Properties > Sounds and Audio Devices > Hardware tab > Choose Video Codecs or Audio Codecs from the list > Properties. Determining the Codec a Video is Compressed With Within Windows Explorer, right-click the video file name, and then select Properties > Summary tab > Advanced. The codec is listed in the Video Compression entry. You can also right-click on a thumbnail within Camtasia Studio and select Properties to see both audio and video codec information. Continue with: About the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) on page 13. About the Microsoft Video 1 Codec on page 14. 12 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Video and Audio Codecs
  15. 15. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording About the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) By default, Camtasia Recorder uses the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) for video compression during recording. This codec was created by TechSmith specifically for screen recordings of standard Windows and desktop content. A big advantage to using the TSCC is that is provides lossless compression. This means that any recordings made with TSCC will always be 100% perfect quality - even through multiple decompression/recompression cycles that are typical during the production process. Other advantages to using the TSCC are: • It’s built into the Camtasia Player. • The ability to playback videos on the host PC without having to install the TSCC. There are no charges, royalties, or licensing requirements involved in distributing videos encoded with TSCC or with distributing the codec to others for viewing. • Lossless preservation of 100% of the image quality, even through multiple decompression/recompression cycles that are typical during the production process. • Optimization for screen captures so that the resulting files are small and highly compressed. • Exceptional compression speed at all color depths. Overall, TSCC is really designed for content that consists mostly of solid blocks of color such as that found in most Windows and other desktop PC applications. The TSCC video codec does not compress well for real-world video, camera video, music videos, video conference windows, video with high motion, gradients, and dithered images, or any other content that does not contain a proportionately higher number of areas containing solid blocks of color. In fact, you may find that if the TSCC is used with one of these kinds of recordings, the final file size of that recording may be close to that of a totally uncompressed video. It is very important to only use TSCC to compress the content that it is intended for. The images below illustrate the type of content that is best for TSCC compression. Sample #1 In sample number one on the left, you can easily see solid blocks of color within this image. This makes it an ideal candidate for TSCC compression. Sample #2 In sample number two on the right, it is easy to see that there are no solid blocks of color within this image. Therefore, the TSCC codec would not be a good choice for compression. Understanding Video and Audio Codecs www.techsmith.com • 13
  16. 16. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 About the Microsoft Video 1 Codec Microsoft Video 1 is a standard video codec that comes with Windows and provides mid-range compression, with a relatively small amount of quality loss. The benefits of using the Microsoft Video 1 codec include: • Standard video codec that comes with Windows. • Provides mid-range compression. • Relatively small amount of quality loss (lossy). • Good when real world video, gradients, or dithered images are being recorded. It is very important to only use the Microsoft Video 1 codec to compress the content that it is intended for. When creating a ten second video with the following images using both the TSCC and the Microsoft Video 1 codecs, the subsequent results were achieved: Image #1 Video Sample Using image number one, the final TSCC compressed video was almost half the size of the same video compressed using the Microsoft Video 1 codec. This is because the TSCC is designed specifically for the type of content shown in image one, that is, mostly large, solid blocks of color. Image #2 Video Sample On the other hand, when using image number two, the final TSCC compressed video was nearly 60 percent larger than the video compressed with the Microsoft Video 1 codec. This makes Microsoft Video 1 a good alternative to TSCC when real-world video, photos, gradients, or dithered images are being recorded. 14 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Video and Audio Codecs
  17. 17. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Looking at the Lossy Attributes It is important to note that the Microsoft Video 1 is a lossy codec and does not compress videos nearly as well as some of the more modern video codecs, such as Microsoft MPEG-4 V2 or, in some situations, TSCC. This means that some color banding and degradation of antialiased objects can occur. This quality loss is illustrated in the following two images. Sample #1 In sample number one on the left, the image was compressed using TSCC. All of the aspects of the original image are preserved perfectly, including all of the antialiased objects and the color gradients. Sample #2 In sample number two on the right, the image was compressed using Microsoft Video 1. Note the blocky distortions around the antialiased objects such as the rune in the title bar and the folder icon. Also, many of the gradient colors are now noticeably banded. Continue with Audio Codecs Overview on page 16. Understanding Video and Audio Codecs www.techsmith.com • 15
  18. 18. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Audio Codecs Overview Depending on the audio configuration, the audio portion of your recording file may be 150 or more times larger than the video portion. For example, a 464x412, 62 second video compressed with TSCC and containing no audio was 64K. The same video with PCM uncompressed audio, 48 kHz 16 bit stereo was 11.6MB! In the same way that video files are compressed with various video codecs, audio is compressed using audio codecs. The choice of an audio codec will not only be a major determining factor in the size of the video, but also affect the audio quality. Note: For voice recordings, stereo is generally not needed and will double the size of the audio portion of the file. Consider the following AVI video file. The only difference is the audio compression used. Note how the file size varies when the file is compressed with various audio codecs. Audio Setting File Size No Audio 300 KB PCM 22.050kHz, 16 bit, Mono Uncompressed Audio (Camtasia Recorder's 2.7 MB default settings) CCITT u-Law 11.25kHz, 8 bit, Mono Compressed Audio 911 KB Mpeg Layer-3 24.00 kHz, Mono Compressed Audio 471 KB To get the best quality audio, use the uncompressed PCM codec in your Camtasia Studio project. Continue using PCM throughout the entire production and editing process. Then, when your project is finished, make copies of the original using another audio compressor, if you so desire. Comparing Audio Codecs When using audio, keep these tips in mind: • MPEG Layer 3 is an excellent audio codec. It produces small files sizes and maintains good audio quality. MPEG Layer 3 does have some drawbacks. It may not be installed on all computers. The only way to ensure it is installed is to install Media Encoder from Microsoft. • Windows Media Player 8 on XP cannot play MPEG Layer 3 encoded AVIs. It thinks that the AVI is a MP3 file and only plays the audio. One workaround for this problem is to distribute the Camtasia Player with your videos. • GCM 6.10 is good for voice compression. 16 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Video and Audio Codecs
  19. 19. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Audio Codec Tips Be careful in selecting audio codecs. Some audio codecs produce horrible sounding audio—from scratchy static noise to sounding like the Tin Man talking into a drain pipe. You will want to select the best codec that meets your compression and viewing needs. • To find the best audio codec for your video, experiment by making a short video using Camtasia Recorder's default configuration (PCM uncompressed audio, 16 bit, 20.050kHz). Then in Camtasia Studio, try saving your video using various audio codecs at different sample rates. • For voice, stereo is generally not necessary and will double the size of the file. If you need higher quality audio you can increase the sample rate, but keep in mind that it will dramatically increase the file size. • Camtasia Studio supports all audio codecs installed on your computer. Be aware that some of the audio codecs Camtasia finds and displays cannot be used when producing new videos due to licensing restrictions by the owners/authors of the codec. If you try to use one of these restricted audio codecs, Camtasia displays a dialog saying that you must choose a different codec. Continue with The Best Overall Codec Options While Recording on page 18. Understanding Video and Audio Codecs www.techsmith.com • 17
  20. 20. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Best Overall Codec Options While Recording If you want to distribute your video with a codec other than the TechSmith Screen Capture codec (TSCC), we recommend you still use TSCC and uncompressed, PCM audio format to record your master video. When the video is produced in Camtasia Studio, select another video and/or audio codec for distribution (such as a standard Windows video codec, compressed audio, or a streaming file format) to suite your compression needs. TSCC and PCM audio are the default options for recording videos within Camtasia Recorder. However, if these settings have been changed, you can change the codecs back by following the steps below. To Change Video Codecs in Recorder 1. In Camtasia Recorder, click the Tools Options button or choose Tools > Options from the menu bar. 2. In the Streams tab, disable the Auto configure option. 3. Click the Video setup button. The Video Compression Setup dialog appears. 4. Select the desired video codec from the Compressor dropdown menu. 5. Click OK. To Change Audio Codecs in Recorder 1. In Camtasia Recorder, click the Tools Options button or choose Tools > Options from the menu bar. 2. In the Streams tab, click the Audio setup button. The Audio Format dialog appears. 3. Select the desired audio codec and attributes from the Format and Attributes dropdown menus. 4. Click OK. To Change Codecs after Recording The Encoding Options screen in the Production Wizard allows you to set the audio and video codecs for the video you are producing. 18 • www.techsmith.com Understanding Video and Audio Codecs
  21. 21. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Getting Great Sound in your Recordings This section contains some hints to make better quality audio recordings and to help you avoid audio problems before they occur. However, before you begin recording, make sure that Camtasia Recorder is enabled for audio recording: 1. Open Camtasia Recorder. Choose Start > All Programs > Camtasia Studio 3 > Applications > Camtasia Recorder. Or, from within Camtasia Studio, choose Tools > Camtasia Recorder. 2. Activate the Audio toolbar by selecting View > Audio Toolbar. 3. Click the Record Audio button on the Audio toolbar. Still No Sound? If you have enabled Camtasia Recorder for audio recording but you are still are not getting any sound, check the following audio settings within Recorder. 1. Click the Options button on the toolbar and choose the Volume button under the Streams tab. This will open up the Windows Record Control dialog box. 2. Verify that the Microphone is selected as the input within the Microphone section, and that the Microphone Volume slider is not at its lowest setting. I Still Have a Silent Recording If you have enabled audio recording in Camtasia Recorder and checked the microphone settings, and you are still unable to record any sound at all, do the following: • Check that your microphone is properly connected to the sound card in your computer. It needs to be plugged into the microphone jack, not the line in jack, etc. • Check to see if you can record with Windows Sound Recorder. Select Start > All Programs > Accessories > Entertainment > Sound Recorder. • Try a different microphone. • Test to see if sound recording is working in another audio application. • Try updating/reinstalling the sound card drivers. • Try a different sound card. Continue with the following topics: Barely Audible Recordings on page 20. Monitoring your Audio Level as You Record on page 21. Solving Common Sound Problems on page 22. Recording Audio from Other Applications on page 24. Looking at Several Different Kinds of Microphones on page 25. Tips for Recording Audio in Various Scenarios on page 27. Getting Great Sound in your Recordings www.techsmith.com • 19
  22. 22. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Barely Audible Recordings If you are getting some sound, but your audio recordings are too low in volume, there may be a number of causes. Some of the most common include the following. Is your sound card’s recording volume set too low? You need to adjust the audio level before recording. 1. Open Camtasia Recorder. Choose Start > All Programs > Camtasia Studio 3 > Applications > Camtasia Recorder. Or, from within Camtasia Studio, choose Tools > Camtasia Recorder. 2. Click the Options button on the toolbar to open the Tools Options dialog box. On the Streams tab, under the Audio Options section, click the Volume button. This will open up the Windows Record Control dialog box. Make sure that the Microphone option is selected and that the Microphone Volume slider is up enough to allow for sufficient sound. Are you too far from the microphone? Try several recordings allowing different distances from the microphone to choose the right one. You should probably be about six inches from the microphone—close enough to record full tones but not so close that other noises interfere. Are you speaking distinctly and clearly? To make a good recording, you need to project and enunciate, so that your voice recording sounds clear and crisp on replay. As an aid in determining a good vocal level and tone, imagine you are addressing a small audience in a large room. Continue with Monitoring your Audio Level as You Record on page 21. 20 • www.techsmith.com Getting Great Sound in your Recordings
  23. 23. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Monitoring your Audio Level as You Record While you record audio with Camtasia Recorder, you can monitor the Audio Level to be sure you are encoding the optimal dynamic range. • The green to yellow range indicate a normal reading. • Orange to red warns that you are close to an over-modulated input. The best sound quality will occur when the audio level bar is kept in the green to light orange range and only occasionally enter the red range. That is, try to keep the level bar from filling the entire audio level meter all the time. The goal is to keep your input levels as high as possible without exceeding the range of values which can be stored digitally when encoded. When the Audio Level meter is frequently in the red range, your input level is too high and the peaks of your waveform become clipped off, resulting in distortion. The input level also depends on your particular microphone, how close you are to the microphone and how loudly you speak while recording. By keeping your input levels steady and as high as possible, you will be encoding the optimal dynamic range. It is particularly important to record sounds within the green to light orange range if possible if you plan to later convert 16 bit audio data to 8 bit, or if you plan to compress your audio in a streaming media file. This assures that you will use the greatest dynamic range possible in the converted file. Adjusting your Audio Level To adjust your audio levels, click the Options button on the toolbar to open the Tools Options dialog box. On the Streams tab, under the Audio Options section, click the Volume button. This will open up the Windows Record Control dialog box. Adjust the volume setting up or down. Continue with Solving Common Sound Problems on page 22. Getting Great Sound in your Recordings www.techsmith.com • 21
  24. 24. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Solving Common Sound Problems The following gives some information on resolving issues concerning external noise, low quality sound, and recording conflicts. Too much External Noise can be Heard Some audio noise is caused by environmental elements. Background sounds you may not have noticed before may suddenly show up in your audio of your recording. You can eliminate most problems by relocating your recording "studio" to a quieter location. Also, do not forget that most computers make some noise that your microphone might be picking up. The disk drives and fan are potential sources of a low-level noise in your recordings. Hum and whine can also be caused by a “ground loop.” Ground loop occurs where there is more than one electrical path to “ground” for electrical/electronic equipment. Tracing and eliminating the exact source of ground loop can be complicated, but light dimmer switches, motorized appliances, and cable TV outlets are prime culprits. First try disconnecting any unnecessary electrical equipment sharing the same circuit as your computer. Also, disconnect the coaxial cable running to any nearby TVs. If these methods do not help, consult an expert at your local Radio Shack or other electronics retailer. They can offer solutions to help you isolate ground loop interference. Low Quality Recordings The default audio setup for the Recorder is PCM (uncompressed audio) 22.050 kHz, 16 bit mono. That should give you good quality audio. If the audio is still low quality, try a different microphone. Additionally, most consumer-quality recording equipment shipped with computers is relatively low quality (unless you have purchased upgrade accessories). Studio-quality recordings cannot be made on inexpensive equipment. To improve the quality of recordings, you can upgrade the components responsible for audio on your computer: microphone, sound card, and speakers. Better sound comes with a tradeoff, however, as higher quality audio results in a larger Camtasia Studio video file size. The audio format you specify determines the quality of the video audio track and also affects video file size. Large File Size when Recording with Audio By default, Recorder uses uncompressed PCM audio. That is a good selection for your original recording because you can later edit the video within Camtasia Studio and not lose audio quality. It is recommended that you compress the audio during production in Camtasia Studio after you have finished recording in Camtasia Recorder and have made all your edits. Within Camtasia Studio, there are many different video file formats to choose from that will allow you to effectively compress you video. For example, if you produce your video in SWF it will typically be smaller in size than an AVI. You can try producing in a couple of different formats to find the right size and quality that you desire. 22 • www.techsmith.com Getting Great Sound in your Recordings
  25. 25. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Audio Recording Error Message If you receive an error message relating to audio recording, it might be that another application is using the sound card to play and/or record audio. Only one application can record audio at a time on your computer. Some computers with "Full Duplex" sound cards allow one application (for example, Camtasia Recorder) to record from the microphone, while another application plays sound. In this case, you can even hold the microphone up to your computer speakers and record what another application is playing. However, many computers do not have this capability and allow recording only when no other application is playing sound. The Audio is out of Sync with the Video Your audio could be out of sync for two reasons. First, your on-board audio subsystem is not functioning properly. Many Sony VIO notebooks and systems that have ESS audio may have this problem. The current version of Camtasia Studio will compensate for this hardware failure. In most cases this problem crops up when the audio stream is longer than the video. To correct this situation, please download the current version of Camtasia Studio. Additionally, you can verify this problem by using another application to record audio on the system. Start recording and note the exact time you start recording. Let it record for 20-30 seconds and then stop recording and note the exact time that you stopped. Calculate the time that you recorded for and then right-click on the WAV file and select Properties. If the amount of time that you recorded for does not match the actual time of the recording session, then you might be having this problem on your system. Second, if the computer is overloaded and has no resources left, Camtasia Studio can drop audio. In this case the audio stream will be shorter than the video. Continue with Recording Audio from Other Applications on page 24. Getting Great Sound in your Recordings www.techsmith.com • 23
  26. 26. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Recording Audio from Other Applications Camtasia Studio records audio only from the microphone source. If you want to record other audio sources, such as sound generated by games or other applications, try the following: • Check the sound card in your computer. Some sound cards may also have a mixer control that allows you to map the audio to the microphone input. • Install a sound card that maps the audio to the microphone internally. One such sound card is Sound Blaster® Live!, manufactured by Creative®. It places a "What You Hear" input in the Recording section of the Windows Volume Control dialog box, allowing for direct recording of audio generated by applications. Then all you would need to do is enable audio recording in Camtasia Studio. • Record the sound coming from your speakers. Position your microphone about 12 inches at the midway point between your computer’s stereo speakers. Test the recording level, and then adjust the speaker volume as necessary. • Insert a jumper wire in the Line Out and Mic In jacks on your computer’s sound card. If you do, you may wish to adjust the microphone again in the Windows Volume Control if the audio is overamped or sounds distorted. From within Recorder, click the Options button on the toolbar to open the Tools Options dialog box. On the Streams tab, under the Audio Options section, click the Volume button. This will open up the Windows Record Control dialog box. Adjust the volume setting up or down. • Camtasia Studio can record sound directly from the sound card, using an application such as Total Recorder®, made by High Criteria, Inc. (www.totalrecorder.com). Please note that Total Recorder® is not a TechSmith product, and we do not support it or otherwise make any guarantees. Continue with Looking at Several Different Kinds of Microphones on page 25. 24 • www.techsmith.com Getting Great Sound in your Recordings
  27. 27. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Looking at Several Different Kinds of Microphones Choosing the correct microphone for your recording needs can be a time consuming process. Certain types of microphones produce good recordings in some environments while produce poor recordings in others. It is important to select the correct microphone to meet your recording needs. General Microphone Tips The most expensive microphone will not necessarily produce better quality recordings. It is important to select the right microphone to complement your hardware and recording situational needs. Choose a microphone with lower output impedance. For acceptable results, the output impedance of the microphone must be less than the input impedance of the sound card, which is in the range of 600-1500. Look for a microphone with output impedance of about 1000 ohms. A Word about Pickup Patterns The microphone pickup pattern determines from which direction the microphone picks up the sound the best. Microphones can be designed to be sensitive to sounds from given directions, while they reject sounds from others. The directional characteristics, or pickup pattern of a microphone, are defined by noting the direction from which a microphone is optimally sensitive to sound waves. Microphones can only pick up the sound waves which strike it. This means that proper placement of the microphone is critical to good sound. For example, a pickup pattern can be selected for its ability to reject unwanted sound coming from a particular direction and to help reduce feedback. A microphone pickup pattern should be based on the application. For example, most lavaliere microphones are omnidirectional, so that no matter which way the speaker’s head turns, it will pick up their voice. Omnidirectional Microphones Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound equally from all directions with a slight preference for sounds coming from the direction in which they are pointed. Omnidirectional microphones are typically used for recording with group pick-up. The level and sound quality will be identical whether you speak from the front or the back of the microphone. Omnidirectional microphones are: • Effective for recording a meeting or panel discussion where all speakers are near each other. • Not well-suited for noisy environments. Cardioid (Unidirectional) Microphones Cardioid microphones have a heart-shaped pickup pattern and are sensitive to sounds predominantly from the front of the microphone diaphragm. They pickup sounds which come from the direction in which they are pointed and reject sound coming from the sides and the rear. The ability to reject unwanted sounds is the primary reason carioid microphones are the most-used for presentations and recording. Getting Great Sound in your Recordings www.techsmith.com • 25
  28. 28. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Microphone Description Table The following describes several different types of microphones along with some tips for their use. Example Microphone Type Strengths / Tips Desktop Microphone Inexpensive. Basic computer microphone for Typically comes with your computer. recording audio. Desktop microphones that have a battery at the This microphone sits on the desk or base amplifies the signal and produces a little is attached to the monitor. better quality than microphones without Note: May often pick up unwanted batteries. ambient noises produced from your PC. Headset Microphone Provides the best audio quality because it Preferable in recording situations maintains a consistent position near the mouth. where the person talking needs to Adjust the headset so the microphone is about listen as well as speak. one inch from the corner of your mouth. This microphone set is worn on the A microphone with a foam cover helps head by the speaker. minimize breathing sounds. Position the microphone so that it is level with your nose to keep it out of the breathing air stream. Lavaliere or Lapel Microphone Small, lightweight, and easy to conceal. Preferable for recording a conference Attaches to the speaker’s clothing. session for just one speaker. Will not produce rustling noises when wearer This microphone set is worn on a moves around. shirt lapel by the speaker. Often wireless. Telecom Adapter Allows you to record both sides of the Used in telephone audio recordings conversation without the cutout of typical to send the audio to the computer speakerphone conversations microphone input jack. This microphone adaptor hooks into the phone system and is directly linked to the PC input jack. Continue with Tips for Recording Audio in Various Scenarios on page 27. 26 • www.techsmith.com Getting Great Sound in your Recordings
  29. 29. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Tips for Recording Audio in Various Scenarios Camtasia Studio allows you to record in a variety of different environments. However, each environment might require a different microphone in order to capture good audio quality. The following gives some general overview information on the different kinds of recording settings. However, as with all recordings, you will want to try out your audio equipment and Camtasia Studio settings before making the final recording to ensure the best results. Telephone Audio Recording To make a telephone audio recording, you will need to buy an adapter to send the audio to the computer microphone input jack. The adapter allows you to record both sides of the conversation without the cutout of typical speakerphone conversations. Teleconference Recording One common problem that occurs in recording teleconferences is that people speak at different levels. It is difficult to adjust the recording audio level during a teleconference session. One solution is to use a telephone with a handset volume control. Increase the volume for a quiet speaker or decrease the volume for a loud speaker with the level control on the telephone. Conference Recording A lapel or lavaliere microphone may be preferable for recording a conference session for just one speaker. The lapel microphone clips on the speaker’s clothing and has a cord that plugs into the computer microphone input jack. Most are powered by a button battery and have an on/off switch. Web Conference Recording using Voiceover IP Audio Web conference recordings typically use traditional teleconferencing services. To record web conference audio or any phone conversation, simply place your microphone close to a speaker phone. Or alternatively, you can purchase an adapter which will connect your phone directly to your computer. Some web conferences deliver audio via Voice Over IP. In the web conference services that use voiceover IP audio, the participants talk through microphone headsets connected to their computers and the audio comes across the Internet. No special type of hardware is required to record for this type of web conference. To record audio in Camtasia Recorder using voiceover IP audio: In Camtasia Recorder, select Capture > Wizard. In the 4th Wizard window, select Speaker Audio (what you hear). Getting Great Sound in your Recordings www.techsmith.com • 27
  30. 30. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Learning about the File Size When recording videos in Camtasia Studio, it is important to consider the file size of your video. Video file sizes can become quite large. AVIs over one megabyte are not uncommon. It is essential to understand the factors that affect file sizes and how to keep file sizes to a minimum. The following are factors that affect the file size of a video. Screen Resolution The first question to consider before recording a video of your computer screen is, will the dimensions of the video easily fit on the screen for my entire viewing audience? If, for example, you create a video that is 1024x768, people who have a lower screen resolution such as 640x480 will not be able to view your videos very well. They could scale the video down in Windows Media Player, but scaling videos results in image quality degradation that makes characters unreadable and your video may look like a blurry mess. To ensure the best playback screen resolution, follow these tips: • Determine the lowest screen resolution that your video will be played back on, and then, to save room for the player window frame and controls, record your video at slightly less than that lowest screen resolution. • When recording your video, you will need to consider the player window, the area of the screen used to display controls, and the actual window frame into consideration when determining the final size. • If the video dimensions equal the resolution of the monitor, then the player will have to be configured to play in full screen mode in order to play the video without scaling. In full screen mode, the player will have no visible controls to start, stop, pause the video or exit the player. • It's a fairly safe assumption that most people are now running at 800x600 or better. The video should be small enough to be completely displayed on the screen without scaling, and still have room for the player window frame and controls. • As a general rule, never record a larger area of the screen than necessary. If you are recording an application, record just the application window and not the entire desktop. Recording unnecessary screen area, aside from the aforementioned considerations, also results in larger file sizes, reduced capture frame rates, and in some cases can cause playback problems on slower systems. • If you need to record the entire screen, try setting your monitor resolution to a lower resolution than the target audience screen. If your audience is using 800x600, set your screen to 640x480 for the recording. • For example, if you are recording a fixed region of 640x480, it does not make any difference what the overall screen resolution is set to. Recording a fixed region of 640x480 will create a video that is 640x480, whether the screen resolution is set to 640x480 or set to 1280x1024. If a 640x480 video is played back on a monitor set to 640x480, it would have to be played in full screen mode. If it is played back on a 1024x768 or higher monitor resolution, the video could be played in a player window without scaling. 28 • www.techsmith.com Learning about the File Size
  31. 31. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Movement or Screen Activity Changes from one frame to the next, increases the bandwidth requirements of the video. The more movement occurs, the more area of the screen is changed, resulting in larger amounts of video data that must be sent to update the next frame. If the entire screen changed from one frame to the next, the entire frame would have to be sent. Transitions, zooming, and panning are a few examples of movements on the screen that will produce larger file sizes. One method to minimize file size is to limit the size of the application window being captured. Do not bother including extraneous information in your video. You can use Camtasia Recorder's Region Input option to select a smaller area to capture and then "pan" across the screen while capturing, thereby making a much smaller video file. Frame Rate The frame rate is the number of frames or images that are displayed per second on the screen. Frame rates are measured in frames per second (fps). The more frames per second (fps), the smother the video playback appears to the viewer. So, a 1 fps video is a very slow and choppy video. However, faster frame rates result in larger video file size, increased bandwidth requirements, and can cause slower computers to have playback problems. • There are a few ways to create smooth videos in Camtasia Studio without producing extremely large file sizes. To control the frame rate your video is recorded at, try disabling Auto Configure in Camtasia Recorder. If Auto Configure is enabled it will attempt to record at the fastest frame rate possible up to 15fps or 90% CPU utilization. For most software demos and/or training videos, 5-10 fps is perfectly adequate. To disable Auto Configure, in Camtasia Recorder, choose Options > Streams Tab > Disable Auto Configure. Video Length Try to limiting the length of the video capture sequence. The shorter your video sequence, the smaller the resulting file size will be. Try making multiple clips using Camtasia Recorder. Use Camtasia Studio to join those short clips together into a longer video production. Learning about the File Size www.techsmith.com • 29
  32. 32. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Codecs Video files can contain thousands of frames; all of that picture information can produce very large file sizes. To reduce the file size, the video data can be compressed using various compression algorithms called codecs. A codec is an algorithm computer program that compresses data when you are recording and producing a movie and then decompresses the data when the movie is being viewed. While it is possible to create an uncompressed video, the file size is enormous. To keep file sizes more reasonable, you should use a codec to compress your video. To learn more about codecs and selecting the appropriate codec for your recording needs, continue with the following topics: Understanding Video and Audio Codecs on page 11. The Best Overall Codec Options While Recording on page 18. Audio By default, Recorder is configured to use the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec (TSCC) for lossless video compression, and PCM uncompressed mono audio. The default audio setting is PCM, 22.050 kHz, 16 bit mono. For general voice recording, this is a good setting. PCM uncompressed audio creates large file sizes. However, it is the best quality and should be used for making the master video. For the final distribution video, a copy of the master video can be created in Camtasia Studio with compressed audio. Avoid using Stereo; the file size of the audio will double. For voice, stereo is generally not necessary and will double the size of the file. If you need higher quality audio, you can increase the sample rate, but keep in mind that it will dramatically increase the file size. Unless you have a compelling reason not to, always record using the TSCC codec and uncompressed (PCM) audio. Because TSCC is lossless and PCM is uncompressed you can edit the video and create reproductions indefinitely and not lose quality. Compressing the audio can drastically reduce the overall file size of the video. For example a one minute video with PCM uncompressed audio, 22.050 kHz, 16 bit mono was 3.9MB. The same video using CCITT u- Law, 11.25 kHz, 8 bit mono was 887KB. To learn more about audio codecs, continue with Audio Codecs Overview on page 16. Continue with Video Dimensions on page 31. 30 • www.techsmith.com Learning about the File Size
  33. 33. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Video Dimensions There is a direct relationship between video dimensions and file size—the larger the dimensions of your video, the larger the video file size. Keeping the dimensions at a minimum will help to reduce the bandwidth requirements of the final streaming file. In general, we recommend 800x600 as a maximum size for your recording, but this depends on various factors. Playback Environment With the introduction of new technology such as Ipods, cellular phones with video capabilities, etc., there is new playback environments to take into account. It is import to consider Consider the possible playback environment of your video—it may be an 800 x 600 desktop with a player that needs room for its controls. A video the size of 640 x 480, for example, will allow the viewer to watch the video at its full resolution and leave enough room for the playback controls. It is important to consider the following playback factors when selecting your video’s dimensions: • The playback environment. Is your video going to be played back on a computer monitor, an Ipod, broadcasted over the Internet, etc.? • Screen resolution. What is the screen resolution of your target audience? • Player controls. Are you going to include player controls with your video? If so, you need to reduce the dimensions of the video to allow the video plus the media player controls to fit on your audience’s screens. • Media player. What media players are likely to be installed on your target audience’s computers? AVI-Distribution Sometimes video playback on the Web can lead to image distortions and other playback problems due to scaling. This is where the Camtasia Player can be a valuable tool. The Camtasia Player does not shrink your videos to fit inside a tiny playback window, thus ensuring a high quality playback, independent of the user's screen size. You are free to distribute the Camtasia Player with your AVI videos on CD-ROM. It can be found in your Camtasia Studio install directory, or at http://www.techsmith.com/products/studio/player.asp from our Web site. Defining Size in Camtasia Recorder You can easily control the size of the capture region in Camtasia Recorder. In your input options, you can define the video size automatically (full screen or window) or you can do so explicitly (region or fixed region). Considering the video size and playback environment before capturing means less scaling afterwards and therefore higher image quality. You can access these settings in Camtasia Recorder from the File menu. Learning about the File Size www.techsmith.com • 31
  34. 34. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Scaling Size during Production Camtasia Studio allows you to scale your video clips during the production process. However, you will achieve the best results if you use the same dimensions for all clips on the storyboard. The same overall rules that apply to scaling videos in Camtasia Studio apply to scaling images in your favorite image editor. Scaling up to a larger video tends to produce images that are "blocky,” while scaling down in size can eliminate some image information and make text broken and unreadable. The recommended setting is Largest Video. This means that the finished video will be large enough to accommodate all clips on the storyboard with no scaling - in this case to 412 x 488 pixels. Smaller clips will retain their original dimensions, but will appear centered with space around the edges. The color of this blank space can be changed. The second setting is Standard Video. This allows you to select video dimensions from a bevy of standard resolutions. Camtasia Studio will then automatically create a video background in the desired dimensions. Clips that are smaller than the largest video size are centered in the produced video. Custom Size, the third option, works in exactly the same way, except that you can manually specify a resolution. An important option is Stretch to Fit. It allows you to create a final video where all frames have the same size, and no colored edge will appear. To achieve this result, Camtasia Studio will stretch all clips to the size you have specified regardless of their individual dimensions. As always, scaling might result in distortions of various kinds. Therefore, you should use this option only if the size difference between your specified resolution and the actual size of the image is small and the changes can be neglected. Video Size Options Description Table The Video Size screen, located within the Camtasia Studio Production Wizard, allows you to set the size of the produced video. The following table describes each of the video size options. Video Size Option Description Largest video size Creates the entire video using the size of the largest clip in the Storyboard. (Recommended) Selecting this option is recommended because Camtasia Studio calculates the size required to include the largest dimensions encountered in the clips included in the project. Click the radio button to enable this option for use. Preset video size Creates your video using a preset size. Click the radio button to enable the desired option for use. Standard video size Creates your video using a standard size. Click the radio button to enable this option for use. From the dropdown menu, choose the desired size. Custom size This option allows you to create your video using dimensions that you set. Click the radio button to enable this option for use. Type the Width and Height in the boxes provided. Stretch to fit This option enlarges small clips and reduces larger ones to fit. If the image is distorted, recalculate aspect ratios. Place a checkmark in the Stretch to fit box if you want to create a final movie that fits the size you have specified regardless of individual clip size. 32 • www.techsmith.com Learning about the File Size
  35. 35. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Video Size Option Description Background color This option sets the background color for clips that are smaller than the standard size specified. Click the Background Color button to reveal the Color dialog box. Choose the desired color and choose OK. The color will be updated in the Size tab. Disable Callout fade Enable this option if you would like to disable the fade in and/or out effects on effects to reduce file Callouts included in the video in order to reduce your final produced video size. size Use Instant Zoom-n-Pan Enable this option if you would like to disable the slow or fast options for Zoom- speed to reduce size n-Pan effects included in the video in order to reduce your final produced video size. When using this option, the Zoom-n-Pan effects will be set to Instant. Cancel Choose Cancel to exit back to the previous screen without making any changes. Help Choose Help to access the online help file containing information that is pertinent to this screen. Learning about the File Size www.techsmith.com • 33
  36. 36. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Video Production & File Formats This chapter gives you some additional information on possible file formats and options for producing your video in Camtasia Studio. See any of the following topics: Produce your Video on page 35. Share your Video on page 36. Help Me Choose a File Format on page 37. Looking at the Different Media Players on page 48. 34 • www.techsmith.com Learning about the File Size
  37. 37. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Produce your Video When you have set the timing and sequence of your video clips, still images, callouts, quizzes, and voice narration on the Timeline, you are ready to produce your final video into a distributable and sharable format. This process, also called rendering, assembles all of the audio, video, and images into one video file, based on the sequence you have established on the Timeline. To produce your video, within the Task List in Camtasia Studio, click on the Produce video as link. The Production Wizard Welcome screen appears. Choose Next. The How would you like to produce your video? screen displays. Overall, there are two different ways to produce your video - both using a wizard format. • First, the Recommend my Production Settings Wizard takes you through the video production process based on the distribution method that you choose. With this option, simply answer a few questions about your Timeline content and distribution channel and you are set to go. It is highly recommended that you produce your first few videos using this production wizard. See also Share your Video on page 36. • The second option uses the Advanced Production Wizard. This option (which is also easy to use), allows you more flexibility over your final video file format as well as the ability to customize frame rates, video and audio codecs, etc. See also Help Me Choose a File Format on page 37. Produce your Video www.techsmith.com • 35
  38. 38. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Share your Video The final step in creating your video is to share it with your viewing audience. Camtasia Studio allows you to reach a broad audience by giving you several different ways to distribute your videos including: CD-ROM, Flash Web menu, DVD, e-mail, and more. And, since your video was created as a project file, you can reproduce your video over and over again using different file formats that lend themselves to a particular distribution channel. Publish a Video for Web Distribution Theater for Camtasia Studio adds DVD-like navigation to your screen videos in Flash format. Using Theater's menu, your users can quickly navigate between multiple Flash movies or view them all in a pre-defined sequence. Theater presentations can be viewed online and on CD-ROM. Create an Interactive CD Menu using Camtasia MenuMaker Camtasia MenuMaker allows you to create an attractive menu from which to launch your video, document, graphic, and other multimedia files. Using MenuMaker, you can easily create a CD-ROM that will launch with the custom menu displayed - a perfect way to distribute information to customers, students, workgroups, and more. Create a Pack and Show Self Executing File Pack and Show creates a Windows-executable file that your viewers can double-click to automatically unpack the file, install the TSCC codec and Camtasia Player, and then view the video. No special setup or installation is needed. Send the Video as an E-mail Attachment Use the e-mail production option within the Recommend my Production Settings Wizard to produce your video in an e-mail friendly format. At the end of production process, Camtasia Studio opens a new e-mail for you with your video contained as an attachment. Write to a CD-ROM Use the CD production option within the Recommend my Production Settings Wizard to produce your video in a CD-ready format. Include an auto-run file so your video will play as soon as it is put in the CD tray on the viewer’s PC. Create a DVD-Ready Video File Use the DVD production option within the Recommend my Production Settings Wizard to produce your video in a DVD-ready AVI format. This means that Camtasia Studio will properly size and encode your video with the highest quality options for use with most 3rd party DVD-authoring software applications. Just import your final AVI video into your DVD project and you are ready to go. 36 • www.techsmith.com Produce your Video
  39. 39. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Help Me Choose a File Format The following are recommendations for file format compressions when producing movies with Camtasia Studio. Please note that your settings may be different from these depending on what you are producing. Many times a combination of the settings are best. How will you share your videos? This is one of the most important questions you will need to answer before you begin to produce your video since it directly impacts the type of video format you will choose. See the recommendations given below and then follow the corresponding link to get specific information on that video format. Internet / Intranet CD DVD Recommended: Macromedia Flash Audio Video Interleave (AVI) Audio Video Interleave (SWF/FLV) and CD-ROM Distribution (AVI) & DVD Ideal for Web distribution. Ideal for CD-ROM Productions Most compatible for distribution because it retains Highest quality viewing on different the highest quality and is recordings which can be browsers and operating editable with video editing readied for use with systems. programs. DVD authoring software. Alternative: Windows Media (WMV - Windows Media (WMV - Streaming Format) Streaming Format) Ideal for longer or higher Ideal for longer or higher motion recordings. motion recordings. QuickTime (MOV) Video File Type Table The following table gives you a comparison of the different file formats available to you in Camtasia Studio. File Type Description Audio Video Editable and easily converted into other movie formats. See also Audio Video Interleave Interleave (AVI) and CD-ROM Distribution and Audio Video Interleave (AVI) & (AVI) DVD Productions. Macromedia Typically used for Web distribution. Plays in most browsers with no additional Flash software required. (SWF/FLV) Help Me Choose a File Format www.techsmith.com • 37
  40. 40. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 File Type Description Windows Windows Media Video (WMV) is the current Microsoft streaming file format that Media Video replaces the legacy ASF files. WMV files can be streamed or played locally from the (WMV) hard disk. WMV can produce very small file sizes and if the videos contain real world photography, dithering or gradient fills, the file size may be significantly smaller than TSCC-encoded AVI files. Playing WMV files requires Windows Media Player. Unless the Windows Media Player is a very current version, Windows Media Player will have to (automatically) contact Microsoft and download new codecs. As a result, the computer playing the video will, in most cases, have to have Internet connectivity. While not as perfect quality as lossless TSCC videos, WMV produces very good image quality. Creating WMV files has a steeper learning curve than understanding how to create AVI files. Producing WMV files requires understanding bandwidth. If you don't set the production bandwidth high enough, during playback the video may turn out black, or blocky or the image may freeze during playback. It is more difficult to produce WMV files than it is to make AVIs. See also: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/encoder/default.aspx. RM Small file size media. It is not downloadable to the computer. Plays in RealPlayer and browser with the plug-in. Great audio compression. CAMV Camtasia Studio for Real Media files require Real Player, and can be streamed or played back locally from a hard disk. The first time a CAMV file is played, the Real Player will contact Real Networks and automatically download the CAMV Plug-In for the player. This means that the user must have Real Player installed and have a connection to the Internet. The CAMV Plug-In may be manually installed, but may turn off many members of your audience from watching your video. CAMV, like TSCC is lossless and will produce perfect quality, highly compressed videos with small file sizes. However, if file size is a primary consideration, and your video contains real world photography, dithered surfaces or gradient fills then CAMV may not be the best choice. MOV Requires Apple QuickTime. This is one possible choice if you must produce videos that will be played on both Windows and Apple operating systems. QuickTime can also play AVI files, but cannot play AVI files that are TSCC-encoded. We recommend that you install the latest version of QuickTime: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/win.html ANIMATED Can be played in image viewing programs, Web browsers, Windows Media Player, GIF Real Player and other applications. It is not a streaming format. Animated GIF is highly compressed and lossless. It cannot contain audio and is 8 bit, 256 colors. It is generally not used for long videos, but rather for short clips. 38 • www.techsmith.com Help Me Choose a File Format
  41. 41. Camtasia Studio 3.1 The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Audio Video Interleave (AVI) and CD-ROM Distribution The AVI file format is ideal for CD-ROM distribution because it retains the highest quality and is editable by Camtasia Studio, Camtasia Effects, or other video editing programs. To ensure playback on any Windows PC, use MenuMaker to create a CD menu which automatically plays your AVI with a freely distributed Camtasia Player (200k). Strengths & Weaknesses Strengths: • Common and easy to view. • Editable and easily converted into other movie formats. • A great vendor-neutral format for your stock footage or for distribution CD- ROM. Weaknesses: • Files can be large with higher motion and complex image recordings. • Entire file must load to a person's computer before playing. • TSCC-encoded AVI requires TSCC video codec for playback. High Quality Settings • Colors: Automatic (AVI Encoding Options screen) • Frame Rate: Automatic (AVI Encoding Options screen) • No audio? Uncheck Encode Audio (AVI Encoding Options screen) • If audio: 22.050kHz 16 Bit Stereo (AVI Encoding Options screen > Audio Setup button) • Largest Video Size (Video Size screen) Medium Quality Settings • Colors: High Color (16-bit) (AVI Encoding Options screen) • Frame Rate: 10 (AVI Encoding Options screen) • No audio? Uncheck Encode Audio (AVI Encoding Options screen) • If audio: 12kHz 16 Bit Stereo (AVI Encoding Options screen > Audio Setup button) • Largest Video Size (Video Size screen) Smallest Size Settings • Colors: High Color (16-bit) (AVI Encoding Options screen) • Frame Rate: 5 (AVI Encoding Options screen) • No audio? Uncheck Encode Audio (AVI Encoding Options screen) • If audio: 8kHz 16 Bit Stereo (AVI Encoding Options screen > Audio Setup button) • Largest Video Size (Video Size screen) See also Audio Video Interleave (AVI) & DVD Productions. Help Me Choose a File Format www.techsmith.com • 39
  42. 42. The Fundamentals of Screen Recording Camtasia Studio 3.1 Audio Video Interleave (AVI) & DVD Productions The AVI file format is ideal for customers who have DVD authoring software. Your AVIs produced with Camtasia Studio can be converted by most authoring software into a DVD-Ready format. Note: Camtasia Studio videos do not playback on DVDs. You must publish them to AVI format using Camtasia Studio and then convert them to appropriate MPEG formats using your DVD authoring software. Strengths & Weaknesses Strengths: • Highest quality recordings possible. • Can be edited in Camtasia Studio and most non-linear editing software. • Includes high quality audio options. Weaknesses: • Requires DVD-authoring software to convert to MPEG format • Files can be large with higher motion and complex image recordings. • Entire file must load to a person's computer before loading. High Quality Settings • Colors: Automatic (AVI Encoding Options screen) • Frame Rate: Automatic (AVI Encoding Options screen) • No audio? Uncheck Encode Audio (AVI Encoding Options screen) • If audio: 22.050kHz 16 Bit Stereo (AVI Encoding Options screen > Audio Setup button) • Video Size 720x480. If your original screen recording is larger than 720x480, you may consider using Zoom-n-Pan to deliver the best quality productions. 40 • www.techsmith.com Help Me Choose a File Format

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