Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t I open my project?
UBC Wiki Information
- What Is Camtasia and How Do I Get It?
- Tip Set 1: Recording
- Tip Set 2: Editing
- Tip Set 3: Exporting
What Is Camtasia and How Do I Get It?
Camtasia is a powerful screencasting tool that also supports video editing. It is available in Windows and Mac versions. There are differences between Camtasia for Mac and for Windows, depending on your purpose and what you are using it for note this breakdown chart between the two.
Techsmith also offers Snagit, a powerful screen capture and editing tool.
How do I get access to the software?
UBC offers campus wide, free access to both products for faculty, staff and students who are creating video content. You can get access to it by logging into Connect:
Where can I learn how to use it?
In addition to this introductory toolkit, Techsmith provides helpful video resources on all aspects of planning, production and post production.
View Channel Techsmith on YouTube for the latest tips and product "how-tos." Access the full set of tutorials from the Techsmith website:
Step 1: Create Project, Name, and Save
Before you do anything on your project in Camtasia, saving at the start allows you to be able to find it later. When you open Camtasia go to File > Save (for Mac) or File > Save Project (for Windows). Then select name and location. It is strongly recommended to name and save your project file in a folder. In this folder, also include any other media files you will use in your video so that everything is together in one place. Doing this first step allows you to keep organized with your project management and various files.
Step 3: Record and/or Import Content
Step 4: Edit
Editing is the process of manipulating video footage files, media, audio files, and more. More specifically it typically can include adding special effects, pop-ups, splicing & moving around media files (video, audio, photos).
Step 5: Export and Share
Exporting and Sharing for Mac (Version 2):
Exporting and Sharing for Windows, Camtasia Studio (Version 8):
Share to Hosting space:
All of the following examples are videos produced using Camtasia.
There are 4 videos in this playlist.
This playlist introduces viewers to the process of developing a video tutorial. It is intended for students in Dr. Eric Meyers' user instruction course in which he covers the principles of teaching and learning as applied to library-based information literacy. This series of videos supports the final video assignment for the course. It is based on a screencast/voice-over technique using TechSmith's Camtasia for Mac. The video series was designed and executed by MLIS student Nick Josten.
Course Overview with Talking Head
These videos were created by Dr. Luis Linares, an electrical engineering professor at UBC. He describes the video as short videos that students can view "away from the classroom, empowering the student to tune in when he or she is ready for the next lecture, day or night, seven days a week. These videos are short with dense content, delivered at a fairly quick pace with the idea that students can pause rewind etc. More examples on Dr. Linares' YouTube Channel.
Voice Over Power Point
This video was developed by Michael Busby for teaching Geography at Murray State University. The videos were created to virtually share lecture content across multiple section and courses. These videos are also developed as open educational resources He describes his approach as simple requiring on PowerPoint, a microphone and Camtasia. Read more about this example on the TechSmith Detailed Case Study
This video was developed to introduce an online course "Getting Started in Connect." The purpose of the video was to include more instructor presence in the course and provide people with an overview of the online course.
Tip Set 1: Recording
When you record a video in Camtasia, noting these tips ahead of time will help you produce a better product:
1. Recording dimensions
- Record the screen in a larger size possible. By doing this, the quality of the your video will be retained when you upload to video server such as Kaltura, Cousera and YouTube.
- On tutorial on how to edit the video dimension of your recording, read or watch the tutorial by Techsmith for Mac and Windows.
2. Recording speed
- Talk slowly when you record the screencast. So that during the post-production, it will be easier for you to edit your voice.
- You do not have to re-take if you make a mistake during the recording. You can just pause for 10 seconds, correct your mistake and continue with the recordings. You will be able to edit out your mistakes in the post production process.
3. Recording "manageable chunks"
Instead of trying to record your entire powerpoint presentation in one attempt using Camtasia (which is virtually impossible as we all know and will take many attempts!), try recording one slide at a time. Each slide becomes an 'entity' all on its' own. You can then 'stitch' them together in Camtasia.
Lastly, you can insert a wrapper chunk(s) anywhere in your timeline. Wrappers can include:
- Guiding questions for students to consider when watching your video
- a self-assessment to take follow the conclusion of the video
- resources to extend learning further
- an opportunity to discuss or work with the content in some way (this may be your in-class activity)
Note: After you record your 'chunks' (i.e. slides), make sure you rename them accordingly (see image at right). This renaming will help you position the correct 'chunks' together on the timeline.
4. Record audio first, then drag other media onto timeline
Again, instead of trying to record your audio/video (i.e. tour of a webpage) together in one attempt using Camtasia, record your audio FIRST and save it. This way, the audio will have its' own timeline, separate from the video (and other media). Next, you can drag different media onto the timeline to align with your audio.
Note: Remember to adjust the setting to 'screen off", then hit the red record button to record just the audio.
5. Recording a powerpoint
When you record a PowerPoint lecture, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use a PowerPoint add-in. (Only available in Camtasia Studio 8) The PowerPoint add-in toolbar lets you record your PowerPoint easily. Watch this video by TechSmith: Record a PowerPoint Presentation
- Recording a PowerPoint in a widescreen: by default, your PowerPoint slides will have an aspect ratio of 4:3. When you record slides like that in Camtasia, and upload them to YouTube, you might see black bars on the sides of the video. To prevent this, you'll need to change your PowerPoint slides' aspect ratio to 16:9.
Changing the aspect ratio of PowerPoint slides on Windows
- Click on the Design tab, and select Slide Size.
- Click Widescreen (16:9)
Changing the aspect ratio of the PowerPoint slides on Mac
Watch this video by Techsmith: Record a PowerPoint or Keynote Presentation. The video has best practices and tips for recording PowerPoint presentations.
- In Microsoft PowerPoint, open the PowerPoint file that you want to change the aspect ratio of.
- Go to File>Page Setup
- Beside Slides sized for, select On-Screen Show (16:9) from the drop-down menu. Then press OK.
Tip Set 2: Editing
When you are editing the clip, consider the following tips in your mind:
Making a decision on the video dimensions
- Consider which video server you are going to upload to. Video server is a final location on where to upload your videos such as Kaltura, Coursera, YouTube and Vimeo. Each video server has different recommendation on the video dimensions. In Kaltura and Coursera, the video dimension that they recommend is 1280X720 (780p).
Adjusting the Canvas Size
Tip Set 3: Exporting
Camtasia's Interactive Functionality
Camtasia's interactive features can only be used with the TechSmith Smart Player. That is, the ability to create a table of contents, clickable URLs (aka, "hotspots"), and all the quizzing options are lost if you don't use TechSmith's Smart Player. As none of these features work in other media players, (e.g., YouTube, Kaltura, Windows Media Player etc.) you'll have to decide whether the interactivity or the video host is more important to you and plan accordingly.
To retain Camtasia's interactive features, a UBC user has two options:
1) Create an account at Screencast.com which entitles you to 2GB of free server space. Within Camtasia Studio, save your finished project to Screencast.com (it's on the "produce and share" menu). Once your video has rendered, click the orange "details" button to find your embed code and stable URL.
- This is a good option for folks who won't burn through a lot of server space, and you can choose to have a "private" or a "password protected" account if you don't want your files to be "public."
- Screencast.com's embed code works on the vast majority of websites and blogs, including WordPress and (for Librarians) LibGuides. **Note:** This embed code is not currently supported by UBC Wiki.
2) You can "Produce and Share" the file as an MP4 with a Smart Player Wrapper or choose the Custom Production Settings link and leave the default radio button for MP4-Flash/HTML 5 player checked.
If you choose option 2 you'll need server space to host your MP4 video files. For Connect users, it's relatively simple to upload these files into your course shell. TechSmith does have some documentation explaining to users how to get these files embedded into a CMS, website, blog etc.
- If you've taken advantage of Camtasia's quizzing features and would like to integrate your quiz scores into your Connect grade book you'll have to choose the Custom Production Settings link, keep the MP4-Flash/HTML 5 player button checked and when you click through to the "Video Options" menu make sure to click the SCORM box under the Reporting section.
- You will find extensive, step-by-step instructions on importing your SCORM files and integrating them into your gradebook on the Blackboard Support blog, 2/3 down the page under the heading How to Add Content Packages to Use the Content Player
Either of these 2 options will work for making the final videos fully functional in any browser and on most devices. Smartphone users will likely have to download T-Smith's free Smart Player app.
Tips to achieve the best quality
In most cases, you will be uploading a video to a video server(s). Such as YouTube and Kaltura. In order to achieve the best quality, check the video specification(or recommendation) for the video server that you are going to upload the video to. Then, adjust the export setting so that it matches with the video specification. See the list below to check the video specification for major video servers at UBC .
Video Specification for:
Sometimes when you export a video in Camtasia and upload it to Kaltura, the video quality is not as good as what you have expected. The reasons are because:
- By default, Camtasia will export video with variable video bitrate(data size of the video) so that it will allow Camtasia to export videos in lower file size with a decent video quality. However Kaltura interpret the video as low quality if the video bitrate is not high enough. This is why your video will look blurry on Kaltura even though your original video file is in a decent quality.
- On Kaltura, there are only 3 transcoding options which are: HD720p(high quality), SD540p(medium quality) and SD 360p(low quality). This means, if you upload a video with a lower-medium quality (which can be around 480p), then once you upload the video to Kaltura, the video will be degraded to SD 360p (Low quality).
The workaround for this is to export camtasia video file in higher bitrate so that the video file will be interpreted as HD720p Quality video in Kaltura. This documentation will show you how to export camtasia file into HD (High Definition) quality using Camtasia 2 (Mac version) and Camtasia Studio 8(Windows Version)
How to export a HD quality video in Camtasia 2 (Mac version)
The video above is a short sample video exported in HD quality. Follow the steps below to export Camtasia video in HD Quality:
Step1: Setting the canvas size
- Select the Canvas Zoom drop down
- Select Adjust Canvas. Beside the Preset, select YouTube HD 720p.
- Press Apply.
- Adjust the screen size.
You can follow the above steps by watching the screencast by Techsmith on: 4: Editing essentials: What You Really Need to Know
- Click on Share, which is located on the top menu bar.
- Go to Advance Export
- Select Export to MP4, and click on Options
- Select the Image Size as 1280X720 HD
- Click Ok, and press Export.
How to export a HD quality video in Camtasia Studio 8 (Windows version)
The video above is a short sample video that is exported in HD quality using Camtasia Studio 8 (Windows).
Follow the steps below to export a video in HD Quality:
Step1: Setting the Canvas size
- Click on the Canvas Size option above the preview.
- set the width to 1280 and the height to 720.
- Adjust the screen size.
You can follow the above step by watching the Screencast by TechSmith: 04: Editing Dimensions and Saving
- Click on File, and press Produce and Share.
- Select Add/Edit Preset. Then press New. You may set your preset name. (For Example: HD quality video)
- Under File Format, Select MP4- Flash/HTML 5 player.
- Select the Size tab. Under Video size, check Use editing dimensions
- Select the Video Setting tab. Set the Frame Rate to 30. Set the Encoding mode as Quality, then set the quality to more than 65%
- Click Next, and then select Finish.
- Select the Production Preset that you have just created (For Example: HD quality video)
- Press Next, and then click Finish.