How to use Camtasia

Setup

  • Use a green screen with two flood lights on the screen, plus separate lights on your face, if possible. (eg Elgato green screen and Elgato Key Light Air)
  • Invest in a decent webcam (eg Logitech Brio)
  • Be sure the screen is evenly lit.
  • Close shutters and doors to avoid changes in ambient light.

Resolution

  • If you plan to do demos, set the screen resolution to the lowest setting. This will make it easier to see details in the video.

Annotation

  • You can use a tool like Ink2Go to highlight or draw on any part of the screen.

Recording

  • If possible, record in a single take, to simplify editing.
  • You can pause the recording rather than stopping and starting a new one.

Fixing mistakes

  • If you make a mistake, a good trick is to leave a few seconds pause in the recording; when editing you will see where the sound disappears, and where you will have to edit.
  • Another trick is to leave a short instruction to yourself about what to edit, with several second pauses both before and after, so you can find these easily.

Green screen elimination

  • The idea is to overlay your image on the edited slides so the green screen becomes transparent. You will want to crop the track with your image, match the green screen, and adjust the colour. First crop, then use the “Visual Effects” tools “Green Screen” and “Color Adjustment”.
  • If you have recorded everything in a single media file, you only have to do this operation once. After matching the green screen background, scroll through the entire video to check that the green screen does not become visible at points. If it does, you may have to split the video into parts, and separately match the parts with a different color value. (That’s why it’s important to uniformly light the screen, and avoid changes in ambient lighting.)
  • After verifying the green screen matching, adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of your face with the “Color Adjustment” tool.

Editing

  • Most of the work consists in (1) editing out mistakes and dead zones, and (2) creating transitions so your floating image moves to new area of the screen that doesn’t cover important content.
  • To edit out mistakes, zoom in to locate the points to start and stop the cut. Use “ripple delete” to remove a section. It can be useful to set markers at the points to more easily select the region to cut. Tip: avoid awkward jumps in your image, so try to keep your head and face in roughly the same position while recording.
  • The trick now is to place your image in a suitable location with every transition to a new slide or demo. Camtasia will automatically generate markers for every transition.
  • Use the keyboard shortcuts Control+] and Control+[ to move to the next or previous marker. Use . and , to move forward or backward a single frame. (NB: The markers are not always placed on exactly the right frame, so you may have to move them.)
  • To make transitions, find the exact position where the background changes (eg new slide or switch to or from a demo). Cut the track with your image at that point, and then reposition and resize your image to a free spot.
  • Tip: locate both the start and end of a sequence with the same background, and cut both. Then when you reposition your image, it will stay in the old spot after the second cut. This is useful when you transition from a slide to a demo and back again.

2021-08-24 on

Last changed by scg on 24 August 2021