By Iris Yoffa, member, Tucson Computer Society, AZ
January 2013 issue, eJournal
Irisonthego (at) gmail.com
Have you enjoyed watching high quality instructional videos on YouTube? Very likely they were created with Camtasia Studio by TechSmith. If you are inspired to create and share digital tutorials, you should be very interested in this application.
What do you need to effectively use this program to create your masterpiece? The processor seems to be the critical component. For Windows users the minimum spec is a dual-core processor, and a quad-core processor or better is recommended. You need a microphone; USB is recommended for best audio quality. I purchased an inexpensive ($30) USB headset. I tend to move my head while talking; this way the mike just tags along.
This latest version of the program boasts quite a few improvements and added features. Of primary importance, the playback is smoother and the video file size has been reduced! You now have the ability to add multiple tracks to the time-line. The library is installed with a generous amount of content to use in your video - audio tracks, themes, images, and animations.
Adding animations such as call-outs and scrolling text is simply a matter of a drag from your assets and a drop onto a time-line track. Add a shadow to an element to create a sense of depth, colourize or add a border for emphasis.
Create interactivity by inserting hot spots to link to parts of your video, facilitating a jump from here to there, or insert URLs to connect to a web page.
You can also add cursor animations for directing the viewer’s eye, and transitions between clips.
During the installation process you will have the option to install the PowerPoint add-in. To make use of this you will need to have PowerPoint installed on your computer. Make your video ADA compliant with captions using the speech to text option in Camtasia. You can also paste a script into your project and use the sync captions tool to split captions into ADA compliant segments, or add them manually.
If you add markers, your project can then be produced in a format that contains a table of contents and is search ready. When your video is played, the player will provide options for enabling captions and a table of contents with a search bar. But wait, there’s more! There are tools for creating a picture-in-picture effect and also interactive quizzes. You can also configure the quiz results to be sent in an email or deposited into a database.
Once completed, publish your video through the Produce and Share button. Your purchase of Camtasia Studio includes a free account with Screencast.com and publishing directly to this website is one production option. Other options include Share to YouTube, MP4 only, MP4 with video player, as well as an option for creating a custom pre-set with your own production settings. The pre-sets are stored in an XML file and can be easily copied and shared. If you are a prolific movie producer, there is a batch processing option for rendering your files.
From my quick review of the program you can see that Camtasia Studio 8 by TechSmith is easily the premier application for creating screen capture video documents!
About: Camtasia Studio 8 for Windows
Price: Retail: $299, Upgrade pricing available; $256.99 @ Amazon
30-day free trial: http://www.techsmith.com/download/camtasia/default.asp
Requires: Windows/Mac: http://www.techsmith.com/camtasiasystem-requirements.html