I've tried the automatic panning feature, and I don't understand how it could ever be useful. For example, using Captivate 5.5 for Mac, I'd like to set a recording area smaller than the application window and have the recording area move with the mouse, but I'd like the recording area to stay withing the application window borders. The results are jerky, unpredictable pans and the recording area invariably roams beyond the application window borders, showing undesired screen elements (other apps, Mac menu bar, etc.,) despite my specifying "Application" for my recording settings. I've had to resort to manual panning--which is very difficult to use smoothly; I had to create a "single axis movement" key command on my trackball mouse to help control horizontal/vertical movement, but even that isn't 100% reliable to ensure smoothness.
Am I missing something, or is it simply not possible to control automatic panning in the manner that I'd like? (I've read that Camtasia does this flawlessly, but I've never used it. And I am not certain whether it could be used for eLearning, not to mention it's video based, thus large files.)
I'm having a hard time understanding how this feature could be useful, unless you don't mind very jerky pans and your application is full screen and running on Windows (no OS menu bar to distract the user, although I suppose the bottom task bar could get in the way but at least that could be hidden).
Has anyone actually used automatic panning for a project, and were you pleased with the results?
Until Captivate 6, I've long advised folks that if "panning is your thing", skip Captivate and go look at Camtasia.
That being said, it's worth noting that while Camtasia and Captivate both capture what goes on with your screen, they take two different approaches.
With Camtasia, you pretty much record the full screen at the start, then later determine the size you want to produce at. Since you are already full screen and you later determine where the pan goes, it's much better and silky smooth in operation.
As you have seen, with Captivate you get, ummm, how do I say this nicely? Ummm, "less than desirable" pans. So if you are on Captivate 5.5 or earlier, fuhgeddaboudit when it comes to panning.
But I'm aware that Adobe has put lots of effort into Captivate's full motion recording engine. Whether it will now rival Camtasia's remains to be seen. But it's greatly improved in version 6 of Captivate. You did mention Mac. I'm not a Machead and tend to avoid them for value considerations, so I'm ill equipped to say whether Adobe updated the Mac version along with the Windows version for 6. I know TechSmith has different release cycles as well as different feature sets for Mac VS Windows on Camtasia. Perhaps Adobe is better in this respect.
So you might try version 6. Download it, kick the tires and see if upgrading is worth it for you.
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You say "until Captivate 6..." which implies that automatic panning has changed since v 5. Could you please elaborate? I don't see any mention of panning on Adobe's "what's new" summary.
(Yes, Captivate's full motion recording works great, but that's an entirely different animal than panning. I'd like to keep on topic here )
Apologies, I thought I was being on topic.
If you are talking in terms of just using the Automatic Panning feature available in the typical "slide by slide" recording mode, you won't be happy as I believe it still works in the same way. It's worth noting that the word "Automatic" is key here. Any time you "automate" something, you give up control. And in this case, you are giving up control of where the recording area works.
I was suggesting that if you really want to do the automatic panning thing and have it work like Camtasia's, you should investigate using the Full Motion Recording for Captivate. And that's really the big difference here. I'm not sure I fully explained it earlier.
Camtasia works by recording the whole screen in full motion. You then shrink the size to fit the output dimensions you want.
Captivate has traditionally worked best by recording "slide by slide" and blending those static screen captures with mouse movement to provide the illusion of full motion capture. But it's not. And Panning will consist of different slides with focus on different areas of the screen.
Sorry if I misled you.
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If Camtasia works only in full screen, then it would seem that panning is moot, unless used in conjuction with zooming. But maybe I'm still misunderstanding something.
With regard to Full Motion Recording (FMR) in Captivate, I guess I'm not following your line of thinking. As I understand it, Automatic Panning engages the FMR engine with the added "benefit" of moving the recording area in conjunction with the mouse (more or less keeping the cursor centered). Automatic Panning is not an available option if "full screen" is selected (naturally, since panning would then be moot). Is there a way to adjust/control FMR in Captivate as it relates to panning? In other words, what should I be investigating with regard to FMR as it relates to panning?
Sorry for the delay in replying. I facilitated a class at my church most of the day today so was AFK.
Yes, you are correct in that "Automatic Panning" is rendered moot if recording full screen. What I appear to have still not properly conveyed is that sure, with Camtasia or Captivate version 6, you basically record at full screen. Then you typically scale it down when you create output. One of the undesirable side effects of scaling something down is a loss of clarity. Things become a bit blurry.
As you stated, you would then want to use the Zoom to really focus in on a specific area of the screen. So you would zoom it up to original size and the zoomed in area should be crystal clear and pixel perfect. And while zoomed in, you would THEN use the panning to move from one spot to the next. That's what I was meaning with what was said earlier.
Sorry for being unclear. Rick
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