22 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2008 8:21 AM by (Rowby_Goren)

    Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3

      I am using a trial version of Camstasia Studio 5 to capture a project where I am basically capturing what I type into a word processing program.

      I am having less than ideal import into Premiere (video is jittery). I have left a message on the Camstasia forum...

      But I am thinking, is there a way to capture the desktop in Premiere CS3?

      I need high quality, easily readable, capture of this text content.

      ?????

      Thanks

      Rowby
      http://www.rowby.com
        • 1. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          Premiere cannot do this on it's own. The best quality captures will go through a hardware solution known as a scan converter. Basically you hook up your graphics card to the unit, and feed it's output to a video recording device.
          • 2. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
            Level 1
            Hi Rowby,

            if you want a still image ( ?? ) of your desktop, then use
            another program made by them, called Snag-it. It's the best screen capture program on the planet - bar none. All professionals use it.

            make sure to set your output to 100% in the options, as it defaults to 90%. At 100% you will have an *exact* image of your desktop, with amazing quality, and *very* precise to the pixel.

            Dave.
            • 3. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
              Level 1
              Thanks. I'll check out snagit now.

              Rowby
              • 4. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                mickkeay Level 1
                Hear hear to snagit - best 30 quid I have ever spent.

                But Rowby - I thought you were wanting to capure live video and audio on the fly (as you typed) I have had good results with camtasia but you do need to tweak to the best output settings
                • 5. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                  Level 1
                  Hi MickKeay,

                  yes, I will be capturing "live" as I type.

                  I've tied so many of the settings, but am wondering which works best.

                  Do you have some favorite settings?

                  Rowby
                  • 6. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                    mickkeay Level 1
                    Hi Rowby - with Camtasia it is quite important that you capture AND produce with identical ('original' in the drop downs) size settings (otherwise the video quality takes a big hit and the filesize goes up) - especially noticable if you are trying to watch live 12pt typing in word! So don' capture full screen and then let camtasia scale it. I have used avi uncompressed and QT H264 with reasonable success. So think about you project settings in PP.

                    BTW - Why are you trying to put the camtasia output into PP? What is your intended final output going to be? If web cant you do it all in camtasia?
                    • 7. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                      Level 1
                      Hi MickKeay,

                      Thanks for your help!

                      I am capturing in Camtasia at 720 x 480 (which is what I will import into Premiere -- same file size. That's the only size I can select in order for Premiere to edit it properly isn't it???? Or should I capture in Camtasia the size I want it to finally appear on my webpage whch wuold be more like 320 x 240 (which I assume Premiere would not particularly like)

                      Okay... Now to do a test. I captured, with Camtasia, some keyboard action on my desktop. And saved it.

                      Now I'm looking at the camtasia production wizard. I have the radio button set for AVI video. I assume that is uncompressed avi?

                      Then after hitting the Next button, I see more choices:

                      1) Colors - automatic is default. (I assume I leave this as is)
                      2) Frame rate -- 30 -- that is as close as I can get.
                      3) Video compression - lots of choices in the dropdown. Which would work best with typing into a form. I assumed TechSmith would be the best but the results seem jittery.

                      I'm using Premiere insteasd of Camtasia because I need to add some talking heads before and after the the screen capture sequence. Also I plan to speed up the typing in Premiere so the viewers won't have to sit through long typing sessions. (BTW, The jittery happens before I do the speed up -- so that's not causing the jitteries.)

                      Thanks

                      Rowby
                      • 8. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                        Number three above has been the critical downfall of many software solutions. For editing, DV is the best option, but folks report that it is often not one of them. That's why I suggest hardware.
                        • 9. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                          llaferte Level 1
                          I have been struggling with this too. I am creating video clips demonstrating how our computer system works. I need to incorporate video of people using a tablet/pc and live action shots of what is happening on the screen.

                          When I first contacted TechSmith they said that since Camtasia and PP are competing products they didn't play well together. Not too helpful.

                          As a work around (since my deadline is looming) I actually shot footage of the computer screen. The result is very blue footage, but the screen is visible, clear and imports nicely into PP. Hopefully I will be able to "un-blue" the footage with a levels filterthats my next step (any hints?).

                          Eventually, I did get help from TechSmith. While I can't use it on my project maybe it will help you. They said:

                          With the demand for this increasing, I have been doing some research to help make better recommendations for users such as yourself.

                          For best quality when importing to Premier, you need to record and produce your video in Camtasia Studio at 640x480.

                          If Premier will allow you to import Quicktime .mov, you can also try producing to quicktime with the Sorenson Video3 or the H.264 codec.

                          This should help to improve your quality, but I have not yet had the ability to test with Premier, so please let me know if this does or does not improve your imported video.

                          Regards,
                          Casey
                          Techsmith Suppot
                          • 10. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                            Level 1
                            Hi Lawrence,

                            Thanks for those suggestions. Because of my deadline I decided to do your computer screen camera record. And it turned out prettu good. Didn't seem to have a bluish tint for me, so I can use it as is.

                            I also like the ability to zoom in on the screen for close up of the typing.

                            I will keep your Techsmith suggestions for future use.

                            One of the other reasons why I wanted to import it into premiere was I want to speed up the typing about 100 percent so the viewers won't have to sit thorugh normal speed typing. I don't think Camstasia lets you speed up the video speed in their editing system, but I may be wrong.

                            Thanks again.

                            Rowby
                            • 11. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                              Level 1
                              Hi all-- sorry to join this conversation late. I do this all the time, and here's what I do:

                              1. After capturing in Camtasia, I "produce" (Camtasia terminology) the clip or timeline to the Quicktime Animation codec, which is great for computer screens. (It's also good for hand drawn animation, hence the name.)

                              This will give you a clip that Premiere can handle well. It's not ideal to have to convert, but the Camtasia "intermediate" codec is temporally compressed, and Premiere chokes when trying to use it, so this solution is better than nothing.
                              • 12. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                Jeff,

                                I've just gotten my feet wet with Camtasia, but according to TechSmith, their codec is lossless.

                                I've set up a Desktop Editing Mode project in PPro CS3 to match my screen caps - TechSmith Codec, 800x600, 30 fps, Square Pixels and No Fields. So far, PPro's been perfectly well behaved with the TechSmith codec.

                                A couple of questions:

                                1. What happened when you tried the TS codec in PPro?

                                2. Have you done any A/B comparisons between TS and QT Animation? How about other lossless codecs like HuffYUV and Lagarith? I'd like to know, because so far I've been very happy with the quality of the TS codec.

                                Thanks,
                                -Jeff
                                • 13. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                  Level 1
                                  Jeff-- It's been a while since I even attempted an import of one of their files, so my memory is foggy. Let's see... it was before their current version of Camtasia, so perhaps their current codec plays nicer with PPro than their previous one.

                                  I remember thinking that when I made edits in the middle of a clip, the audio would not play smooth around that area, and also visually there would be ghosting effects on the screen-- almost like how a GIF 89 animation behaves-- as if the data that tells the codec how to "draw" one part of the image was removed, so big empty blocks remained. Did that make any sense?

                                  2. Alas, I haven't done A/B comparisons between any other codecs. Mostly because I'm lazy and I've been using QT Animation for all these years. I've heard good things of HuffYUV and Lagarith. Aww, who am I kidding-- I'll never get around to switching. :)
                                  • 14. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                    Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                    Thanks, Jeff.

                                    I've had good success with QT Animation as well. Other than screen caps, I've found that HuffYUV is fast and has great quality. Lagarith is a little slower than HuffYUV, but has similar quality and smaller file sizes. Again, my experience is with live footage.

                                    I may experiment with TechSmith's codec a bit more to see if I can duplicate your issues (or find new ones), but I may just go with what works for you. Beside, Tuesday is usually my day for reinventing the wheel. :)

                                    EDIT: I'm using Camtasia 3 - it was free via a UK magazine promo. TechSmith hosted the download and then when I registered the software with them, they sent me a license for it. Sweet! (It's good to have colleagues in far away places) :)
                                    • 15. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                      Wade S Zimmerman Level 1
                                      How about Snapz Pro which captures what ever you do on the screen to a Quicktime movie and I thin it allows you to record you voice as well as a audio track.
                                      • 17. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                        Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                        I have also edited the techsmith file ok in ppro; done several hours of tutorials that way. You have to do a custom preset in ppro to make the codec/frame rate etc match so you dont have to render everything.

                                        Rethink recording at 29fps, generally online screen scraper type tutorial videos dont need nearly that frame rate. Your resulting files will be huge.

                                        Curt Wrigley
                                        • 18. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                          Level 1
                                          Hi Curt,

                                          But if we are importing the clip into premiere, and have other clips that are not Camtasia (example, a talking headshot that introduces the screen capture) don't we have to record the Camtasia clips in 29fps?

                                          Or is that not necessary?

                                          Rowby
                                          • 19. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                            Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                            >Rethink recording at 29fps, generally online screen scraper type tutorial videos don't need nearly that frame rate. Your resulting files will be huge.

                                            That's a good talking point, Curt. My Frameserver Tutorial was done at 15 fps, but I wasn't happy with transitions and menu openings/closings.

                                            My target audience will be .wmv for download at 800x600; and h.264 podcast at 320x240. I'm almost certain that I'd better have the higher frame rate for the podcast if I want it to look good at all.

                                            For Family and Friends videos, small file sizes are important in case they only have dial-up. I'm not too worried about the file sizes for my tutorials, since editors will almost universally have access to broadband.

                                            What do you think?
                                            • 20. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                              Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                              In my experience, frame rate and frame size are the largest variables in files size ero BW rate; with codec, motion etc.. coming up after.

                                              So; if online download time is important then you want to be concerned with the rate/sec your video will require to play without long waits or stutters. So, I have always used as low a frame rate as possible.

                                              I get away with it this way (for my personal presentation style):

                                              I have rather large frame size tutorials with rather low frame rates. This results in a relatively small file size ergo low bw rate. But of course speed sensitive details(motion, fades...) arent visible at low frame rates, so I also publish "demos" that are short in duration and much smaller frame size at 29fps (full frame rate). This way users can see the full detail in the demo at a fast download and see a 10-15 minute tutorial also at small file size due to low frame rate.

                                              If you have a busy site, not only is the end user experience a consideration but the BW usage on your server is an issue. When you start using 100Gb/DAY in BW your hosting costs get high ergo you want to make BW as effecient as possible.

                                              Of course if your distribution is DVD, CD or LAN; none of this BW pinching is necessary.

                                              Curt
                                              • 21. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                                Thanks, Curt.

                                                Gee, I figured my tutorials would never be popular enough for me to worry about BW and hosting costs. Mine's not like some popular sites, you know. WVP is a good example of a popular site. Have you heard of it? :) :D
                                                • 22. Re: Capturing computer screen directly in Pro CS3
                                                  Level 1
                                                  Just a follow up. I finally used the Quiktime animation compressor and it definately made a difference when capturing typed text.

                                                  So thanks to all!

                                                  Rowby

                                                  http://www.rowby.com