Camtasia is arguably the best software when it comes to creating video tutorials and demonstrations through screencast. It is an excellent program for making YouTube videos with audio narration.
In this quick Camtasia tutorial, I’ll walk you through 3 quick tips that can give you a professional-looking screencast. The best part is that these features are easy to use – just about anyone who can drag and drop will be fine using these powerful tools.
Let’s dive right in and take a quick look at the 3 amazing Camtasia features I frequently use to make my screen recordings.
1. Cursor Effect
One of the best ways to draw attention to certain areas during a video screen capture is by using the cursor effect. The cursor effect highlights your mouse position using different types of emphasis. This effect is particularly useful when you want your viewers to follow the mouse pointer as you explain things in your video. In the first part of this short Camtasia tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to apply the cursor effect to call attention to the movements of your mouse pointer in your screencast.
To use the cursor effect, you first need to make a recording and drag it onto your timeline. You don’t need to activate or adjust any setting before or during your recording to use the cursor effect. Just go ahead and record your video or do your screen recording as you normally would. After that, you can add the cursor effect to the recorded clip on your timeline.
Here’s how to do that:
- Drag and drop your recording to the timeline
- Click the Cursor Effect tab to bring up the different cursor effects
- Now click on any of the highlights you want to apply to your clip. Drag the selected highlight onto the clip on your timeline
- After applying the cursor effect, the highlight properties will pop up at the top right corner of your window. You can adjust the highlight color, opacity, size, and so on
Here’s one thing to note, though. If the highlight opacity is set to zero or the size is too small, the cursor effect may not be visible. You need to make sure that you adjust the highlight properties so that the cursor effect can be clearly seen. You can also select a different cursor effect for left clicks and right clicks. Any of these effects can be dragged onto the clip on your timeline to effect the changes you want.
2. Zoom Effect
The second important feature we’ll discuss briefly in this Camtasia tutorial is the zoom effect. I use this feature a lot to create unique visual effects in my recordings without having to spend extra money on any expensive recording equipment. The zoom effect in Camtasia allows you to zoom in and out of any part of your video in easy ways.
When you apply the zoom effect in Camtasia, what you are doing, in essence, is changing the scale or size of your clips. This feature is perfect for when you need to focus on or show a more detailed view of one part of your screen.
For example, if you are creating a tutorial or demonstration for an app, you may want to zoom in on some parts of the demonstration to give your audience a better view of what you are explaining. You can also zoom out to make it seem as if you’re getting farther away from the clip. Note that you can use the zoom effect on both still images and video clips.
Here’s a quick and easy way to use the zoom effect:
- Drag your clip to the timeline and move the play head to the position where you want to apply the zoom effect. Or, you can allow the clip to play and then pause it when it gets to the position where you want to zoom
- Click the Animation tab
- The Zoom bar appears right below the Actual size and Scale to fit buttons. Drag the bar to increase (zoom in) or decrease (zoom out) the clip
- Now, adjust the clip inside the preview screen to show the zoomed area. You can do that by dragging the image or video to fit the preview screen properly
- Drag the play head back to the position before the zoom effect and playback the clip to see how the zoom is applied. You can edit the duration of the zoom or make any adjustments you want
To return a clip to its original size after zooming in or out:
- Pause the clip at the position where you want it to return to its original size
- Click the Scale to fit button from the Animation tab
Camtasia also lets you apply custom zoom effects to your clips by dragging any of its custom animations from the Animation tab onto your clip in the timeline. You can use this option if you want and then go ahead to adjust the zoom duration and other settings from the zoom properties.
Here’s something to note before using the zoom effect.
Think about relative size when using the zoom effect. Make sure the size or dimension of your project is smaller than that of the image or clip you want to apply the zoom effect. If you stretch a clip or image beyond its natural size – above 100% scale – it gets distorted. To get the best clip scale, start with smaller dimensions so that as you zoom in and out, your clips will remain clear without becoming pixelated.
3. Removing the Green Screen
The third and final tip in this quick Camtasia tutorial is on removing the green backdrop (or any color) from your videos. I use this feature to delete my background so that my webcam can blend perfectly with my screen recording. Camtasia allows you to record your webcam and your screen simultaneously. Both clips will be placed in two different tracks on the timeline.
To remove the green background (or to remove any color):
- Make sure you select the correct clip on the timeline – that is, the one with the background from your webcam
- Click the Visual Effects tab and drag the Remove a Color effect on top of the clip
- Click the color picker (the eyedropper icon) from the panel properties that pop up on the right of your screen
- Select the color you want to remove, in this case, green. You may have to try different areas of the clip to get the right color shade that will give you the best result
- Next, adjust the different properties on the Remove a Color panel to fine-tune the clip
Here’s what happens when you adjust the settings of the properties:
- Tolerance: controls the shades and tints related to any color you deleted
- Softness: smoothes any rough color edges and pixelation that is left
- Defringe: lessens the visibility of any color that is left
- Hue: fine-tunes the color of your clip to suit a new background
- Invert: reverses and hides all other colors except the one you removed
There you have it! My 3 go-to features in Camtasia. Of course, there’s a lot more you can do with this powerful screen recording application. Still, this quick Camtasia tutorial is to show you three simple ways to make your videos look professional. You’re welcome to explore these features and, indeed, the many other great features of Camtasia.