KB108: Working with TechSmith Camtasia
TechSmith Camtasia is a popular tool for creating screen movies and integrating
video materials for playback on the web. Here are some best-practice notes for
integrating the Character Builder with TechSmith Camtasia.
There are two approaches to Camtasia integration. On the one hand you can use
Camtasia to create a Flash SWF movie for insertion into a Character Builder
scene. The use of embedded video is described in the Character Builder User's Guide
"Embedded Movie Tutorial". In this case you should be sure to use Camtasia's Legacy SWF Output
option as described below. Alternatively you can use the Character Builder's
video output capability to create a movie for insertion into a Camtasia
project, using Camtasia's "Picture in picture" feature. In the latter case, you
will typically use Camtasia to render your entire project to the FLV format.
Creating Camtasia movies for insertion into Character Builder
Use Camtasia to create your screen capture movie as you normally would. Then
select "Produce video as..." from the Task List, then "Custom production
settings" and "Flash". The Flash Templates screen should look like this:
Note the use of the "Legacy SWF output" template. This is the only format
supported for insertion into the Character Builder. Then select the "Flash
Options..." button. The Video tab should look like this:
The Controls tab should look like this:
Creating Character Builder movies for insertion into Camtasia
Camtasia does not support the embedding of Flash SWF files, but it does support
the embedding of AVI video, which is the other format supported by Character
Builder. You can create one or more movie clips using the Character Builder.
You typically use one project per movie clip. When you use Project > Render to Video, you
will normally want to choose the "Full Frames (Uncompressed)" setting. The
resulting movie is very large, but Camtasia will recompress this to FLV as part
of its Publish step.
Once produced, a Character Builder-rendered AVI file can be dragged into the
Camtasia Clip Bin, and from there it can be dragged into the timeline. You can
use a Character Builder clip in the main timeline, as an overlay on the
timeline, or in a seperate video area, normally located above the Table of
Contents area. The latter two cases are called "Picture in picture" or PIP in
Using Full Frames also produces a movie with a transparent
background, which allows you to place a character directly on top of a screen
recording. (Note however that the background appears white in the clip preview area.)
A transparent background tends to make more sense for the full-body characters; for bust
and head characters we normally recommend using a background image in the
Character Builder project, so that the movie appears as an overlay.