Camtasia 8.1 – 4 Reasons to Upgrade NOW

(Click to enlarge.)

(Click to enlarge.)

I, along with a few others, were sworn to secrecy last week when Techsmith announced the (then) soon to be released point-release upgrade (v8.1) to Camtasia Studio.  I've been testing the new features over the weekend [see the video playlist below] and am totally jazzed at 4 of the new productivity features:

(Video playlist.  Use the playlist controls to navigate between videos.)

  • Cropping videos.  Unless you've used multiple video media in your Camtasia projects, this might seem  inconsequential.  However, one of the reasons I've largely used Camtasia for Mac or Screenflow to edit my picture-in-picture (PiP) projects is because I had always been able to crop the PiP to exactly the size I needed in those packages so it didn't always interfere with the main video screen recording.  Now, we can do all that in Camtasia Studio as well.  More to the point, I can now distribute this workload when I work on team projects with other screencasters that run Windows-shops.  Huge.
  • Stitching.  One of the annoying little evils we've always had to contend with on complex projects had traditionally been the increased complexity introduced when you inevitably cut clips in the timeline.  As you made more and more cuts, you had more and more clips to have to manage.  That complexity magnified when all those clips spanned multiple tracks in your timeline.  Now, with the stitching feature, you can cut a clip into two--but not increase complexity by keeping a single clip as the result of the cut.  More to the point, however, is how animation can now span the two segments.  It used to be that you'd have to do some tricky maneuvering to get an animation to "seamlessly" span multiple clips.  (In fact, you couldn't technically do it prior to v8.1, rather you had to apply a little wizardry to make it appear to be doing so in the final production.)
  • Copy/Paste video effects.  This just made sense to me.  It's almost as if it's not so much adding a feature that we didn't have before as it is fixing a feature that shouldn't have been missing to begin with.  (You could do it in Camtasia for Mac and in Screenflow for Mac.  So, why weren't we ever able to do it in Camtasia Studio?)  Nonetheless, I'm not complaining.  We have it now. I'm happy.  :)
  • Green screen.  Truth be told, I'm not really a big fan of green screen.  I've seen too many productions where the screencaster actually cheapened the end product by having applied a cheap-looking graphic as their backdrop.  Am I above using green screen myself?  Absolutely not!  It's here.  And, given a judicious approach to its use, I think it'll give us more diversity in our end products.

 You're turn.

Have you downloaded the new version yet?  What do yo think?

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About Mel

Mel is the online training architect and screencasting wizard at Kareo, one of Forbes' 2013 list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America. He's also the creator of Digital-Know-How, a training website devoted to developing learners' skills for screencasting and web video course development. Mel is also the chief blogger of; Mel's personal blog. The comments and opinions you read here are Mel's and not associated with any other company.
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