Camtasia is a software program that allows instructors to record audio lectures, provide voice-overs for PowerPoint lectures, edit such lectures, and even change audio and video files from one type and/or size to another. One of the most common uses of Camtasia is as course content capture equipment. That is, you can use Camtasia to take content an instructor might generally present in a traditional course and render it into electronic form so that the content can be made available to students electronically, for example, on Moodle.
The tutorial presented in the following pages will show how to provide a voice-over for a PowerPoint lecture. To complete the tutorial you will need a computer that has the Camtasia software and a microphone installed. Click the System Requirements link in the table below to verify that your system is able to operate the program efficiently or, if already installed, click the Getting Started link to move to the first page of the tutorial. Each section of the tutorial is in sequential order from left to right in the index table, and one index table is located at the bottom of each section to make navigation easier.
The following sections show the authoring and playback requirements for using the Camtasia software. Make sure that your computer has met these requirements before trying to begin this tutorial.
Authoring & Playback Requirements:
Now, if you have sufficient system capabilities and are able to operate the program, click on the Getting Started link below to start the tutorial.
Perhaps the easiest way to get started with Camtasia is to create a PowerPoint lecture with voice-over. If you generally lecture with PowerPoint, then this activity makes sense. You'll record your voice lecture with the PowerPoint presentation. If you dislike PowerPoint and would rather create a video of yourself teaching, Camtasia can do that as well. There is a small consideration: the video of you teaching will be huge. It may be so large that your students can't download it. If you would still rather create a video of yourself teaching than create a PowerPoint, you may want to consider uploading your video to a video hosting site such as YouTube or MediaSpace. Your students will get to see your video, and the file size will not be negatively impacted.
To begin the
voice-over, open up PowerPoint. If you have
recently installed Camtasia, you will get a screen
alerting you about the Camtasia add-in. You
will also get a short PowerPoint presentation
helping you to get started recording. It may
benefit you to read through these slides.
Once you close the welcome information (if you got any from Camtasia) and are looking at your PowerPoint program, you will notice that Camtasia is available under the ADD-INS tab at the top of the screen. Once you click the tab, you will the Camtasia features in the upper left-hand corner. Its presence is verified by the Record button, as seen in Figure 1 below:
You should also notice that you can choose the microphone or camera. For this exercise, just choose the microphone. You are now ready to set up the audio. Click on the Setting Audio link at the bottom of this section to proceed to that section of the tutorial.
Note that you must have a microphone attachment or a microphone built into your computer to create the voice-overs.
If you have connected your microphone and set it up, but it is not working with Camtasia, Camtasia may need to be "reminded" of the microphone you wish to use. If the microphone is working, you may bypass this section and move to the recording section of the tutorial by clicking the Recording link in the table at the bottom of this section.
You can use the
following steps to "remind" Camtasia which
microphone you wish to use.
*If you do not have Camtasia open, then go to your desktop and double click on the Camtasia Studio 8 icon.
1. Choose Record the screen from the Welcome screen as depicted in Figure 4.
Figure 4: A representation of the opening screen of Camtasia which points out the "Voice Narration" link
2. A second box will open with recording options. Under the Recorded inputs section click the arrow next to the button with the microphone pictured on it, as shown in Figure 5. It will open a drop down menu of all available recording devices that are enabled.
3. If you
require more options, select options from the drop
down menu. You will be taken to the screen shown below
in Figure 6. From here you can adjust the audio levels
or select a different recording device. Click OK
Figure 6: A representation of the advanced audio options dialog box
4. If you go back to the main Camtasia window, and click Voice Narration, you will be taken to the voice narration panel, where you will see the green microphone bar and the Audio Setup Wizard. Figure 7 below shows what you should be seeing.
5. Choose the Audio Setup Wizard button that is located below the Input level section. A dialog box, which is represented in Figure 8, will open and direct you to Choose Audio Settings. Test speaking into your microphone. If you do not see the meter on the right moving, you may need to adjust the recording levels. If you still do not see the meter moving make sure the proper recording device has been selected. Select manual input select to make sure the proper device is enabled. If you do not see your microphone selected under Audio device, then click on the drop down menu. You may see several options, and one should be your microphone, click on your microphone. However, if you do not see your microphone, that means your computer does not recognize it. You may need to reinstall your microphone. Once your microphone has been selected, choose Next.
6. The next screen allows you to Tune Volume Input Levels. Whether your voice is loud or soft, Camtasia can adjust its volume to accommodate you. Simply choose Auto-Adjust Volume and follow the directions. Camtasia will then adjust the microphone levels to best record your voice. Figure 9 below shows the screen that you should see while Camtasia is auto-adjusting the volume for your voice. When the auto-adjust has been completed, click Finish to complete the audio setup process.
7. Now that your audio is set up, you are ready to proceed to the recording section of the tutorial. Click on the Recording link in the table below to proceed to that section.
Use the following steps to successfully record your PowerPoint voice over with the Camtasia software.
1. To begin recording your PowerPoint voice-over, press the Record button that was discussed at the end of the Getting Started section. Your presentation will then automatically open, and you will see a window on the lower right hand corner of your screen alerting you that Camtasia is activated. You will see the microphone bar, and if sound is being made, the bar should respond. A picture of what the window should look like can be found in Figure 10 below. If the green microphone bar does not respond, make sure your microphone is installed. You may also need to check it in Camtasia. (It may be that Camtasia does not recognize your microphone.) To check your microphone in Camtasia, see the Setting Audio section of this tutorial.
Figure 10: A picture of what your Camtasia alert window should look like after you have pressed the record button in the PowerPoint Add-Ins menu
2. You may want to jot down the commands Ctrl + Shift + F9 to Pause and Ctrl + Shift + F10 or ESC to Stop. When you are ready to begin recording, press the Click to begin recording button.
3. Once you press the Click to begin recording button, your presentation will begin recording. If you have an earlier version of Camtasia (Camtasia 4 or 5, for example), you may see a large red REC image on your screen. Camtasia 8 begins recording immediately. Simply talk through your PowerPoint presentation as you normally would.
TIP: Keep your recordings under 20 minutes to keep file sizes manageable. If you have a forty minute lecture, break it into two lectures so that students can watch the first one while the second one downloads.
4. When you get to the end of your slideshow, you will get a Camtasia screen that asks if you would like to stop recording or continue recording. This screen is depicted in Figure 11 below. Click Stop Recording to proceed to the next step.
Camtasia pop-up that appears once you click past your
TIP: Even though it asks what action you would like to take, Camtasia automatically stops recording when you click past your last slide. Therefore, it is advisable that you finish your lecture before clicking past your last slide in your PowerPoint.
5. After you have stopped recording, Camtasia will ask you where you wish to save your recording as seen below in Figure 12. As a default, it will ask to save the recording under My Documents > Camtasia Studio. If you ever lose your Camtasia recording, look there. You can choose to save it in the Camtasia Studio folder, or you may choose another location.
6. Once you choose to save the file, it will ask you whether you would like to produce your recording or edit your recording. The prompt for this choice can be seen below in Figure 13. Click on the button that best suits your needs to continue to the next phase of completing the voice-over.
7. Click on the Editing link below to continue to the editing section of the tutorial. If you would like to bypass editing and go directly into production, click on the Producing link below to skip to that section.
TIP: Even if you don't think you need to edit anything, it may still be helpful to choose Edit Your Recording first. Sometimes the microphone doesn't work, or there is a glitch. Before spending time producing the recording, you may want to make sure that everything has gone okay.
Editing Your Recording:
Take the following steps to successfully edit your presentation.
1. After you choose Edit your recording as mentioned in the previous section of the tutorial, Camtasia will open. In previous versions of Camtasia, the program would ask you "What size do you want your video to be?". In Camtasia 8, you are no longer prompted to select your editing size. Instead, there is a dimension button above the previous screen. Click to change your editing dimensions. In the Editing Dimensions dialog box, which is shown in Figure 14, you can edit the dimensions of your PowerPoint by manually entering the dimensions or by selecting the preset width and height. Unless you are showing fine details in your PowerPoint, Width: 640 and Height: 480 are adequate. This setting will give your students enough visual to see your lecture without the production being so big that it will increase file size.
2. If you explore your options in the Project Settings box, you can see that in addition to Web, Camtasia offers presets for many different types of output. Choose dimensions that work best for you and click Okay.
TIP: Something else to look for is the SmartFocus feature that Camtasia will offer. With SmartFocus, the Camtasia program will narrow its view to the area around your mouse on the screen. For my teaching style, this feature renders the PowerPoint voice-over worthless to my students, so I am always careful to reject this feature when it is offered. You may wish to test it out to see if it will suit your teaching style. SmartFocus will only work with Camrec files, not AVI or other video formats. The option to accept or reject SmartFocus appears in the Options dialog box. Go to Tools > Options and click on the Zoom tab. Make sure that the box is unchecked by Apply SmartFocus to clips added. Once again, the Editing Dimensions dialog box can be seen in Figure 14 below. It is important to take note of these instructions because Camtasia sometimes automatically enables the option. If you wish to change this feature even after you have already selected a choice, you can change it by going under the Edit menu and choosing SmartFocus and apply it to either individual clips or the timeline. Another option is to record the project and click on the Zoom-n-Pan tab in the editing window, click on Advanced and make sure that the box by Apply SmartFocus to clips added is UNCHECKED.
3. To make sure your recording looks and sounds the way you wish, you will want to test it. At this point, Camtasia has probably moved your recording into the Timeline. You will see your PowerPoint sitting in the lower left-hand corner of your screen in Camtasia. To begin testing your recording, hit the Play button on the view screen on the right hand side of your screen. The screenshot of what you should see in this step is shown below in Figure 15. If it looks and sounds the way you wish, then you are ready to produce your recording.
4. If you wish to cut a portion of your show, perhaps, for example, the phone rang in the middle of your presentation, and you want to cut that 30 seconds out, all you have to do is figure out what you want to cut, and in the timeline, move your cursor over the seconds you want to remove. The section will be highlighted in blue, and the beginning is marked with a green rectangle and the ending will be marked with a red rectangle. Move them back and forth to adjust your selection. This can be seen in Figure 16 below. When you are sure you have marked what you want to cut, select the scissors. It's that easy to edit out problem spots in Camtasia. Camtasia can also assist you with more sophisticated editing, but this tutorial doesn't cover that information. If you find that you have cut by accident, hold down the Ctrl button and hit Z twice, and your cut will be restored. You can also click the blue arrows at the top of the Tracks to undo or redo.
TIP: Another way to delete or copy portions of your show is by click and dragging on the grey triangle to any point within the desired selection. You are now able to drag the green and/or red squares on the sides of the grey triangle to the desired start and end of the segment that you want deleted or copied.
5. Now that the editing is complete,
you can move on to production of your presentation.
Click on the Producing link below to
Perhaps the most difficult part of creating a voice-over PowerPoint is producing it, but if you follow the steps below, it can make the process much easier.
1. If you
chose the Produce icon right after
creating it, it will put you right into the
production mode. If you Save and Edit,
then the .camrec file will open in the editing
window. Make your edits and then choose Produce
and Share at the top of your screen, as
shown in Figure 17.
Figure 17: The Produce and Share Button
2. You will see a screen that says, "Welcome to the Camtasia Studio Production Wizard." The default option is MP4 with Smart Player (up to 480p). If you click on the arrow to the right of the selected option, you will see that you have many options for production. The drop down list you should see is pictured below in Figure 18.
3. Camtasia offers many different options for producing your voice-over PowerPoint. This tutorial recommends keeping the default setting if you are uploading your videos somewhere, but you also have the option to upload to YouTube, demonstrated in step 7. You may get a warning that says, "Selecting a different preset than the preset in Project Settings may cause the look of the video to appear different than previewed during editing. Do you wish to continue?" Answer Yes, and then select Next.
4. You are then asked, "Where would you like to save your video files?" Give your files a name and look carefully at where you are saving them.
5. Select Finish at
the bottom of the panel, and Camtasia will inform
you that it is "Rendering Project," as shown in
Figure 19 below.
6. Rendering the project may take a
while, depending upon the size of your project.
When it is finished, it will appear in a browser
window. In addition, you will see a screen
informing you of the details regarding the
rendering of your project. Make sure to note the
size of your project. You want to keep your .wmv
files under 15 MB. Now you can
click Finish to complete the production
7. Another helpful
option is producing and sharing your video straight to
YouTube. Select the Share to YouTube option, then
click Next. On the next screen you will
be prompted to sign into a Google Account (Figure 20).
feature is only available if you have a Google
9. Once you have selected the appropriate options, click finish to produce your video to YouTube, as shown in Figure 21 below.
Figure 21: A representation of the dialog box of options for uploading videos to YouTube
10. Now that
production has been completed, the presentation
can be uploaded to Moodle. For instructions on
how to do this, click the Loading onto
Moodle link in the table below.
To load your production into Moodle, first
decide where you will put it in Moodle. Then, you
can complete the following steps to load your
presentations into Moodle.
1. Now that you're ready to load your content onto Moodle, you need to find it. In this next example, the content you are looking for is the test file that we created. It is in a file named after the title of the presentation. In this example, the file is called test, and it is located on the desktop. It can be seen below in Figure 22.
Figure 22: Image of the location of test
2. When you open the test folder, you will see several files, as shown below in Figure 23.
Figure 23: Image of the inside of the test folder - The type of file you have created is called a Flash or .swf file. It runs by "pulling" content from a saved location into a much smaller and faster loading .html file. When you link to that file, it will run by pulling content from the larger mpeg-4 movie file. Because of the way these types of files work, you will need to put the entire test folder into Moodle and link only to the .html file.
3. Close the file--that is, go back to the outside of the file as featured in Figure 24. Compress the file by clicking on it, and then choosing "Send to" and "Compressed (zipped) folder." You will then see a folder with a zipper through the middle and the extension of .zip.
Figure 24: A view of the folder after right-click
Moodle, in the module where you wish to add the video,
choose Add an activity or resource,
then select File. Figure 25 below shows the
location of the Add an activity or resource and
File buttons. After you have selected File,
Figure 25: A view of the Moodle screens, with emphasis on the Add activity or resource and File buttons
5. In the General pane, enter a name and a description.
Figure 26: A view of the General dialog box, including the name and description boxes
TIP: Sometimes students do not realize that the presentation contains both audio and video. It may be helpful to write in the description field, post on the announcements page, or in an email introducing the new course content a message such as, "This file contains audio and video, and you must access both. Neither the audio nor the video are optional. If you choose to view this lecture in a campus lab, remember to bring headphones." You may also wish to let students know when the content will become unavailable (if it will), and if there are any assessments associated with the content.
6. In the Content pane, beside Select Files, choose Add. Depending on your web browser, you may also have the ability to drag and drop the desired files into this box. If you are going to upload a series of files, you may want to click Create Folder to keep your files more organized. See Figure 27 below.
Figure 27: A view of the Content box and file picker where you can upload your files7. After clicking Upload a File from the file picker menu, click the button to attach your file, as shown below.
Figure 28: A view of the file picker
Figure 29: A view of the computer library where your zipped folder will be located and the file picker window
10. Now let's do a little housekeeping. Now that we've unzipped the file, we no longer need the zip file. Click the zip file and select delete.
Figure 30: A view of the uploaded file and the extended options box
Figure 31: A view of both the zipped and unzipped folder. Click the zipped folder to delete it.
11. Next, open the unzipped folder (indicated by a blue folder icon) by clicking on it. You will then see the file inside.
12. Find the html file with the same name as the video file that we created previously and player added to the name. Click on the file and choose Set Main File. This action tells the computer to "pull" the content from the html file so that students will get the video "look" that tells them "this is a video."
13. Finally, in the Options pane, indicate that you wish to Display the video in a pop up (this option is best for Flash videos). Choose Save, and return to the course.
Figure 34: View of the finished file box. Select pop up for Flash videos.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed this Camtasia Software Tutorial. Your students now have access to quality lectures from the convenience of Moodle.
This tutorial was originally created by Dr. Tamara Powell and updated and improved by Christopher Monceaux, Matthew Myers, Cole Napper, and Justin Gamble. 2011 Usability tests and updates were performed by Dustin Procter and Dr. Laura McGrath.
If you have any questions or comments about Camtasia, see the Help page at http://kennesaw.edu/elearning/dontpanic for contact information.
Updated by Kali
Alford and Tiffani Reardon, June 2015