Windows screen capture edit in FCP

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by charlien, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. charlien macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    I own FCPX and really haven't used it like I thought I would for my personal use. For my job, I create a lot of YouTube training videos on a Windows PC with Camtasia. It actually works quite well for my needs. I thought if I could record the screen and edit it in FCPX I would take the time to learn it and that would pay off for my personal needs. With Camtasia I have two problems with FCPX; first the AVI format is not compatible with FCPX and if I convert the file into a format FCPX can work with the quality reduction is really noticeable.

    Can anyone recommend a program that will do a good job of recording my screen that works with FCP? I tried CamStudio but it is limited to 2 gig files and that is only a few minutes using MOV. Debut seemed like it was ok. But rather than try many, I thought maybe someone already has tried a few and settled on one.
  2. JustinePaula macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    What are you using to convert from AVI to MOV. I cannot wait for the day when AVI is obsolete and no longer supported.

    The 2GB limit sounds like a 32bit issue, with a 32bit operating system, files could not be larger than 2GB. It sounds like the screen capture you are using is outdated.

    Handbrake is great as you can set the output to various levels of compression, and you can test this prior to doing a full compression.

    Remember AVI and MOV are just file wrappers, it tells the computer how the files are coded.What happens within the wrapper is important.
  3. OneAnswer macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Like you, I create lots training-style YT videos. Raw content comes from many sources, including PCs and Macs. Production is usually Mac, but sometimes PC. I regularly get video captured from an engineer's PC screen, and produce at 720p.

    As previously mentioned, get the ensharpen codec from Techsmith. In general I try and gather up all the codecs I can find, which in turn provides more input and output options.

    What may be happening is that the input sources are being created with default settings. You should be able to use Camtasia-PC to output mp4 at maximum screen resolution, and/or 720p. Use the Produce and Share menu. You may need to set the output resolution from the outset, and then again when producing. I've used PC Camtasia from versions 5-8 (and Camtasia:Mac 2 for 2 years) - it's always had the ability to produce at least 720p mp4. The option for full HD is there as well. It's just that all of my captures, Mac and PC, are on laptop screens and never at that resolution. Also, for the work I do, 720p is sufficient. But Camtasia, and FCX, are certainly capable of 1080 production.

    If 2GB file size is an issue, just make sequential recordings and glue them together in FCX.

    Quicktime Pro can record the screen of both Macs and PCs. QT is getting a little long in the tooth, and is only 32-bit. But if you can find it this may be an option. You'll need to upgrade to Pro, but it's not very expensive.
  5. charlien thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    Thanks for the replies.

    For a test I recorded my screen using Camtasia 8. I recorded the entire screen, which is 1920x1080. I produced an MP4 @ 1080P. I imported this in to FCP and saved it for YT. I took the same screen recording and produced the video in Camtasia for YT. It looks better when Camtasia produces the file.

    Does the conversion first to an MP4 degrade my file? Would the ensharpen codec help here? Do I install it on the PC or MAC, or both?
  6. OneAnswer macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2014
    As you transcode the video twice, quality is lost, and the Ensharpen codec should be used on the Mac OS X side.
  7. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    The previous poster is correct - every time you encode using a lossy codec (virtually all of them) you will lose some video quality.

    What's unclear from your last post is what rendering settings were used to produce the mp4. If the final deployment platform is YouTube, make sure both Camtasia and FCX are configured to YouTube's recommended settings for 1920x1080, including bit rate, key frames, and so on. Note that YouTube, like all hosted deployment platforms, re-encodes your file on upload. If you don't follow their recommendations, the resulting file can look somewhat worse when viewed on YouTube.

    What's the intended viewing device? In-home TV? Laptops? I ask because while 1920x1080 is fun to talk about, many people don't view videos this way. You can usually get a quality improvement by recording at 1080 and working in Camtasia to a final output of 720.

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