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Old July 10th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #1
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Vegas with software screen captures

I'm making a software training video which will eventually be shown on the web.

I'm having a problem with Vegas taking the clear, sharp screen captures (both Camtasia captures and png files) and turning them into blurry junk.

The screen caps are 1024x768 - but the video will be 800x600. I realize if I resize the video down it will lose sharpness, but all I want to do is to show an area of the original screen that is 800x600 and pan and scan around as necessary.

When you drop a video on the timeline, Vegas automatically resizes that piece of video or image to fit your projects resolution - I want it to leave that alone and just show me as much as fits. If I drop a 1024x768 video on the timeline, I want to only see the middle 800x600 of it. Does that make sense? Is that a setting somewhere in the program - to make it not resize the source video?

If I adjust the track position and size to be 1024x768, it shows what I want, but it's still doing some kind of processing on the image, and not showing me the pixel-for-pixel match that I want.

Any ideas?
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Old July 10th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #2
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Here's a sample of what I'm talking about:

www.famousdavispro.com/images/VegasSample.jpg

(If your browser automatically resizes the image, you may have to zoom to see the native size.)

The background video preview is a Vegas multimedia project with a project size of 1024x768. I dropped the Camtasia capture avi on the timeline and it looks perfect.

The foreground window shows a Vegas multimedia project with a size of 800x600. I dropped the avi on the timeline and it resized it, so I set the size of the track to 1024x768. You'll notice the size is correct (it matches the other sample) but it's blurry.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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Set your project properties (File - Properties) to 800 x 600 with a pixel aspect ratio of 1.00 (square).
Drop something on the timeline and open it's Pan/Crop window.
On the toolbar on the left side of the Pan/Crop window, deselect/disable "Lock Aspect Ratio".
Under "Position" at the top left, change "Width" to 800 and "Height" to 600.
You should be able to pan and scan as desired.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 11:47 AM   #4
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After you drop it on the timeline, open Pan/Crop, right-click the image, and choose "Match Output Aspect". Now, for ANY zooming, make sure you use Pan/Crop which will use the full resolution of the video. If you use Track Motion, it will use the resolution seen in the preview screen instead.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, that's very helpful. I also found it works best when I keep the X Center and Y Center on the Pan/Crop to whole numbers.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
Thanks guys, that's very helpful. I also found it works best when I keep the X Center and Y Center on the Pan/Crop to whole numbers.
I've done a LOT of training videos using CamStudio for the capture and (of course) vegas for the edit. You almost have to Pan/Crop down to the delivery resolution in order to get good looking footage. Just be careful to make the transition so people know what part of the screen you just zoomed in to. To fast, and it just blurs past, too slow and it takes too long to get to where you need to be.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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I've done a LOT of training videos using CamStudio for the capture and (of course) vegas for the edit.
What is the final delivery method for your videos? Web? What size resolution do you use? These will eventually end up in a flash application designed to fit a 1024x768 browser window. The videos will be 800x600 with navigation on the left and logos on the bottom.

If you do use flash for delivery, what settings do you use when converting to FLV? I've been rendering to WMV, then using the Adobe Flash Video Encoder to convert to high quality (700 mbs) FLV. Personally, I think I'd rather keep them as WMV and use a Silverlight application for navigation.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
What is the final delivery method for your videos? Web? What size resolution do you use? These will eventually end up in a flash application designed to fit a 1024x768 browser window. The videos will be 800x600 with navigation on the left and logos on the bottom.

If you do use flash for delivery, what settings do you use when converting to FLV? I've been rendering to WMV, then using the Adobe Flash Video Encoder to convert to high quality (700 mbs) FLV. Personally, I think I'd rather keep them as WMV and use a Silverlight application for navigation.
My delivery was 320x240 because almost all of my users had slow internet connections. I rendered to MOV / WMV. I do not have a FLV encoder (and swf wrapper). This is something I know I must solve, but I have not had any success with free flv encoders and I cannot put the $650 down for Adobe's Flash CS3.

My main problem was trying to direct the viewers attention to where & what I wanted them to see with such a small screen. That is why I pan & cropped a lot. I also employ a lot of bright red circles & arrows to highlight what I wanted to highlight.

Since you will be doign application training videos (I think that is what you said) your menus, options and physical location of buttons probably won't change as much. With me, most of my training videos were to guide users through using a certain web site software, and the menu options changed as frequently as the web site did, which was a bit confusing........ if "Average User Ethel" didn't see the words "photo gallery" in exactly the same place on the menu bar as in the video, I'd get an email asking why it was different and if it was the same thing. Hopefully your user base will be a bit more technically minded than mine. :-)
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