Camtasia is a well-known software for recording your screen and editing the recording. Many overlook the video editing features, that can be used not only for editing your screen recording.
One of the things I learned in 2019 is to use Camtasia for creating short animated clips, or GIFs, to use on social media or in blog posts.
With Camtasia Studio, you can mix formats and sources, like
- Screen recordings (recorded with Camtasia)
- Any other video file, from your phone or camera (MP4)
- Images (PNG and JPG)
- Audio files
- PowerPoint slide deck
- and more
You can load all these files in Camtasia, add shapes, forms, animation effects and so on to create the video you need.
Compared to a video editing software like Adobe Premiere, which all the freelancers we work with use, Camtasia Studio is way easier to learn (and cheaper).
A quick introduction to Camtasia Studio
This is not a step-by-step tutorial, rather more a quick overview of how the software works. You can decide then if you want to take a detailed look, there are thousands of tutorials available.
This is the default view of the software:
The main “studio” screen consists of 3 areas.
The toolbox and media library that shows all the media you want to use in your project. This could be a screen recording done with Camtasia, but you can add your mp3, an already existing GIF, your PowerPoint slide deck and much more. Here’s a list of all supported file types you can import in Camtasia.
The Media Bin holds all the images and videos you want to use in the clip that is in creation. If you want to use one of the files in your video, you simply drag and drop it on the timeline below
You can start creating your video by adding all the media on your timeline. The editing tasks of trimming/cutting video is also done here. Animations and effects from the toolbox are placed via drag and drop.
The canvas shows the preview of your video file.
After you have finished your video, you can upload it directly to YouTube, Vimeo or save a local file. I usually save a local file which I then embed in a blog post or upload to Facebook or Twitter.
What is easy to do in Camtasia Studio
As said, the software is easy to use. These are some of the features I use often:
- Separating the audio track from the video
- Adding transitions and animations via drag and drop
- Placing text elements on a video
- Changing clip speed
- Trim/Cut of your video
- Save a default theme (logo, colors, and font of your brand)
Alternatives and downsides of using Camtasia Studio
Creating short animations/motion video for social media is a top priority for content creators. Tools like Canva or Animoto can be used for that task too. Both tools do not offer the option to record your screen.
Compared to Camtasia, these tools work in your browser on desktop, without the need to install software. With Camtasia, every editor needs to install the software. No mobile app is available.
A tool like Loom is specifically made for quickly sharing screencasts, but is not meant to be used for social media videos with shapes and animations.
If your job requires both creating screencasts and animated videos for social media you should check out Camtasia Studio. It could be a good fit for both scenarios. The software might feel a bit old compared to the hip competition born in the social media age, but the video editing features can compete with products like Animoto or Canva for sure.
If you want to check it out you can download the trial version.
Here’s a short video I created within 30 minutes.