5 Basic Camtasia Editing Workflows for Instructors

Getting Started

My focus here will be maximum improvement of your recorded Synchronous Sessions for minimum time investment. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of spending a lot of time for that last bit of polish! This first video covers the 3 minutes you really need to spend. (Video: 3:32)



Spending a lot of extra time provided only a small improvement. (Video: 5:10)


Rick’s Workflow

These notes are about my own workflow, developed over time, and very much revisited to update for 2020 technology. It’s very different from the multi take, carefully planned and edited approach to develop asynchronous materials from scratch for online courses. My work is all based in the Apple universe, but most of it is platform agnostic. Your workflow may be different, but I need these notes to remind me of the right order.

Stage 0

  • Make a good synchronous presentation on Zoom, 1 take beginning to end, either to a live audience (remote or safely in-person), or while imagining a live audience. Use all the same source material from blackboards, screen, doc cam, or pass around artifacts that you would use live and in person.
  • Record the entire presentation, including recordings from secondary sources, like the phone you use to show details of an artifact. Together, these recordings should include everything you wanted to show students in the presentation. (No extras to record and edit in later means a much lower workload on the instructor.)
  • If you cover multiple topics, make a clean break between topics and then say a few words about the next topic.
  • Consider writing or typing in silence, then pointing at the results and talking about them. This will make it way easier to edit the result into a shorter, faster paced presentation later, and will take only a little longer than talking while you write / type.
  • Restate any questions from the audience so you can anonymize the recording later.

Stage 1

  • Start a Camtasia project, possibly by opening a default template you made previously.
  • Import the video from the zoom presentation and add it to one of the middle tracks in the project.
    • Adjust the sound level (gain) of this whole track if needed.
    • Adjust the scale and position of the whole track if needed.
  • Import the video from all of your secondary sources to tracks below the zoom track.
  • Align all the tracks so they are synchronized by making the audio match up.
  • Drop the audio gain on all the secondary sources to 0 to reduce echo.
  • Trim the beginning and end of the presentation to remove silence and drivel, then pull all tracks to the beginning as a group.
  • Save as the stage 1 project file and maybe export as a local video file. You can share this directly with the entire class, but not further for privacy reasons.

Stage 2

  • Open the stage 1 project and save it as stage 2.
  • Identify portions of the presentation where you went to secondary sources.
    • Clip from the secondary source and move to above the main zoom track.
    • Adjust the secondary source clip for scale and location in the frame.
  • Save the project and export as a local video file. You can share this directly with the entire class, but not further for privacy reasons.

Stage 3

  • Start a new Camtasia project  and import the video file from stage 2. (Reduces size and eliminates the risk of misalignment of sources.)
  • Add a clip speed visual effect to the whole track right now, really right now!
  • If needed, separate the project by topics and save as multiple stage 3 projects.
  • Identify regions where the focus is isolated to part of the frame and add a scale up animation to zoom in, then a scale down animation to zoom back out. Be sure to do this for the whole video track before you make other splits.
  • Identify and split out regions of silence, student questions that should be anonymized, or unnecessary chatter from the instructor.
    • Reduce the audio gain to 0 and speed up if there was something visually important
    • Delete the segment if there was nothing important.
  • Pull all the elements to the start and note how much you reduced the length of the video.
  • Add annotations for clarity or correction of errors.
  • Save the project and export as a local video file. You can share this publicly, within the limits of copyright.
  • Repeat as needed until you are happy with the result, or have used up all the time you have available. You can edit video forever with dramatically diminishing returns.


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Rick's Remote and Online Teaching Notes Copyright © 2019 by Rick Sellens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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