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CamStudio 2.5 beta1 - Beginner's Issues

edited March 2008 in General Discussion
Hi, Nick,

I finally downloaded the CamStudio2.5 beta1, and wanted to compare it with the 2.0 version. The earlier version worked pretty good for me in creating movie lectures at one of my Google Group web sites (though its file size often conflicted with Google's size limitations). I zipped the swf and swf.html files together with combined sizes between 6 and 10 MB each time. Google doesn't allow use of video streaming that would still allow me to keep my group PRIVATE ... which is what I want for my online classes (I teach college chemistry in LA). Google seems only to allow the more practical methods for groups that are willing to allow access to the public. Bummer. I want to approximate the privacy expectations of IT and distance learning officials at colleges.

IFrom what I can see so far, CamStudio gives a silent movie that is cramped into only a small portion of the viewing screen ... not very impressive when compared with the 2.0, which automatically did everything for me, from recording to converting and generating the swf.html files, and gave a full-screen viewing field. How do I reset the system to allow a larger viewing field? Also, I don't understand that movable green-bracketed field, though fortunately it is not visible in the output. I thought it might allow dragging its corners to resize it, but no. (It reminds me of that MSWord automatic textbox field that pops up and gets in the way of a more preferred manual use of it.)

I'd appreciate any helpful tips you could give me.



  • Hi Aaron

    You have complete control over the recording area with CamStudio - so it *sounds* like you have the recording region set too small for your needs.

    Open CamStudio and select Region > Fixed Region and enter the size of the area you need to record.

    If you don't know it, Click the Select button in the Fixed Region dialog box and lasso the area you need. Check the Fix Top-Left Corner if you want CamStudio to position the recording area to exactly where you want it on the screen otherwise you'll need to manually position the recording area before recording actually begins.

    The green flashing bracket around the recording area is the visual reminder of the ... um ... recording area.

    If you don't want to see it, go to Options > Program Options > Hide Flash Rectangle During Recording (select it)

    If you're not recording any audio, check your mic is connected (yeah, I know, but you'd be surprised) and that your mic input is activated in Windows (double click speaker icon in system tray, Options, Properties, Recording) and the slider is up.

    Also check in CamStudio that Record Audio From Microphone is checked in the Options menu.

    As an aside, I know that Vimeo will let you upload a video and you can choose to make it private (pw protected, people you choose, etc.)

    I don't know about other video sites, you'd need to do some research but assuming you found a few sites that let you have private videos, I'd create an account on them and then upload the same video to each of them using HeyWatch!, VideoPostRobot or similar.

    That way they'll always be accessible, even if one of the video sites goes down or closes.



    Nick :o)
  • Hey,

    It seems as though Nick answered the majority of your questions, but I just wanted to say that YouTube and many other websites can mark your videos as "private" and only viewable by friends/family. Just wanted to say that, and yah... GL.

  • Thanks, Nick and Ghosty, for the tips!

    I can now obtain movies with sound and the desired recording area. I just wasn't adventurous enough with the available features before. I have been fiddling around with methods to allow creation of movies from PowerPoint files. I wanted a way to set them up without revealing the setup actions, including starting the recording.

    What seems to be working now is this method: 1) presetting program controls for a) "Region" that allows dragging the region rectangle to fill most of the PowerPoint "show" screen and b) hiding the console after that action; 2) hovering my cursor near the edge of the screen to activate my SnagIt popup, which, in turn, somehow activates a temporary revealing of my system tray which holds a short cut to the CamStudio recorder; 3) clicking on the red recording button and dragging the recording area begins the recording session. A clean beginning of the movie results ... no setup distractions, because the system tray is rehidden along with the flashing icon, etc.

    Is there a simpler method for recording off a PowerPoint document??

    I like the PowerPoint format, because it gives me a nice large whiteboard to write on and accompany my lectures. The modified cursors from the PowerPoint program are also good features. I tried CamStudio's cursor options as well; however, the right-click to visualize a different color is complicated by interference with the normal function of the right-click (bringing up the slide control menu commands). Avoiding the use of a right click during the recording, I can cause the output to show one color while my cursor is hovering, and to show another color when I click before dragging my usual lines and vectors, which themselves have different colors selected using PowerPoint's virtual pen or felt-tip pen color menu. I can see there is quite some potential for interesting effects.

    Incidentally, I explored inserting a CamStudio-produced flash (swf) file into PowerPoint. It seemed to work ... initially. It works, but is limited in quality. The movie that results is not like the one that occurs in the swf.html produced by CamStudio. It is very blocky or seems to have lower resolution, that is, not as smooth as I'd like. The reason I tried this was my hope of taking advantage of Impatica, a program that can greatly compress PowerPoint files. However, when I applied Impatica to a PowerPoint file impregnated with a flash object, all I obtained was the usual set of files, including the impatica player, the jar file, and the html file. The html file would not play. When I opened the player, I discovered that its was invalid (or corrupt).

    Any suggestions for some remedies to force Impatica to become compatible with PowerPoints modified with inserted flash files? Nick, would it be feasible to (legally) commandeer PowerPoint and/or Impatica code for creation of a more user-friendly open-source program??

  • There are shortcuts for starting, pausing, stopping and canceling recording: F8 for start/pause, F9 for stopping the recording, allowing you to save a video file, and F10 for stopping the recording and discarding the video. I tried this in a PP slideshow: Pressed F5 in PP to start it, and then F8 to start recording. At the end of the slideshow I pressed F9 to save the file. Worked like a charm.
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