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Tutorial: Using Camtasia Screencams with Adobe Premiere Pro CC

In this tutorial, we'll look at how to create screencams with TechSmith Camtasia, and then import them into Adobe Premiere Pro to incorporate them into your existing Premiere Pro projects to create professional-quality instructional videos that seamlessly combine screencams and HD footage.

One of the services we provide for our clients at St. Jepan Media is producing instructional and educational videos that combine screencams and video. When producing these types of projects, it’s critical to integrate these elements seamlessly so that the viewers aren’t distracted by an appreciable drop in quality between the video and the screencam.

In this tutorial, we’ll look at how create screencams with TechSmith Camtasia, and then import them into Adobe Premiere Pro to incorporate them into your existing Premiere Pro projects. The workflow we’ll discuss in this article has worked extremely well for St. Jepan Media when producing high-quality screencams mixed in with other video footage.

In the tutorial video and screenshots that accompany this article, I’m working with a MacBook Pro with Mavericks, Camtasia 2 for Mac, and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Regardless of whether you’re working on a comparable system and Camtasia version, or on a Windows system running a different version of Camtasia, the trick is to produce these recordings in the highest quality possible. Before you start recording, make sure you’re capturing your screen using an uncompressed format or high-quality codec. Also be sure your frame rate (fps) matches your source material.

A Few Preliminary Tips

Here are four general tips to keep in mind before you start recording your Camtasia screencam:

  1. Close unnecessary applications
  2. Use slow mouse movements
  3. Know the dimensions of your final video
  4. Practice and prepare.

I won’t go into all the details of producing screencams in Camtasia, but you can visit and other instructional sites for more detail on getting up to speed with Camtasia.

Recording Your Screencam in Camtasia

To begin, launch Camtasia, create a new project, and save it to the same destination where your Premiere Pro project files are. Then navigate to Camtasia Preferences (Camtasia > Preferences) to open the Recording dialog, shown in Figure 1 (below). Click the Record tab.

Figure 1. Setting Recording preferences in Camtasia.

Under the Record tab, you want to make sure that your Screen Frame Rate matches the source material in your Premiere Pro project. My footage is 30 fps, so in the example shown in Figure 1, I’ve chosen Full-motion (30 fps).

Another useful option under the Recording tab is auto-saving future projects to a destination by clicking the Change button at the bottom of the dialog. Once you’ve selected your Recording preferences, go back to the Camtasia interface.

Click the red Record button just above the timeline panel to launch the Camtasia Recorder tool (Figure 2, below).

Figure 2. Launching the Camtasia Recorder tool. Click the image to see it at full size.

Reading from left to right, the first option you’ll see in the Recorder tool is to select the portion of the screen you want recorded. For this tutorial, we’ll select Custom Region (Figure 3, below). (We’ll customize the region a little later in the tutorial.)

Figure 3. Selecting Custom Region to specific the portion of the screen we want to record.

Next, we’ll make sure that our built-in webcam is off (Figure 4, below). We’ll also turn off System Audio because we’re not going to be using audio recorded in Camtasia because we already have existing audio in our Premiere Pro project.

Figure 4. Making sure the built-in camera is off.

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