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6 Tips For Correcting Video Errors With the Camtasia Timeline

You are probably perfect when it comes to your video production, so you don’t have to make many edits in post production. I, on the other hand, make frequent mistakes when shooting on camera, or when recording a screencast, so I’ve put together a few tips on how to make correcting video errors using your Camtasia timeline as simple and straightforward as possible.

  • Cover a bad visual with b-roll

This is a common one. For those unfamiliar, b-roll is footage shot of things that may relate to the subject of the film. If you’re making a film about NASA, b-roll would include footage of the space shuttle, fuel tanks, NASA property, etc. If you watch a documentary, you’ll find they show a lot of b-roll throughout the production. Not only does it provide something more interesting than a talking head, but it covers up rough cuts, poor audio quality, and visual mistakes.

  • Fix audio with ADR (over dubbing)

Audio is a difficult thing to get perfect regardless of where you are. Even in the recording studio, audio is subject to error. That is why so many productions utilize ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) to correct botched audio. When re-recording audio, try to recreate the exact atmosphere you were in when you recorded the first time (unless you were recording next to a jet engine). On one project I found myself unable to get my ADR to match the rest of my screencast production, and I realized that when I had first recorded there was a fan blowing in the room adjacent to my recording room. Once I turned on the fan, I was able to duplicate my sound. Another difficult part comes in trying to splice good takes together to make perfect audio segments. There have been times that I have used three different takes to get one sentence to sound the way I want it to. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the volume levels to ensure your edited audio sounds fluid.

  • Crop a good take over good audio

This can be especially difficult if you have your speaker on screen. In cases where you just can’t have b-roll put over your speakers face, you need to get clever and tricky. If the issue is that a bird flew into the scene, or a pop up notification came on my screen, I’ll get the good audio but messy visually take, and put it on top of a visually good take, and use the crop tool and crop out the unwanted material. Most of the time this works well, unless there are shadows that don’t line up, or something similar. If I cannot do this, I’ll use the good visuals alone, and try my best to get it to match up to the audio using the “clip speed” options, and the “duration” option.

  • Don’t fear the layers

As much as I love simplicity, I don’t let that get in the way of progress. Sometimes you just need more layers. If I can fix an issue by using two more layers with each layer fixing half of the problem, I’m going to do it. It can be difficult trying to deal with 20 layers, but it’s doable. Become a master at grouping, because that will save you as you start to deal with more and more layers.

  • Zoom in. I’m talking way in.

Sometimes you need to get really really close to a problem to solve it. Use that little magnifying glass icon and really get in there. Move frame by frame, and micro edit your project. The same principle applies to the canvas. Don’t be afraid of zooming all the way in to ensure that your items are placed exactly where they should be.

  • If all else fails, re-record

This may feel like throwing in the towel, especially if you’ve already put a lot of work into trying to fix an error, but many times the new recording is just plain better. Because you’ve worked on the content for so long, you know the ins and outs and exactly where problems are likely going to be.

Try not to be surprised when the time you spend editing your project doubles or triples the time you spent producing the content. Putting together something great doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself, take frequent breaks, don’t stare at the project for too long, and have fun.

To see examples of some of these practices, check out this Advanced Camtasia Users blog.

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