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I'm looking for a good alternative to Camtasia Studio - really just the video editing part. My current workflow looks like this:

  1. Record audio (with Audacity)
  2. Save screenshots of the subject matter (websites)
  3. Import audio and screenshots into Camtasia
  4. Use the zoom and callout tools in Camtasia to go along with the spoken audio and highlight certain parts of the sites

Given that Camtasia costs $300 (I've been using a trial version), I'd like to find something else that can do this well. I suspect that a lot of the pricetag for Camtasia is because of the screencasting features. I've tried Sony Vegas Movie Studio, but it was really a lot more than I need. I'd like something relatively simple (so that new users can pick it up relatively quickly), with the zoom and callout functionality that Camtasia has. Any suggestions?

Edit for clarity: I'm looking for a program that will let me combine the screenshots and audio, and (most importantly) that has features equal to or better than Camtasia for text overlays, highlighting areas on the screen, etc.

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closed as off topic by random Jul 11 '12 at 16:30

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16 Answers

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It seems that you were on the right track when you tried using Vegas Movie Studio, what you really need is a good video editing program that you can import these screenshots into. Because they tend to have a lot of features it might take a bit to get used to them, but generally they are flexible enough that once you find what you need to do, which is in your case the zooming and overlays, you can find a way to make it easy to do it over and over. Try Vegas again, and if that doesn't work pick up Adobe Premiere Elements. They may not be as focused as Camtasia on exactly what you need, but that is why Camtasia is 300 dollars and Premiere Elements is $140 even though the latter does a lot more than you need.

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CamStudio is an open source alternative.

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I think you should try ActivePresenter 3.0, the free edition can do exactly what you want.

ActivePresenter 3.0 will give you more power and pleasure while creating screencasts, presentation or e-learning materials. Targeting in easy to use while maintaining the flexibility to customize to fit user personal preferred style and strive for high quality of outputs, ActivePresenter 3.0 contains a lots of advanced features and improvements:

Capture:

  • Full motion recording with crystal clear video quality.
  • Record audio narration while recording.
  • Record and highlight mouse cursor.
  • Automatic panning recording area, record multiple monitors.
  • Easily editable Zoom-n-Pan.
  • Support Windows XP, Vista and 7 - x64 now.

Editor:

  • Instant slide preview.
  • Can insert (one or several) video into slide now.
    This will make your demonstration becomes more attractive.
  • Support many types of annotation shape with flexible hotspot, Zoom-n-Pan, Closed Caption.
  • Customizable mouse cursor path.
  • Support object styling (fill, line, text). You can easily create more beautiful presentation with our predefined styles or your own styles. Just imagine and realize it with ActivePrensenter.
  • Support more event and action types allow creating a unique tutorial that never seen before.
  • Create interactive simulation and training materials with 7 types of questions: True/False, Multiple Choice, Multiple (scoring is also available).
  • Clear and easy to use user interface.

Export:

  • Export to WebM format, which is comparable to H.264 and supported by Youtube.
  • High quality and editable output document (Word, PowerPoint, Excel).
  • High quality AJAX and Flash output
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Try Jing out, it has great quality, and a little sun icon, similar to Camtasia. There is a minor watermark on it though. They are made by the same company also (Techsmith)

Take a picture or make a short video of what you see on your computer monitor. Share it instantly via web, email, IM, Twitter or your blog. Simple and free, Jing is the perfect way to enhance your fast-paced online conversations.

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CamStudio is a very capable free alternative to Camtasia. It doesn't have any built-in zoom or callout functionality, but this can be achieved easily with a tool like ZoomIt from Sysinternals.

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BB Flashback is a slightly cheaper alternative to Camtasia with very good functionality, at least if you choose the pro edition. IMO it is also a lot easier to learn.

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Sorry about the misunderstanding. If it's just a screenshot program you're looking for Screenshot captor is a good one.

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I love Jing from TechSmith. it'll take video or still screen images and upload them to screencast automatically, putting a link to view it online on the clipboard. I find that I virtually always take screenshots or screen videos in order to immediately send them to someone, so this is extremely useful. Jing can also just save the videos or images to your hard disk, although I think the free version watermarks videos saved to disk.

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VirtualDub, I'd say

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You can do it with PowerPoint or Open Office's Impress. You can add the audio, text, shapes, etc. and then add auto advance timings. Someone can use the free Power Point viewer or Open Office to view the slide show.

Another free tool that has features similar to Camtasia is Wink. It has overlay / call out features and exports to SWF. It also does the screen capture stuff. I think you can import screen shots, but I am not sure. If not then you can try just taking a screen shot with it.

Let me know if there is a specific format you are wanting to export too. That can help determine the best tool. But based on the criteria you provided either of those solutions should work great for you.

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I use Snagit from techsmith, the same people who make Camstasia. It does everything you need, and has lost of screencap options, including cursor, link capture, video and audio. Great for manuals with screencaps.

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I know that I'll sound like an MS fanboy but I use Movie Maker all the time.

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I think you could find Wink and Taksi interesting they are both a little bit like Camtasia Studio. For text overlays and stuff Wink should be the way. If you want to record video sometime, you could also look for Jing which is free and made by the Camtasia people of TechSmith. Hope one of the applications is useful for your purpose!

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I asume you are using windows? if so I would suggest windows live movie maker! if I understand your question all you need is to "make a video" wlmm doesn't "capture screen shots" but it will combine audio and video together

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I've also used wink:

Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users.

enter image description here

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  Tom Wijsman Oct 31 '11 at 19:24
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protected by Nifle Apr 18 '12 at 18:28

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