Camtasia for Mac received an update today that makes it easy to create professional screencasts (capturing all actions on screen) for demonstration videos, instructional videos, and other screen-recording projects. Some new features offered in version 2.1 of the software should make it even more useful, adding new Clip Speed and Remove a Color options to add to your screencasts.
Clip Speed lets you adjust play speed easily
The new Clip Speed feature can be accessed from the Video FX tab, and lets you speed through slow processes in a demonstration or slow down a faster process you want your audience to see. Say you're creating a presentation that includes a visually uninteresting task like filling out a form. You can drag and drop the Clip Speed feature from the Video FX tab on to your timeline, then speed up a portion of the clip so that it flies through filling out the form. This will be especially useful when you want to skip through a section or, alternatively, slow down a more visually pleasing portion of your presentation for your audience. From what we've seen, the drag-and-drop interface for the tool is very easy to use and requires only a few steps.
Remove a Color to add backgrounds
Remove a Color (Chroma key) is a new feature that is not unlike when news show meteorologists use a green screen behind them to present the weather. You can set up a solid color background (a solid-colored sheet behind you, for example), then instruct Camtasia to remove that color. This will enable you to replace the color with presentation slides or bullet points in the background while you present in the foreground. Though the green screen feature was made popular by big sci-fi movies (and weather forecasts), the practical applications of the technology for demonstration purposes will be extremely useful for making eye-popping presentations.
Camtasia for Mac 2.1 is available today (at the above link) for free as a 30-day trial. Those new to the software can purchase it for $99, but it will cost $49.50 for people who owned any of the earlier 1.x versions. If you own Camtasia for Mac 2.0, this is a free upgrade. You also have the option to download and purchase the software from the Mac App Store.
Camtasia was already one of the strongest screencasting options on the Mac, offering an intuitive drag-and-drop interface and easily accessible tools that make beginners look like pros. This latest update only adds to the feature set, making your presentations and demonstration videos more eye-catching and a better experience for your audience.
Check back later today for our review of Camtasia for Mac 2.1