Capturing screen shot video

Phillip Simmons's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/19/2012 - 12:11pm

I am attempting to capture video of computer applications using SnagIt (PC), then incorporating it into a larger instructional video. The problem is that the apparent screen resolution is too low (96 dpi). When the final product is enlarged on playback, it is too fuzzy to follow (and the file is huge). At it's native size, it is too small to read.


Does anyone have advice on how to capture source material like this and repurpose it?


A related question: If I am going to use static screen shots, what dimensions should I be using if the final Adobe Premiere sequence is in 16x9 1080P?


Thank you for any suggestions.

Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 1 day 1 hour ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Not sure why you're having the problem you describe. My computer monitor is set up for a resolution of 1280x1024. When I do a full screen capture (using PaintShop Pro 9.0) the resulting image has a resolution of 1280x1024, the same as the monitor. This is as it should be.


"96 dpi" is a scanner resolution, so I'm not clear as to how this figures into your problem.


If the "static screen shot" is 4:3, for example, you probably don't want to try to stretch it to 16:9; I wouldn't.


Finally, I believe that SnagIt is the little brother of Camtasia. I'm unfamiliar with the former, but Camtasia is used by a great many developers who are putting instructional material which relies heavily on on-screen content. It might be worth comparing the features of the two products to see if perhaps SnagIt isn't really right for what you want to do. Or call/email SnagIt tech support and see if they can suggest a resolution to your problem.


Phillip Simmons's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/19/2012 - 12:11pm

Thank you, Jack.


Let me elaborate a bit. The monitor that the screen shots were taken from is set to a resolution of 1920x1080. The 96 dpi that I quoated should have been stated as 96 pixels/inch, which is a limitation of the physical display medium.


I will look at Camtasia and see if that will help.



Phillip Simmons's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/19/2012 - 12:11pm

Here's a bit more. I tried using Camtasia on my Mac. The monitor (27" cinema display) is set to 2560x1440, although the portion of the screen I was capturing was significantly less than that. My two test captures took perhaps 1/8 and 1/2 of the screen.


When my test file was rendered to 720p, the result was passable - actually quite good - viewed with QuickTime - even when I enlarged the playback.


When I rendered it for an iPad (which a user likely would be using), the image appeared sharp in the native size (again, viewed with QuickTime on the Mac). However, the details were too small to discern. When stretching the screen (as an iPad or iPhone user might do), the enlarged image was too fuzzy to read.


When I have looked at either the SnagIt or Camtasia scans in Premiere, the screens with small text often appear fuzzy until I pause, at which time they immediately clear up.


Clearly, I am missing something somewhere. Any advice is appreciated!

artsmith's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 03/02/2011 - 9:06pm

Anyone tried 'Ashampoo's' 'Snap' in any recent version, (need not be the current one v6)? It has always worked a treat, for me.

Ian Smith
Dunedin New Zealand

Phil Lenihan's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/17/2012 - 9:52am

Hi, I'm new here. Just subscribed. I am part of a senior citizen TV production group in Cupertino, CA. We produce a weekly public access show called The Better Part and have been doing it since 1983. We are on our 1,076th show. Our shows are mostly interviews either in the studio or remotely.


Last year we were approached by our local library to do a program on the databases available on line from the library. This would obviously involve videos of computer screens. At the time nothing I could find would give us readable video. That's why this posting is of interest to me. It looks like this may provide a solution to our dilemma.


Phil I would like to know how you are doing with your instructional videos.


Cheers!  Phil