02. Using Annotations

Annotations draw your viewer's attention to what you want them to focus on. After watching this movie you will be able to add, manipulate, and leverage annotations in your Camtasia 2020 project.

Original Script

Annotations are a combination of text and graphic overlays that can be extremely effective at drawing your viewers eye to exactly what you want them to focus on. When you click on Annotations, there are 6 tabs with several examples of that type of Annotation.

In the first 3 tabs, Annotations are grouped by similar looking Styles. Click the Style drop down to see the default styles, I’ll select Bold. When you select a style, in one tab, Camtasia automatically selects that style for the other tabs, allowing you to create a consistent look and feel within your movie.

All annotations work in a similar way. You select the annotation you want to add, drag it to the canvas and It’s instantly converted to a movie clip. The clip is created on the next available track and begins where your Playhead is currently located.

You can then, Use all of the on screen control that we’ve already seen for the canvas and make further refinements to the object in the Properties inspector.

Depending on what type of object you select, the Properties inspector will show you all of the available options that you can customize for that object.

I added a couple of clip markers to identify where the dialog is talking about a particular region of graph. Let’s draw our viewer’s attention to this region of the graph on the main clip by changing the type for this Star to a rectangle.

Next, drag the Outline Thickness Slider up to about 10 to really give the shape a bit more weight. Then click the Outline color well, select the eye dropper and sample a color that is going to harmoniously draw attention to this area of your screen. Let’s sample this Yellow from the Bold annotation panel by clicking on it. That looks pretty good.

Then clear the fill by dragging this Opacity Slider down to zero.

Ok, we have a decent look going, now refine it to tie it into your story.

Adjust the timing of the clip on your timeline to match the action you want to draw your viewers attention to in the dialog. I added some clip markers to help identify this region. Use those to set the timing of the clip. Then jump the playhead to the start of the clip, You can see the small dots on the graph that identify where we need to focus our viewers attention to, so make adjustments to the onscreen controls to get a rough shape, then jump your playhead to the end of the clip, to tie in that dialog as well.

Now if you scrub your playhead over this part of your timeline you can see that the annotation, draws your viewers attention to exactly that portion of the screen and is timed perfectly to the dialog.

To take your annotations game to the next level you can add a transition effect, so your annotations animate in and out of the frame, and we’re looking at transitions next.