Camtasia Moving Highlight Effect Tutorial

camtasia, working with videos

Learn to create a wonderful Moving Highlight Trick from this Camtasia Video Editing Tutorial. This technique is very useful when you have a complex process or map to explain.

Video Transcript

Issue with presenting details in video

If you have got something complex to explain like this map which has too many details it can overwhelm your audience.

You want to guide their attention in a way that they focus only on the area that you want to show them so they don't get distracted by the other details in the scene. 

Then I have a wonderful trick to share with you today called moving highlight Trick. 

Sounds interesting, then keep watching. 

I'm Ramgopal from  

We help you build your audience on YouTube and monetize your expertise. If you are new to this channel, please consider subscribing to this channel. 

Now let us say I want to explain to the audience that there are two routes we're going to take. One is from ALS code to Houston Square. 

And the other one is from Earls Court to Mansion House. 

Now observe what happens if I present it in the traditional way by using my cursor. 

I take my cursor to the starting point and then I move my cursor over like this to explain the route and you can see that my cursor is getting lost in the details and the audience can't really follow because of all the details around it. 

Now take a look at how the same scene can be explained far more beautifully using the moving highlight technique. 

The explanation goes like this. 

I place my cursor here. 

We say on the first day we start at Earls code, go to High St Kensington, Notting Hill Gate, Bayswater Paddington and we keep going. 

We cross Baker Street, Regents Park, and finally arrive at our destination Houston Square. 

The second day we will start at Earls Court, but this time we will take the road via Cluster Rd South Kensington and then keep moving to slow and Square Victoria St., James park. 

And finally as we keep moving along the road we will reach our final destination which is Mansion House.  

Did you see how we are able to guide the viewers attention by putting the spotlight only in the areas that we want to show in a complex map like this? 

That is where moving highlight technique comes in handy. 

Tutorial to create Spotlight Effect in Camtasia

Now let me show you how to apply the moving Spotlight technique. 

The first step is to decide the segment where you want to show the moving spotlight. 

Now this is a demo recording of the two routes that we want to visualize. 

We have not applied the moving spotlight yet. 

Take a look at how the cursor moves along the route. 

So this is the before scenario. 

Now I want to decide the starting point where I want the spotlight to start. 

Now let me move the playhead so that I can decide on the starting point of the moving spotlight. 

Now somewhere over here is the right place. 

Now I have my cursor over here, so I want the moving spotlight to start from here now to apply the effect I need to click on the track where you have the screen recording done. 

In this case it is track one, so let me select the track and press S. 

Can you see here this is the shortcut for splitting the track. 

We have split the track. 

At the starting point. 

So from this point forward you can apply a different effect to occur. 

Now let me move my playhead to decide on the end point where I want the effect to stop. 

So I'm happy to have this place as the end point of my moving spotlight. 

So let me select that track and hit S again. 

So this segment that you see here in the middle is the one where we need to apply the moving spotlight. 

Now let me move my cursor. 

I can move this anywhere in the segment that I have already chosen, so this one let me go to cursor effects an in the cursor effects, the one that I'm going to use Is this one called Spotlight, 

Let me click and drag the effect and place it on the segment where we want the effect to be applied. 

Now instantly you can see the spotlight applied and the rest of the area is dulled out. 

Customize Spotlight Effect Settings

Now if you want to show a lot more contrast between the area where we have the spotlight and the rest of the area, you can reduce the opacity here. 

I can reduce it so you can see that the intensity of the dulling, or the darkness of this area is increased, so that really accentuates this spotlight effect. 

The next thing you can do is to adjust the size of the spotlight. 

Now you can see that we are not able to see the text associated with the labels, so we need to increase the size. 

So let me go to the size option in the properties panel and let me increase the size for Spotlight. 

Now that is a sufficiently large size you can also change the level of softness. 

Now let us see what happens as I move my slider to the right. 

Like so can you see the softness aspect affects the edges here. 

Can you see here the edges are a lot more blurred. 

Now if I reduce the softness you can see that the edges are fairly sharp, so we can adjust the level of softness. 

Let's see, a little bit of softness is always a good idea, so I'm going to keep that to the default size, so let me click on this to reset. 35% is an ideal size for softness.  

Now when I take the cursor to the starting point of this timeline, you can see that we don't have the spotlight effect as I move my playhead. 

Along the timeline you can see that we are able to transition from the No Spotlight area to the Spotlight area. 

Now let me remove this audio track because that is not really required for this demonstration purposes. 

So let me select this track, right click and say remove. 

Back the pop up dialog box ask me whether I would like to remove the track I'm going to say yes, and that audio track is removed. 

Now let us see how the moving spotlight works. 

As a click, you can see that my cursor is moving along the line that I want to explain and this is a very interesting effect. 

Your audience may not have seen information being presented this way. 

So this will definitely catch their attention. 

Tips to Make This Effect Work Properly

Now there are a couple of things that I want you to keep in mind to have this effect work properly. 

The first thing is the position of the cursor. 

You can see that my cursor is smack in the middle of the point where I want to put the spotlight on. 

If I were to place my cursor somewhere to the side, you will see that the spotlight also will be around that Casa and will be missing the text. 

So please be aware of the area where the spotlight will show and therefore move your cursor accordingly. 

The second thing you need to keep in mind is when you're using PowerPoint and when you're using Slideshow mode, the cursor won't stay for a long time. 

Maybe after a few seconds the cursor will vanish. 

So you need to be aware of the fact one way is to keep the cursor moving so the cursor is always visible in the slideshow mode. 

Or an alternative way is to use the normal mode so your cursor will always be present. 

You just need to ensure that you use the pan and zoom animation. 

So that you are able to zoom in only to the slide area. 

So as long as you are able to keep those two points in mind, which is placing the cursor smack in the middle of the area where you want to draw the focus and 2nd ensure that your cursor is present all the time, you will be able to have this moving spotlight effect work beautifully. 

Creative Ways to Use Highlight Effect

The technique can be used even to present a static information like this in a dynamic way.  

For example, you want to talk about a four-step process instead of showing the entire process in one go on your slide. Like this, you can use the moving highlight technique. Now take a look at this.  

First I draw the viewer's attention to step one of the process. 

Once I finish my explanation, I move the viewers' attention to step 2 and then to Step 3 and then to Step 4.  

Can you see here I'm able to move the attention from one step to another instead of showing all four steps in one go.  

I can also use this technique to present a HR slide. For example, we have three people that we want to talk about. I can place my cursor on the first person like this once I finish talking, I can move my cursor to the next person. 

Once I finish explanation, I can go to the next one and I can talk about the third person. 

So in cases where you don’t have the option of using custom animation in PowerPoint, you can use this moving highlight technique to move the viewers attention from one part of the slide to the next. 

So did you like the tip? 

If you did then please share this post with your friends to encourage us to create more such videos. 

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