I used CamStudio Ver. 2.00 to create a recording of a region of my screen. I want to add annotations to it, but when I import it in Movie Maker, the quality is significantly degraded. I tried importing it in Adobe Premier Pro CS, but the quality is still slightly degraded and the video is very jerky. Why is this happening? I have left all the setting of CamStudio to default values before creating the screen capture video.

  • The default settings may not be ideal for your system - be aware that recording and encoding video is quite a CPU (and possibly I/O) intensive task, so the jerky video may be caused by hard drive contention or a heavily loaded CPU. – Dr Mayhem Oct 2 '13 at 13:19
  • The avi file saved by cam studio looks good, almost as good as the original; it;s after I import it in the video editing software that the degradation happens – user17915 Oct 2 '13 at 14:55

Most likely, the jerkiness is just your system being overloaded. Many screen capture programs record relatively large files to avoid loading the CPU while capturing, but this means that the data rates needed for playback can be very high and thus can result in problems with reading the data fast enough to keep up with playback.

As far as the degradation, without a sample of what the degradation looks like, it's hard to tell. The preview may simply be reduced quality to help with the load. Also, a final output is going to be slightly lower quality as more thorough compression is probably applied by default and any lossy recompression is going to result in further quality loss, though choosing good compression options should minimize the level of loss.

You can try re-compressing the video from the screen capture and it will likely improve performance, but it will also degrade the quality of the final output. Alternately, you could use a better NLE (non-linear editor) that might handle it more smoothly through better buffering or graphics card acceleration, but most likely you'll want faster hard drives or more memory to work from if you want to maintain the best quality and smoothest editing experience.

  • The avi file saved by cam studio looks good, almost as good as the original; it;s after I import it in the video editing software that the degradation happens – user17915 Oct 2 '13 at 14:54
  • @user17915 - yes, that is consistent with my answer. The playback is the problem. When recording, it can buffer through memory, but when trying to read back, particularly for random access, it doesn't have a chance to do the buffering to memory, so read speeds have to be sufficient to keep up. – AJ Henderson Oct 2 '13 at 14:57
  • I'm sorry if it should be obvious by now, but I still don't get why a highquality video recorded from camera can be edited just fine, while a relatively low quality screen grabs require more processing power. What are the approaches for me to overcome the degradation and jerkiness after importing it in the editing software? Is the only solution getting a computer with higher hardware specs? – user17915 Oct 2 '13 at 18:23
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    It has to do with compression levels and data rates. When you are recording a video with a dedicated camera, you have much better encoding capability. When you are trying to render something on a computer and record it at the same time, it has to split it's attention between recording and doing what it is doing. Because of this, shortcuts have to be taken that make the files bigger and harder to work with after the fact. Also, what resolution are the screen grabs? Many if not most screens now adays are 1080p or higher quality. – AJ Henderson Oct 2 '13 at 19:23
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    @user17915 - I'm also still not sure what you mean by degradation. Are you able to describe it, or better yet, post a screen shot of what it looks like? That would be very helpful in identifying if there is something you can fix. Also, how long and big are the files? – AJ Henderson Oct 2 '13 at 19:31

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