Montana State University

Center for Faculty Excellence

Marilyn Lockhart

Interim Director of Faculty Excellence
105 Montana Hall
(406) 994-4555

Anne Angermeyr

Program Coordinator
212 Montana Hall
(406) 994-7136

Ritchie Boyd

Academic Technology Specialist
310 Culbertson Hall
(406) 994-4660


Camtasia Relay Tips, Tricks, and Reminders



How do I provide guest access to Relay?

1) Have them open up the recorder and click on the Guest button instead of Presenter.
2) Then they can enter their own name, and under "Guest of", they should enter your email address (the one that is associated with your Camtasia account).
3) Then they should click on "Submit".

You will receive an email notification as soon as the presentation is uploaded, telling you that the system is ready, and asking what profile to use for processing.

See illustration below:
guest login screen


Why is the resolution of my Relay videos only 640x480 pixels?

With the "MSU Relay Files" profile, which is the default for most users, the output is always placed into 640x480 video dimensions.
This is true regardless of your starting resolution.
The two primary benefits of this are
1) small file sizes ( = fast downloads), and
2) compatibility across a wide range of devices, notably mobile devices with smaller screens.

Accomodating this fact is not hard at all - it is an issue of planning and presentation development:

Remember back in the old days when we had to pay attention to the design of our powerpoints if we were doing lectures in a large lecture hall – the students in the back row couldn’t read the fine print or make out detailed drawings.
This situation is analogous – if someone is viewing your presentation on a small screen (like a smart phone or tablet), they will have a harder time reading the small text in detailed tables. Similarly, they wouldn’t be able to discern much info in a detailed graphic.
My advice for folks using powerpoint is to design with this 640x480 form factor in mind, and then you know you will be safe for all mobile devices. Better that than to have to go back and make another one after students request it.

It’s a fair question to ask how to handle things like detailed tables and fine text and graphics.

There are more than a couple of approaches, but remember this is no different than the challenge of presenting tabular info in a large lecture hall. My initial inclination would be to select an appropriate method:
1) Jump out of slide show mode and zoom in and then scroll across the table and pause as the text is discussed, or
2) Break each table into 3 or 4 slides with a focus on the important info. There is a good chance you won't discuss all of the info in the tables, so why provide equal visual time for it?
There’s also a philosophical point here – a viewer is going to have to refer to the original work anyway if they need to convince themselves that you aren’t selling snake oil, so as long as that work is properly cited, simply highlighting the major points of a paper or study becomes much easier, AND you focus the viewer on what you want them to and they are not distracted by trying to read a whole table.
3) Please consider zooming into the important part of a graphic on a new slide after you have established the whole image in a single slide. This may mean you have created two or three slides per image, but it is very effective at focusing the viewer on the specific attributes you are discussing.

Take a look at this example from a workshop on designing for mobile devices: