Sketchup animations using third party programs

Programs such as Camtasia have been mentioned as possibilities to use with SU19. Are there any links to SU users making use of Camtasia or even VRay Cinema that I can see and compare?

Like a gallery kind of thing ?

Yes, I’m tossing the idea around of using one of the two programs. Would like to know which one of them is more user friendly. It would be nice to use music and timing when creating an animation.

I myself don’t know anything of these products, but just an FYI …

SketchUp 2020 has removed lossless avi video export for some security and “feature lightening” reasons.

In previous versions if the file size was larger in bytes than a 32bit integer could express, the “video.avi” file would not get copied from the TEMP folder to the user’s choice of path and filename, making it appear that the export had failed. Users need to manually copy the avi file in such cases.

So you (and others) will want to use the frameset image export of png files and create the animation in an external video editor… OR use an external render product that will output the animation.

I’ve been exporting my vids. as a mp4 file right from SU. Everything works fine but want to ramp up the animations to be timed with the music. Camtasia seemed to be the one to use. Just looking for any feedback on that program or the VRay Cinema program.

Read up on it at Wikipedia … it’s a video capturer / editor, and does not actually import models, render or animate them (AFAIK.) It can only open video file formats.

Well if you will be relying upon another application to do the animation, then it’s screen capture can grab it from either SketchUp or any external renderer. And then you will not have the loss that would come via an MP4 export (from SketchUp) and import (into Camtasia.) Ie, mpegs are lossy just as jpegs are lossy, because they are compressed formats.

The drawback of just SketchUp and Camtasia will be that SketchUp cannot render photo realistically.

Thanks for that feedback b4 purchasing Camtasia. Ultimately, in the end, the result I’m looking to create would be similar to a movie introduction…or a trailer type of short video.

I will keep looking for a solution to this.

Please note that VRay is an external rendering application… external to most modelers.

Cinema 4D (Maxon Computer GmbH) is an application separate from Vray (from Chaos Group.)

I thought that Cinema 4D was quite expensive as it’s a mainstream model render and animation application used by the motion picture industry. But looking at it’s subscription pricing you could get away with 100 bucks a month and complete your project in that time (hopefully.)

If you look at the bottom of the Wikipedia page for Cinema 4D, you’ll see links to movies and such that have used it.

So what you’d most likely do from SketchUp is export as a FBX model file and import that into Cinema 4D.

I don’t know as you’d need Vray. You’d need to investigate what it and it’s plugin for Cinema 4D does for you and your project.

Thanks very much for your extra effort! I will definitely look more closely at Cinema 4D as a way to get my productions from SU19.

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FWIW, I use Camtasia frequently. The primary use is for screen capture videos. It will import mp4 files and it’s editor is quite robust. You could take an animation you’ve exported from SU and work with it in Camtasia.

Thanx Dave, It may have been you that was the one who mentioned Camtasia in a different thread.
At any rate, I would like to explore a little more with Camtasia but would like to see some videos using SU with it.
Would you be willing to show me a short video that you’ve done?


The only things I currently have available are screen captures for SketchUp tutorials. You can find them [here]. They don’t require or at least don’t get a whole lot of editing or special effects added to them. The editor is capable of a lot more than I need.

Keep in mind that there are lossless compression algorithms. :slight_smile:

I think their website said they have a 30 day trial. Why not try it out ?

With regard to lossless compression algorithms ....

Well my opinion comes from what I’ve decided to believe :wink: …

The compression method is usually lossy , meaning that some original image information is lost and cannot be restored, possibly affecting image quality. There is an optional lossless mode defined in the JPEG standard. However, this mode is not widely supported in products.

But, I’m always ready to do a good read and modify my knowledge. So your statement made me poke around a bit.

SketchUp’s library for video export writes mp4 files, per MPEG-4 part 10, using H.264 compression …

H.264 is typically used for lossy compression, although it is also possible to create truly lossless-coded regions within lossy-coded pictures or to support rare use cases for which the entire encoding is lossless.

Recently discussing a bug concerning video export with a member of the SketchUp Team, he indicated that the library’s H.264 output was “lossy”. He, I believe crafted the mention in the SU2020 release notes with regard to the discontinuance of the avi, webm and ogv export formats, infoming users who need lossless output to export png frame image sets and use an external video editor.

The compression algorithms used by the JPEG and MPEG standards are famously lossy (though different implementations claim to yield better results).

I’m talking about other algorithms entirely, such as Nikon Electronic Format (NEF) image files, which offer a lossless compression option (I use this with my Nikon camera). I believe the PNG graphic format is also using a lossless compression algorithm. Pretty much all data stored in the cloud (Google, AWS, iCloud, etc.) is compressed before storage, using a lossless algorithm; it would not be very satisfactory if your emails and other messages were compressed using a lossy algorithm, which when uncompressed were now mangled and “close approximations” to the original text. :slight_smile:

I have one colleague who uses Final Cut Pro, which I do too, and I think the others (Josh and Aaron) do use Camtasia. I’ll edit this on Monday when I ask them!

The MP4 export varies its data rate to cope with how complex the animation is. It will use very high data rate H.264, which is what many video cameras do. Overall it should be good enough as a source for editing to make another video. I am petitioning to have H.265 support in the future!

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Hi Dave, I noticed the videos are 720p. Is that a limitation of Camtasia or a limitation imposed by the site?

The videos are rendered at 1080p but maybe dropped by YouTube. Some of the older ones are 720p.

Are you using Camtasia for the actual screen recording? Do you record the SU portion and add the narration later, or simultaneously?