At the moment I am interested in different ways of recording what is on your screen, mainly I want to capture in game footage as well as other stuff for video tutorials. I am using Fraps (which so far is the best quality) and I have also tried several other free programmes but the video files are either stupidly large or have very low quality with no middle ground.
So now, I am looking for advice on different programmes that can video capture with reasonable quality and file size. I have heard of the graphics cards that can record high quality videos but I assume that it would cost way to much for me and I haven't done much research into these myself. I am willing to spend a little money but I don't have a very large budget.
I appreciate any advice that you lovely people can give me. :)
Record with Fraps, & then convert/shrink the file using virtual dub.
What is this place?
16th February 2007
Snow_Flake;4936046At the moment I am interested in different ways of recording what is on your screen, mainly I want to capture in game footage as well as other stuff for video tutorials. I am using Fraps (which so far is the best quality) and I have also tried several other free programmes but the video files are either stupidly large or have very low quality with no middle ground. So now, I am looking for advice on different programmes that can video capture with reasonable quality and file size. I have heard of the graphics cards that can record high quality videos but I assume that it would cost way to much for me and I haven't done much research into these myself. I am willing to spend a little money but I don't have a very large budget. I appreciate any advice that you lovely people can give me. :)
I use xfires built in video recording plugin (www.xifre.com). I'm impressed with it. I've got it setup to record the screen at full resolution. It saves files in .avi which can make big ass files eventually. I'm to lazy to get a compressing program, so I just tell xfire to upload the vid to xfire.com. It encodes it into a .mp4 file which keeps the full resolution and audio, once it's done uploading, delete the .avi, and take the mp4 with you. Some examples of what xfire can do can be found on my YT page. The link is in my signature. Click it, and browse the vids. All of them are the mp4 versions. You'll be impressed with it. Albeit, it's slow to upload and encode, but they're high quality.
You're already using the best, Fraps has no equal as far as game capture. They also offer very good tech support and product support as far as updates. I've tried Game Cam and PlayClaw, both of which allow for slightly higher FPS while playing because they don't cap the gameplay FPS at that of the capture FPS. Game Cam captures with very small file sizes because it compresses with mpeg2 while capturing, but PlayClaw's are ridiculously large. In the end the tradeoffs are poorer image quality with Game Cam, esp if you set it to allow higher in game FPS (the game can lag worse than with Fraps if you don't), and in the case of PlayClaw, the image quality is good but the playback is much less smooth due to an apparent problem capturing key frames properly. This is no doubt due to it's tendency to prioritize game FPS so much over capture FPS.
Once you learn more about capture programs you'll realize key frames are essential. They are frames saved at regular intervals that act as reference points for image quality and such. These frames appear as duplicates of an adjacent frame when advancing through the clip with something like VirtualDub's high quality viewer, with which you can view 30 individual frames each second. What happens with PlayClaw is many duplicate frames are captured in certain spots side by side, esp where you going through a complex spot of a map in game. I tested it on Burnout Paradise for instance and this occurred while I was approaching tunnels and such.
The result is a segment of video that you have to remove many identical frames from in order to avoid micro pauses in the playback, but then the video will jump slightly forward to the next frame, as it also leaves a slight gap in capture when this happens. This is no doubt the capture prog reaching a momentary saturation point as it allows resources to be prioritized to the gameplay FPS so much. Now one might think this is due to my having older, single core CPU spec, but if it can capture much better videos with Fraps, and still at playable frame rates, I tend to think it's more a flaw in PlayClaw. Granted however, it had just come out when I saw it for free download on GiveAwayOfTheDay, so it's no doubt a work in progress. I DO feel the makers of it are giving unrealistic claims about it though, and I did setup the capture FPS just as they recommend. Game Cam allows for gameplay FPS higher than that of the capture FPS via compromising the quality of the capture, which is the only realistic way you can do so. I knew what the makers of PlayClaw were claiming was too good to be true when I first read about it, and my testing verified it. I only tried it to report back with my results to others on the forum it was linked to from.
On compression, if you want something easy to learn on, though with limited quality, try using Windows Movie Maker. With it you can learn the basics of editing and selecting bitrates. You can even make your own custom editing profiles by downloading Windows Media Profile Editor, which is part of Windows Media Encoder 9 Series. Learn with the bit rate/resolution presets first, but you won't get very good results until you learn how to make your own profiles.
Then you can advance to something like Viurtual Dub and Xvid/LAME codecs when you're ready, which offer MUCH better image quality and at a very good file size with unparalleled sharpen, contrast, and resize filters. VDub is VERY limited on editing features though. It was not designed as a full featured editor. It has no built-in titles, credits, transitions, or effects, or even two stream audio capability. You can however edit video frames with it and with another program like Audacity, you can separate the video from the audio (demux) in VDub, then add background music in Audacity, etc, then put the audio back together with the video (remux) in VDub. A lot of people that use expensive full featured editors use VDub as an accessory tool, it's that good.
If you grow out of that, you can try using something like AutoMVK and the x264 and Nero AAC codecs, which are the most popular right now. AutoMVK is among the easiest to use GUIs for x264, but it's by no means full featured or easy to use, esp if trying to make your own editing profiles. It does however have pretty good built-in presets and the quality per file size of x264 is unparalleled.
I didn't make it!
I'm always very reluctant to buy software, so it sounds like Xfire may be the best option for me (it is free, right?).
What is this place?
16th February 2007
Yes, xfire is free. It's an IM program with a video recording plugin added on to it. I provided a link in my first post. Create an account, download the program, login, load your game, and start recording. Fraps is a good program, but I'm to lazy to buy it.
Also, FRAPS murders framerates. In some games, it might not affect it very much at all, in others, it can cut framerates almost by half.
The_Daedalus;4936777Also, FRAPS murders framerates. In some games, it might not affect it very much at all, in others, it can cut framerates almost by half.
That's true of any capture program, they can all fluctuate from game to game and many won't work with certain games at all. Beepa does a pretty good job of making sure Fraps works in all major titles. I find a big reason people don't like Fraps is they're either trying to record high resource, current gen games with outdated hardware, or they try to use too high a capture setting and/or resolution, or both. You definitely have to be practical and balance settings.