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Author Topic: VirtualDub Game Recording Guide  (Read 5448 times)
GeneralAdmission
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« on: October 08, 2008, 01:25:29 PM »

Greetings everyone, (longtime lurker, first time poster)

I have recently published the first version of my guide for PC game recording with VirtualDub. This is a personal project, not a product or service.

I am sharing it here because there are a number of fellow gamers on the DC boards who might find it useful.

I also have a question for the coding gurus: Do any of you know how to disable hardware overlays? If you know how to do this it could potentially solve the primary drawback to this method of game recording (see the guide for details).

I welcome feedback, so please let me know what you think!

-GeneralAdmission (formerly GoldDragon)

Housekeeping:
-I believe this is the appropriate subforum for this thread. If not, mods please move it to where it should be.
-Thanks Mouser for the nick change. Wink
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 07:30:15 PM by GeneralAdmission » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2008, 02:19:20 PM »

Great.. welcome to the site GoldDragon/GeneralAdmission  thumbs up
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008, 07:22:24 PM »

I am sharing it here because there are a number of fellow gamers on the DC boards who might find it useful.

Definitely! Wanted to record a game video yesterday, but was worried about Xfire Video lagging. I'll have to give this a go smiley
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lanux128
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008, 09:20:01 PM »

great tutorial! i was always curious to know how this was done. thanks GeneralAdmission. thumbs up
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GeneralAdmission
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2008, 01:52:00 PM »

Quote from: wreckedcarzz
Definitely! Wanted to record a game video yesterday, but was worried about Xfire Video lagging. I'll have to give this a go smiley
I've used Xfire some. It does a good job of recording, but the performance hit is noticeable, especially at higher resolutions. Like Fraps, Xfire also uses lossless encoding, which means enormous video files. If you haven't looked at some of the sample footage yet, several of the clips have framecounters displayed to show how well game speed holds up while recording. I also posted a simple codec comparison to show how that variable by itself can have a significant impact on performance.

Let me know how it works out for you.
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2008, 03:53:03 PM »

Xfire's video compresses (I think?) if you choose to upload it to their servers, and leaves both original and compressed files on your hard drive. You can just start the upload and then cancel it after "Encoding" is complete for a small file, then delete the original (or, obviously, let it upload).

I have FPS and Time "pinned" to my game windows (shows up in video, too) and in my performance dives like so (using Xfire):

Halo 1.04: From 60 -> 40FPS @ max
Halo CE 1.04: (same as Halo)
GRID: From 30 FPS -> 8-12 FPS @ medium-high (custom) (viewable here and here)
Crysis: Un-recordable (but that's to be expected on my machine)
COD4: 30-40 -> 10-20 @ medium-high (custom)
NFS Carbon: 30-120 FPS -> 10-30 @ max
NFSMW: 30-50FPS -> 10-20 @ max
Project Torque: 30-75FPS -> 8-15 FPS (viewable here)
Sauerbraten: 30-200FPS -> 6-40 FPS @ max
Test Drive Unlimited: 15-40 FPS -> 10-15 FPS @ max

I play all my games at my LCD's max res, 1280x1024 (I have not recorded in 1080p, yet). Most videos do not get posted because the FPS simply suck, or I forget about them (then wonder where all my HD space went Grin)

To be honest, that [VirtualDub] setup is a bit... daunting. I began reading it last night and just finished about 5 minutes ago (granted sleep and school in-between tongue), and while it makes complete sense, I'm not sure if video capture is *THAT* important to me. undecided

That probably won't stop me from taking a stab at it, assuming I read it over in steps. I procrastinate a lot embarassed
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2008, 05:14:50 PM »

I had tried descibed solution and found a problem with every game I have installed:
screen is blinking from time to time!

Of course: I've uninstalled every application from article and reinstalled my PC.

Now I am sad because I did not create restore point...
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GeneralAdmission
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2008, 05:40:06 PM »

Xfire's video compresses (I think?) if you choose to upload it to their servers, and leaves both original and compressed files on your hard drive. You can just start the upload and then cancel it after "Encoding" is complete for a small file, then delete the original (or, obviously, let it upload).
Yeah, Xfire does have a handy auto-compress/upload feature which VirtualDub obviously lacks. I've never used them because I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to videos Wink.

Those are some serious FPS hits you're getting with Xfire. I imagine racing games are essentially unplayable in the 10-15fps range.

I agree that the guide is rather daunting, but the majority of the work is in the first-time setup process. When I want to record a game these days it takes me less than a minute to have the apps open and configured. Of course, I'm the kind of guy who also writes batch files to launch multiple apps or simply uses a few keystokes in Launchy. smiley

When you have time give it a shot. I'm very interested to see what kind of fps you can get with VirtualDub compared to Xfire.

I had tried descibed solution and found a problem with every game I have installed:
screen is blinking from time to time!
Sorry it didn't work out for you.

Did you read through the guide section where I discuss hardware overlays? Since VirtualDub just records your screen and doesn't 'hook' into DirectX, it often captures the overlay's key color (black frames) instead of just the game's rendered frames. There are a few workarounds listed in the guide.

This is why I'm interested to find out if any of the coders around here have graphics programming knowledge. If someone could figure out or code a solution to disable overlays, the flickering frames should not be a problem. Any takers?
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2008, 05:43:50 PM »

2GeneralAdmission
I am really ashamed because I was in rush writing it. I am waiting for mouser to delete my post somehow.

It appeared that it was not the source of the problem. I am sorry once again.

PS The source was Typing Assistant. I forgot to add my games to exceptions.
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GeneralAdmission
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2008, 05:52:06 PM »

2GeneralAdmission
I am really ashamed because I was in rush writing it. I am waiting for mouser to delete my post somehow.

It appeared that it was not the source of the problem. I am sorry once again.

PS The source was Typing Assistant. I forgot to add my games to exceptions.
Don't worry...I took no offense to what you said. smiley

So did Typing Assistant cause the flickering? Have you been able to record successfully now? If so I'd love to hear about how well it performed for you.

Thanks.
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2008, 06:00:48 PM »

2GeneralAdmission
So did Typing Assistant cause the flickering? Have you been able to record successfully now? If so I'd love to hear about how well it performed for you.
It's working flawless for almost every game I have but not for Urban Terror. Unfortunately: this game is something I want to record the most. I read about workarounds without success. It is blinking and the movie looks like having 10fps (it's ~70 during the game).
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Надо было учиться, а не камни в школу бросать...
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When I am bored I write for displaynone smiley
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f0dder is my personal hero smiley
GeneralAdmission
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2008, 11:04:47 PM »

It's working flawless for almost every game I have but not for Urban Terror. Unfortunately: this game is something I want to record the most. I read about workarounds without success. It is blinking and the movie looks like having 10fps (it's ~70 during the game).
Glad to hear the good news! Would you mind sharing a few details about how it worked for you? Such as which games? What graphics card? Which OS version? Could you record in fullscreen or did you have to use windowed mode? How was performance/framerate? I'm hoping to improve/expand the guide based on feedback, so any details would be helpful.

So Urban Terror played OK while recording, but the video came out bad? Have you tried windowed mode? I know it is based on the Q3 engine, so it might have that feature in the options menu, or it may be in a .cfg file entry like this: seta r_fullscreen "1". (change to "0" for windowed)


lanux128: fixed the quote tag
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 12:57:05 AM by lanux128 » Logged
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