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Old 4th June 2011, 10:56   #1  |  Link
GreatEmerald
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Recording in full HD

I have a fairly complex problem here and I was wondering if anyone could help me with it. I am trying to record a full HD playthrough of a first-person shooter game and put it on YouTube, but due to a few technical problems I can't seem to find a good way to do that.

I'm using both Windows and Linux (it doesn't matter much which platform I record this on since the game is cross-platform, but naturally Windows is more optimised). I've tried a few different recording programs, and noticed that usually it either slows down the performance of the whole PC or the recording. Usual desktop recording software, like Camtasia Studio, Expression Encoder (Windows) or FFmpeg, recordMyDesktop (Linux) usually end up with a very low framerate in the recording itself, while in game the framerate is high. It seems to be better with OpenGL/DirectX accelerated recording software, like ZDSoft, Fraps (Windows) or glc (Linux). Their output generally has better framerate, although the game itself can be less responsive.

Fraps generally works the best so far, but there are a few problems: the framerate is fluctuating (if I set it to record at 40 FPS, I get 40-20 FPS in the game, and dips are more like spikes), and the sound from the game doesn't record properly after a map switch, which is really odd.

If I use ZDSoft with the MJPEG codec, I get smoother 40 FPS - it goes around 50-30 FPS without causing spikes. However, ZDSoft doesn't allow recording more than one audio input, which could be a problem. I've also tried a lot of different codecs, but they all seem to be slower than MJPEG.
So, do you have any suggestions about this? Is there any way to get a better framerate or a way to record two streams of audio and sync it with video? Since I have to press F8 to start the video recording, maybe there's a program that would record sound using the same key, and that way they could be synced?

This is what I get when I record the game, then use FFmpeg to convert it to WebM video and upload it to YouTube:
Fraps - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyTH9VfkCUQ
MJPEG - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oz1bGpSajY
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Old 4th June 2011, 16:29   #2  |  Link
CWR03
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I assume you're running the game on an LCD screen locked at 60 FPS - try capturing with Fraps at 30 FPS. You don't need a higher framerate than that for the video to look smooth.
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Old 4th June 2011, 16:43   #3  |  Link
GreatEmerald
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The thing is, even if I disable 'Lock framerate while recording', it still locks it to what the video is set to, so I get 30 FPS in the game, which makes input way too slow.
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Old 4th June 2011, 17:05   #4  |  Link
CWR03
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Is your computer up to the task? It takes a lot of data to capture 1080p video.
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Old 4th June 2011, 17:32   #5  |  Link
poisondeathray
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If your goal is youtube, and you aren't editing slo mo sequences, then 30FPS is the maximum anyway. Even if you upload 60FPS material, it will be cut down to 30FPS.

Your minimum in-game framerate needs to always be >30FPS. If you have any dips below that , it will look choppy regardless of anything else.

There can be other bottlenecks besides CPU or GPU "horsepower" in your recording, causing FPS dips - How do you have your storage IO set up ? Is this a RAID0, or are you capturing directly to a single HDD on your OS disk ?
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Old 4th June 2011, 17:45   #6  |  Link
GreatEmerald
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It should be up to the task. The specifications are: AMD Phenom II X4 925 (2.8 GHz) CPU, AMD Radeon HD 4890 GPU, two hard disks: 640 GB WD Caviar Black and 1 TB WD Caviar Green. The first one is where I have my OSs, so it's very much partitioned (161GB left on the Windows partition). The second one is where I keep my videos, it has a single huge NTFS partition (780GB left right now). Using plain AHCI.
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