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Anyone know a good program to record gameplay sessions with?

sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
edited October 2012 in Off-Topic
FRAPS is bloated and makes my computer lag like crazy, plus I'm too cheap to buy a real license for it and for the purposes I intend to use this for, I need to be able to legally distribute whatever I end up "filming."


  • CheesebellyCheesebelly Member Posts: 1,727
    Free recording programs with high quality recordings are rare, if any at all. FRAPS is the most conventional means of recording and possibly the cheapest and easiest to get along. Problem is - you need a good processor for it. The newer version however (3.5 onwards) uses all cores of a processor which makes it better than it was before.

    Dxtory is a professional recorder, it has so many options that you don't even know where to start... but it is more pricy than FRAPS.

    If you're able to withstand playing in windowed mode though, there's a program that comes with 30 days of trial version, which can record just about anything (provided it's not fullscreen) without any PC speed loss - Camtasia (Dxtory also doesn't influence gaming speeds in general)

    Aside from these three, I know of none. They are the general picks though.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,496
    @Zeckul does some great "let's plays", maybe he would have a suggestion.

  • ZeckulZeckul Member Posts: 1,031
    edited October 2012
    I use Fraps for all my recordings, which I publicly distribute and partly monetize. It tends to cap games at its recording framerate (I always use 30), which isn't ideal for playing SC2 live or other games that require high speed and precision, but I find it adequate for everything I LP, i.e. RPGs. The 45$ price tag isn't a huge deal for unlimited installs and lifetime upgrades. Plus the recording format plays well with Virtual Dub which is my usual video editor.

    I recently tried "Action!" which offered apparently much better performance than Fraps and also seemed to play nice with Virtual Dub. It also seems more fully-featured than Fraps. Overall I'd probably choose it if I hadn't already bought Fraps and wasn't overall already satisfied with Fraps. It's 50$ for commercial use and 30$ for home use.

    Unfortunately you'll have to open up your wallet a little if you want to make professional-quality recordings. The free alternatives just don't produce very good results in my experience.

  • CheesebellyCheesebelly Member Posts: 1,727
    It is also worth noting that on youtube, the FPS limit is 30. Any frame above 30 is a lost frame :P

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    Camtasia has a 30 days trial version if i'm not wrong, you can just uninstall and reinstall it probally after the trial expires (you don't register to install anyway i believe, so i presume they just plant a cookie in PC to keep it from reinstall, what can be removed. CCleaner suggested). You can crack it also and if anyone ask just reply it's a trial version (at your own risk, i don't know where you are from to evaluate the consequences of this counterfeiting).

    Well, you have to evaluate moral, risk and need here, based in which of the 2 patchs you follow (if you choose to follow any in fact), so it's up to you.

  • CheesebellyCheesebelly Member Posts: 1,727
    I think the Trial version of Camtasia asks your Email address, so it's possibly limited by that (which doesn't mean it *is* in fact limited, but it would definitely be a chore creating a new email address every 30 days). But Camtasia Studio is very much a worth program... just being able to record the Binding of Isaac is more than enough to make it worthy, let alone being able to record ANY flash game out there on the interwebz as well as making videos related to your own desktop and folders and such (something that FRAPS can do through Aero desktop mode, but sucks at it because it LAGS like crazy)

  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
    I'm wanting to set up some sort of Let's Play type deal. Lots of my peers in person are always asking me about games because... I don't even really know. Apparently just the manner in which I speak lends itself to authority? I assure you guys, I'm winging it most of the time.

    BUT, I would like to assemble videos for PIH for when BG:EE comes out, and possibly show a couple tactics to help out newbies. There's only so much you can do with words.

    Also want to do a Let's Play of Dishonored because that game is effin' incredible.

  • CheesebellyCheesebelly Member Posts: 1,727
    edited October 2012
    Well, that won't come as exactly cheap, especially if you want to make good quality videos, or compositions of more videos.

    First it's a recorder - let's be honest : you need HD for that... As mentioned - FRAPS is easy to use, but does put some strain on your processor (you want to have a strong processor with FRAPS). I hear an SSD card fixes ALL probelms that FRAPS may cause, but without it - that's another big budget thing you'd get.

    Dxtory isn't nearly as straining on the processor, but there are so many settings that many things can go wrong.

    Raw files after recording session in HD (1080p is beautiful but overrated truth be told, you might as well keep it at 720, but I am getting ahead of myself) are INSANELY big. FRAPS for instance, in a 1080p resolution, 16:9 for a newer game, for around 10 minutes (it is more or less the standard LP episode length, as it keeps a solid audience retention, but I'm skipping ahead of myself again) can hit sizes up to 20 Gigabytes, of course, not something you'd like to upload on a place like Youtube (well, Youtube's size limit is 2 Gigabytes for non-partners if I am not mistaken. It seems to be limitless for partners)

    So what you need to do is basically render that video into something more suited for human beings. A very basic, free program - Windows Live Movie Maker, can help with that (as long as you keep it to FRAPS that is, for Dxtory, it won't work that easily - commentary audio will be hidden ). I've been using it for my first few videos and it was actually great, especially for uploading HD videos.
    But if you want to edit your videos more professionally, adding some effects, nicer cuts, better audio etc, you'll need to pay *again*.

    Programs such as Sony Vegas or Adobe Premier can help in this cause. They are both similar in what they offer, or so I hear, but I believe the latter is slightly faster at rendering (I myself have Sony Vegas and am happy with it).
    Rendering a video can take from mere minutes to hours, depending on your PC. I myself have a 3 years old PC with a Dual Core processor at 3.00 GHz I believe, it takes more or less 1 hour to render 10 minutes long videos, the whole day for an hour long video, it's crazy! (that's why I want a better PC for my birthday XD )

    After the rendering is done, you can upload your video if you feel happy with it. Depending on your connection though, this might take from nothing to a living nightmare of time. I have 1 Megabit per second upload speed - it's SUPER SLOW, a rendered 720p video can be from 300-600 megabytes in size. Some days, for such a video I'll need 5 hours!

    NOW, putting this block of text aside, I'd like to say - don't feel discouraged. It can be kind of an overwhelming thing to do at first, but it's easy to accomplish once you get the hang of it.
    For Baldur's Gate, I personally noticed that the file size of a raw video or rendered video aren't bad. 35 minutes of raw video is around 40 Gigabytes, rendered it's 300 Megabytes. Possibly because there's plenty of dialogues to be read and the video isn't that dynamic as a modern, 3D game would be.

    The other alternative is a Capture Card. I myself never tried such capture cards, although I'd like to for possible Console gaming commentaries. It's something I'll definitely contemplate about. They can be expensive as crap though (for HD 1080p quality over 100 dollars easily)

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    Camtasia can work the video to reduce him about 15x his original size, the problem is just the rendering of the video for the new format, that take aeons.

  • sandmanCCLsandmanCCL Member Posts: 1,389
    Yeah seems like it's something that's a pipe dream for after I graduate. I've got a potential job lined up and would room with my cousin who does TV and Video for a living so I'm sure I could piggy back off his rig for post-production stuff.

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