Video screen capture help

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++$_
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Video screen capture help

Postby ++$_ » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:58 am UTC

I'm trying to record a first person video of me playing Warcraft III. To do this, I need screen capture/screencasting software. I've tried CamStudio, VirtualDub, Windows Media Encoder, and about six others. All of them have some serious problems.

CamStudio and VirtualDub come the closest to working. The only problem is that occasionally (I can't figure out what actions in-game trigger it), parts of the interface disappear for 1-2 frames (replaced with black), and then reappear. This would be unacceptable in a final video output. So I would like someone to help with this. Is it possible to fix this problem by changing the settings of VDub or CamStudio, and if so, how? What codecs do I need to make this work? How should I set the frame rate? If it's not possible, then is there a way to edit the videos so as to remove the flickering effect?

Note: One program did work -- a rather disgusting thing called "Wink." However, it won't output a file in any normal video format (only its own custom-designed Flash Videos). This program seems to take individual screenshots at small intervals, and encode them later. Is there any other software that does this? Preferably some software that's willing to do the encoding as well, if only after the fact.

Honestly, I'm at my wits' end. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Bruce
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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby Bruce » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:50 am UTC

I believe Fraps is what most people use. Not sure what the limitations are if you are not willing to pay for it.
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b.i.o
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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby b.i.o » Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:31 pm UTC

Fraps is what is most widely used--the free version isn't really a viable choice though.

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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby pieaholicx » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

I believe the trail version of Fraps is 30 second videos, and includes a watermark. I believe Xfire has some video recording capabilities that have recently been added. It includes a watermark, but the time it's unlimited.
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++$_
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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby ++$_ » Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

Thanks for the help, everyone. I actually found a method that works; the rest of this post will be me explaining it in case someone else has a similar problem in the future. Actually, I'll continue to look into Xfire, because this method is a bit of a pain.

I looked into fraps too, but the free version only allows 30 second clips (as someone said above), so that's not an option.

About 15 minutes after posting this I realized that the problem was the way Warcraft draws things on the screen. Like any other program, it does it in bits. The screencap programs are asynchronous, so they sometimes catch WC3 having drawn some parts of the screen but not others. For example, at one point I got a frame where everything was there except for the unit models.

This was fixed by playing the game in windowed mode. I don't know why, but I thought I'd try it, and it worked the first time. (If you're someone following these instructions later, to put Warcraft III into windowed mode, create a shortcut and add "-window" (not in quotes) after the path name.) I used CamStudio (free software, yay) to record the region containing the business part of the window. For some reason, it's important that the region be an even number of pixels in width and height. Also, I'm using the Xvid MPEG-4 codec, which keeps the size of the output files down. (I'm getting about 10 MB/minute.)

I had to run in 640x480 resolution to record enough frames per second, but I'm okay with that because it also keeps the file size down. After changing to windowed mode, I was able to turn up all other graphics settings in-game to the highest level and still produce a good-quality video.

P.S. If anyone is having trouble getting CamStudio to run on Vista, I'm now an expert on that :/ Basically, you need to download the Xvid codec or the CamStudio Lossless codec, and use it, run in XP SP2 compatibility mode, and do all the Windows Updates. Not fun.

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LittleChrist
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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby LittleChrist » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

I use the free version of HyperCam 2. I like the fact that is is really customizable, but the downside is it leaves a small HyperCam2 logo on all of the videos. My only complaint is that it rendered my old 1.8Mhz/512MB desktop useless when recording because the processor/RAM couldn't handle the load.
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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:18 am UTC

++$_ wrote:About 15 minutes after posting this I realized that the problem was the way Warcraft draws things on the screen. Like any other program, it does it in bits. The screencap programs are asynchronous, so they sometimes catch WC3 having drawn some parts of the screen but not others. For example, at one point I got a frame where everything was there except for the unit models.

I would think simply enabling VSync would have fixed that problem. Sounds like that solution would have been a lot easier.

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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby ++$_ » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:29 am UTC

Is there a way to enable vsync in a game that doesn't explicitly have such an option?

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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:17 am UTC

You can usually force it from your video card drivers. Not usually a good idea to apply it to all games because some don't take well to it being forced (I've seen some become unstable and slow from it). But for the most part, it doesn't cause problems.

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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby b.i.o » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:44 am UTC

If you have an NVidia card you can force it on in the NVidia control panel by going to "Manage 3D Settings" and then you can specifically set it for WCIII by going to the "Program Settings" tab. Vertical Sync should be the last option in there. I'd imagine ATI cards have something similarly easy.

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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby gunsta » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:46 pm UTC

Yo 8)

I use Screen VidShot good and very powerful soft. Fast work and no lugs ( on my computer ( AMD 1800+ 512 RAM ATI Radeon 9600)) :D

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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby BumpInTheNight » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:30 am UTC

LittleChrist wrote:I use the free version of HyperCam 2. I like the fact that is is really customizable, but the downside is it leaves a small HyperCam2 logo on all of the videos. My only complaint is that it rendered my old 1.8Mhz/512MB desktop useless when recording because the processor/RAM couldn't handle the load.


Interesting, how is it for drive writing needs vs CPU vs quality of the video? I use the full version Fraps for my game play recording and as an example to record at 1280x1024@30 FPS its videos are roughly a GB per minute (59MB/second writing to disk). I couldn't even record at 1920x1080 because my hard drives couldn't write fast enough (100MB/sec write abilities just for making the movie file) to keep up with the recording, recently fixed with a 4xraid0 HDD array though.

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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby Recognizable » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:25 pm UTC

I'm sorry, I know the thread is rather old, but one thing seems to me curious :oops:
There's a special option in Warcraft III to save your game so that you can view it later - your actions as well as your rivals actions. I don't see why one may need any additional software to capture the game then. :)
Though I agree with gunsta, Screen VidShot is a really powerful tool.

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BumpInTheNight
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Re: Video screen capture help

Postby BumpInTheNight » Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:18 pm UTC

The idea is to capture it to an actual video file, thus being more portable then say dragging your computer around with you to show various games or uploading to youtube purposes. ;) There are also apparently more games in the universe then WC3, hard to believe I know but its true. :P

(for examples of what's possible by doing that, click the link below this text)


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