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Capture in-game footage for presentation

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Pieter Helsen
Capture in-game footage for presentation
on Sep 19, 2008 at 7:53:28 pm

Hey all, I need to create a presentation about narratives and I would like to show some in-game footage on the background. So now my question was, what settings should I use?

First some more info, the presentation will be created in Adobe Flash, so it needs to be converted to Flash Video later on in the process. I'll probably edit using Premiere CS3 and I'm using a program called ZD Soft Game Recorder to capture the video.

My first question would be, which codec to use. This is the list of codecs the program (ZD Game Recorder) offers me:
- Uncompressed RGB
- Cinepak Codec by Radius
- Intel IYUV Codec
- Microsoft MPEG-4 VKI Codec v1
- Microsoft MPEG-4 VKI Codec v2
- Microsoft MPEG-4 VKI Codec v3
- Microsoft Video 1
- XviD MPEG-4 Codec

The default is the MS MPEG-4 v2 codec with a datarate of 1500.

Now, I'm guessing that "uncompressed" will give the best results as it doesn't have to compress anything while playing (thus using a minimum of processor power), and I can just import the raw files into premiere and compress them to a smaller .flv format later on? Or am I completely wrong about this?
Also, once in Premiere, should I export immediately to .flv or should I export to, let's say .avi first? And if so, what codec do you guys recommend?

My second question is about the resolution. My laptop is widescreen, but the projector will be 4:3 so should I record in 4:3 and should my video game settings be set to the same resolution? I was thinking of recording at 1024x768 or 1280x800.

If anyone's ever done an in-game recording and has any tips for me, that would be fantastic :)

That's about it methinks

Kind regards,
Pieter


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Daniel Low
Re: Capture in-game footage for presentation
on Sep 19, 2008 at 8:10:49 pm

1. CODEC to use:

You'll need a very fast system to capture uncompressed, fast in terms of processing power, but more importantly the speed of your storage.

None of the CODECs listed are either very modern or any good but of those I'd try Xvid and MS MPEG-4 V3. You'll need to experiment with datarates. You state 1500Kbits/sec would be a good starting point for standard def or below frame sizes depending on what kind of game you are trying to capture - i.e. it would be more than good enough for a card game but probably useless for a highly detailed racing game or fast moving 3rd person shooter.

As for resolution and aspect ratio; the resolution of the capture will depend on the above: i.e. the power of your system and the quality you require from the CODEC you choose. I'd say you'd be lucky to get higher than 640x480 capture at more than 30fps at decent quality, but I'd liked to be proved wrong.

Best to do your edit in Premiere, export to AVI and use a high quality encoding package to convert to FLV. 2nd best is export straight to FLV





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Pieter Helsen
Re: Capture in-game footage for presentation
on Sep 19, 2008 at 8:22:32 pm

Hello Daniel, thank you for a very fast and excellent reply.

I would be recording onto an external USB2 Hard Drive with a maximum transfer rate of 480 Mbits/s. The games will be Role-Playing Games but with some rather detailed spell effects, so I'm guessing it's more in the line of the detailed shooters/races.

I'm going to try to record on 800x600 at 25 or 30 frames per second then, hopefully that'll be fine.

Which other codecs would you suggest then? Because the ZD Soft website also has a page with more codecs on it:
http://www.zdsoft.com/more-codecs.html

Once again, thanks a lot for the fast reply.

Kind regards,
Pieter


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Daniel Low
Re: Capture in-game footage for presentation
on Sep 19, 2008 at 10:01:39 pm

Although your USB2 drive may have a maximum transfer rate of 480Mbit/s, its sustained transfer rate will be much, much lower, maybe only something like 120Mbit/s

See if your system is capable of using the Huffyyuv CODEC as part of FFDShow.

It might also be worth looking at other screen capture solutions like:

CamStudio - http://sourceforge.net/projects/camstudio/
or
http://www.screenvirtuoso.com/help/source/html/fmcodec.html




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Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Pieter Helsen
Re: Capture in-game footage for presentation
on Sep 20, 2008 at 11:00:11 pm

Thanks again for a quick response Daniel. I played around with the codecs a little but couldn't get it quite right, so I decided to download some High Def trailers/gameplay videos from another video game and am going to go to work on those. Since it's just for academic purposes, I doubt I'll get into any trouble :)

Kind regards,
Pieter

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