Using OBS in Vegas Pro 13
For quite awhile now, there have been lots of threads reporting problems using OBS screen captures with Vegas. Yesterday, I downloaded the latest version (15.4) of OBS Studio for a test run. First, my system specs--a 4 yr old, Intel i7-3770K oc'd to 4.18 ghz coupled with 16 GB RAM. I have a dual monitor set up with the the Intel HD4000 adapter driving the 1st monitor and an Nvidia 650 driving the 2nd monitor. I'm using a fresh install of Win 10 Home on an SSD. For recording, I used a 1TB WD Blue 7200 drive. Overall, I would consider my system pretty anemic, especially its graphics capabilities.
IMPORTANT! To properly install OBS in Win10, I learned you had to do so in compatibility mode with Win 7 as the target. Otherwise, there is no preview and the captured video is "black".
Since I'm not a gamer, I simply "played" a 1080 60P video on the first monitor using Media Player Classic-Home Cinema. I also did runs with the only game that came with Win 10--Candy Crush--with the same results. Again, my concern was not how well the games were captured, but rather how well the resulting files could be used in Vegas.
For all tests, I used the following settings on the Advanced Settings page.
Here's what I found for some of the rendering options:
1. Intel Quick-sync. Did not work at all. I did a couple of runs with the same result. No video, just audio.
2. x264-CPU. Here are my settings and CPU utilization during recording.
Even though OBS reported CPU utilization to be around 70-75%, the Windows task manager showed that my system was pretty much maxed out. In Vegas, however, the resulting files imported without any problem. Preview at Best/Full was pretty much pegged at 59.94 fps.
3. x264-Nvenc. Another option was use of the Nvenc hardware encoder.
Using the Nvidia card's encoder, CPU usage was really low--around 10 - 14%. The resulting files also imported into Vegas without issue and preview at best/full was pretty much pegged at 59.94.
4. Lossless avi using UT Video codec. One can also use FFMPEG for rendering and choose its many supported codecs. In addition to lossless video, it supports wav audio, although one is limited to a single track. Here are the settings and CPU usage.
Using lossless avi, CPU usage hovered around 35%. Since the resulting video is lossless, the file sizes are much larger than the MP4 files and the drive utilization is also increased. To import the resulting files into Vegas, the user must download and install the UT Video codec. Like the two previous file types, the lossless avi files imported into Vegas without issue. At best/full preview performance remained around 56 - 58 fps, a little bit less than the MP4 files.
I must admit I was really surprised with the results. With the exception of the Intel quick-sync renders, all the others worked flawlessly in Vegas with no problems whatsoever. While the x264 renders worked well, the high CPU usage would seem to be a potential problem. The Nvenc renders required very little CPU usage but its use may have been possible only because of using the two display adapters in my system.
Of the three, my choice would be use of the lossless avi. The quality of both video and audio is as good as it gets and the CPU usage is relatively low. The only drawback is the large file sizes. If that's an issue, one could always transcode to an intermediate such as XAVC-S for editing and archiving.
Hopefully, these findings will be of use to those contemplating use of OBS for screen recordings.