My guide on recording/editing pc games

Last updated on 8 years ago
M
Ok, so here is how i record/edit/encode pc games. I am no expert, so if anyone knows any improvements, please tell me. I make this guide also for others to tell me if i'm doing something wrong.

So, first of all, i record games with dxtory (official site: http://exkode.com/dxtory-features-en.html )
Install dxtory, then install lagarith lossless codec : http://lags.leetcode.net/codec.html

In dxtory, go to the 2nd tab:under status, uncheck all features
3rd tab:choose the folder where you want to save your videos
4th tab:choose what button you want to start/stop recording, take screenshots etc
5th tab:here are video settings
-for video codec choose lagarith lossless codec. Then, click on that pencil icon next to it and it will open a window with the codec's settings: check "use multithreading", dont check the others; then click on mode and select YUY2
-next, choose the framerate for your video. recommended for the site is 60
-in the output section, check "file output", uncheck "direct show output"
-file format: AVI
-scaling: here you can select at what resolution you want to record. recommended for the site: 1280x720.
to record at the same res as you are playing, click percent: 100% (this is what you use if you want to upload longplays to our site)
to record at other res, click size and then input your res, for ex: width 1280, height 720. of course make sure you keep the same aspect ratio
6th tab: here are the audio settings. by default you should have the correct device selected, then for audio codec i have PCM, and audio format: PCM 48000 hz, 16 bit, stereo
7th tab: here are the screenshot settings. you can just leave them default
8th tab: at processing threads i have selected 2, all the others unchecked
and thats basically all important, now play the game and record

Now its time to edit and encode. For this i use a free editing program called VirtualDub. Download the 32bit version! from here: http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/
Then install these codecs:
- x264vfw from here: http://komisar.gin.by/ Download where it says VFW-version and download the x86 (32bit) version!
- lame mp3 acm from here: http://www.rarewares.org/mp3-lame-dshow-acm.php This codec is a little tricky to install on windows vista/7, so read here how to install it properly : http://granjow.net/virtualdub-tutorial-installing.html ("Installing LAME on Windows 7 and Vista 32bit and 64bit" section)

Now run virtualdub (just extract the rar, dont need to install it). Go to Video and select full processing mode. then, click on compression... and a window will appear. select the x264vfw codec. click configure. now here are the settings for the codec.
In the Main tab, select single pass - ratefactor based (CRF). Below, you have ratefactor. the default number is 23 i think. i suggest to put 20 or lower. the bigger the number, the worse the quality. below, deselect create stats file. In the right of the page, make sure at FourCC you have selected H264, and below it check VirtualDub hack.
In the Analysis&Encoding tab, most of the settings leave them default. I just tell you what you need to change: for ME algorithm, select hex; ME range - 16; subpixel pe refinement - 7 RD on all; Min GOP size - 0, Max GOP size - 250
In the Rate Control & other tab, just leave everything default.
After you done these, click OK.

Now, in virtualdub, go to the audio tab and select full processing. Then, click compression and choose Lame MP3, and select 48000 hz, 128 kbps CBR, stereo, 16kb/s. it is possible that you dont have this exact option, whats important is to be 48000 hz, stereo and 16 kb/s. Click OK

One more thing, go to Video -> Frame Rate, and select Change so video and audio durations match. Then, select Convert to fps: and put 60. Click OK

Next, in virtualdub go to File -> Save processing settings and choose where you want to save, name it like "config.vcf". this file is important so that you dont have to repeat doing all these setting in vdub.

Now, here is the part for subtitles. Download the subtitler filter from here: http://www.virtualdub.org/virtualdub_filters.html Just copy subtitler.vdf into the PLUGINS\ directory in the VirtualDub program directory.
Next, download SRTtoSSA from here: http://www.divx-digest.com/software/srt2ssa.html

Create a new Text Document wherever you want, and change the termination from .txt to .srt. Now open the file and paste this in it:

1
00:00:01,000 --> 00:00:04,000
Game Name
Played by Your Name
www.longplays.org

In the Game Name field you write the game that you are recording, and then you write your name in Played by Your Name

Save the file. Now open SRTtoSSA (conversor.exe), and in the file options field, in the input file, you browse for your .srt file and select it. Below where it says Lines Cutting, select Same as original. Make sure you always have this selected. If you want, you can change the color of the subtitle, by default its yellow. In the end, click Convert. It will create a new .ssa file in the same folder as your .srt file.

Now its basically time to edit your video. Open VirtualDub, File -> Open video file, select your video recorded with dxtory, and edit it. When you are done, File -> Load processing settings and select your .vcf file you created earlier.

Additionally, for the first video of the game, you must have the subtitles, so go to Video -> Filters, click Add and select the subtitler filter. browse for your .ssa file and select it. Then click OK, OK. Remember, you have to do this only for the first video of a game.

To save the file, click File -> Save as avi. It will take some time, because its encoding.

Now, you're done, you have the edited video in H264 format. If you have many parts, you would want to unite them (because its a longplay). For this i use a program called AVS Video Remaker: http://www.avs4you.com/AVS-Video-ReMaker.aspx You can search other programs too.

This is it. Now you can upload your video using filezilla.

Notes: I know that x264vfw is no longer supported and for the best quality you need to use megui with x264. But my method is faster (at least for me), because i encode directly using vdub. I dont need to save the edited video in a lossless codec with vdub and then encode with avisynth + megui. Plus, i dont have space on my HDD for a second lossless video ( the first one is the one recorded wih dxtory).
If anyone has any sort of improvements, i would REALLY like to hear them, since im no expert. Thanks.
F
Nice and good :) Thanks dude :D
Current longplay : Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition (Thread).

My projects
I
I've followed all your instructions, but I don't know how to make Dxtory start recording. I tried pressing the HotKey but it just doesn't record. :|
M

Quote

Ivan187 wrote:

I've followed all your instructions, but I don't know how to make Dxtory start recording. I tried pressing the HotKey but it just doesn't record. :|


I have no idea, maybe try a different key?
I

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

Quote

Ivan187 wrote:

I've followed all your instructions, but I don't know how to make Dxtory start recording. I tried pressing the HotKey but it just doesn't record. :|


I have no idea, maybe try a different key?

Nope, that doesn't do it.
Ironclaw

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

-scaling: this is one of the best features of dxtory, and fraps doesn't have this feature. here you can select at what resolution you want to record. recommended for the site: 1280x720. for example you can play games at 1920x1080 and just record at 1280x720

Don't do this, OMG, doooon't! :@

It ruins the pixels and doesn't show the game in the true resolution it was played in. Like, if you play a game in 1920x1080 and record in 1280x720, then the 1x1 thick text (and loads of other detail) that the game might have won't show properly in 1280x720 as it doesn't have enough pixels to display all the details.

[color=#990000]Play in the resolution you want to record in.[/color]

The OP's post has been here since 30-06-2013 and yet no one has mentioned this HUGE problem for some reason, so I felt I just had to.
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Jihao

Quote

Ironclaw wrote:

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

-scaling: this is one of the best features of dxtory, and fraps doesn't have this feature. here you can select at what resolution you want to record. recommended for the site: 1280x720. for example you can play games at 1920x1080 and just record at 1280x720

Don't do this, OMG, doooon't! :@

It ruins the pixels and doesn't show the game in the true resolution it was played in. Like, if you play a game in 1920x1080 and record in 1280x720, then the 1x1 thick text (and loads of other detail) that the game might have won't show properly in 1280x720 as it doesn't have enough pixels to display all the details.

[color=#990000]Play in the resolution you want to record in.[/color]

The OP's post has been here since 30-06-2013 and yet no one has mentioned this HUGE problem for some reason, so I felt I just had to.


I agree with Ironclaw, Res can be very tricky if you aren't completely honest with the source capture.

There is no reason to capture in 1920x1080 anyway, unless its for aesthetic purposes. I hear that fraps lags your computer and affects your frame rates, so how is Dxtory for other people so far? I wanted to try using it for a LP maybe.
[color=#6699cc]Anything that isnt COD is a game that may be worth playing.[/color]
M
@Ironclaw : Yes I know that, i dont do it actually, i just mentioned this as a feature of the program. But tbh, there is no real difference, especially after encoding, the quality drops anyway.
Ironclaw

Quote

Jihao wrote:

I agree with Ironclaw, Res can be very tricky if you aren't completely honest with the source capture.

There is no reason to capture in 1920x1080 anyway, unless its for aesthetic purposes. I hear that fraps lags your computer and affects your frame rates, so how is Dxtory for other people so far? I wanted to try using it for a LP maybe.

I use dxtory for pretty much all my capturing that is not Amiga games related, it works perfectly (for me anyway). It doesn't lag my computer or affect the frame rate for me, you just need proper settings and a fast enough computer.

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

@Ironclaw : Yes I know that, i dont do it actually, i just mentioned this as a feature of the program.

No, you didn't just mention it as just a feature of the program, as you wrote it as "My guide on recording/editing pc games", thus people will read and do what you explain, which is why you created this thread, to help people record and edit games. You said it's one of the best features of the program, it's in fact the worst, imo.

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

But tbh, there is no real difference, especially after encoding, the quality drops anyway.

Wow, just wow that you believe that. The difference can be HUGE. I could create a lot of examples for you and others to have a look at to see how big the difference could be, but I shouldn't really have to as it's pretty self explanatory (guess not) how broken the graphics/details/pixels would be if one played in a certain res and recorded in another. The result after encoding doesn't make it nearly as bad as recording it wrongly does.
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Jihao
I'm pretty sure downscaling and then encoding it again messes with the video.

You're better off just leaving the setting on 100 and then changing the resolution on the final encode...

I'll go try out Dxtory and do some tests.
[color=#6699cc]Anything that isnt COD is a game that may be worth playing.[/color]
Ironclaw

Quote

Jihao wrote:

I'll go try out Dxtory and do some tests.

Do that, it's way better than Fraps in so many ways.

Quote

Jihao wrote:
-scaling: this is one of the best features of dxtory...

Can be compared to me doing a tutorial on how to encode and say "the quality setting is the best feature because you can get really small file sizes if you use low quality".
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M

Quote

Ironclaw wrote:

Quote

Jihao wrote:

I agree with Ironclaw, Res can be very tricky if you aren't completely honest with the source capture.

There is no reason to capture in 1920x1080 anyway, unless its for aesthetic purposes. I hear that fraps lags your computer and affects your frame rates, so how is Dxtory for other people so far? I wanted to try using it for a LP maybe.

I use dxtory for pretty much all my capturing that is not Amiga games related, it works perfectly (for me anyway). It doesn't lag my computer or affect the frame rate for me, you just need proper settings and a fast enough computer.

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

@Ironclaw : Yes I know that, i dont do it actually, i just mentioned this as a feature of the program.

No, you didn't just mention it as just a feature of the program, as you wrote it as "My guide on recording/editing pc games", thus people will read and do what you explain, which is why you created this thread, to help people record and edit games. You said it's one of the best features of the program, it's in fact the worst, imo.

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

But tbh, there is no real difference, especially after encoding, the quality drops anyway.

Wow, just wow that you believe that. The difference can be HUGE. I could create a lot of examples for you and others to have a look at to see how big the difference could be, but I shouldn't really have to as it's pretty self explanatory (guess not) how broken the graphics/details/pixels would be if one played in a certain res and recorded in another. The result after encoding doesn't make it nearly as bad as recording it wrongly does.


I named this guide "My Guide" and not "Official Guide for longplays.org", i am no expert at this, the purpose was more to present an option for recording, and if some people test and come up with better settings they can post it here and I check them out. Some people checked this thread and they have no intention of uploading for this site, maybe just want to upload to their youtube channel or something. I modified the main post and said that if you want to upload to longplays.org, dont use scaling.
M
Ok here is a test. In one video i play at 720p and record at the same res, in the other one i play at 1080p and record at 720p with dxtory.

http://www.datafilehost.com/d/d3116513
http://www.datafilehost.com/d/b9298c4a
Jihao

Quote

mihaibest wrote:

Ok here is a test. In one video i play at 720p and record at the same res, in the other one i play at 1080p and record at 720p with dxtory.

http://www.datafilehost.com/d/d3116513
http://www.datafilehost.com/d/b9298c4a


2nd file is bigger with a higher bitrate but I feel like its pointless since the first file is smaller and looks more efficient. At the end of the day you're going to end up with the same resolution anyway mind as well keep it the same lol.

I appreciate you having the audio small for a faster download btw.
[color=#6699cc]Anything that isnt COD is a game that may be worth playing.[/color]
Ironclaw
Can't download the videos: "This Domain Name Has Expired".

Quote

mihaibest wrote:
Some people checked this thread and they have no intention of uploading for this site, maybe just want to upload to their youtube channel or something. I modified the main post and said that if you want to upload to longplays.org, dont use scaling.

Shouldn't matter if they record videos for other places, because why would people want bad quality/broken pixels/missing details in anything on purpose?
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Ironclaw
Reup the videos, I wanna see :)

But to a place that lasts for more than a couple of hours, or whatever (or maybe you removed them yourself once the other guy saw them?).
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M
Links work fine, anyway here is another upload.

http://www.fileshare.ro/e30275344
http://www.fileshare.ro/e30275352
Ironclaw
Hard to tell without lossless and both versions from the same places.

But from what I could see, "fileshare.ro_test1" looked a bit better. It had less visible pixels, like it had some renderer on, while the other one had jagged stuff, which is weird if the first one was 720 and recorded as 720.

Like I said, need lossless to see properly, too much artifacs and stuff going on.

But doesn't matter, it's still better to play in the size you record, as it shows the game in the right res. This game had thick fonts and stuff, so not a good example to show missing details when turning 1280 to 720.
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M

Quote

Ironclaw wrote:

Hard to tell without lossless and both versions from the same places.

But from what I could see, "fileshare.ro_test1" looked a bit better. It had less visible pixels, like it had some renderer on, while the other one had jagged stuff, which is weird if the first one was 720 and recorded as 720.

Like I said, need lossless to see properly, too much artifacs and stuff going on.

But doesn't matter, it's still better to play in the size you record, as it shows the game in the right res. This game had thick fonts and stuff, so not a good example to show missing details when turning 1280 to 720.


Actually, test1 was 1080p scaled to 720p, I was even surprised it looked a little bit better. Graphics settings were the same besides resolution, like the same anti-allising settings etc. The source files were also pretty close, not much difference, but i uploaded the encoded videos since those are what matters and whats uploaded to the site.
So, in conclusion, it is better to record at the same resolution to avoid any problems, but its not like scaling is such a horrible feature and the video is shit or whatever, and dxtory does as much as possible in this direction.
Ironclaw

Quote

mihaibest wrote:
Actually, test1 was 1080p scaled to 720p, I was even surprised it looked a little bit better.

You shouldn't be surprised as it's obvious it would look "better" because the native res was higher before resized down. Same if you would play something in 640x480, you can see pixels as it's the res the game is set to, but if you resize it down, it will render and add loads of anti-aliasing and smooth it out (unless you set the encoder to 'nearest neighbor' thingy so it doesn't add extra stuff). This is what I thought, I said it looked weird that 1 would be better than 2 if 1 was the 720 to 720, so yeah, 1 was 1280, which is what it seemed.

Quote

mihaibest wrote:
So, in conclusion, it is better to record at the same resolution to avoid any problems, but its not like scaling is such a horrible feature and the video is shit or whatever, and dxtory does as much as possible in this direction.

Yes, scaling is terrible, it's just that you can't tell with this game or example without lossless footage. The examples I made first in this thread was about things that uses 1x1 pixels, like text, those will be ruined as there will not be enough pixels to show them properly if the source is 1280 and then resized to 720. But if you do a 1280 to 720 with a game that has thick stuff everywhere, it's harder to notice.

So, recording in the same res you play is very important, or it will not look right (way worse in some games with lots of 1x1), also ads anti-aliasing to smooth it out which removes all the nice original pixels.
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