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Guides Tutorials and guides for making your own movies.

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Old 05-18-2006, 09:11 AM   #1
Make
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Default A deeper look into capturing and compressing

When making a movie there are 3 stages from an idea to publishing. These stages are recording, editing and compressing. In this guide I will provide a deeper look into the 1st and last stages. First things first!

1. Capturing with Fraps and settings

Now, there is pretty many capturing software out there, but Fraps seems to be really great when recording a game. You can download it at www.fraps.com. When starting to use Fraps remember the following:

- Fraps takes alot of disk space (roughly 10sec = 100mb)
- Fraps takes alot of power from your PC when recording, your FPS can go down as low as 5fps and doing a PvP movie that may produce some diffuculties
- Fraps is not free, cheap, but not free. If you can't afford to buy it etc. in the internet you should find older versions, from 1.9 down that are free of charge, but dont have as many features etc.

When you have checked the following, lets look at the settings. Because im lazy, i dont have the latest version, but you'll get the picture. First up you will see the General tab. This is basically useless so lets hop on to the second, FPS... On a second thought this is useless too when moviemaking so lets hop again to the Movies tab.
Pic
Now, as you can see the options arent even complicated. First up is "Folder To Save Movies In" if you want to, you can set this folder wherever you want to. Next up is Record Hotkey, by default this is F9 (as you can see). If you press this once once in-game, it will start recording. You will see cause the FPS-meter that shows in one of the corners of your screen, will turn red. If you press it again it will stop shooting. A general advice is to film 5 seconds before starting of the scene, and 5 seconds after the scene so it's easier to cut when editing. Now there are the half-size and full-size option, I suggest the full-size so it wont just record half of the resolution. Then theres the FPS. For normal scenes use 26-30 and for scenes you are going to edit a slow-motion use twice the normal fps (55-60). This way it wont stutter when edited. And the sound options are like you want to put em, they are pretty useless because mostly you put the sound in afterwards. "What U Hear" means that if you have music on the background, it will show on the movie. Well skip the "Screenshots" too and move on to the next thing: Compressing

2. Compressing sound and picture

For compressing properly, use VirtualDub, its free and the best one out there. Get it at http://www.virtualdub.org/ . Now if you are going to compress in VirtualDub, when saving the final movie in Vegas, use "Uncompressed" in the options. But lets start babbling about compressing again. Compressing is basically running the movie trough a codec (e.g XVid, Lame MP3) and it compresses it. It's more powerful than a simple archiver e.g WinZip. For example, a raid movie I did for my guild. Was before compressing around 25gb and after compressing 102mb. Now thats a difference. [/babble].
So lets open up the VirtualDub. First up, lets bring up the finished movie by pressing File-> Open Video file or CTRL+O. When youve chosen the movie and clicked Open, you should see a screenshot of the films beginning. Now go to Video->Compression and were at the Codec Screen. Here you pick the right codec for the job, in my case and yours X-VID MPEG-4 Video Codec in the bottom of the list. When picked, press Configure. X-vid compressing is 2-part, 1st pass and 2nd pass. Becauuse this would take alot of text to to explain how everything works and what should something be (I dont know half of the options myself) I'm gonna show you pictures after explaining generally what to do. You choose the settings and from Encoding Type -> Twopass - 1st Pass. You press then F7 and save it where-ever you want. This stage takes a while and when its done, you select Twopass - 2nd Pass, and then go to Audio, click Full Processing Mode and compression. From here pick Lame MP3 of you have it or MPEG Layer 3, with settings somewhere around 128kbs and always stereo. Now press F7 and do the same thing again. This stage takes a loooooooooooooooooooong time. If your movie is long, you might want to leave your comp on for the night. When its done, your movie should be all compressed with good sound and video quality and a decent size.
Pic

This concludes the deeper look into VirtualDub and Fraps. Remember, you can fiddle with all the settings shown here, these are only recommended.

Enjoy capturing and compressing! You can contact me Via messenger or email at mmikonsaari@hotmail.com
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Old 05-20-2006, 04:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

Quote:
You choose the settings and from Encoding Type -> Twopass - 1st Pass. You press then F7 and save it where-ever you want. This stage takes a while and when its done, you select Twopass - 2nd Pass, and then go to Audio, click Full Processing Mode and compression. From here pick Lame MP3 of you have it or MPEG Layer 3, with settings somewhere around 128kbs and always stereo. Now press F7 and do the same thing again.
I dont undrestand this part. You mean i need to compress it twice?
Like: Save Little timmy in the Video directory first with the first pass and then overwrite this file with the second pass movie?
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

Yea. The 1st pass kinda makes a small file that has some basic info that the codec uses when in encodes it in 2nd pass. That way the file gets much smaller without sacrificing quality.
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

My XVID MPEG-4 Video Codec configuration options look entirely different from the ones that you show in your pics. I may have an older (or newer?) version of the codec, but I have no idea on how to tell. That aside, I'm using the latest version of VirtualDub if that contributes in any manner to it.
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

Maybe... or try to download the new codec (1.1.0)
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Old 05-21-2006, 02:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

My pics maybe from an older codec but the setting names shouldnt be different. Important are the 1st pass 2nd pass settings and bitrate.
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

Well, I updated the codec and the new interface for configuring the compression settings is identical to your's. In any case, I'm just curious about the compression method. I was able to get a 19.26gb movie down to about 350mb with relatively excellent quality through this method, but I need the movie to be smaller yet still. I tried repeating the compressing method and the movie actually came out even larger, lol. Is there anything I can do to further compress my film?
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

Making the Bitrate smaller on video and sound codec will decrease the file size. And make sure you compressed the sound.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyBizoy
Well, I updated the codec and the new interface for configuring the compression settings is identical to your's. In any case, I'm just curious about the compression method. I was able to get a 19.26gb movie down to about 350mb with relatively excellent quality through this method, but I need the movie to be smaller yet still. I tried repeating the compressing method and the movie actually came out even larger, lol. Is there anything I can do to further compress my film?
GJ!
My movie is about 30GB big (and 1h30 min long -_-)
*The Mug of Ale fans will have to wait a bit *
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: A deeper look into capturing and compressing

Then why can't I get a file about a gig in size down to about 10 meg. What the hell am I doing wrong?
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