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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Preferred Screen-Capping Utility

    There was another thread sort of on the subject, but it basically ended with "I'm gonna go check out a few of these and get back to you", so yeah :p

    Anyone have any good suggestions as to what screen-capping utility to use to record videos? I know fraps is the standard answer, but I was wondering if there are any alternative suggestions and the like. I would like to record a few gaming sessions at some point (if only because I see a distinct lack of people who are willing to just post gameplay without commentary) and am wondering what the best choices would be.

    Thanks.

    Oh, and Windows (7) if it matters, but I don't think that will be too much of an issue for some reason. So don't worry about listing all those wonderful utilities designed to record gaming sessions on Mac and Linux :p
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  2. #2
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    As far as i know dxtory is quite common among letsplay folks and your typical youtube celebrities (TotalBiscuit, etc.) these days - Though it eats up 'a bit' more diskspace than fraps and isn't as userfriendly (which can be blamed on the fact that it has somewhat more extensive settings - depending on your taste that might be viewed as a plus).

    The overall image quality should be about the same, but last time i checked fraps forced you to play at a capped framerate (as in: while you record at 30fps you have to play at 30fps), which isn't the case with dxtory - also fraps tends to have a greater overall impact on performance than dxtory, but that probably mostly depends on the system.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll take a look into dxtory
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  4. #4
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    Use MSI Afterburner - it's free and it's better than anything else I've tried by a light-years...

    You don't have to have MSI hardware to use it - it captures faster (e.g. less FPS loss) and better quality than Fraps - the price is right too

    I get the impression that stuff like dxtory is aimed at people who like to think they're paying for something amazing for their 'amazing' hardware but I've read a fair few stories from people who expected perfection and didn't entirely get that. Probably an expectation issue rather than anything else - capturing video will ALWAYS slow down your PC and if you want to cap hi-def stuff, you'll use massive amounts of space and you WILL get hiccups etc. etc. - no getting away from that.

    Anyway - MSI Afterburner is the bomb for almost any routine videocapping you could ever need to do - it's overlays are also rather excellent.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    my take - NONE.
    The best method is to just capture with a card or USB3 capture peripheral. If you have a laptop with usb3 or an older PC with a free PCIe slot, invest in either a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle or a Blackmagic Intensity Pro, then let the other system capture your gaming footage. Sure they're not exactly cheap, but you get a great piece of kit that allows for capturing up to 1080i uncompressed HD with zero framerate drops. It's ideal for live streaming because of this, provided you use the right compression codec for web friendly bitrates.

    I went this route because capturing emulators like Dolphin or PCSX2 was almost impossible for a "normal" PC (i.e not a core i7 3960x)
    Last edited by mashakos; 25-01-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I have used Fraps and Xsplit with satisfactory results.

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    I've used Evolve for image capturing and found it to be fairly average (though my hardware is well below average). On the plus side though, its a pretty decent gaming overlay for communicating with people, and it'll let you capture videos as .mkv, which should save space.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
    I've used Evolve for image capturing and found it to be fairly average (though my hardware is well below average). On the plus side though, its a pretty decent gaming overlay for communicating with people, and it'll let you capture videos as .mkv, which should save space.
    Note that any attempt to compress video 'on the fly' is going to melt most PCs (and thus hammer framerates and capture smoothness) - HDD space is usually more readily available than CPU time surely!?

    I've never really needed to cap more than a few mins of footage - if you're planning on capping your entire gaming life (and some people do this) then the earlier suggestion of using another PC to do it seems pretty wise to me.

    If overlays are your thing, there are at least 2 others which offer capping but there always seem to be limits on quality or speed which are not present (as far as I've discovered thusfar) with MSI Afterburner!?!?

    Not that I'd know wtf to do with a 1920x1080 2 min gaming video :)

  9. #9
    If you have enough disk space I recommend Fraps. Record everything, it might end up taking 10s of GB.
    Later before bed time, setup your converter (ex. free ffmpeg) and check it out in the morning.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Yeah, dxtory seems pretty expensive. I'll check out MSI Afterburner though
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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Note that any attempt to compress video 'on the fly' is going to melt most PCs (and thus hammer framerates and capture smoothness) - HDD space is usually more readily available than CPU time surely!?
    to capture uncompressed 8bit (equivalent to 24bit True color) 1080p video, you'd need a hard disk speed of:
    8 * 1920 * 1080 * 60 = 995328000 bits
    995328000 / 8 = 124416000 bytes
    124416000/ 1024 = 121500 kbytes
    121500 / 1024 = 118.65234375 MBytes

    roughly 118 MB/sec

    This has to be constant, so you'd need a hard disk with a minimum speed of 118MB/s otherwise you get dropped frames if it goes a kilobyte lower.

    This would require either a fast SSD with a sustained average that's double the minimum (238MB/sec) or an expensive RAID array in the $400 - $500 range.

    The SSD or RAID array would need to be at least 500GB in size to record an hour of uncompressed 1080p video:
    60 * 60 * 118 = 424800 MB
    424800 / 1024 = 414.84375 GB

    1 hour of video requires ~ 415 GB in disk space

    Not exactly available!
    Last edited by mashakos; 29-01-2013 at 07:41 PM.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    It depends on what kind of compression you're talking about. Straight up xvid? Yeah that's going to cost. Do something simple like huffyuv though, that might be fine. It'll almost halve the data. You can further reduce the data need by capturing at 30 FPS. Now we're firmly in the realm of what is possible with even oldish harddrives.

    Also I don't see how 8 bits is equivalent to 24 bits. Please enlighten me.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    8 bits = 256 colours
    24 bits = around 16,000,000

    Doesn't really equate.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    8 bits = 256 colours
    24 bits = around 16,000,000

    Doesn't really equate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    Also I don't see how 8 bits is equivalent to 24 bits. Please enlighten me.
    this stuff is a bit obscure, it's a common mistake to mix 10bit/8bit colourspace with 8 bit colour
    http://www.hdwarrior.co.uk/2011/08/3...s-it-all-mean/
    http://www.chimei.com.tw/en/feature-...asp?tech_id=57
    https://www.google.com/search?btnG=Google+Search&q=%208+bit+video+10+bit+ video

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model

    in a nutshell:
    8 bit colourspace = 16.1 million colours (Truecolor)
    10 bit colourspace = over 1 billion colours
    Last edited by mashakos; 30-01-2013 at 02:11 PM.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    And where does 24 bit come into this?

    If the idea behind it is that 8 bit has 8 bits for each colour(RGB), why would it be called 8 bit and not 24?
    Last edited by Jesus_Phish; 30-01-2013 at 02:14 PM.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    And where does 24 bit come into this?
    EDIT: Mind Fart!!!!

    easy:
    R8 + G8 + B8 = 24bit colour

    do you see? :)

    meanwhile a 10bit colourspace is equivalent to
    R10 + G10 + B10 = ~ 32bit colour
    Last edited by mashakos; 30-01-2013 at 02:06 PM.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post

    If the idea behind it is that 8 bit has 8 bits for each colour, why would it be called 8 bit and not 24?
    time to start reading up. Follow the links I posted.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    EDIT: Mind Fart!!!!

    easy:
    R8 + G8 + B8 = 24bit colour

    do you see? :)

    meanwhile a 10bit colourspace is equivalent to
    R10 + G10 + B10 = ~ 32bit colour
    That's what I figured.

  19. #19
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    Oh look, a wikipedia article.


    Xsplit is nice to stream to capture and has a good overlay system. If you have an i7 and enough bandwidth you can get some good quality while saving on HDD space. But the extra effort in saving locally, converting and uploading to youtube and the like to save the file will give a better product. Using a 2nd PC to capture will allow the most flexibility.

  20. #20
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    Just to reply to the technical and mathematical vomit above - I meant compressing to the level you'd store/save/upload and not just using a straightforward compression algorithm to ensure you don't melt or fill your HDD...

    MSI Afterburner offers 3 compression options, MJPG (the default) RTV1 and 'uncompressed' - the default (which also chops the resolution in-half) still creates files in 100s of Mbs in just a few mins tho, so capturing hours of gaming will require a LOT of space.

    God knows what uncompressed full-frame 1920x1080 is - I'd not even try it, something would melt :)

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