1. #1

    Fraps / Video Capture Questions.

    So I've been using Fraps (version 3.4.7) to record Team Fortress 2 lately (TF2 is set at maximum settings), and I've got some question for all you knowledgeable people out there, as I know next to nothing about video capturing / compressing / what-have-you.

    1.) Is it normal to capture around 1 gig for around 1 minute of gameplay? I'm capturing it at 30 FPS, no sound.
    2.) Is there any way to lower the size of the captured footage, without sacrificing quality? I assume not? Obviously I can bump the FPS down, but...
    3.) I trimmed the content, and re-saved it via Camtasia (from .avi to .mp4), and severely cut down on the size; is this due to .avi just being better quality? (I'm talking 4+ gigs, to 10MB, and that's not just due to the shortness of the file).
    4.) I made a test on youtube and uploaded a small clip (.mp4); it defaults at 360p on youtube, and can be viewed at 240p-720p...is this due to the quality that I filmed it at?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated, as I know next to nothing about this. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    1.) Is it normal to capture around 1 gig for around 1 minute of gameplay? I'm capturing it at 30 FPS, no sound.
    Yes. Totally uncompressed 1920x1080 video at 30fps takes whopping 10.4GB per minute of discspace. Fraps does very light compression which should never lose visual quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    2.) Is there any way to lower the size of the captured footage, without sacrificing quality? I assume not? Obviously I can bump the FPS down, but...
    Without sacrificing quality, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    3.) I trimmed the content, and re-saved it via Camtasia (from .avi to .mp4), and severely cut down on the size; is this due to .avi just being better quality? (I'm talking 4+ gigs, to 10MB, and that's not just due to the shortness of the file).
    AVI and MP4 are container formats. Think of it as a brown box you get in mail. It can contain the video either as VHS tape, DVD disc or BluRay disc. Same movie, same big brown box, but whole lot different quality. Keeping with the analogy, the original fraps capture would be BluRay quality, and after you've mangled it through Camtasia it drops to DVD quality. Still the same movie, but lot of visual quality lost.

    Xvid and x264 are few examples of actual video compression engines that work inside the AVI container. Easiest way to compress fraps files into high quality small AVI is with virtualdub and x264vfw codec, here's really quick guide i found with ten second googling. Even if you're using 64bit windows, it's better to get 32bit versions of these programs for improved compatibility. The internet is full of guides for using xvid codec with virtualdub but do not do that. Xvid is old shit meant for low quality videos only (lower than 720p).

    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    4.) I made a test on youtube and uploaded a small clip (.mp4); it defaults at 360p on youtube, and can be viewed at 240p-720p...is this due to the quality that I filmed it at?
    It depends on the resolution of the clip you upload. If you send there something that's 1080 pixels or taller youtube enables 1080p mode, and if you send something that is 720 pixels or taller you get 720p mode. Basically, if you have 1440x900 or 1680x1050 monitor the maximum you get out of youtube is 720p, but if you would add black bars to increase the size to 1920x1080 or capture at 1920x1080 youtube would enable 1080p quality too. Just stretching the video to 1920x1080 would also be an option, but it reduces quality compared to black bars on the sides method.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah View Post
    -snip-
    Thank you so much for the information! This is literally the first time I've Fraps'd / captured game footage. I didn't include it, but my monitor dimensions are 1280x1024.

    In regards to video quality, how does that work with Youtube? I don't really mind that much if the montage I make is low quality itself, so long that it displays nicely on Youtube... although I would assume that the upload is determined by what you, well, upload. Keep in mind this is Team Fortress 2, so I don't think that image quality is going to be super important when it's stylized and not "realistic" (of course, I'm not going to unnecessarily degrade it)...

    I'm happy with 1280x1024 recording dimensions (as well as 720p), so I have no desire to stretch / bars... also, dumb question, but is there any difference between image "quality", and 720p?

    I'll definitely look into those programs you linked, as I'd like to shrink down my Fraps footage (uncompressed / unedited). It's already at 243 gigs.

    Thanks for the answers, Vesse. You're awesome. ^.^

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    I didn't include it, but my monitor dimensions are 1280x1024.
    One option for pretty videos you might not have thought about would be recording those at 1280x720 sized windowed mode instead of fullscreen. Would give you nice clean widescreen videos for the people who use newer widescreen monitors.

    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    In regards to video quality, how does that work with Youtube? I don't really mind that much if the montage I make is low quality itself, so long that it displays nicely on Youtube... although I would assume that the upload is determined by what you, well, upload.
    They don't release exact details, but how much youtube gives maximum possible quality depends on the material you send. 640x480 video from $100 digital camera will be compressed harder into smaller space and lower quality than 1920x1080 mp4 video which is 200 megs/minute sized. With 720p you're getting the video size is around 50meg/minute, if you use x264 in virtualdub and go for about that size, it's pretty close to what you'll see in youtube as the final version.

    When using x264vfw in virtualdub it's the ratefactor knob tweaked in the video linked at 0:20 ... the default 18.0 gives about 100meg/minute final video, bigger number is smaller file with lower quality, and smaller number is bigger file with higher quality. You should experiment with it a bit to see which is the highest number you can put there so that it still looks good to you on your own screen and in youtube. 20-22 is probably right ballpark for it, but the higher you go, more blocking you see when the camera moves really fast or there are things like explosions on screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    also, dumb question, but is there any difference between image "quality", and 720p?
    Don't really understand what you're asking.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah View Post
    Don't really understand what you're asking.
    What I meant to say was are they the "same thing"? Is image quality synonymous with 1080p, etc? Or are there other aspects to it?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    What I meant to say was are they the "same thing"? Is image quality synonymous with 1080p, etc? Or are there other aspects to it?
    720p and 1080p just denote that the video is either standard 1280x720 or 1920x1080 resolution used on HD TVs.

    It does not tell anything about framerate or bitrate which also makes huge difference for quality. For example 1mb/min bitrate on 1080p video will look shit and has really bad visible blocks, but 10mb/minute 1080p is already better than DVD quality.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by vesseblah View Post
    Xvid and x264 are few examples of actual video compression engines that work inside the AVI container. Easiest way to compress fraps files into high quality small AVI is with virtualdub and x264vfw codec, here's really quick guide i found with ten second googling. Even if you're using 64bit windows, it's better to get 32bit versions of these programs for improved compatibility. The internet is full of guides for using xvid codec with virtualdub but do not do that. Xvid is old shit meant for low quality videos only (lower than 720p).
    Okay, sorry to bump this three weeks after it has passed, but I finally got around to compressing the files. I followed the link you gave me exactly (well, aside from the audio, but I'm just going to cut the audio entirely, so no biggie). Problem is, after I compressed it, it only displays the first frame the entire playthrough. Any idea what happened? I'm amazed that the amount of compression that went on: it compressed a 4,142,450kb file (4 minute, 1 second) video down to a 143 MB file. That size difference is nuts.

    Hmm...I opened it with DivX, and it only showed the first frame. I opened it with Windows Media Player, only first frame. I opened it with VLC Media Player, and the visuals are fine. That's odd.

    Final question, since this is my first time: I have a 4:01 duration movie, with about 30 seconds of data I want to grab; the rest is me running around with nothing going on. After compressing it with xvid, editing it with Camtasia simply to edit the clips together will change the quality, correct? Then how do I get from a 4 minute video down to only what footage is actually interesting?

    ---------- Post added 2012-10-09 at 02:41 PM ----------

    And to add, finally finished compressing *all* of the videos. Final tally:

    Old, uncompressed files: 127 files, 244GB.
    New, compressed files: 127 files, 7.25GB.

    That's nuts!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    Hmm...I opened it with DivX, and it only showed the first frame. I opened it with Windows Media Player, only first frame. I opened it with VLC Media Player, and the visuals are fine. That's odd.
    You need mp4 codec to play it in WMP, FFDShow is the most popular choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by icedwarrior View Post
    After compressing it with xvid, editing it with Camtasia simply to edit the clips together will change the quality, correct? Then how do I get from a 4 minute video down to only what footage is actually interesting?
    You can do very simple cutting in VirtualDub too, by marking start and end points and deleting the marked segments. Edit menu and the control buttons (hover over for tooltips) below the timeline will allow you to do that.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.


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