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Help with video options for game recording, please

edited April 2009 in Support
Hello to all of you. I am new to this forum and a newbie considering CamStudio 2.0 as well. Not quite a rookie when it comes to software though. Anyway, in this case I am a bit helpless. I have been trying the ENTIRE day today (good thing it was raining!) to record the old Sierra game "King's Quest VI". I figured out how the sound recording works, but... let me explain.

I started out with putting the compressor to CamStudio Lossless Codec v1.4. Anything else (except the default) refuses to work. Then I played around with all kinds of possibilities re Key Frames, Capture Frames and Playback Rate. Everything looked fine in the CamStudio player.

Then it came to editing. I had to cut start scenes, do some new voice over recording on Audacity, stuff like that, and then... yeah then... export the video file again.

I am using Magix Video 2007 Deluxe on Win 2000 Pro and just cannot find out which format and codec would be the best to use. Everything turns out to be blurry. Plus the video does not run smoothly at all.

Then I tried to upload one video to YouTube disregarding the bad quality, and after finishing it all up, same result. Blurry and not smooth. Sure. What else did I expect?

Any idea what I can do? I mean, I really want to do this but am getting a bit tired of testing so and so many options... Maybe it's just some point in the video options of CamStudio that I do not yet know of to make this work?

Thanks in advance for any useful hint.



  • Hi Marlene

    I don't do much in the way of game recording, so I don't have any personal experience or tips to share ...

    That said ... the CamStudio codec is not really designed for screen recordings with lots of movement and action.

    Your best bet would be to use something like DiVX, XViD or x.264 which are "lossy" compressions methods - the CamStudio codec is a "lossless" codec.

    (A quick trip to Wikipedia will explain the difference)

    I would also make sure to use the highest settings possible when recording to ensure you end with the best possible results once YouTube have finished with it.

    There are differing opinions on the best settings to use to record with CamStudio - just type "camstudio" into YouTube and you'll soon find them.

    Here is one set of options as an example:


    Video Codec: DivX
    Quality: 85%
    Keyframes: Every 120 frames
    Capture Frames Every: 33 milliseconds
    Frame Rate: 30 frames/second
    AutoAdjust: Unchecked


    Certification Profile: 1080HD
    Speed Preset: 1
    Rate Control: 1-pass, 6000kbps

    (everything else as default)


    Recording Format: 22.05 kHz, mono, 16-bit
    Compressed Format: PCM
    Interleave: Every 100 milliseconds
    MCI Recording unchecked

    * If you still have a/v desych, then check MCI (remember all other audio options will be overridden)

    Dimensions of Recording (Region)

    I need to experiment more with this, but

    640 x 480
    960 x 720
    1280 x 960

    should all give you either HD or HQ options on YouTube

    But know that the larger the dimensions, the larger the final filesize.



    Nick :o)
  • Thanks, I already figured out how - after two weeks of struggling around with the good old trial and error method.

  • Fraps is always a great choice its a Payware app but you only need to do it once.
  • Or for free alternatives ...

    TAKSI: http://taksi.sourceforge.net (free - open source)

    WEGAME: http://www.wegame.com (free - closed source)



    Nick :o)
  • WEGAME doesn't allow 1080p (HD) Recording without paying a subscription fee, and taksi doesn't even allow me to press record.
  • Hi there this may seem old but i didn't want to make a new thread here sorry.I did everything mentioned here and when i record a game the video gets a little bit slow and every 2 seconds a blue screen flashes,
    I have a Inter Core 2 duo 3.00 GHZ 2 GB RAM and a GFOCER 9600 GT 528 mb.Running Windowns xp here.
    I have to record this video as soon as possible so you guys have any tips?
  • hmagnum,

    Try recording the game in a window instead of full-screen.

    Full-screen mode uses resources like crazy and CamStudio and your game battle for resources as a result.

    Close down any programs running in the background.

    If you can, set your display to 16-bit color instead of 32-bit in the Display Settings/Advanced tab.

    On the same tab, hit the Advanced button and go to Troubleshooting, and try sliding the slider to the left one notch at a time.

    Run with these settings in Video Options: Set Key Frame Every 30, Capture Frames Every 20ms, Playback Rate 50. See if that helps. Otherwise, go with SKFE 30, CFE10, PBR 100. Keep the last two numbers multiplying to sum to 1000.

    Try a bunch of stuff!!! Let me know what works here and I'll try it out myself. Good luck! BTW - CamStudio Lossless is not great for full-motion recording (it's for slides) - try DivX, ffdshow, xvid, x264, Huffyuv, etc. Get them from the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack - only install what you need - the VFW codecs.

  • The first setting worked like a charm but it got like 85% of the original speed.no problem though
    There was a bug on the player becouse after i recorded the player didn't show any image just sound but the file was ok.
    Thanks for the help.
    Wish me luck on my job appliance (or whatever word fits here :) )
  • hmagnum,

    Good luck, my friend!

  • hmagnum,

    Definitely try the Lagarith codec - another member has been getting great results from its default settings.

  • Man this thread is old, but I don't want to miss a chance to plug my youtube channel which is pretty much all Cam Studio captures... and mostly of games.


    I'll admit it's not the greatest capture, but it does do the job, and I'm not the greatest Let's Play-er so I guess it works out.

    The simpler the graphics the better and personally I preferred the camstudio lossless codecs if it wasn't for the fact that I would breach the 4gb filesize after about 4 minutes of recording. I'm using divx now which I don't find that it actually captures much smoother, but still leads me to ask why don't my divx codecs show up in the latest 294 revision? I have to use the old 264 to capture a decent length of video.

    For some reason it also depends on how the game displays itself; for example: I have 2 versions of one game and I have to record the older version because the capture is alway choppy on the newer version. Camstudio stays the same, they both look the same when I play, but the recordings for the newer version of the game always come out choppy and pretty much unwatchable.

    A great program for silencing some of those unnecessary background services is GameBooster: http://www.iobit.com/gamebooster.html Definite recommendation there.

    Thanks for the great program, CamStudio team!
  • SaturdayS,

    "but still leads me to ask why don't my divx codecs show up in the latest 294 revision? " - yes, that is a strange anomaly that we are trying to squash for the next release. See this page for a comparison of different versions and the codecs they display (I don't have DivX installed on my machine, but as you report, it disappears on build 294) - http://screencasttutorial.org/camstudioversions.html

    If you have settings that are working, it would help us to know in detail how you did it! Did you change thread priority to "Above Normal"? Did you reduce screen color depth to 16-bit color instead of 32-bit? Did you adjust the slider in the "Troubleshooting" section (in XP)? How did you pull it off?

    Thanks for the big accolade! I only answer questions around here, but the programmers really appreciate it when they are appreciated! :-)

  • For settings, let's start with my computer, which is Windows 7 x64 with 8gb of ram and an intel core 2 quad cpu Q6600 @ 2.4GHZ. So it does have some weight to throw around. By default I have the Aero display theme turned off so I'm not too sure how much it would interfere with CamStudio's performance. I think I had it turned on the first few videos I recorded with CamStudio and didn't notice any major improvements when I turned it off... if I'm remembering that correctly. I also have a lot of my visual performance options turned off but that's mostly because I have a lust for performance so once again I can't specifically comment on how that improves camstudio. I haven't changed any color depths or anything like that, in fact when I record I generally tend to try to get the most out of my display as possible.

    As for CamStudio settings, up until a couple weeks ago I was using the latest available 2.5 download because, as I said, I preferred the camstudio lossless codec and for whatever reason I've never gotten the 1.5 version of the codec to capture properly (the colors are backwards or the screen is skewed), but the 1.4 version works, yet is only detectable in CS2.5. I remember there being a trick to getting lossless 1.4 codecs to work in windows 7 and I guess that I've just forgotten that trick for the 1.5 installation or something. SO anyway, the video settings I used was LZO with level 9 compression and the quality slider cranked to 100. skfe40,cfe20,pr40 (I left the auto adjust on) and using window based capture, I'd capture video a little higher than 720p. I'm pretty sure all other important settings like thread priority were left at their defaults.

    For me, this meant that I would almost always go over the 2gb video limit and camstudio wouldn't be able to properly render an avi file, but I worked around this by copying the video and audio captures out of the temp directory (as long as I didn't "ok" CamStudio's crash dialogue these files wouldn't delete right away) and merge them in VirtualDub. However I did have to be careful not to go over 4gb, because, as I'm sure you know, this is when video would actually start deleting itself while still capturing. So once in vitualdub, I'd also lower the framerate to 30fps, and reencode with divx and lamemp3, for ease of youtube uploading. My best captures with this method can probably be seen in my "spider" lets play: http://www.youtube.com/user/smsSaturday#grid/user/7EAEC5840C70D813 You can see some of the limitations of this set up in the first 10 episodes of my Endless Ocean lets play as the capture was a bit choppier than the actual game play. http://www.youtube.com/user/smsSaturday#grid/user/782DCDF5BB5F2DB7

    Now that I'm used to capturing directly to divx I'm using 2.6r264 with the settings pretty much the same. Now that I don't need to merge anything with VirtualDub, I used the fixed region setting to capture straight to a resolution of 1152x720p and my divx settings are similar to what I used for the lossless 1.4: using divx's preset 1080p profile, quality slider up to 100, framerate auto adjusted to 40 fps. Asides from the additional blocky-ness of the divx codec, the capture efficiency seems to be pretty much the same as my lossless captures of Endless Ocean. For just my last video I experimented with pulling my framerate up to 50fps and changing the thread priority to "Highest" and the results in the capture were noticeably better, with a small sacrifice of a bit of jumpyness every couple minutes in the gameplay. Maybe I'll try lowering the thread priority to "above normal" for a happy medium, but I'm actually quite satisfied with the results right now.

    I hope all those words are some what helpful, let me know if you want any specific info, I like to help!
  • SaturdayS,

    That is tremendous! I'll try out some of these settings and give you some feedback on my own findings. I also want to try out the Lagarith Lossless after digiday reported good results with that while recording some Google Earth fly-over playback. For video/audio sync, cfe times pr should sum to 1000, so try skfe40, cfe20, pr50 and see if that still works well (or skfe40, cfe25, pr40 similarly).

    What are you using to compile the clips together? Just VideoDub? It is working well.

    I was surprised to see a window capture size of 1170X760 on Endless Ocean (readout one-pixel off as you were compensating for the one-pixel-off bug in 2.5, right?).

    Which video did you use 2.6r264 on? (D2 was looking very good!)

  • That's right Terry, VirtualDub is all I use for post editing. And I've used 2.6r264 for most of D2 so far. Episode 16 is where I topped up the thread priority and increased the framerate, but I didn't want to link the video because since it's a "horror" game, the content is already questionable for youtube and I didn't want to subject anyone here to it without proper warning. I plan on recording some more tonight though.
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