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various recording codecs observations

by and large most of the ffdshow formats I can concoct seem to work. dvx works on its own but xvid mp4 doesn't work on its own but does seem to work from within ffdshow. Fastest frame rate seems to be from ffdshow winmedia 9 adv, this seems to have the best look at highest quality settings too but file size is about 2x that of regular dvx. ffdshow h264 doesn't seem to work = totally distorted.

All the codecs seem to show an edge effect (white highlight to text) except for microsoft vid1 which has the least distortion but very slow framerate and 10x larger files than all the others.

frame size problem (vid looks skewed) seems to only show up with the camstudio codec.

Comments

  • edited August 2010
    walshlg,

    (Note: Nice to see someone using an avatar here! Nice one!)

    A few things I've also noted about the codecs and sizings...

    ffdshow requires very specific sizes to work. Width must be a multiple of 2. Height must be a multiple of 2.

    DivX needs to be in 24-bit or 32-bit color mode, so you'll never get great speed out of that one. If possible, go for 24-bit (32-bit only includes the 8-bit transparency channel, which is not useful for most screen recordings.) Width must be a multiple of 4, height must be a multiple of 2.

    CamStudio Lossless needs even numbered dimensions for uploading to YouTube, otherwise skewing occurs. (Likely taking place during YouTube's codec conversions). There are also some even-numbered dimensions that YouTube dislikes. I now stick with the 856X480 size for readability and universality for dial-up users. (480p) Works with 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit color. 16-bit color produces the most efficient recordings with the smallest file sizes and fastest playback rates possible, especially with all hardware acceleration features turned off at the video card level (under "Troubleshooting" in Advanced options from the Settings tab - see http://screencasttutorial.org/02/optimizing-your-pc-for-camstudio-12 (Edit: a bit recursive, since I just added the contents of this post to that one!).

    In VirtualDub, Xvid says "No Known Restrictions", but I'll bet you need to be even-numbered dimensions like with CamStudio Lossless for successful upload to YouTube. (Not tested yet)

    Microsoft Video 1 - no known restrictions, but huge file sizes even at lower "quality" slider settings.

    There are others, but I've never seen them mentioned around here, nor do I know whether they work with YouTube:
    Huffyuv - 24-bit color only
    Intel Indeo Video R3.2 - Valid Depths 16-bit and 24-bit
    LEAD MCMP/MJPEG codec (VFW) - Valid Depths 24-bit
    Cinepak Codec by Radius - No known restrictions
    New Soft H.263 Codec - Valid Depths - 24-bit
    VP70 General Profile - Valid Depths - 24-bit and 32-bit
    MSU Lossless - no known restrictions, but no longer works with YouTube (amazing lossless compression, though!)



    BTW - the "quality" slider only works with codecs that do "lossy" compression. It does nothing with lossless compressor codecs like CamStudio Lossless
    (or so I've heard...)

    Again, at least for XP, "Sizer" is the best tool for setting up window sizes when using the 2.6 beta's Region==>Window setting.
    http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/
    I have it load at startup now (choice available during installation), as I use it several times a day, it is so darn handy! (Frustratingly, it doesn't work with Google's Chrome browser window, though it does show you what size you are re-sizing that window to when you drag the lower-left corner out...)

    Terry
  • Thanks for the insights, I'll give camstudio lossless a try with sizer again. I sure like using lossless when possible, atleast for editing and uploading. I've been using video pad editor to edit and add sound with good results (other than not so good noise filters).

    Have you had any luck using h264? I've been using it a lot rendering with blender and its become my favorite. When I tried it in camstudio with ffdshow it gave corrupted vids, likely there is some setting or other I know nothing about that needs to be adjusted.

    For video tuts it doesn't really matter but one of the quests many of us would be artsy types have is better quality on Utub. If I render a georgeous animation with high detail textures and some mist or fog - its a total waste of time, all the details, which you work the hardest to produce, are lost. So bottom line, if you have any suggestions for the best codec to upload to uTub, I'd love to hear it. For now, its seems that vimeo is the best because it will let you download the uncompressed vid if you want to see it in highest res.
  • edited August 2010
    walshlg,

    h.264 is now YouTube's preferred upload format, so give them the best h.264 originals you can!

    Yes, recording transparency will require you to record in 32-bit color, slowing you down, frame-rate-wise, but file size can at least be helped by the codec.

    BTW - DivX and Xvid are also h.264 codecs (same as mpeg4). Watch those video dimensions, though!
    [EDIT - was thinking of FFDShow, not Xvid... Xvid still h.263 - fine and easier for slower machines to compress/decompress.]

    Terry
  • "BTW - DivX and Xvid are also h.264 codecs (same as mpeg4)."

    huh, another thing I didn't know. THanks, looks like I have lots of options.

    I'd really love to find a way where I can compress a vid and upload it and have it playback unchanged. THat way I could see what will play, as it is its really hit or miss as double compression just can't be a good idea and uncompressed take all day to upload 5 gig!
  • edited August 2010
    Well, DivX Plus, at least... I forgot - Xvid is h.263 (DVD quality) better for slower machines.

    FFDShow is also h.264

    DivX Plus (free trial for encoder)

    http://www.divx.com/en/software/divx-plus/codec-pack/h264

    http://www.divx.com/en/software/divx-plus/codec-pack

    Just watch out for their installation of the divx-updater - rename the folder it installs in the divx folder in Program Files from "divx update" to "divx update_" so the registry cannot find it if you find it is eating up your CPU during boot and at various times while you are working... (a known flaw!)

    http://labs.divx.com/node/15564#comment-20356 from DivX labs themselves:

    "Hi all,

    It's something we're looking at. For now, end DivXUpdate.exe using Task Manager, and then rename the folder "C:\Program Files\DivX\DivX Update", e.g. to "C:\Program Files\DivX\DivX Update_".

    If you run Windows Vista or Windows 7 the folder name may be "Program Files (x86)" instead."

    FFDShow:

    http://www.free-codecs.com/download/ffdshow.htm

    My favorite codec pack (only install what you need/recognize!)

    K-Lite Codec Pack 6.3.0 Mega Pack http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_Lite_Mega_Codec_Pack.htm

    Nick's favorite codec pack (only install what you need/recognize!)

    http://ffdshow-tryout.sourceforge.net/

    Join the Codec Packs discussion! :-)

    Comparing Codec Packs http://camstudio.org/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=469&page=1

    Terry
  • Walshlg

    As Terry says, the FFDshow Tryout is my fave codec at the moment, because it's a single smallish installation but gives you LOADS of encoding options.

    I can get HD quality videos on YouTube every time with the following settings:

    Drop screen depth to 16-bit (Control Panel > Display Settings) or check Disable Desktop Composition in Compatibility tab for Recorder.exe

    Recording dimensions: 960 x 720 or 1280 x 720 (both will give you all quality options in YouTube, including HD)

    FFDShow Tryout Codec:

    Encoder: H.264 (not lossless version)
    FOURCC: H264
    Mode: one pass - average bitrate
    Bitrate (kbps) : 900

    (Everything else default)

    CamStudio:

    Quality: 70%

    Keyframes: every 30 frames

    Capture rate: every 50ms
    Playback rate: 20 fps

    Audio Settings:

    Recording Format: 44.1kHz - 16-bit mono
    (sometimes I'll test - 22.05 kHz 16-bit mono to see what difference it makes to the final filesize vs. quality)

    Compressed Format: PCM (which is no compression)
    Interleave every: 100 ms

    Hope that's useful

    Anyone else getting great results from certain settings, go ahead and post em.

    Cheers

    Nick :o)
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