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Resolution fix?

edited September 2010 in General Discussion
Hi, I love using camstudio for making videos for my youtube channel, but the full screen resolution on them is just horrible, and the game gets glitchy when I do something in it (go to youtube.com/alwaysfsx to see waht im talking about in my videos). Is there a way for me to keep my same screen size and make the resolution better on camstudio? Or is it just a standard thing? It doesnt drop my fps so I like using it but I need better resolution badly.

Thanks,
Smarty569
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Comments

  • smarty569,

    Have you tried using a smaller display size (like 800X600 or 1024X768), then running the game full-screen in that resolution, then recording full-screen that way?

    In fact, what is your full-screen display set to now?

    Terry
  • My display is 1280x800, ive found out a way to give it better resolution but it still makes my game all glitchy.
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    1280X800 is a very large display size to attempt recording from (Besides, YouTube's 720p is 1280X720, not 1280X800). Try 1024X768 instead, or 800X600.

    I lately use only 856X480 exclusively which results in a 480p playback in YouTube. Much better readability and much clearer picture universally. You may have to play and record the game in a window (window region recording available in CamStudio 2.6 Beta). I size my windows using Sizer from http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/

    Otherwise, use a fixed-region set to those dimensions. You will enjoy much better frame rates and a better (and more compatible) video for YouTube.

    Terry
  • But the problem is, if my display isnt at the size it is now, I cant push the "Fly now' button on Microsoft FSX :/ Its already set to full screen to record, but my game gets jumpy and does weird things in the video like turning everything blue.

    Thanks,
    Smarty569
  • smarty569,

    I don't own Microsoft FSX, so I don't know how it might be limited. So, I assume you mean you cannot run the program in a window, but only as a full-screen presentation. So you cannot control the size of the recording region thereby, at least not without cutting off part of the full screen the game is displayed using. Is that what you are saying?

    Terry
  • Ok, when you run the game after it loads it shows a screen roughly as big as my internet window, but not as wide, when I resize my screen, the FSX window stays the same size as it would be when im running my current resolution, the "Fly now" button would be way below my taskbar and I can't move the game window up to press fly, thats the problem I have to make my videos. Once I would press fly THEN it would go in to a fly screen window for me to fly and stuff. Im just trying to see if I can keep the same resolution on my screen but have a higher quality video. I can fully size the recording region, but im trying not to have to change the resolution on my screen to have a higher quality video because then I cant record it... And im trying to fix the whole glitchy mess that appears in my videos :/
  • smarty569,

    The issue you are encountering is that the game is extremely resource-intensive (it uses tons of CPU/Memory/Hard drive access), and it is fighting Camstudio for those resources. Unfortunately, Camstudio is also very resource-intensive! So, the battle rages! If you wish to have smooth video, Camstudio will have to be made the winner of this battle.

    I watched your vids on YouTube and they are jerky because Camstudio is being forced to drop many frames and also cannot capture as many as it wants to produce a fast enough playback rate (it is capturing less than 5 frames per second from the looks of it). That would be "passable" in a screen tutorial, but not for a flight-sim or other game video. Fraps ( http://www.fraps.com/ ) is apparently better designed for this kind of recording, though it CAN be done with CamStudio using careful system settings and CamStudio settings.

    All I can suggest is that you experiment with the settings in Options>>Video Options and record as low a screen resolution as possible (fewer pixels to grab, less CPU load).

    Terry
  • I've heard that fraps is a frame killer when it comes to recording games on my computer, so ive tried using camstudio, I lowered how many frames camstudio records but it still gets all jumpy and jacked up. Is it possible to lower how many frames camstudio records yet still have a smooth video?
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    There is a bit mentioned by Nick (or some other luminary here!) in the FAQ that shows what the top FPS you can expect from your computer's CPU would be, so you can adjust down from there.

    http://camstudio.org/faq.htm#CPUResources

    Here is that article:

    "I record with the default settings of CamStudio and it uses up all my CPU resources. How can I free up more CPU resources for doing other stuff?

    In the default setting, CamStudio uses up all your CPU resources to achieve the maximum recording rate possible on your system. You will need to set this capture rate to be lower than the maximum to free up resources for other tasks.To see how fast your computer can go, try recording with a fixed region size at the maximum frame rate (the auto-adjust slider is set to the leftmost point in Options:Video Options). Take note of the Actual Input Rate when CamStudio is recording. This is the maximum frame rate achievable on your system at this fixed size.To free up CPU resources, go back to Video Options and set the capture rate (or playback rate) -- using the auto-adjust slider -- to be less than the Actual Input Rate noted earlier. If you are recording with the same fixed region size, your CPU meter will now show some improvements."

    I ran that test and was surprised. Of course, try running it at the same time as you are running the game and are flying to see what the top Frames per Second are available. Then set your settings for "Capture Frames Every" and "Playback Rate" so the Playback Rate is just a bit lower than your topmost CPU-killer setting.

    Try to have the "Playback Rate" TIMES the "Capture Frames Every" setting so the two multiply out to 1000 to go for best sound-sync if that is important to you.

    "Capture Frames Every" determines how long (in milliseconds) that CamStudio "waits" before taking the next snapshot of your screen, so lower settings there will mean it takes more snapshots - but your file sizes will go up. If you compress with DivX or FFMpeg or something that will help. CamStudio Lossless Codec MIGHT work for flight recordings, but is was intended only for screens where most of the screen real estate stays the same all the time, with only the cursor moving and parts of the screen changing once in a while. It is not great at full-motion video like flight recordings (at least that wasn't what it was made for).

    "Playback Rate" is what you are shooting for to play the frames captured as fast as possible. Silent Movies were shot and played back at 18 frames per second. Talkies moved that up to 24 frames per second. But even 12-15 can be fairly smooth. 5 is very jerky for flight movies. Fiddle with the "Capture Frames Every" to take the load off the CPU to see if you can accomplish the playback rates you are after.

    The top setting, "Set Key Frames Every" determines how often CamStudio saves a complete picture of a screen. The frames in-between key frames (called "interval frames") only record what is "different" or changed between two frames - sort of acting like "zip" does with files. With higher values here, you can often get smaller file sizes, but you may experience dropped frames when YouTube gets hold of the video! I'd set it down around 20-30 and live with the larger files (or even set it all the way down to every 1 frame, so none of the frames are being saved as "interval" frames trying to only store the changes between the full-recording "key" frames.)

    Lastly, always strive for the screen-capture sizes that YouTube desires. You will never get 1080p smooth in this demanding an environment! (Or at least I doubt it! If you do, tell me how you did it!) Plus, only a handful of people can even view 1080p smoothly, as it requires 3.1GHz dual core minimum to render smoothly (and even downloads slowly with most broadband connections today). 720p (1280X720 HD widescreen) works better than 1080p, but 480p (640X480 or 856X480 widescreen) is the most universally useful and will be smooth on any computer for anyone who tries to watch it if it recorded OK. (BTW - for clarification, "720p" "1080p" or "480p" refers to the video height. Anything 720 pixels high up to 1280 pixels wide will display as 720p, for instance. So, 1024X720 will show as a more "square" 720p HD quality picture. 1024X768 won't fit into the 720p format correctly, so you have to limit the region somewhere...)

    Let me know how your tests work out! This is probably the most demanding recording application you could put CamStudio through, and a ton of flyers and gamers will be very grateful if we could figure out some optimum settings that make it work (especially since CamStudio is free!)

    Terry
  • Okay wuh? I read the entire message but I must be sleep deprived or something O_o let me read it again...
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    heh... I promised to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth! ;-)

    (I edited it a little bit just now - hope that helps somewhat.)

    Terry
  • Alright....ive got it to record how I want to (now can record up to 40 FPS! :D) but it still has that whole flashy glitchy issue....any solve for that mess?
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    Slow down the FPS and that should solve that issue. Also, under "Options >> Program Options" there is an entry called "Recording Thread Priority", which is likely set to "Above Normal". If it is not set to that, set it there. You can TRY "Highest" - it will give more priority to the recorder and less to the game, but in that tug-of-war for system resources, they both may lose. Don't even THINK of trying the "Time Critical" setting unless you are prepared to hard-reboot your computer.

    In XP there is a setting in the System control panel under "Advanced >> Performance >> Advanced" where you can set the "processor scheduling" to either "Programs" which gives processor and resource priority to the application whose window is presently in "focus" or "Background Services" which spreads the resources among all the open programs running evenly. Try that "Background Services" setting if you can find it on your Windows version and see if that helps to give CamStudio more of the resources it needs to take pictures every so-many milliseconds (the "capture frames every" setting). Demanding less FPS (or Playback Speed) may also help here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exs1FAsY3fo

    What settings did you decide to use to get that fast an FPS?

    Terry
  • There is a setting in W7 Pro similar to what you point out in XP. It's at Control Panel>System and Security >Systerm>Advanced system settings>Advanced.
  • On the Thread Priority its set to normal, it always has been, ive dropped the frames to 36 on camstudio and im going to test that real quick, but on the advanced system settings it wont let me in no matter what O_o
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    "it wont let me in no matter what"
    I'll bet you have to go into that control panel as an administrator (right click and the option should be there)
    Also, this was found:
    "I was having the same problem with Windows not remembering the settings. The fix is to type SystemPropertiesPerformance in the Start menu's search bar, then choose your settings. The problem seems to be related to the UAC settings. "
    I don't know whether that gets you there or not, but give it a try!

    Try dropping the playback rate frames to 25 with Capture Frames Every at 40 and see if that helps. Also try playback rate of 20 with capture frames every at 50.

    Definitely go up from "Normal" to at least "Above Normal"

    "There is a setting in W7 Pro similar to what you point out in XP. It's at Control Panel>System and Security >System>Advanced system settings>Advanced. "
    Thanks, booklover for that info!

    Terry
  • Hmm, ive tried having it at 36 as the palyback but it lagged so badly...
  • edited September 2010
    Under the fps controls, should i have auto adjust on?
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,
    "Under the fps controls, should i have auto adjust on? "

    I have it unchecked so I can enter the numbers manually, but you can also use the slider when it is checked
    - just go for CFE and PBR numbers that sum to 1000

    CFE * PBR = 1000
    25 * 40 = 1000
    100 * 10 = 1000
    50 * 20 = 1000
    40 * 25 = 1000
    125 * 8 = 1000

    CFE = "Capture Frames Every"
    PBR = "Playback Rate" (same as FPS)

    Like I said before, keep your "Set Keyframes Every" setting down to a low number between 1 and 30 as well. (That's when I uncheck the Auto Adjust checkbox.)

    Terry
  • >.< Its recording the game fine, pretty decent details, but I just can not get rid of the whole flashy glitchy thing, is that camstudio screwing up or the game? Because when I play its completely fine and normal...
  • smarty569,

    I'd imagine that the settings for CamStudio are still not optimum for recording this. The type of glitches I saw on your YouTube videos earlier were from dropped frames, meaning either CamStudio OR YouTube was not getting all of the frames from the game successfully. That explains the "freezing".

    What settings are you using today?

    Terry
  • Settings for what? And I know its camstudio dropping the frames because my game doesnt drop the frames at all, and when camstudio opens up its player after the video is done saving it gets all those glitches.
  • I havent made any videos lately for youtube so you want me to try another or something?
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    I know CamStudio is dropping the frames (it is the screen recorder), but it can be made to drop fewer (or zero) frames with the correct settings perhaps.

    How about we start with what your settings are for everything there is that has settings:

    Display Screen resolution,
    color bits,
    Camstudio Options>>Video Options (list everything there),
    video compression type,
    video compression settings,
    audio settings,
    audio compression settings,
    Options>>Program Options>>Recording Thread Priority,
    Region settings,
    Operating system and whether 32 or 64-bit,
    Memory,
    CPU speed and whether single, dual-core, or quad-core,
    Available hard drive space,
    Hard drive speed in RPMs,
    Virtual Memory settings,
    Whether optimized for Programs or Background processes,
    Background/other running programs and processes,
    Anything else you can think of.

    That would be helpful for starters.

    Frankly, I can no longer tell from your responses whether you are actually trying anything that I suggest as changes or not.

    Recording a flight-sim game is just about the most demanding task you can ask from any screen recording software, so you will need to report more to me as to what the present conditions are and what you have tried already for us to make much progress here.

    Do not lose hope - it is very likely that we can accomplish this, but as I do not own this flight simulator, I am dependent upon you to give me as much information as possible as all the testing has to be done with your machine and software.

    Your efforts are appreciated as we may find some optimum approaches and settings which work not only for flight-sim recording but for game recording as well.

    Terry
  • Alright.....its going to take some time getting all of this together, but I will try as much as I can on my part to fix this. Your FPS controls did work greatly so it is recording at a high FPS. So thats another part of the problem down.
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    Actually, the FPS or "Playback Rate" (PBR mentioned above) is not as much an issue for dropped frames as is the "Capture Frames Every" setting, and after that the "Set Key Frames Every" setting.

    The "Capture Frames Every" setting tells CamStudio how OFTEN to record frames - that is, it tells CamStudio to sit and WAIT so many milliseconds before it tries to capture a new screen-shot to act as a new video frame. Lower numbers are good, but lower numbers might interfere with the flight-sim performance or simply not be possible due to CPU limitations (as the CPU power is being eaten up by the flight-sim program constantly!)

    "Playback Rate" (or FPS) is merely telling it how fast to play these captured frames back. It is like changing the speed of flipping the pages in a simple animation. The pages stay the same, but you can play them back faster or slower. At least that's how I understand it. That's why, if you want playback to be at the same speed as the original, you select a speed that is related to 1000 milliseconds divided by the "Capture Frames Every" waiting period, since "Capture Frames Every" is in milliseconds, and 1000 milliseconds is one second worth of material. (so... "Playback Rate" is the same as "Frames Per Second" ... see below)

    "Set Key Frames Every" tells CamStudio how often to preserve a "whole" (un-"zipped") frame, and thus how many frames in-between will be only saved as the CHANGES occurring between frames (similar to a zipped file). In Flight-simulation, pretty much everything is changing constantly, so this attempt at keeping file size smaller most likely is futile and possibly is producing more work than necessary for the program to calculate (so a setting of "1" would be acceptable, with better quality yet larger file size). At least, the theory seems to fit that assertion. But this number should be played with to find an acceptable optimum that will produce smaller file sizes, ideally.

    In short, "Capture Frames Every" becomes perhaps the most crucial setting for these purposes. Try the settings I listed earlier and see what happens. (here they are again below:)

    Go for CFE and PBR numbers that sum to 1000
    CFE * PBR = 1000
    25 * 40 = 1000
    100 * 10 = 1000
    50 * 20 = 1000
    40 * 25 = 1000
    125 * 8 = 1000

    CFE = "Capture Frames Every"
    PBR = "Playback Rate" (same as FPS)

    I hope that was clear! What setting of "Capture Frames Every" was giving you that amazing 40 FPS capture rate?

    Terry
  • 40*25 worked really well when i was using the playback feature in the game, so im sticking with that. Its not always at 40 FPS, usually at around 30 when im using the playback but it is great. Still getting together all the info...
  • edited September 2010
    smarty569,

    Ahhh... that is a great idea, using the playback feature of the game and recording that rather than recording while playing in real-time!

    The playback mode is certainly less resource-intensive than live flying (or gaming) where the CPU is constantly polling the controls.

    I wonder how much less resource-intensive most playback modes are compared to live flying or game play?

    Well, there is probably somewhere that answers that question, but for now, it is great to hear of this workable approach for making videos of flight-simulations!

    Terry
  • The playback mode records up to the entire time spent on THAT flight but it doesn't show fire affects if the airplane has a burning engine or anything like that, but im not going to be doing that so I think im good with this right now, im going to run a few tests on it and see the results.
  • Alright, the whole flashy glitchy problem was fixed, just needed to configure the codec for Microsoft Video 1, and it worked for a while now it just wont record at all. It just turns the screen black when im replaying the video and plays the sound if I record it.
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