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Video Game Frame Rates

I recently posted this question on Youtube under tbritton33's video "Best Settings for CamStudio to Sync Audio and Video."

Hi tbritton33,

Can you tell me what's the minimum frame rate per second I should use to record SNES games? I will like to keep my file size to the minimum. Is 10 fps enough, or is it too little? 20fps? Keep in mind that this is is a SNES game, so I don't know if it changes much in terms of determining the lowest fps I should use. High fps also slows down the game, so the lower I go, the better, therefore, my question on what's the lowest fps I should use for a SNES game. Thanks for your help!


  • edited May 2011
    In a nutshell, I'm trying to aim for the lowest frame rate possible, because how I want to have a small file size and because a large frame rate will slow down my computer. Currently I want to use 10 fps, but I wonder if it is not enough to record an SNES game. If not, how about 20 fps? 25 fps? 40 fps? 50 fps? (bigger than that becomes ridiculous) Please offer your opinion, for I start recording and uploading on Memorial weekend!
  • SabresMania,

    There is no "lowest" acceptable fps setting - go with what looks good by doing some tests. Just keep the "Capture Frames Every" setting multiplied times the Playback rate equal to 1000, and set "Use MCI to Record" in the audio settings, and you should be OK. I think CFE 50 PBR 20 looks fine for games, but CFE 100 PBR 10 seems a little too choppy for them (that's fine for tutorials, but just looks jerky on games). But your machine's limitations may dictate what you can do. Test!

  • Okay, thanks!
    *watches test video with 10fps*
    Yeah, that is a little too jerky...
  • Okay, so I liked the 20 fps a lot better (turns out that my computer can do a little more than I thought it could) Now, what should I set the quality for? What do you recommend? Currently it's set to 70-can I lower it (and if so, what's the lowest you recommend), or should I keep it at 70? Thanks for helping me, for it is of great advice that you give me!
  • SabresMania,

    I just go for the highest quality and still get small videos with Xvid. The sound will eat up the most filespace now - so try that MSADPCM item at 44.1 mono, perhaps (to preserve the sync).

    The slider on the "CamStudio Video Options" page only affects a few codecs (like Microsoft Video One, for instance). I'm not sure it affects Xvid since it has its own quality slider (which I set all the way to the left at 1 and still get small vids!)

  • I'm currently using CamStudio Lossless mainly because it's simpler and it fits my needs in terms of recording a snes game. That being said, what would you recommend the quality setting be when dealing with CamStudio Lossless-if it uses the quality setting? Can I lower the quality from 70 or should I keep it (if I can lower, what's the lowest you recommend)?
  • SabresMania,

    The quality slider has absolutely no effect on CamStudio Lossles (nor on Lagarith Lossless) as their quality is always, well, lossless!

    Xvid has its own quality slider, so that is the one used in that codec.

    I'm not sure about Huffyuv or the Intel codecs...

    It definitely has an effect on Microsoft Video One - 70 is the absolute lowest I would ever set that one to.

    You'll just have to experiment with the same content. Perhaps record a lossles codec video, then record playback of that on a media player with auto-repeat turned on and "Automatically Stop Recording" set to so many seconds (300 seconds=5 minutes). Then watch your file sizes and compare. Do some with sound, some with sound off, and try the different sound codecs (Have "Use MCI to Record" checked at first, but then give MS ADPCM a try with "Use MCI to Record" unchecked).

    This way you'll have a test bed to compare apples with apples by always having the same material in each comparison.

  • Okay, thanks for explaining all this to me. I'm kinda new to this, so I want to know as much as possible for this.

    Okay, last video-related question, and this one is directly from the "lossless codec" forum-

    Not audio related, but still one of those what-do-you-recommend questions, I currently have " set key frames every " to 200. Is that okay, or should I set it lower (again, this deals with trying to get the smallest size possible, so if I should lower it, what's the highest you recommend it to be?)

    (Hopefully you wouldn't have replied to the other one by the time you see this, it it's a direct copy-and-paste)
  • Okay, moving onto Audio questions (I think you've answered all my Video questions, thanks!)-currently I have my recording format as 11.025kHz mono 4-bit (or whatever the lowest setting is)-is that good enough for recording or should I record it higher? I know stereo does nothing but double the audio size, so is 11.025kHz 4-bit good enough, or do you recommend a higher setting (again, trying to make file sizes small for YouTube, so if that's too poor of a recording format, what's the least you would recommend?)
  • Actually, I switched to 16-bit after noticing the background noice 8-bit (not 4-bit) makes, but the question about "kHz" is still the same-if that influences file size.

    Now I have another question-When I switch the monitor to 16 Bit, CamStudio still says it's recording in "32 iBits". Is there a way to make CamStudio record in 16 Bits?
  • edited May 2011
    NEVER MIND, CamStudio just laughed at my face because as soon as I post this question, it changes to 16 iBits. XD However, then it said I was recording in MS Video Codec, and then I tested it again, and it showed the correct codec. CamStudio and its bugs, though I don't blame it, heck, it's probably the best free video recorder!

    The question about the "kHz" still remains, though. Thanks for your help!
  • edited May 2011

    Yeah, you have to re-start CamStudio to see the change in display bit-depth...

    I'd suggest sticking with 22kHz, MSADPCM 4-bit mono, with "Use MCI to Record" UN-checked. Do a ten minute test and then perform the reading-while-typing test I show at the end of the XP sync video.


    If your sync stinks :-) then revert to "Use MCI to Record" and live with the large file size, I suppose. But I've seen that MSADPCM work perfectly, so I don't foresee you having any problems with it either.

  • For the audio compression, is GSM 6.10 (which compresses audio to 4kb) okay or should I switch to a compressor that compresses less than this?
  • SabresMania,

    Anything goes if it works! I'd double-check the sync stays tight with a 10-minute recording like I show at the end of my sync video. Wasn't MSADPCM adequate? It seemed to exhibit good sync.

  • It appears that GSM compresses the most and it-at least on my computer-dosen't get out of sync.
  • I did a test video using CamStudio:
    If you can, watch it and can you give me some suggestions? It's the first video under the upload list.
  • SabresMania,

    Cool - where did you get GSM?

    Nice video test! Too bad you can't go a little larger! (heh... file size joke... I know you won't go larger!)


  • Yeah, I'm redoing the "test" video to include HD option on YouTube.
  • GSM...somehow appeared on my computer when I downloaded CamStudio. My laptop's a Dell, if that helps. GSM compresses audio into an extremely small file size though.
  • SabresMania,

    Windows Media Player told me I have the Microsoft GSM 6.10 Audio CODEC installed, but I couldn't see it in CamStudio's drop-downs.

    UNTIL, that is, I started searching and tried a bunch of kHz options. GSM only appears in the mono ones.

    Cool - I have a new codec to play around with!



  • Yeah-according to someone on YouTube, stereo is useless if you're using a mic-however, for my project, I realized I'm going to use stereo because the game supports stereo.

    Well, I'm definitely happy to give some knowledge back at you!
  • edited May 2011

    By the way, I forget to mention that MS ADPCM does do stereo at 22KHz. See if that works!

  • Okay, here's a random thought that occurred to me-how can you make CamStudio record in HD? I was wondering this when I posted a test video onto YouTube via Windows Live Movie Maker, and I selected HD. However, YouTube only says 480p or 240p-does it have to do with the frame rate being too low, or what else?
  • SabresMania,

    Two screen dimensions translate into HD at YouTube: 1280X720 and 960X720 (4:3 aspect ratio, but appears in their 16:9 box).

    If using Sizer with the Window region setting in 2.6b, remember to reduce the setting by one pixel each way to make up for the one-pixel-added bug (that is soon to be squashed) in 2.6b. So, 1279X719 or 959X719 configured in Sizer.

    The "Fixed Region" settings do not need this finagling.

  • With 16 bit, I can record cfe 20 pfr 50 without my computer lagging so much! (it's no use to go higher because the snes only outputs 60 fps)

    Furthermore, I found out that it's no use doing 32-bit, after all, it plays 16-bit games only!
  • So does Use MCI Recording only skip compression, or does it skip recording format too?
  • SabresMania,

    "Use MCI to Record" uses the system audio format, which is CD quality, 16-bit, 44.1kHz. It skips compression and recording format (mono vs. stereo) according to what I've been told (and the file sizes are huge, so I think they are right!)

    To use mono, un-check "Use MCI to Record", select the recording format but set it at 16-bit, 44.1kHz mono. 22kHz might work, but test for lagging. Make certain either PCM, MSADPCM or GSM 6.1 (for mono only) are selected as the compression type.

    That has not been lagging, according to reports.

  • Okay. Well, I think I'm going to be using Stereo for at least the in-game sound since it supports it.
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