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Recording 720P at just 2 Megs per minute crystal quality (h.264 codec)

edited May 2012 in Announcements
This tutorial is a few years old but I still see people using old codecs that have large file size, and crap quality.
One caveat is that you'll need to use and earlier version of Camstudio than version 2.6 (For some reason 2.6 doesnt show the codec as available.
Make sure you select the youtube 720p option when viewing otherwise it streams at a reduced resolution

Oh and for some strange reason, you'll need to record sound, as the file size swells without it. (Go figure!!! )
Another thing, reducing the capture area will not reduce the file size, but who needs to at those sizes anyway.

It is possible to edit the videos losslessly using virtualdub with its plugin. So long as you dont require fancy effects


  • Just for the purpose of generating some discussion here .....

    By definition, H.264 is MPEG 4 AVC, so that’s really what we’re talking about here. Yes, compared to other codecs, it produces very good quality with smaller file sizes, but let’s not expect miracles. In most cases, the work being discussed on this site involves web tutorials, so we’re asking little more than it would take to capture one’s desktop wallpaper, and that’s going to result in a much smaller file size than you’ll have to deal with when capturing high motion streaming video. In your case, you’re choking down bitrate to very low levels, which is also reducing file size, but that combined with the average bitrate setting is going to create a product that some might find unacceptable.

    I don’t use Vdub for editing, but my video editing software has had few problems with basic cutting functions, although I know many have had audio sync problems. We can’t get into the ongoing debate about packed bitstream here, but I can say that I am definitely on the NO side and do not produce packed bitstream captures, and I believe that eliminates one source of trouble that editing software would otherwise have to deal with. On the other hand, if we’re willing to accept the slight degradation that comes from recoding a high quality MPEG 4, we can eliminate the need for having the “capture frames every” and “playback rate” equal 1000 when multiplied, and this can be a huge advantage when using an older computer with limited CPU resource.

    After reading through all of the posts for many months here, I do find myself wondering why so many people are attempting to use lossless codecs of any kind for projects like tutorials. Lossless has great value when archival material must pass through generations of recoding, and monstrous file sizes are acceptable, but I’m not sure how and why taking tens of thousands of perfect pictures of essentially the same background shot is going to improve the viewing experience.

    Just my thoughts ... a work in progress ...

  • Er ??? What are you saying no to?
    I'm just showing how a screen capture video can be made high quality at very small file size.
    I'm not asking for anything.
  • I thought you had posted about codecs. I added some of my thoughts on the same subject. I re-read my post and cannot find anything that would imply that you are “asking for anything”.

    Was the idea here to post your comments with the notion that nobody else is allowed to respond or comment?

  • "I am definitely on the NO side" I'm asking what are these sides about?

    I'm all up for comments so long as the comments are on topic and not on an irrelevant tangent.

    I dont understand how any of your rave relates to me simply sharing how to make a great video at a very small file size.
  • “”“Just for the purpose of generating some discussion here ..... “”“

    Did you understand what that part meant?

    The “NO” refers to the issue of packed bitstream. It relates to what you’re doing, because that’s what you’re creating when you use the settings suggested in the video. I understand the arguments on both sides of the issue, and I was stating my own position, as I clearly pointed out.

    While I don’t actually understand what the word “rave” means (language barrier here, I think), my guess is that it implies that any further discussion following your post are inappropriate. I would suggest that such is not the case.

  • edited May 2012

    I certainly appreciate your comments, and agree wholeheartedly about the wasted effort of using lossless codecs for tutorial recordings! You really put it perfectly!

    I did not even know about the packed bitstream debate, so thank you for drawing my attention to it. Any links to appropriate reading material on that would be greatly appreciated as well.


    I personally like to use higher bit-rates and am willing to live with the larger file sizes, but for my recordings, using the Xvid at quality of 1 and audio set to "Use MCI to record" (thus 16-bit, 44.1khz system audio), the audio is the greatest part of my resulting file size. I do this in order to ensure as good an audio/video sync as I can get. Even with this, 3 hour recordings of webinars recorded at 720p are effortless for CamStudio with no problems so far, at least as far as staying below the 2-gigabyte file size limit. (I will admit to being nervous sometimes about getting 3-hours, and so I do set Xvid to quality of 2 or 3 sometimes, with little noticeable degradation, really...)

    Thanks a ton for this video (I asked for one just moments ago in responding to an earlier post of yours, and here it is!!!) :-) -- People needing to keep the file sizes smaller for the purpose of packaging into a downloadable file or zipped package of videos will find this incredibly useful! (I always upload to YouTube afterward, so the large size is not such an issue for me.)

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