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Basic guide to using FRAPS & Editing Game play with Sony Vegas - :D

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
In trying to help a fellow OCN overcome some issues with the topic at hand i figured i would post this info in a new thread just in case it may benefit others who are looking at doing similar , currently or in the future. I will say as a disclaimer that the info i provide in this post is only the way i enjoy doing video game recording & editing and not necessarily the best or only way to do it. I am not an expert in these matters but i have been doing game play videos for some time and thought id share some simple advise for those looking to start out on similar adventures. With the little disclaimer above out the way lets begin with FRAPS biggrin.gif

FRAPS

In my experience , recording game play with FRAPS is a simple and easy way to capture your greatest ( and worst ) moments and then use the recordings to edit epic ftw videos of epic epicness, well you get the idea rolleyes.gif . There is other software available to do this ( Afterburner ), but in this guide i will cover FRAPS only.

Just like with any software FRAPS is not perfect, and depending on lots of variables, performance will vary. If you are running on a budget or low end system then performance loss will be greater than that of a mid/high end system, depending on what your hoping to get from fraps. No matter what system you are using fraps will effect performance to one degree or another. However that being said, how you set up fraps will likely determine how much performance you will lose.

In ideal conditons we would all have 10x 200000Gb SSD's, but in reality all you ideally need is at least two hard drives. Listed below is how i have my fraps setup, and also the minimum i believe needed for a smoothish experience.

My setup

Hard Drive 1 = SSD - Windows 7 + Programs + some games / FRAPS is installed here !!!!
Hard Drive 2&3 = 500Gb + 500Gb - Games , Photos, & General
Hard Drive 4 = 160Gb - Dedicated video recording drive / FRAPS Recordings/Screenshot folder is HERE !!!

Minimum Req

Hard Drive 1 = ??? Gb SSD or HD = Windows 7 + Games + FRAPS installed here !!
Hard Drive 2 = ???Gb HD = A dedicated folder for fraps to record to on a secondry drive is enough to reduce stutter in nearly all games biggrin.gif

As you can see above in my setup i have a reasonable sized drive to store all fraps recordings without effecting other drives in my system. However, having a large dedicated HD isn't necessary, if you have a second hard drive installed you can dedicate a small amount of space ( 20Gbs or so, more if you wish ) in a individual folder for fraps to record to. Why would i need to do this ??? I hear you cry, well it is quite simple my fellow movie makers, using a secondary HD or folder on a separate drive will reduce the stuttering commonly associated with using FRAPS. Having fraps run & record to the same drive which the game is running from will cause the drive to slow down as it tries to both read & write information from the same place at the same time.


So with the above mentioned it is time to move onto how to setup FRAPS itself biggrin.gif


Now in the main picture above are lots of settings so i will cover the most important and then explain each. The setup above is exactly how i have my fraps setup when doing long recording sessions and hopefully down below will explain as to why biggrin.gif

1) PURPLE = Here is where you can choose which folder to save your epic recordings into, i would highly recommend you create a folder on a hard drive that is not your main OS drive ( and preferably not where your games are also installed / for best performance )

2) BLUE = Here is where you can set your audio options including in game sounds , microphone recordings, and capture settings. Simple enough biggrin.gif

3) GREEN = Here is where you can choose to hide the mouse cursor or not. You can also lock down your frame rate to that which is set inside the red circle in order to force a capped fps. Locking the frame rate isn't needed unless you want to use a specific render profile later on that requires source footage to be something like 29.97, or you just want to limit the fps. You can force RGB lossless capture as well, although not really needed for most users.

4) RED = Here you can set which key you would like to use to begin and stop recording game play. You can also select which level of fps you would like to capture at, the options being as follows

- 60 fps
- 50 fps
- 30 fps
- Custom - 29.97 fps - or delete and add your own choice

You may also notice the Full Size & Half Size option, this relates to what resolution you would like to record at. For example >>

Full Size = If you play on a 1920x1080 monitor then fraps will record at 1920x1080 FULL Resolution
Half Size = If you play on a 1920x1080 monitor then fraps will record at 960x540 HALF Resolution

So if you use a 1920x1200 monitor like me then Full size equates to 1920x1200 and Half Size is 960x600 and so on etc etc.

Why would i want to use half size ?? = If you are doing long recording sessions then using half size will reduce the amount of space ( in Gbs ) FRAPS use's while recording. However for shorter projects fulll size is fine.

The final option available is loop buffer length, which by default is set to 30 sec and can be set to whatever you desire, though i recommend keeping to within 60seconds. What this option allows you to do is record footage ahead of time so to speak. By pressing and holding the record button the number counter will turn pink, after this when you next hit record the video will record from 30 seconds ( or what you set ) before the moment you press it. This can be a handy feature for capturing the things you sometimes miss and wish you had caught during game play, though do be aware it can be more intensive on your system.

Continued

There are other things to consider when using fraps to record your game play , and one of those things is file size. FRAPS records video to AVI format, which is an uncompressed format type and as such creates large files with a high data rate. If you are planning on doing lots of videos or especially long videos then upgrading to a larger hard drive may be beneficial. Video size will vary depending on length and resolution but as a rough guide here is an example....

Recording 1920x1080 @ Half Frame @ 960x540 for 60 seconds = 1Gb AVI

Using fraps can be intensive on more than just your hard drives, capturing all the action on screen is no easy task, so a reasonable amount of cpu power is required as well, so keep that in mind when selecting the eye candy !!

Graphics Settings

When recording your game play you want it to look good, and while there is no problem in setting all visuals to high or ultra you should bare in mind that fraps does require some cpu processing time and during heavy game play this can effect performance across the system. I would recommend being conservative when it comes to setting in game visuals, use lower graphical settings where possible , this will help maintain not only a smooth game experience but reduce stutter from cpu/hard drive/gpu use.

Saving Space

When you have finished with editing your final video ( in Sony Vegas or other ) and no longer need the original recordings don't forget to delete them , this way you won't have lots of AVI files taking away valuable space on your hard drive/s.

Conclusion

Using FRAPS to record your online awesomeness can be fun, easy , and trouble free ( relatively speaking ). With a little knowledge and understanding of how it works you can use this tool to show the world your style and flair. I hope with the brief guide above those of you unfamiliar with this tool can get to grips with the basic ideas covered and get started on the way to making your own videos.

As i stated in the beginning, im no expert, but i have enjoyed making online videos for sometime and just wanted to help & share some basic knowledge.

Below you will find a basic guide showing how to edit your fraps recordings into a single basic video, what render settings to choose from, and other basic starter tips.
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post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
Sony Vegas - Editing gaming clips for beginners

After you have used FRAPS/Afterburner or any other capture software , you are left with a host of clips ready to be polished into a master piece of movie perfection.......well ok maybe im getting carried away rolleyes.gif . Managing these clips into a single coherent video that you'd want to share with others is a task often dreaded by those unfamiliar to editing software.

For this thread at least we will be dealing with Sony Vegas, but there are other Video editing software packages out there where similar tips and principles apply. If you don't want to pay for Vegas/Movie Studio and are looking to use a 100% free software package then i would recommend using Windows Movie Maker. Although not perfect, WMM is a great place to start with editing clips, it is easy to use and has some useful features for those looking to upload their edited videos straight to YouTube from the program itself. To download Windows Movie Maker go to the windows.microsoft.com website for further details.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words, or should i say moving pictures ??? Anyway, in place of lots and lots of text i decided to explain and show "how to " in a short but hopefully helpful video on my own YT channel. In this video i will show how easy it is to get to grips with Sony Vegas and how to start making simple videos ready for YouTube super Stardom XD

Sony Vegas - A quick tutorial for beginners

Don't be afraid......Discover !!


Often when starting out, programs like Vegas can be intimidating and confusing, but sometimes with a little patience and a little knowledge you can start producing some good quality video for your viewers. So if you want to get to know Vegas then start out slowly, learn some basics and don't be afraid to experiment with the program. Often some of the best ideas come from trying new things or stumbling across certain settings/features, so keep an open mind and who knows where it might lead you !

The beauty of video editing is that you are your own boss and whatever you decide to do is a matter of choice and expression. A common worry is about quality or render settings, sometimes it is best to experiment with short clips using different formats until you find what works best for you, nothing is set in stone. So whatever your choices or aspirations may be, i hope this short thread will help you to get on your way to whatever you aspire to be XD

All the Best MrMech thumb.gif

* The Youtube video above was edited & rendered in Vegas using a custom template / 1920x1200 @ 29.97 - 6.4Mbp/s WMV V11 Finished size 285Mb / Pre edited size 1.15Gb AVI - render time 25 Minutes ( Render times will vary according to hardware ) *
Edited by Mr-Mechraven - 7/6/13 at 6:25am
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post #3 of 3

Great guide buddy. Looking forward to the Sony Vegas part as well.

 

Thanks for helping the community.

 

+rep

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