A couple weeks ago I retired my old 3GHz overclocked Q6600 and upgraded to Intel's new flagship CPU i7 2600k. Now before I start writing up my very short opinion and review, those are the settings I still use in VirtualDub. Virtually nothing has changed. Even after more than 2 years, those settings are still the best in terms of "filesize:video quality"-ratio.
Encoding speed is measured in (average) frames per second. The more, the merrier. It's also important to know that there are, what I like to call, "motion-heavy" and "motion-light" scenes.
This is, like the name suggests, a scene in-game (or anywhere for that matter, but I'm talking video gameplay specifically here) in where there's either very much motion / moving happening on the screen or the opposite. Why is that important you ask?
A lot of people keep asking me how to use VirtualDub with other files formats besides .avi. Like mkv, flv, mp4 or even .mov.
VirtualDub, as stand-alone, cannot handle mkv, mp4, flv, mov or any other files besides avi. You need a plugin or plugins to load anything else besides avi. Mind you, VirtualDub still only can and will save in avi!
There are a couple plugins that can handle loading different files formats. For me personally only 2 come to mind:
There's my personal favorite: Ffmpeg Input Driver which can handle 31 different file formats according to the plugin developer. Among them are the popular mkv, mp4, flv, mov, rm, rvmb, wmv and ts. The plugin is based, as the name may suggest, of the ffmpeg libraries. And if something doesn't work, remember, this is a plugin still in early development stage as of 03.07.2011.
Then there's fccHandler, which can handle mpeg-2, flv, wmv, fli, flc, mkv. However fccHandler also offers the AC-3 ACM codec, which I use for sound in my videos. Edit: Apparently fccHandler's website is down for some reasons. But there are two mirror with his stuff: Mirror 1, Mirror 2 . Thank's for the eMails pointing that out!
Download whichever plugin you prefer, and unpack it into your VirtualDub plugin folder. Remember however that those plugins only allow you to load said file formats. You cannot save those loaded files in mp4, mov, flv, only in avi.
For redundancy purposes I've decided to host both the AC-3 ACM and AAC ACM codecs and their source code on my blog.
Download AC-3 ACM 2.2 & AAC ACM 1.9:
What is ffdshow, you ask? Here's the quote from the ffdshow sourceforge page
ffdshow tryouts is a DirectShow and Video for Windows codec with support for a wide range of audio and video formats, such as Xvid, DivX, and H.264. It includes a powerful filter set that can enhance the video quality - with filters for resizing, deinterlacing, and displaying subtitles - as well as audio quality through normalization, down-/upmixing, and resampling.
The biggest problem most of us face while recording gameplay clips with Fraps is its disk space usage. Fraps records everything uncompressed, continuously (free version is limited to 30 sec.) and sequential. Meaning from start till stop the "whole" clip is split into single 4GB files (For FAT32 filesystem user convenience).
The length of a single 4 GB clip depends on the resolution and the in-game scene you record it in. For example, for me a 4 GB clip has about 90 sec. worth of gameplay in 1920x1200 resolution.
Because of this uncompressed real-time recording your frame-rates drops significantly while playing. There is NO way to keep up 40+fps with Fraps running unless you have one hell of a monster system.
Imagine what happens when you want to capture a 30+ min gameplay clip. Either you buy yourself a Terabyte HDD or you use a very simple trick: recording in half-size, upscaling and sharpening. Read the How-To guide!
I've been looking for a way to capture my screen (not screen-shot it, but real-time capture) while on my OS (WinXP). I've found a lot solutions, but all of them involved shelling out money one way or another. Now why would I do that, when in the age of Open Source and Freeware there are free solutions for almost everything?
First you need to download and install VH Screen Capture Driver, then you start up VirtualDub.
In VirtualDub you do the following:
I often record gameplay clips from video games I'm playing with FRAPS. Usually in 1920x1080 resolution depending on the game and the FPS I get with FRAPS running. For transcoding the raw footage to something bearable to upload I usually use only VirtualDub.
Lately I've experimented with settings, and I think I found some good ones. Good video and sound quality with small file size were my goals. I think roughly 100 mb for a 5 min. clip and about 300mb for the full 10 min. in full 720p HD quality is awesome.
I'm still experimenting with sound compression but I think with 192 kb/s AC-3 ACM I have a good start.
Please bear in mind that the higher your resolution is the bigger your file size will be and vice versa. Those 100 mb respectively 300 mb are based on my 1920x1080 resolution!
This guide is intended for 16:10 and 16:9 resolutions. If you're playing on a 4:3 resolution, do not resize down to 1280*720p without maintaining aspect ratio, because the end-result will otherwise look over-stretched/-squeezed.
My settings for VirtualDub are in the picture below. If you want a very detailed explanation what each option does, check this out!
By the way, you have to have the H.264 codec installed to get it working. Download and install the latest VFW-version build here. PAY attention which version you're downloading, x86 (=32bit) or x86_64 (=64bit).
A warning about the Option "Multithreading" -> "Threads" don't set it higher than [# of your CPU Cores * 1.5] because then your whole system will start chugging. For example a Core 2 Duo would be 2 Cores * 1.5 = 3, a Q9550 would be 4 Cores * 1.5 = 6 and an AMD Phenom II X3 would be 3 Cores * 1.5 = 4.5 4.
This is by no means a guarantee that it will or will not work on your system. Each system, its components and its software are unique. You'll probably have to experiment a bit on your own. But those mentioned numbers are a good start.
It also might be necessary for you to adjust the audio volume to your liking. I have -10 dB, because the sound I record is terribad. My onboard sound sucks, period. Some people also experience asynchronous sound, here's how you can fix it.
Edit 30.05.2012 - FFDSHOW Resize Filter:
There's an external filter, a better one in my opinion, available to use with VirtualDub. It's calle ffdshow and it provides amongst other things resize, watermark and sharpen functions. Here's the guide.
On a side note: When you have uploaded your clip on YouTube and YouTube processed it the quality then will be lowered again. There's nothing you or I can do about that, it's up to YouTube.
The whole tutorial is also available on YouTube as a video:
A few links to my own HD clips:
Addendum 16.September 2009: Enabling GPU acceleration
Since version 1.9.4 it is possible to use the GPUs processing power (if your GPU supports it, which most modern GPUs do) as part of whole the transcoding process. This way you can speed up the transcoding process significantly (depending on your compression settings!).
On my computer this cut my transcoding time from an average 1h for a 10 min. clip down to some 40-ish minutes. Under "Options" -> "Preferences" enable "3D accel".
Addendum 23.10.2009: Crashes during encoding
There's currently a problem causing VirtualDub 1.9.4/5/6/7/8/9 to crash under Windows 7 while encoding sometimes. The culprit is 3D accel! Turn it off under "Preferences" -> "3D accel" and enjoy VirtualDub once again!
Addendum 16.05.2010: Option "3d accel" slowing down encoding
I've been getting mixed messages. Apparently using "3d accel" causes it to render slower than usual on some systems. I can confirm that. With 3d accel turned on, a 10min video takes about 1 hour 10-20 minutes, while turned off it takes about 1 hour max. You'll have to experiment on your system!
And if you are running on a multicore cpu, don't forget to enable threading via "Option" -> "Preferences" -> set "Threading" to 1!
Added link to ffdshow filter guide.