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VP3 Video Recording (Guide)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:16 pm
by AlinVille
OK I've been asked to write a guide on how to record VP3 videos. I'll try to make it as simple as possible.

First of all you need a real time video-capturing program and I recommend Fraps above anything else. You need the full registered version so you can record as long as you like and with no watermarks; it should be easy to find. If you want you can buy it here, if not you can ask me for the fully registered free version.

Run Fraps. The default hotkey for video-capturing is F9. Make sure you check the settings under the 'Movies' tab; I highly recommend recording at Half-size and 30FPS (or 60 on better PCs) to reduce stuttering as much as possible. Half-size is related to resolution, so if you play at 1600x1200 for example, the video will be captured on 800x600. Sound makes the file larger and you don't really need it in a VP3 vid, so leave ''Record Sound' unchecked (which also results in a slightly better compression) - not very important though. Now you can run VP3 and record with F9. You should also consider turning background off in game for better performance.

The size of your video will be huge and the next step is to compress it. So first you need to download a good codec to use for compression; I tried everything and I can say the best is by far x264vfw: (free).

Now the compression part. The program for that is VirtualDub, which is free and can be downloaded here:

So that's basically all you need. Note that the game will stutter a bit while recording. That's normal, because even if that happens the video will turn out perfectly smooth, on any decent PC. I made a short general guide video: (check its description).

Important notes:
1) When you choose x264vfw from Compression, press Configure and set Ratefactor to 18.0, it's the optimal number (anything higher will decrease quality, anything lower will only increase filesize with no change in quality).
2) If you plan on uploading it on YouTube and you want it to show in HD, the video must have 1280x720 resolution or higher. So you can't record at Half-size then like I recommended, you'd need to set your VP3 resolution at 1280x720 (optimally) or higher and record with Fraps only at Full-size. For this you need a powerful PC, but it's the best quality you can get on YouTube.
3) Fraps doesn't work if you're playing in Desktop Mode. It can't record 2D in Windows, only captures 3D applications.

Good luck. Any questions, ask!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:13 pm
by polomint77
Thanks for that Alin, although I think posting a link to the registered version of Fraps may break forum rules.
Also, I seem to have better results when using ZDSoft Game Recorder. Again, it's not free but easy to find registered on the net. :)

Thanks again...

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:38 am
by AlinVille
Hi. I never heard of ZDSoft Game Recorder, so I thought I'd give it a try (the full version). I have to say it's not even close to Fraps, no way. Its only advantage is the video file size, which is smaller and doesn't necessarily need further compression; but that pretty much explains all its other flaws. The most important one is the impact on system, which is huge, because it's also compressing the video in real-time while recording; the game seems to take a great performance hit and the framerate drops a lot. On older PCs the same issue might happen with Fraps aswell but the video turns out great, no stutter in it, unlike here. I tried more settings in ZDSoft Game Recorder and none of the videos turned out any smooth. So the recommendation remains the same, Fraps is the way to go; best video-capturing program on the market.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:36 am
by polomint77
You may be right, or it may be that I've set up Fraps wrong. I'll try again, :)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:47 pm
Thanks for the tutorial Alin,all works now for me at last

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:01 pm
by 9balldotcom
Yes ill second that....ty for the post and the help,got it nworking eventually.

Re: VP3 Video Recording (Guide)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:41 pm
by AlinVille
Updated the initial post. Use the latest x264vfw codec now instead of Xvid, it's much better. The only downside is that it takes a bit longer to compress, but videos will turn out much smaller in size yet having an even better quality than Xvid. Just remember to set x264vfw's Ratefactor to 18.0 in VirtualDub by pressing Configure. I added the proper download links and some additional info, those who are interested should re-check the whole post.

Check the 1080p fast tutorial I uploaded on YouTube for general use: This one is also showing you how to optimally compress the audio and what codec to use, as well as how to increase the video's brightness/contrast, features commonly used. Must watch in full screen to notice everything, since it's made on 1920x1200 resolution and things look rather small unzoomed.

Re: VP3 Video Recording (Guide)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:20 pm
by ingmu
I always stutter seriously when using Fraps even with my new PC.
But recently I tried Fraps 3.5 and it seems no stutter compared to Fraps 2.8.
I'm not quite sure if it's due to the version of Fraps but anyway I can record videos normally now!

I'm using WinAVI Video Converter 10.1 to compress and join Fraps files. (I set "split movie every 4GB" in Fraps)
I've compared several settings and now my setting is "NVDIA CUDA H.264/AVC", High, and 2000Kbps, which got the best result of quality and file size on my PC.
The codec thing may be different so you can try yours.
WinAVI Video Converter is an easier software for me coz I got a few codec problems using VirtualDub, but WinAVI accepts almost everything.

Here are my videos, I think the quality is ok.

Some tips of Fraps:
1. If you are using any USB or PCI sound device and have a big stutter or crash when stop recording a video over 4GB, remove it! Use the default one of motherboard and try again, should be ok then.
2. Different settings of Hotkey for video-capturing may cause big stutter at the start and finish of recording.