Ns Demos & Videos

angang Members Join Date: 2005-01-15 Member: 35829Posts: 2
Some questions about recording demo/vids
Well, I'd like to ask you how do you record your demos and videos?
Fraps seems a good choice, but it seems to slow down my computer, so videos won't be nicely smooth recorded. Besides, vids generated by Fraps are big and have to be compressed.
Recording demos in-game is giving me some trouble. For example, the icons that notify that a structure/medpack/ammo has been "trhown" by the commander won't dissapear, and game time won't show. (I'm trying to record good commanders in order to examine their tactics) Btw, I use the cmd "record demo.dem". I know there is another one, but I don't know if it's better or worse.
All that said, the questions remain. How did you record the official trailer? How do you, NS players, record your demos?


  • Marik_SteeleMarik_Steele To rule in hell... Members Join Date: 2002-11-20 Member: 9466Posts: 4,202 mod
    *phased* to our brand-new demo recording section.
    former NS community lead (back in the days of NS1, in between Nemesis Zero and Comprox)
  • weywey Cineastè Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation Join Date: 2003-06-01 Member: 16910Posts: 209
    edited February 2005
    Forget Fraps, there is a much better way: the startmovie command. It allows you to capture bmps while watching a demo. You just have to enter 'startmovie <name> <fps>'. For example 'startmovie scene1 25' (25fps are standard). But I fear you will have to live with the demo bugs - they can't be corrected, you have to 'avoid' them biggrin-fix.gif .
  • angang Members Join Date: 2005-01-15 Member: 35829Posts: 2
    Hmmm startmovie... But if that creates bmps, then I'll need a lot of space in my HD...

    But how did they recorded the trailer? I looks so smooth tounge.gif
  • surprisesurprise Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-01-16 Member: 12382Posts: 674
    hm, if i remember correctly , wey stated this in another thread in general discussion

    demos in highest quality
    and then startmovie with 200 frames

    but prepare for harddisk overload wink-fix.gif
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  • weywey Cineastè Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation Join Date: 2003-06-01 Member: 16910Posts: 209
    edited February 2005
    Well the 200fps thing is not as easy as it sounds. Only a very few persons use it. You should only use it if you know exactly what you're doing and already have some advanced experience with Vegas and VirtualDub. Beginners should stick to the usual 'startmovie <name> 25' method.

    If you have captured the bmps, you can convert them to avis via Virtualdub, Videomach or bmp2avi (VirtualDub is opensource, I can recommend it). If you're very new to moviemaking, you should also consider to read some tutorials to learn the basics biggrin-fix.gif .

    btw surprise: The trailer did 'only' take 23gb thanks to some lossless compression codecs biggrin-fix.gif .
  • ClashenClashen Members Join Date: 2003-08-22 Member: 20087Posts: 1,465
    One nub question, how do you import BMP's into VirtualDub? I can only import one at a time :/
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  • weywey Cineastè Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation Join Date: 2003-06-01 Member: 16910Posts: 209
    Just open the first bmp with VirtualDub (file -> open video file). As long as you've recorded them with hl/ns, vdub will open the whole picture series (the bmps begin with the same name). When that's done, you'll need to adjust the fps (video -> frame rate -> change to XXX) to the amount with which you captured them in ns. So if you've captured with startmovie xx 25, you need to set them also to 25. That's all, then you can export the avi with file -> save as AVI.
  • aonomusaonomus Dedicated NS Mastermind (no need for school) Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-11-26 Member: 23605Posts: 622
    wey, nice new forum title, and 30 gb worth of video data (guessing how much extra stuff came with the edited stuff). You can record the demo and dump them into bmps, then process it using virtualdub (greatest software ever kthx), or you can spend a bit of money and get FRAPS (which lets you record from the screen directly to hard drive while in game), which does take more computer power.
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  • ScyllaScylla Members Join Date: 2003-08-05 Member: 18942Posts: 160
    It's a good idea, if you use a good video editing software to convert the BMP to a AVI using a lossless codec. pjBmp2Avi does this job well. So you have a much smaller filesize and can handle it a lot better .... and encoding the final video is much faster.
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  • weywey Cineastè Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation Join Date: 2003-06-01 Member: 16910Posts: 209
    Yeah Scylla is right. Lossless codecs offer a good compromise between speed and size. I use huffyuv which compresses between 40% and 60% and is very fast (40fps on a 400mhz machine as far as I remember). I never used bmp2avi, but I heard it's easy and does its job well. But I think if want to do some more advanced things (high quality resizing etc.) there is no way around VirtualDub.

    Some people also like Fraps ... I don't. Just because it takes a very good HDD to record without framedrops and on a high resolution. And it compresses the movie a bit (not lossless), so you will never get the same image quality as you would get with startmovie. As long as you can (hl, hl2, all quake engines), you should stick to the game internal commands.
  • iFireiFire Members Join Date: 2002-07-31 Member: 1038Posts: 375
    I think the best solution would be a on the fly compression from bmp to huffyuv compression.
  • Garet_JaxGaret_Jax Members, Constellation Join Date: 2003-02-23 Member: 13870Posts: 832
    edited March 2005
    Couple of questions:

    1. I imagine HL has a console command that can disable the HUD (if memory serves, some screenshots (not NS, perhaps) can be taken "cleanly" by disabling the HUD). Anyone know this command, or will I have to spend a few minutes replacing every HUD sprite with a blank one?

    2. What's the best way to get a spectator view to follow a player "smoothly" using free look? I imagine even with practice it would be difficult to use the mouse. I'm thinking about doing some "mouse yaw" binds, but they would be specific to each part of the movie (which means lots of binds).

    3. What's the best way to capture sound, assuming I use the forums recommended demo-capture techniques? (.dem -> .bmp -> .avi using VirtualDub and Huffwuv)

    Incidentally, I'm making a movie using The Specialists, not NS.

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