Smooth Screen Capture?

Alright, I’ll get right into it.

I make tutorials for BGE and plan on making a lot more. I run into problems when Blender lags, because it causes the capture software to stop recording for a few seconds, or stop working entirely.

I’ve noticed in Andrew Price’s Blender Guru videos, or at least the latest ones, that even when Blender lags or crashes, his software continues to capture video and audio in realtime HD/1080p.

Is this something to do with the software itself, or is it all hardware. (i.e. Better Software or Dedicated CPU/GPU?)

Just some info on my computer, so you can give me a verdict:

Model: HP 110-017cb
Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics Card (Stock)
OS: Windows 8.1
Capture Software: Open Broadcaster Software (a.k.a. OBS)

It is currently unable to accept a GPU without heavy modifications. Sad thing is, I bought a new GEFORCE GT-630 GPU when I got it, only to find out I can’t install it.

I look forward to hearing from someone soon.

Thank you to all who reply!

Dunno if it works with Blender (maybe fullscreen mode?), but the latest Nvidia Drivers (Geforce Experience) come with Shadow Play, which can capture straight from the GPU. Not sure if Blender’s UI is computed on a dedicated GPU if available, or if it’s always in integrated graphics processor in the CPU…

What definately works great is Fraps. Really smooth if you capture Blender, but cursor moves are not recorded if no part of the UI changed (e.g. hovering a button means it gets highlighted and therefore a redraw is caused, but if there’s no visual change, the record kind of pauses). It should work however if you record your Windows Vista / 7 Desktop (WDM). You need to enable an option in Fraps to be able to record it, and might have to start the recording before you open Blender - 'cause the viewport will grab the focus and be used for recording over the desktop.

Fraps fills a lot of storage space during recording…

you could buy hardware encoder/recorder devices which many Gamers buy to record what they do on their screens.
such a device can give you much more resources to your PC.

these two devices could be a good comparing and searching base.

the Avermedia thingy can also record “Pc free” and saves the files onto an SD card

for a software solution there is also Camstudio
but to be honest the software solutions will want CPU, ram and disk space resources.

i use obs on blender and i have no problems with it
it does have a lot of settings im sure you could find some that work

You all have some good alternatives. Though it seems there is a miscommunication here. I’m not too concerned if Blender or any other software crashes during recording as much as I am about having the video and audio to record and encode in HD regardless of what’s happening on-screen. Now the main question was, “will I need a GPU dedicated for recording”. Since I’m running BGE, a GPU for Blender would be nice, but not necessary, since it’s not Cycles.

CoDEmanX: I’m not sure how updating Nvidia drivers will help when I don’t have an Nvidia device installed. Also, I don’t have the money to buy FRAPS and it didn’t really work well for me when I did the trial a few months ago. I appreciate the help though!

myclay: I’ll look into the external recorders, thank you!

LordOdin: I’ve tried so many settings. Unfortunately, my computer is so underpowered, it has encoding problems even on 480p. It seems to continue having issues as time goes on. When I first got it, I was able to record in 1080p HD with clear audio, then the encoding was too slow and lagging the video, so I dropped it to 720p and a lower audio bitrate. That worked for a while, now I’ve had to lower the resolution and quality even more.

I may end up just having to give up the money to have someone expand my hardware to accommodate my GPU. Then, possibly buy an external recorder.

Any more suggestions are gladly accepted!

When I first got it, I was able to record in 1080p HD with clear audio, then the encoding was too slow and lagging the video, so I dropped it to 720p and a lower audio bitrate. That worked for a while, now I’ve had to lower the resolution and quality even more.

That doesn’t sound like a CPU or GPU problem (they shouldn’t “degrade” over time), I would rather check your harddrive (how many MBs per minute do you get? How many space left on drive and how much fragmented?). A RAM upgrade might help too.

Fraps is not really so good. Camtasia is the best.

It does not record as smooth as Fraps, at least on my rig. Dunno if the lastest Camtasia supports direct MP4 encoding, but SnagIt 11+ definately does (also by TechSmith). You can directly upload it to YouTube for instance, no editing, no re-encoding (Camtasia AVIs aren’t that large either, but lack the mouse cursor).

Try Expression Encoder from Microsoft, works great for me :slight_smile:

It outputs WMV video, ready for direct upload to youtube.

change your encoding to fast or very fast… if you change it to slow it uses your cpu more

if you use cbr it will be a steady bit rate and wont change

I agree - you machine should not slow down that much without a real reason. Perhaps the hard drive is fragmented? Or you inadvertently installed some malware that is affecting the performance of your machine?

That Intel chipset is problematic, indeed - your machine is not really meant for 3d creation.

Installing a SSD for video recording could remove the bottleneck.

Good news, I managed to get a 720p recording out of it, if someone would like to tell me what they think of the quality:

CoDEmanX -

I have no idea what that fragmented drive is… I have 722 GB of 914 GB available disk space. I’m not sure how to check my MBs per Minute.

Kramon - I don’t have a high opinion of either of them, but they are the best on the market.

CoDEmanX - I’ll keep that software in mind, but don’t currently have the funding to spare for it.

zeealpal - Seems like it has some potential, I’ll play around with some settings and see if I can get some good results.

LordOdin - My encoding was already set to super fast. I’ll try the CBR setting and it appears mine had CFR checked, if that’s an issue.

Herbert123 - Well, there is a fragmented area, but I’m not quite sure what it is… It won’t let me optimize it. And it’s not that it’s not meant for 3D creation. It works fine with Blender and Cycles on their own, but if I try adding recording into the mix, it gets a bit slow.

I have no idea what that fragmented drive is… I have 722 GB of 914 GB available disk space. I’m not sure how to check my MBs per Minute.

That one is probably an internal partition for shadow copy / system restore functionality. You shouldn’t worry about it. And if there’s that many free space, fragmentation shouldn’t matter.

For hdd activity, hit Windows Key + R and type resmon (see the disk tab).

Your 720p video doesn’t look like HD, more like 480p quality (too much compression?).

CoDEmanX -

There is the window you told me to open. I can’t accurately gather necessary information from this.
Thanks for letting me know. I’ll do a test run with the CBR option enabled and see if it has better quality. I had to lower the quality ratio before.

I tested again with CamStudio, I was at least able to record in 1080p, but it still lacks a bit of quality:

The disk activity is most important, see what the blue “highest active time” does during a recording. If it’s close to 100%, then your HDD is a bottleneck. It could also be the CPU, but it’s hard to tell if it’s at max ('cause many programs run on a single virtual core, making 25% cpu utilization the maximum on a dual core with hyperthreading for a single-threaded application).

There’s a lossless codec for CamStudio, that might give you better quality. Not sure about performance. It can be tricky to install on Win64 (required registry edits for me)

I tested out the lossless codec. I didn’t have to modify any of it, so I suppose it’s fixed for Win64 now.

My HDD was maxing out a lot, if you watch this you can see:

What can I do about my “bottlenecked” HDD?

If it’s rotating at 5400 rpm, a faster one (7200 rpm) might help. If you got enough RAM, you could also try to record to a RAM disk (uses memory as storage). If your machine supports it, a SSD should perform best, but is also expensive.

How would I go about recording to a RAM disk? I’ve looked into the SSDs, but I’m not sure which would be compatible with my computer. I’ll google it later.

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Other Software”

My Screen Recorder screen recording software works well for me. It is not expensive and creates small sized recordings that are very clear. I upload my recordings to Youtube and they look great, the mouse cursor and movements are captured perfectly.