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Aloyalgamer
06-11-2010, 11:40 PM
Hey guys, it's been almost a year since I've posted on this forum. :( I went on a hiatus due to certain events that have happened with other LPers, trying to avoid competition with them as much as possible. Nonetheless, I love helping people, and hopefully this post will provide you all with the skills necessary to basically PWN at making LP's.

Okay, so you've tried making LP's, but are still feeling awkward doing them, or simply haven't figured out how to make videos. The key to confidence and making LP's in general is to understand the technical aspects of video and software utilization. Don't worry, it's not as hard as it seems:

Resolutions:
Resolutions are the amount of pixels (colored squares) that fill up the screen. The more the pixels, the higher the resolution. Most video games (NES through Wii) can only go up to 480i/p Standard Definition. The i/p that I put after the number 480 mean Interlace Scan and Progressive Scan.

Interlace Scanning is becoming a thing of the past as media in general is hovering towards High Definition. Interlace Scan is where pixels refresh in lines at a high rate, even lines refreshing all at once, then the odd lines, or the ones in between. As each line of pixels on your screen refresh, this creates motion to the frames displayed, known as Frames per Second (FPS). Think of an old VHS tape from the 80's with lines going crazy all over the screen. This is actually due to the poor quality of the VHS tape, but that's a different story..most games in general use interlace scanning.

Progressive Scan was meant as a way for video to emulate film, enabling video to display more pixels, frame by frame. Think of your video being a stick of butter, and you use a knife to cut through it. That slice of butter is one single frame. Whole frames being displayed back to back at a high rate creates smoother movement than interlace does. Videos with a "p" after of them use Progressive Scan.

Most games, as mentioned above, are Standard Definition (The Wii is not HD, only the Xbox 360 and PS3 are). You can, however, use methods to up-convert these games to "fake HD" to boost frame rate and bit rate by a little (bit rate is the amount of "information" displayed per second, the higher the better, yet it'll create larger file sizes). This can be achieved through tweaking emulator / console resolution settings prior to recording.

Standard Definition
380i (lowest res. used on the internet)
480i (standard video game resolution (720x480))
480p (the same, but with progressive scan; God of War 2 has an option for this res.)

High Definition:
720p (Has the highest temporal motion at 60 frames per second(1280x720))
1080i (the only HD res. to have interlace scan, 720p actually offers more FPS)
1080p (The highest current video resolution; most PS3 and Xbox 360 games are not 1080p, they are actually 720p (1920x1080)

Codecs
Codecs stand for compressor/decompressor. Along with the format of your final file ready to be uploaded onto YouTube, using codecs will determine your file size and overall quality of the final product (along with bit rate). It's up to you to experiment which ones suit your videos, but in the end, it's all up to what's compatible with YouTube; WMV, MP4 and MOV (Quicktime) are the most commonly used. Also, due to proprietary reasons, some editing programs aren't compatible with certain codecs; this explains one of the reasons why there's so many. Other codecs available are AVI, DivX and many others.

Capture Devices / Screen Recorders
These are tools for recording Let's Plays. Note the highest resolutions that they record at.

Dazzle (USB, any model) - records up to 480i/p. (Video Creator Plus HD does not record in High Definition)
Diamond VC500 (USB) - records up to 480i/p.
Elgato Video Capture (USB, Mac only) - records up to 480i/p.
Grass Valley ADVC55 (FireWire) - records up to 480i/p.

BlackMagic Intensity (PCI port) - records up to 1080i HD (including 720p).
Hauppauge HD-PVR (USB) - records up to 1080i HD (including 720p).

You can use screen recorders such as Camtasia Studio, Screenflow (Mac), Hypercam, Fraps and other programs that can compress in whatever resolution and format you want. Keep in mind that if you take a Standard Definition file and try to up-convert it to HD without tweaking the resolutions prior to recording, that doing so will only pixellate your recording badly, and will not even be near HD.

For the mentioned Software/Hardware above, you can easily google the costs for each one, but these are the ones that I know personally will work well if you use them right.

Hope this all helps guys!

CodeZTM
06-11-2010, 11:46 PM
Just adding this out there.

I make AMV's, which in and of itself isn't that different from LP's. It's all about compression baby! Who wants to upload huge uncompressed or MPEG2 files for the higest quality and spend hours and precious bandwidth.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/o53u38

http://tinyurl.com/yk8ykfo

The first one is AMV Simple [the sendspace link]. It's a program developed by Russian editors and creates MP4 files that upload to youtube without any sync issues AND cuts filesize down by a great deal [I've had 5-10 minute videos under 50 MB before]. Best part of this is that it has the same quality of footage as you would get from lossless and/or uncompressed footage. It's Simple, effective and can point/click interface you. It's a tad outdated though in terms of codecs.

The second one is ZarxGui, a program more advanced than AMVSimple ,and with toying around can get amazing visual quality, with some slightly higher filesizes. I have had some SLIGHT sync issues with this in the past, however in terms of uploading to Youtube. But it's by far the more superior of the two, but takes more technical knowledge

______________

Both of the programs are free, and have helped me immensely throughout the years.

Aloyalgamer
06-11-2010, 11:54 PM
Just adding this out there.

I make AMV's, which in and of itself isn't that different from LP's. It's all about compression baby! Who wants to upload huge uncompressed or MPEG2 files for the higest quality and spend hours and precious bandwidth.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/o53u38

http://tinyurl.com/yk8ykfo

The first one is AMV Simple [the sendspace link]. It's a program developed by Russian editors and creates MP4 files that upload to youtube without any sync issues AND cuts filesize down by a great deal [I've had 5-10 minute videos under 50 MB before]. Best part of this is that it has the same quality of footage as you would get from lossless and/or uncompressed footage. It's Simple, effective and can point/click interface you. It's a tad outdated though in terms of codecs.

The second one is ZarxGui, a program more advanced than AMVSimple ,and with toying around can get amazing visual quality, with some slightly higher filesizes. I have had some SLIGHT sync issues with this in the past, however in terms of uploading to Youtube. But it's by far the more superior of the two, but takes more technical knowledge

______________

Both of the programs are free, and have helped me immensely throughout the years.

You forgot the resolution Apple ProRes. Not sure if you work with Final Cut (a lot of semi-professional editors do) but Apple Pro Res is a Final Cut - specific codec that takes HD files and shrinks them down to the sizes of standard definition files. It's quite remarkable, but again you can only use it in Final Cut and now Adobe Premiere Pro.

CodeZTM
06-12-2010, 12:08 AM
I didn't forget about it, I'm just not fond of anything that's remotely associated with FCP or Apple. Plus, these programs are just frankly much easier to tinker with and less fussy and accepts Avisynth files without several hours of fiddling with plugins.

xShadowBlitzx
06-12-2010, 06:33 AM
Hmm i'd like to ask a question about the VC500. Does it record PAL 60hz fine as i currently have the Dazzle DVC100 and to get my Video into colour i have to change it to NTSC and then fiddle with in in amcap. Also is the VC600 worth getting as i've heard tons of people have trouble getting sound and when they do manage to get sound it laggs.

Aloyalgamer
06-12-2010, 04:32 PM
Hmm i'd like to ask a question about the VC500. Does it record PAL 60hz fine as i currently have the Dazzle DVC100 and to get my Video into colour i have to change it to NTSC and then fiddle with in in amcap. Also is the VC600 worth getting as i've heard tons of people have trouble getting sound and when they do manage to get sound it laggs.

Google helps. The only USB capture device that I use is the Hauppauge HD PVR. Other than that, I use the ADVC110.