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06-16-2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rhinehart's Video Editing Guide

Alright, due to the fact I get people asking how to do certain things like compressing videos, etc. and I'm getting tired of repeating myself, I've decided to write a guide that'll cover just about everything you'll ever need to know about video editing, complete with links to tools that will let you do them.


Part 1: Video Capture

Obviously, this is where you have to begin. I use Fraps, but it's not free unless you want the "www.fraps.com" watermark at the top of your video and only be able to record for 30 seconds at a time. Personally, I find that rather annoying, so if you don't want to pay for something that'll record your gameplay, I suggest you use XFire instead. XFire's a messenger service developed mainly for gamers, but it recently added a video capture function, though I have yet to test it myself.

In Fraps and XFire, you can select where the videos get saved to on your hard drive. I recommend you check this out first so you know where they're going and can access them later. When you're recording, it's natural to lag a bit. Things will be going in slow-mo while you're playing your game and recording, so learn to adjust to that. The hotkey you use to record depends on which application you're using, but both of them will let you change the hotkey to whatever you want via the options menu (for XFire. Click the "Movies" tab in Fraps to see/change the location your vids are saved to), so check that out. Videos recorded by Fraps and probably XFire, too, will be uncompressed. Uncompressed files are massive and you couldn't even hope to upload a video that big to YouTube, so don't even try. For information on what you SHOULD do, read on, you boob.

Note: In Fraps, you can select or deselect Record Sound and select Full-Size or Half-Size. If you lag too much while recording with sound and/or full-size try any combonation of half-size and record sound checked or unchecked. If you plan on adding your own music, I suggest you disable the game's music, but leave the sound effects (and/or ambiance) on.

Part 2: Editing Your Video

This is where you'll need video editing software. I use Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas Pro (Google 'em, but they're far from free), but you'll probably wanna use Windows Movie Maker, since it already comes with most copies of Windows and thus, it's free. If you REALLY know what you're doing, you could use VirtualDub, but it's really complicated and definately not user-friendly. So these instructions will basically be for Windows Movie Maker. To make your life easier, if you're using Windows Movie Maker, click the Show Timeline button as soon as you start your project.

I'm gonna skip how to do the title sequences and such 'cuz those are easy to figure out. But to edit your movie, import the video you recorded into your project window using the Import Video link on the left sidebar. It'll import your video and split it into clips. Chances are, you'll just wanna select them all and drag them down to the timeline at the bottom of the application. They'll show up in your Video 1 section or something like that (I don't use WMM much) if you did it right. If your recording has sound, it'll show up in the Audio 1 section of the timeline automatically. If you wish to add music to your video, I suggest looking for a song that has near the same length as your video, then importing it (assuming it's already an MP3 or something) into the Audio 2 section of your video's timeline. You can arrange the clips, titles and effects any way you like, but I'mma leave those parts up to you to learn for now (check the Edit Your Movie button in WMM).

Part 3: Exporting Your Video

When you're satisfied with your timeline, it's time to find that wonderful Render/Export as option. Usually it's from the File menu, but in Windows Movie Maker, it's under Finish Movie. For WMM, choose "Save to my computer". Windows Movie Maker's exporting options are highly limited, but it should be enough to complete your video. The following steps in WMM are so easy, I'm not even going to bother telling you them.

But if you're using a more advanced (and far less shitty) video editor, you should have quite a few more options available to you. Especially if you have a codec pack installed. Codec packs I recommend are the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack (I'm not gonna walk you through the installation, you're on your own there) and/or the Combined Community Codec Pack (I use both). Having a codec pack installed will give you more choices for what codec to use when you compress your video. Each video editor is different, so I can't really walk you through all the steps, but I recommend exporting your video as an AVI using the latest DivX codec (which you should have if you downloaded/installed either of the codec packs I mentioned). Click Custom or Advanced or whatever button is next to the selected codec to get DivX's advanced menu. The default bitrate is 800, I think, but I recommend using 900 or so for now and selecting Insane Quality (or use the slider in the first tab and set it to 10 [max]). For your audio compression, I use AC3M, but you can use alot of different sound codecs. Just try to get one that's in 16-bit stereo and about 42-44 khz. You should be fine with those options. Once all that's done, I recommend saving your project/export settings so you don't have to do all that everytime you export a video, if you have that option (and I'm sure you do). But anyway, that should just about do ya.

Part 4: Publishing

I recommend YouTube or Veoh as those are good streaming sites. YouTube especially, since mymmogames has yt tags for posting videos. I'll go into those at the end of this section. But if you'd like people to be able to direct download your video, I recommend Mediafire for that. In fact, I sincerely recommend you upload all your videos there, just in case YouTube decides to be gay and ban you (like they did on my first account).

And there ya go. Video published in all the right places. Congratulations.

Note: I took out the paragraph about the yt code, 'cuz I dunno if it works here yet.

Last edited by Rhinehart; 07-17-2009 at 11:39 AM.
 
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