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Old 09-27-2002, 07:35 PM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Default A step by step guide to create movies from demos

When I started writing this guide, it was 23:20, and I was downloading the Final Strike demo (I was on 56k) so I was kinda bored.

Altough certain parts are probably written before by various forum members, I decided to make a full guide, from making the demo itself to converting it to a DivX .AVI file.

For this guide, I used VirtualDub, an excellent freeware program that can convert AVIs, MPEGs, and BMP image sequences into AVI files, using one of the video compressors you have on your system. You can get it here. You also need the latest version of DivX, which is currently 5.1. If you don't have DivX, you can get it here. Any version will work (normal or Pro). I suggest the free version. However the pro version improves the quality by quite a bit.

It's mostly suited for beginners but pro's can also look up some info if they can't find anywhere else.

Okay, let's start with the guide:

1) Obviously you need a demo. You can choose any of the Croteam demos if you just want to test this out; but if you want your own demo, you can freely make it by going to the main menu while playing (Esc) and selecting Record Demo. When you are done, go to the same menu and select Stop Recording.

1.5) If you want antialiasing, and you should, exit Serious Sam and go to your video card driver's options and find the antialiasing option. I have a nVidia GeForce 4 MX 440 card with 30.82 drivers, and the best performance/quality option for my card is the Quincunx Antialiasing(TM) option. It's as fast as 2x AA and as good as 4x AA. Then open Serious Sam again. However if you have a faster card you can select 4x AA and even higher AA modes - the higher AA, the better compression (usually).

[note, I have a newer card and newer drivers now but I decided to leave this ]

2) When you are done, it's time for tuning the options in the menus. Find the Advanced options submenu. For best results, I suggest you turn up the options to the max. It doesn't matter if your computer can't run it fast enough in the default resolutions; as for taking demo's, we will use the 320x240 resolution. However we'll change it after doing some typing first.

3) Open the console (F1 or ~) and type in the following commands:

/dem_iAnimFrame=0
/dem_fSyncRate=30


The first one makes Serious Sam record the images we'll need later, and the second sets the framerate to 30fps. You can use any number actually, but I suggest you only use numbers 30 or lower, as you almost surely won't need faster than 30fps video.

Also, if your FPS counter is active, deactivate it by typing:

/hud_iStats=0

Then close the console with the same key you used to open it.

4) Now it's time for the resolution change. Go to the Video submenu and choose the 320x240 resolution, and set the bit depth to 32. Then apply the settings and wait for the resolution to change. After that you should see a very pixelated menu screen, especially if you have a larger (19" and up) monitor. However you should still be able to click on buttons. So, after returning to the Main Menu screen...

5) Click the Demo submenu and click on the demo you recorded, or one of the Croteam demos that came with the game. Either way, once your demo loads, wait for it to finish without pressing any buttons. If you have a slow hard drive it will take a while. After the demo is finished, you should be at the Main Menu.

6) At this point all the TGA (image) files should be written. Open the Video submenu again and select your previous resolution. Also if you want to lower the details to your stardard ones, you can go to the Advanced options submenu and lower them as desired. Exit Serious Sam...

7) <OBSOLETE - SEE NOTE>Open your program that will convert the TGAs to BMPs. Go to the main Serious Sam folder, then to the ScreenShots folder. There should be a mass number of TGA files, numbered sequentially. Now order your program to convert all those TGAs (note: not all TGAs but just the ones you just made - check the date/time on the files if you're unsure) into BMP files, preferably into a seperate directory. If your program has an option to delete the source files as it converts them, check it. The converting usually takes some time.

8) After all files have been converted, close the image converting program and open VirtualDub. Instead of writing all the settings you should use, and/or reading the whole help file, I've attached a VirtualDub configuration file, in a ZIP file. When you download it, press CTRL+L, then navigate to the downloaded file and double click on it.

9) Go to Video -> Compression, then click on Configuration (DivX 5.1 should be selected as the codec). If you are familiar with Divx, you will be presented the known Divx config screen. If not, the only setting you actually need to modify is the Bitrate setting. Lower values = smaller file, larger values = bigger file. Some usual values: 256kbps - this is a good all-round value, decent if you want a reasonable file size. 512kbps - this is even better quality, however the file size isn't that low on this setting. Try the 256kbps setting first before this one. 768kbps - use this setting only on short clips. Quality is pretty good, more than good enough to watch it full screen. The file sizes, though, can get pretty high on this setting.
When you're finished click OK and OK again.

10) If you want to preview the file, click on Video -> Full processing mode. Then press F5 to preview the file. If it looks OK you can abort the preview if you don't want to wait until it finishes. Also, you will see a VirtualDub Status window with various information about encoding the file. Now click on Video -> Normal recompress.

11) Press F7 to save the file as Divx AVI. This will be your final Divx demo movie. Choose some file name and click Save. That will start the actual encoding process. It shouldn't take too long - usually shorter than the demo size on modern computers. It mostly depends on the bitrate, though. When it's finished, you can close VirtualDub and...

12) Enjoy your brand new Divx AVI file

---

<EDIT>
Thanks for making this a sticky thread

<EDIT #2>
Updated the guide as VDub supports TGAs now.

<EDIT #3>
Fixed some small errors.

<EDIT #4>
Changed the DIVX version number to 5.0.5, changed some minor details.
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Old 09-29-2002, 01:10 AM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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you can change the framerate in virtualdub just click on the video menu and goto frame rate also only the most recent versions of virtualdub import bmp files. 192kbps is really low specially considering the default bitrate that codec uses is 780kbps so i wouldnt lower it too much otherwise you get a final product thats really fuzzy like the final strike video and the pro-pain video. the 320x240 is a really small resolution too which while it makes for good filesizes its generally too small to really see much detail in the video.

one thing to mention is that when you do the output to files in serious sam it will make a LOT of tga files and they will take up a huge ammount of space, we're talking GIGS of space so keep that in mind when you want to make movies. theres also a small program that converts tga & bmp files straight to unencoded avi which i will have to post somewhere for download or find a link but then you can load those avi files into virtualdub and do your final encoding to divx.
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Old 09-29-2002, 07:01 AM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mystic
you can change the framerate in virtualdub just click on the video menu and goto frame rate
If you do that the movie starts playing slower. If you put 10fps and the orig is 30 it plays 3 times slower. I don't know why.

Quote:
also only the most recent versions of virtualdub import bmp files.
"recent"??? IIRC I downloaded my copy of VirtualDub MONTHS ago and checked to see an update ... no updates.

Quote:
192kbps is really low specially considering the default bitrate that codec uses is 780kbps so i wouldnt lower it too much otherwise you get a final product thats really fuzzy like the final strike video and the pro-pain video.
192 isn't low. I tried it on 30fps 320x240 and you see everything more less clearly on full screen. As for 780 kbps, please don't make me ROFL. Divx was meant for DVD movies mainly, and the content we're encoding is NOT a DVD movie. So if you want near DVD quality, go ahead and choose 900kbps

Quote:
the 320x240 is a really small resolution too which while it makes for good filesizes its generally too small to really see much detail in the video.
320x240 small? Do you know what Divx is anyway? 320x240 is the most commonly used video resolution! And if you increase it you see less detail etc. 320x240 is perfect for full screen too. Unless of course you watch DVDs, then you can put it to 512x384 or so...

Quote:
one thing to mention is that when you do the output to files in serious sam it will make a LOT of tga files and they will take up a huge ammount of space, we're talking GIGS of space so keep that in mind when you want to make movies.
"GIGS" of space? I played an over 2 minute demo and I had around 1gb of screenshots. And I have a 10gb hard disk; I doubt much people have less than 40gb HDs these days ...

Quote:
theres also a small program that converts tga & bmp files straight to unencoded avi which i will have to post somewhere for download or find a link but then you can load those avi files into virtualdub and do your final encoding to divx.
Does it delete the orig images on the fly? If not, your 1 gig screenshots will double to 2gb total.
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Last edited by Serious Worm; 09-29-2002 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:49 AM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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dude.. pull your head out of your butt im just trying to help.

1. changing it to 10 fps is a no shit factor hello you slow it down by doing 10fps????

2. most recent version is 1.4.10 and it supports bmp input and i believe the previous 1 or 2 versions do as well.

3. unless you have done more video editing then i have which i doubt, you dont know what your talking about. that or we are talking about 2 different things. theres the bitrate setting in the codec and then theres the bitrate in the final file and they are not the same damn thing.

4. yes 320x240 IS the most common used resolution and imfo its to SMALL. because everyone does it in that format i always view at 200% of original resolution just to be able to really see whats going on.

5. ok first since when does anyone only do a 2 minute video? unless its some kind of extremely short deathmatch i think not. second there are plenty of people with less then 40gig hardrives.

6. it doesnt delete source files but i have looked back into it and it actually will encode straight from the source files in whatever codec you want and it has an option to attach a wav audio source but i would still suggest only encoding to a light codec with this program and then using virtualdub to create your final product. you can get the program here its called pjBmp2Avi.
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Old 09-29-2002, 02:07 PM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mystic
dude.. pull your head out of your butt im just trying to help.

1. changing it to 10 fps is a no shit factor hello you slow it down by doing 10fps????

2. most recent version is 1.4.10 and it supports bmp input and i believe the previous 1 or 2 versions do as well.

3. unless you have done more video editing then i have which i doubt, you dont know what your talking about. that or we are talking about 2 different things. theres the bitrate setting in the codec and then theres the bitrate in the final file and they are not the same damn thing.

4. yes 320x240 IS the most common used resolution and imfo its to SMALL. because everyone does it in that format i always view at 200% of original resolution just to be able to really see whats going on.

5. ok first since when does anyone only do a 2 minute video? unless its some kind of extremely short deathmatch i think not. second there are plenty of people with less then 40gig hardrives.

6. it doesnt delete source files but i have looked back into it and it actually will encode straight from the source files in whatever codec you want and it has an option to attach a wav audio source but i would still suggest only encoding to a light codec with this program and then using virtualdub to create your final product. you can get the program here its called pjBmp2Avi.
Ok,ok, thanks for the help

1. Yes it seems it's slowed down. I haven't done any extensive tests on that subject though.

2. Yes I know what's the most recent version.

3. I'm not sure I know what you're saying... Unless you mean like if you put 256kbps in Divx and put 64kbps MP3 audio then the final bitrate won't be 256kbps... I know that but I didn't say anywhere that how to attach the audio. I don't think any custom music is required for demos and it only increases the file size.

4. If you compare 200% of 320x240 and 100% of 640x480 at the same bitrate you'll see minor differences, and don't forget that 640x480 consumes FOUR TIMES the size of 320x240.

5. Well I assumed that you'll be doing short demos. Of course if you make a "walktrough" demo of the whole level you'll get over 10 GIGS of files. But AFAIK there's no other way.

6. Well I assume it's good but if you have barely the space to accomodate the starting images, it's more convenient to have a program which deletes source images as it converts them, because with that program your 10 gig files receive a 10 gig avi file addition

P.S. Sorry if I offended you or anything, my post was mostly based on my experiences with Virtualdub, Divx and so... I'm not too experienced with Divx but I am with the Windows Media Video & Audio formats (which I now know are inferior).
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Old 09-29-2002, 05:37 PM   #6   Add To Ignore List  
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ive been doing video editing for years with a bunch of programs including virtualdub and have used about 10 different codecs in my time. now i dont mind disagreement but being an ass is uncalled for. with that behind us tho we get to actually helping people. now for the 780kbps thing a lot of files end up between about 90 and 110bitrate in the actual end product. now for more interesting videos you dont want just a single demo run. you just take scenes from different demos and splice em together then you add your audio track. then again that may seem like to much work
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Old 10-02-2002, 02:29 PM   #7   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mystic
ive been doing video editing for years with a bunch of programs including virtualdub and have used about 10 different codecs in my time. now i dont mind disagreement but being an ass is uncalled for.
Who said you being "an ass"???
Quote:
with that behind us tho we get to actually helping people. now for the 780kbps thing a lot of files end up between about 90 and 110bitrate in the actual end product.
For 800 kiloBITS per second you obviously get 100 kiloBYTES per second. Just to remind you, near DVD quality is from 900 to 1100 kiloBITS per second (in Divx).

Quote:
now for more interesting videos you dont want just a single demo run. you just take scenes from different demos and splice em together then you add your audio track. then again that may seem like to much work
Yup, the reason I didn't write about that is because this is a straightforward "how to create videos from demos" tutorial. That means, you take a single demo and you get a simple video. Without audio or anything. Because if you want to do anything else, you need to at least a helpfile/FAQ about Virtualdub
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Old 10-08-2002, 11:30 AM   #8   Add To Ignore List  
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To spice it more.... 320x240 is VHS quality......

Serious worm, did you try to use screen capture with a program such as camtasia or similar....?
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Old 10-08-2002, 02:12 PM   #9   Add To Ignore List  
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Originally posted by AlexRuiz
To spice it more.... 320x240 is VHS quality......

Serious worm, did you try to use screen capture with a program such as camtasia or similar....?
I tried to use screen capture of my 1024x768 desktop in that resolution at 16 bit color with a program called Hypercam, well I could only record at 3 fps without dropping too much frames. But what does that have to do with this?
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Old 10-10-2002, 11:40 AM   #10   Add To Ignore List  
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I tried a program called camtasia, it works fine. If your system is fast enough (I saw your profile, you are fine) you can even attept to capture 640x480 with divX 5.02

I did it once:

Load camtasia (free trial), then change the codec to divX 5.02, set the codec to 1 pass- quality based and set the quality to 80% or close, that will give a very good looking file. Then run Sam in a window at 640x480, and tell camtasia to capture that window. It is important that in the display properties you set "hardware acceleration" to none, or you will be capturing a black screen.

Get camtasia here http://www.techsmith.com/freetrials.asp#camtasia

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Old 10-10-2002, 03:12 PM   #11   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally posted by AlexRuiz
I tried a program called camtasia, it works fine. If your system is fast enough (I saw your profile, you are fine) you can even attept to capture 640x480 with divX 5.02

I did it once:

Load camtasia (free trial), then change the codec to divX 5.02, set the codec to 1 pass- quality based and set the quality to 80% or close, that will give a very good looking file. Then run Sam in a window at 640x480, and tell camtasia to capture that window. It is important that in the display properties you set "hardware acceleration" to none, or you will be capturing a black screen.

Get camtasia here http://www.techsmith.com/freetrials.asp#camtasia

Alex
Uhm... I once tried to convert a few hour long uncompressed AVI into ~900kbps into around 640x400 (or so...) and it took over 16 hours... Though it was probably cause the program I used was shitty and buggy as hell (it's a program with an XP interface).

I'll try that camtasia program though my method is completely free
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Old 10-17-2002, 04:11 AM   #12   Add To Ignore List  
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I'm having issues doing this in Windows 2000. The game can't set a screen resolution lower than 640x480 full screen, and if I try running it in a window, the screenshots come out completely garbled. Anyone know a way around this? I'd really like to save my hard drive from all that data movement, as well as cut the processing time down.

At least 2K does a decent job of buffering the output. I remember trying this in 98 SE and it took a REALLY long time to write the demo out to disk, even at low res.

Well I think I'll give the 640x480 a shot anyway, and see how it comes out. If you aim for the same bitrate target, your .avi file should end up close to the same size no matter what your original resolution is. More pixels in the input will probably let the codec do a better job with the quality, though, since it has more visual information to work with. Still, this is going to take a while...
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Old 10-17-2002, 05:19 AM   #13   Add To Ignore List  
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640x480 would be a bit hefty but what you do is using something like VideoMach and size it down to 320x200 or what ever you want.
Also Serious Worm an uncomressed AVI at 900kpbs with a res of 640x480 is INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just don't do it! uncomressed = bad
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Old 10-17-2002, 05:33 AM   #14   Add To Ignore List  
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No, I want the game to do it at a lower res to minimize the time saving all the TGA files to disk, as well as the time converting those to BMP.
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Old 10-17-2002, 05:40 AM   #15   Add To Ignore List  
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yes I relize this but SS will only go down to 640x480 so your stuck. Also just use the TGA it's got better color then BMP
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Old 10-17-2002, 06:09 AM   #16   Add To Ignore List  
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Uh, if you can't go lower than 640x480, I suggest you use that resolution and then put either a resizing filter (to 320x240), a 2x1 filter (lowers the resolution to 2x lower both dimensions) or if you have Divx Pro I think you can do it from the codec properties.

Also yes you need to convert the 32bit TGAs into 24bit BMPs but I doubt you need transparency in your videos

Quote:
Originally posted by _Ms
Also Serious Worm an uncomressed AVI at 900kpbs with a res of 640x480 is INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WTF are you talking about? Uncompressed AVI at 900kbps? How can AVI be uncompressed at 900kbps?
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Old 10-17-2002, 06:51 AM   #17   Add To Ignore List  
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You guys don't seem to understand what I'm asking. I don't care about the .avi res at all, I can fix that to whatever I want. I'm asking if anyone has any ideas on how to get less than 640x480 out of the game, which IS possible as I've done it before under 98 SE. Either a way to get it to capture correctly in windowed mode through desktop settings, or perhaps registry settings to make 2K believe that my monitor can go lower than 640x480, or maybe video driver options, or whatever. If no one has any info, that's fine, I can still make the videos, it'll just take much longer and much more drive space to do it in. I've already made the video, in fact. It was close to 29 MB to do the Grand Cathedral demo at 640x480 with default Divx encoding options, with 2.5 GB of images.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:15 AM   #18   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally posted by Serious Worm
WTF are you talking about? Uncompressed AVI at 900kbps? How can AVI be uncompressed at 900kbps?

I would like to know that too, I guess it was a bit late when I replied cause it doesn't make any sence now that I'm awake


SS can go down to 320x240 in windowed and full screen for me.

I can't remember but isn't there an issue with win2k and res?
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Old 10-17-2002, 04:18 PM   #19   Add To Ignore List  
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maybe you guys ignored the link i posted. use this to convert the tga files straight to avi forget converting them to bmp files. save yourself the space. this program supports codecs as well so you can just encode straight to avi then use virtualdub to resize it or whatever.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:27 PM   #20   Add To Ignore List  
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I don't see why you would need to. Don't most programs allow you to use tga as input I know VideoMach does.
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Old 10-18-2002, 12:41 AM   #21   Add To Ignore List  
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videomach is trialware. and i have used many video/divx programs and besides videomach and pjbmp2avi i have seen none that support tga format.

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Old 10-18-2002, 03:06 AM   #22   Add To Ignore List  
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videomach is trialware but it will work passed it's date and be the same. and videomach does work with tga and about 100 other types of movies/audio/pic
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Old 10-18-2002, 06:14 AM   #23   Add To Ignore List  
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they must have changed their software then. cuz the older versions were not usable past the trial period.
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Old 10-28-2002, 05:35 PM   #24   Add To Ignore List  
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Default What about sound?

Is it possible to get the sound in the final video as well? Any command to tell the game to output the sound to a file? Or is there some external program that can record it?
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Old 10-28-2002, 06:02 PM   #25   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: What about sound?

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Originally posted by overbored
Is it possible to get the sound in the final video as well? Any command to tell the game to output the sound to a file? Or is there some external program that can record it?
Well not by the usual methods, AFAIK... Yeah, maybe using some external program. But it'd be kinda tricky - you'd need to record the audio while its NOT recording (the demo) but playing normally, plus you'd need to precisely edit the audio to fit the video...
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Old 10-28-2002, 10:44 PM   #26   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Hmmm

Worm: do you mean that we should play the demo twice, once to record images and the other to record sound? And that the audio will go out of sync with the video?

Any one of you DV-editing experts recommend a particular program to record the sound?

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2002, 08:24 AM   #27   Add To Ignore List  
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Yes, I mean that. But no, the audio probably wouldn't go out of sync with the video, just you'd need to offset it correctly manually in the final video.
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Old 10-29-2002, 12:44 PM   #28   Add To Ignore List  
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The best way would be to do some kind of loop back thing where you send it out of your computer.

Such as send the video and sound to your tv/vcr and send it back out to a capture card or something capable of the same thing that way you get the video and sound at the same time but it's not the easiest by far. Thou I've never done it this way so I don't know how it would come out
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:11 PM   #29   Add To Ignore List  
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... but you'd need a video in/video out videocard + you'd need to disconnect your vcr from ur TV + it's complicated

But yes, you could do it. I made a SS "presentation" by playing the intro level, a few Croteam demos, and my own 2 demos + the final scene. I recorded it (with sound and stuff) onto my VCR, and it's around 20 minutes long. Heh.
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Old 10-29-2002, 05:36 PM   #30   Add To Ignore List  
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as I said it would not be the easiest but all in all it isn't hard if your TV has the hookups for it. Like with mine I would use S-video to connect my video card to my TV (well I would have to use a VGA to S-video) then from my sound card I would use line to RCA. That way you got it on your TV and from your TV you could record it on to tape. But better yet if you had a capure card you can go right from your video/sound card to your capure card will I guess it would depend on how it works really wether you need to use a TV/VCR to do it or not
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