Fraps follow up

I posted yesterday about the new Fraps release and while I had tested it out a little bit, I hadn’t actually tried creating a video for upload onto YouTube.  I decided that as I was working on my Rune-keeper I would take a video of the scenery on the way from Saeradan’s Cabin to Candaith at the foot of Weathertop.  This was my first time on that new horse route so I was curious how it would take the player, but I figured there would be some good sight-seeing along the way.  I captured the entire trip on Ultra-high visual quality (DIrectX 9 though) so things do look pretty spectacular, see for yourself below:

I especially liked the part riding by the Bree festival as you get a good view of the hedge maze!

(edit) So most of this post is outdated but I’ll keep the rest of it as there are some other things in there too.  But Fraps released version 3.2.2 which should resolve this problem with Avidemux.  I haven’t tried it yet, and I will still potentially use the little GUI tool I mention below for batch processing. (end-edit)

Now the downside to this was I stumbled across a new feature of Fraps in a not-so-good way.  With the new “on-demand” recording feature they’ve put the MUST_USE_INDEX flag in the header of the AVI file and unfortunately some tools can’t recognize that flag.  And of course, the tool I use Avidemux is one of the tools that has this problem.  I do like Avidemux as it is a free open source application that’s not only flexible but intuitive (for me at least) and allows for lots of options in compression in addition to some video editing tools.  I posted on the problem on their forums and was expecting a “we’ll get to it in a future release,” but not only did I get quick feedback but a workable solution to the problem!  Now granted, it is a bit of a kluge in that I run a “pre-filter” app (that is now my new batch mode too as I routinely hit the 4GB file size cap and need to stitch videos together) that feeds the videos into Avidemux where I can then edit them as I wish.  So for me, running at 1440×900 resolution by default Avidemux works great as it allows me to use MPEG4 compression such that I get a reasonable file size with good quality.

Certainly Avidemux isn’t the only tool out there, but it is free and works for me 🙂  The Fraps support folks (also incredibly responsive) pointed me to VirtualDub which also looked pretty good and is free as well.  However, I didn’t have enough options for compression nor could I get DivX to work for my videos.  But it is certainly a simpler process that could potentially work very well depending on your machine setup.  The other tool I’ll mention which I found via a twitter recommendation from the folks over at CStM, is AVS which is a collection of a number of video processing packages.  I tried this tool out and it looks really slick and incredibly full featured and isn’t terribly expensive at $59.  It also has zero problems with the new Fraps format and seems to have all sorts of different compression schemes that worked great for me.  At some point down the road if I decide to do something more tricky with videos then I currently do, I may go back and check out AVS but for now I’m happy with my solution and work-flow.

Just wanted to put this out there as it caught me off-guard and I had a couple of folks ask about how I did things.


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