How to capture, edit and create a movie
programs i use: fraps(need full, watermark in video otherwise), xmoto image dump, videomach (need full version, watermark in video otherwise) i wont be going to too much detail about these programs, i will just list all the steps you need to go trough. dumping images with xmoto is slower and requires more work, i recommend fraps. dumping images, you need to first dump the frames as image sequence and then join the images together as video with videomach. the framedump is also very slow if you run it fullscreen. also set xmoto resolution to the resolution you want your video to be in before capturing if using fraps. if you plan to upload it to youtube, use 16:9 resolution, and even if you plan to not render it as HD, its always good to have the maximum quality source files. so capture the clips in high resolution, you can always scale it down but the image quality suffers if you scale bad quality footage to higher resolution
xmoto image dump 1.first you need the name of the replay you want to dump the images of, then run the command xmoto -r <replay_555>.rpl --videoRecording <myvideo1> --benchmark, the images will be stored the in the folder ~xmoto/Videos/myvideo1. 2. now you have tons of images in your folder, open videomach and go to open file or something, cant remember right now. open the first imagefile and it asks "it seems like this image is part of a sequence, open all the images" or something like that, choose yes. now videomach shows you the image sequence as a movie. now you can save the clip as movie, there is button for it somewhere "save movie" or such. make sure you use same resolution and framerate as the original images, also dont compress the movie yet with any codecs, save it as uncompressed avi, it will be a big file but you want to keep the quality as good as possible and only render the end product with the codec of your choosing.
capturing with fraps 1. run fraps, go to "movies" tab and select to capture in full size, choose frames per second here too, again pal is 25 fps, NTSC is 29.97. you can choose "record sound" but no point if you are not planning to use xmoto sounds in the movie (everyone hates it so why would you?). set xmoto resolution to whatever you are going to use. no need to run it windowed now but you can if you want 2. open xmoto and go to replays files, go to replay you want, press the fraps record key and play the replay, fraps now records the replay for as long as you press the record key again. the clip is now saved to folder you specified in fraps options.
resolution and framerate you can basicly use any you want as long as its 4:3 or 16:9. youtube supports both but 16:9 is preferred. 720p is 1280x720 resolution and youtube supports it, some video sites even support full HD which is 1920x1080. i recommend you use at least 720p if you have enough hdd space and your computer can handle editing such big files, one minute replay can take 1gb uncompressed. framerate should always be at least 25. use the previously mentioned PAL or NTSC framerates for best compability with youtube and other services.
programs i use: sony vegas pro, windows movie maker, adobe after effects again, i wont be going into detailed explanations on how to use these programs i just describe the basic functions and basic stuff, like importing the files you just created by capturing them, adding them to timeline and some tips on transitions etc.
windows movie maker this is the only program on my list that is free and comes with windows. this program only has the basic stuff but it does the job. 1. go to tools -> options -> advanced. check if the video properties correspond to the ones in your clips, if not, change them accordingly 2. import the clips into movie maker by selectin "import into collections" 3. now you can start placing the files into timeline, if storyboard is visible instead, press "show timeline". first you might want to create some kind of intro text though, you can do this by going to tools -> title and credits. check out stuff from there, im sure you can figure it out. 4. place the clips into timeline at the order you want them to be, simply drag and drop. if you want text into the clips themselves you can do this from tools -> title and credits too. from tools -> transitions you can choose transitions in between clips, just drag and drop them to desired place too 5. when you got everything ready and you want to render the movie, go to file -> save movie, more about this in the rendering section
sony vegas pro this program is much more advanced than windows movie maker but its not free, buy it or warez it. being more advanced, it also means you need more time to learn it but its not that hard. 1. go to file -> new. set all video properties here to the same resolution and framerate you used in your captured clips. you can choose from templates too if you used PAL or NTSC settings i told you. i use captured video in 720p as example here. there is template for it called "HDV 720p-30" this has the resolution of 1280x720 and framerate of 29.97. pixel aspect ratio 1. and progressive scan, this means it displays each frame as a whole, upper or lower field first means its interlaced, updating lower and upper field on alternating frames, you should not use that, its used in tv broadcasts etc because it requires less bandwidth but we dont have to worry about that here. pixel format can be as they are. press ok. 2. import your clips into sony vegas pro by going to file -> import -> media. choose the clips you wish to use. 3. now you can start throwing stuff into timeline. pretty much the same as in movie maker. you can put text from insert -> text media. there is tab for different video transitions and effects in the top left portion of the screen. basic transitions dont require you to add any transition though, just set the "fade offset" by dragging the small blue triangle from the corner of the clip on the timeline. do this for end of one clip, and the beginning of the next clip 4. when you have places all your clips in correct order, its time to render your movie, go to file -> render as. more about this in render section
adobe after effects this is a professional video editing tool used for special effects and the like, it can be used for normal video editing too though, but i have not used it in that way. the learning curve for this program is quite steep and you need a powerfull computer if you want to make all the fancy stuff. i wont do any tutorial on this because of the complexity, if you want to make some nice looking intros and clips in between replays you can check this one out. check out some tutorials from the internets to get started. if you know photoshop then its easier to learn after effects, this is basicly like a photoshop for video
now that you have created your movie on the timeline its time to make the final product, rendering basicly means "to make ready". you compress the file now to suitable format and use codec to get the file size smaller but still retain good quality. like i said earlier always use uncompressed files when editing them, so you have the best quality to render from, you can always go down but never up on the quality scale.
the basics when rendering there are few things you need to take into account, these are: what resolution am i going to use what container am i going to use (.avi etc) what codec am i going to use (xvid, divx, h.264 etc) what bitrate am i going to use (bits processed/sec in this case)
resolutions: you can freely choose the resolution but aspect ratio should be the same as the original clips had. in this point you need to decide where you are going to use it, if you create video for download, it doesnt really matter what you use, but for youtube you need to use certain resolutions in order to maximaze quality. these resolutions are: 1280x720 (HD resolution) 480x360 (high quality) 320x240 (standard quality) for 4:3 you can use 640x480 etc but again i dont recommend using 4:3 aspect ratio
always try to upload the highest resolution possible to youtube, then youtubes converting thingy has the best quality possible to work with and the end result looks the best
container and codec container is basicly the file format, the factor that decides if its going to be .avi or .mpeg etc. as container i recommend mp4. as for the codec. h.264 is industry standard, its a very good codec and gives good quality and still the file size is decent. the drawback is that it requires a license to use, i think. so windows movie maker can not render this. commercial programs like sony vegas can however. sound codec should be mp3 or AAC, i prefer AAC, sampling rate 44.1kHz and stereo sound. here is more about youtubes preferred codecs etc: optimizing video for youtube
bitrate bitrate also plays important factor in what quality you are going to get. is dependant from codec too, so using different codec might cause lower quality with same bitrate as some other codec. i give some guidelines however: for HD footage use 2000-6000kbps for lower resolution you can use something around 1000
rendering your movie with windows movie maker 1. go to file -> save movie file 2. choose to save the file to own computer, click next, set name and location for file, click next. from here you can you choose the resolution. wmm has very few options and cant even render in HD as far as i know. you can choose "best file fit to size:" and raise the filesize until its the best you can get, 2mbps bitrate seems to be maximum and resolution 720x480 in 16:6 aspect ratio. because of these limited options i really dont recommed using wmm
rendering your movie with sony vegas 1. go to file -> render as 2. choose filename here and from "save as type" choose the container of your choosing, "sony AVC" is good. you can use "internet 16:9 HD 30p" template if you are going to render in 720p, go to custom though and set the bitrate higher, its 2000kbps by default so its little bit too low. or you can go to custom and set all the values yourself, be sure to use the same aspect ratio and framerate as source files though. you can choose bitrate from there too 3. select save and let it render, for me 10 minute movie takes about 2 hours to render, my comp is not that fast so yours might take less but it takes time to render obviously. you might also want to test render just a small portion of the movie, like 10 secs, to see if your settings are ok. you can select the rendering area from timeline