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  1. #1
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    How to make TF2 videos without FRAPS or other programs

    I found this guide on the steam forums, originally posted by Kuiper, all credit goes to him and I take no credit for knowing anything about creating videos other than what I have learned from reading this guide. This seemed pretty helpful and I figured I would post it up.



    With frightening regularity, I see people post TF2 videos with atrocious quality to Youtube, citing their "low-end hardware" as an excuse for the low settings and poor framerates in the video.

    If you use FRAPS or any screen recording tool to make your TF2 videos, you are doing it wrong. Here's how you can create a video using max graphics settings with constant framerates even if your hardware sucks:

    If you haven't already done so, you need to record a demo of the gameplay that you want to create a video from. Do this by typing "record [demoname]" in the console while you are playing and "stop" when you are done. Once you have your demo file, follow these steps:

    * Load up TF2 using the settings that you want to show in the video. This includes screen resolution. If you are planning to upload to a low-quality Streaming site, I advise using 640x480 so that it will take less time to render and upload. If you're uploading an HD video to Youtube, use 1280x720.

    * Open up the console and enter the following commands: "sv_cheats 1" and "host_framerate 30" (You can record at a higher framerate if you want a 60 FPS video for editing purposes, but most streaming sites like Youtube use 30 FPS.)

    * Start playing the demo either via the console command "playdemo [demoname]" or the demo ui accessed via the command demoui or keyboard shortcut shift+f2

    * When you get to the part of the demo that you want to record, type "startmovie [videofilename] avi"

    * You should get a pop-up window with a list of codecs to choose from. I recommend using the XviD codecs. If the list doesn't include the codecs you need, you may want to grab CCCP (http://www.google.com/search?q=cccp) or K-Lite (http://www.codecguide.com/download_mega.htm) (pick one, you can try the other if it's not working).

    * After you've begun recording the movie, allow the game to play out. The playback will be choppy and look buggy and the sound may loop or be completely muted. Don't worry, this is normal and the finished video will not look like this. Just allow the demo to play until it's gotten as far as you want to record. If you have a lower-end system or you're recording a rather lengthy video segment, this could take awhile, so you might want to find something else to do while the video renders.

    * Type "endmovie" in the console when you are done recording.

    * The resulting AVI file will not be located in your TF folder. It will be put in your "team fortress 2" folder with the name you required, e.g. C:/Program Files/Steam/SteamApps/bobsmith/team fortress 2/mymovie.avi

    * Now you can import the AVI into Windows Movie Maker or whatever program you use if you need to do any further editing.

    More advanced moviemaking tips can be found at the Valve Developer Community Wiki (http://forums.steampowered.com/forum...d.php?t=934312).

    Also note that everything isn't exclusive to TF2, it works for all Source games. You can use this method to create videos for any games that run on the Source engine, like gmod, CS:S, and L4D.


    Additional Tips

    - when you change your video settings: not only should you choose your resolution, but ALSO set the game to run in windowed mode to display the codec selection menu

    in the final vid, if you want to:

    - hide your HUD -> type "cl_drawhud 0" in console before you start recording

    - hide text chat -> type "hud_saytext_time 0" in console before you start recording

    - hide death notices (icons telling who killed who, top right corner of screen) -> type "hud_deathnotice_time 0" in console before you start recording

    - mute voice chat -> type "voice_enable 0" in console before you start recording (Don't forget to set it again to 1 after you're done doing your vids, otherwise voice chat will remain muted)
    Last edited by Equipto; 09-19-2009 at 05:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Equipto's Avatar
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    Anyone with more experience feel free to point out any errors or add more to the guide!

  3. #3
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    I just record a demo, startmovie ---> Play Demo --> Compile screenshots in Virtual Dub (uncompressed AVI, FPS synced to Audio, 24 or 32 bit color) and then I convert it using the DivX codec with highest compression ratio (get's 10gb files to around 9mb) which takes a while but it's all good.

    This way does seem easier I'll try it out later.
    Last edited by WildFire; 09-19-2009 at 04:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Yan
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    Nice guide... +rep

  5. #5
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    Also I didn't see a link for Kuiper so I'll post one for him, http://forums.steampowered.com/forum...d.php?t=934312

    GuiSe's tips are below (which are mentioned in this guide briefly with a link)

    - when you change your video settings: not only should you choose your resolution, but ALSO set the game to run in windowed mode to display the codec selection menu (see petercrab's post above)

    in the final vid, if you want to:

    - hide your HUD -> type "cl_drawhud 0" in console before you start recording

    - hide text chat -> type "hud_saytext_time 0" in console before you start recording

    - hide death notices (icons telling who killed who, top right corner of screen) -> type "hud_deathnotice_time 0" in console before you start recording

    - mute voice chat -> type "voice_enable 0" in console before you start recording (Don't forget to set it again to 1 after you're done doing your vids, otherwise voice chat will remain muted)

  6. #6
    Equipto's Avatar
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    Nice catch Wild, I completely overlooked how helpful that part was, DOH! I'll throw it up in the first post.

  7. #7
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    Haha, yeah most people tend to overlook that section, I've finally started dicking around with what GuiSe has said in his posts and my video making skills seem to be getting better, look at my latest videos on my Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/WildFire187) I've tried compression methods I've read about and while they worked the quality was iffy which I blame on Team Fortress 2.

    But I tried a new method which takes much longer but results in better quality with a small file size, Uncompressed AVI (25gb) ---> Uncompressed 1080i AVI (20gb) ---> Compressed 1080i DivX (50mb) --> Compressed 1080i DivX again (this time with quality set to max, 60mb) --> Compressed 720p DivX (12 - 16mb for the latest uploaded videos I've added to my youtube account). Compare them to my old 720p videos and the difference between them are amazing.

    You could technically go from Uncompressed #1 to 720 DivX but the videos look horrible when I do that.

  8. #8
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    Nice guide Equipto!
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  9. #9
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    I have a movie config that does all the above with the press of a button, no need to type each command out in the console. The only thing you have to type into the console is "exec movie". It will let you record up to 26 times during one execution of the movie config without exiting the game to move your .tga's out. Each time you record, it starts a diffrent sequence of tgas starting with a diffrent letter of the alphabet. Then when you open your tf2 folder they are all situated in sequance.
    6. Enjoys playing a novelty class, and he will backstab you, no matter how pro you are.
    The Count:violent sucKtion

  10. #10
    MightyDWC's Avatar
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    Also I posted this guide awhile back.

    http://www.iogaming.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7867

    If the link to the movie config is broke, pm me and I'll upload it to filefront for you.
    6. Enjoys playing a novelty class, and he will backstab you, no matter how pro you are.
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  11. #11
    MightyDWC's Avatar
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    [youtubehd]knj62M0_FyM[/youtubehd]

    Here's an example of mine. I've been doing alot of research about the right compression and stuff. But I think I'm close to getting it right. Youtube does not show the true quality.
    6. Enjoys playing a novelty class, and he will backstab you, no matter how pro you are.
    The Count:violent sucKtion

  12. #12
    I pilot the hatredcopter's Avatar
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    Sweet thx this pretty much explained what wild fire told me but with a little more hints
    I would turn up graphics to make my video better looking but i have a terribad graphics card and i will lag worst then i already do.
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  13. #13
    MightyDWC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I pilot the hatredcopter View Post
    Sweet thx this pretty much explained what wild fire told me but with a little more hints
    I would turn up graphics to make my video better looking but i have a terribad graphics card and i will lag worst then i already do.
    Here's the thing. If you have to play on low graphics that's fine. When you record a demo while your playing it's recording data, not your actual game play, and recording a demo shouldn't cause you to lag. When you go back and watch the demo to record it, turn all your graphics up to high. The method equipto, wildfire and myself are talking about above records a .tga of each frame, regardless of how good a computer/graphics card you have. So the demo might playback a little choppy on your system, and when you start recording for the first time you might think OMG IT"S STUTERING IT"S GOING TO LOOK HORRIBLE, but trust me, it's recording each frame. So when you compile them in Virtual Dub and do your final compressing, it will look good.
    6. Enjoys playing a novelty class, and he will backstab you, no matter how pro you are.
    The Count:violent sucKtion

  14. #14

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    Sticky Please


    Quote Originally Posted by Elemntal View Post
    Hi. I'd help populate. Oh wait...


  15. #15
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    What Mighty said is correct about how it would "look" bad when you are playing back the demo while recording the movie but it actually turns out pretty well. They key is with the host_framerate command. It does not record in real time, but in the demo's time so it won't stutter nor speed.

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