CamStudio Settings Overview - part 1 of 3

Uploaded by phosgram on 12.11.2009

Alright in this tutorial I wanted to talk about some of the settings for CamStudio
The first one I wanted to talk about is this "Record to SWF" "Record to AVI" toggle switch
You'll notice as you press it, it switches between recording to AVI and recording to SWF
To go into a bit more detail here it doesn't record directly to SWF. What it first does
is record to AVI and then once you're finished with the recording it loads up the SWF producer
and converts that AVI into an SWF file automatically
Now this kind of defeats the purpose of me telling you about this feature, but I'm actually
going to recommend that you don't use this and that you leave it set to the default of
record to AVI
This is because mainly the record to... the SWF producer that it uses to convert the file over
doesn't work quite right and produces, some uh, a little bit of bugs in your file
I recommend that you record to AVI and then use another program, such as RIVA or something else,
to convert it to SWF if you really want to save into the flash file format
At least if you are using CamStudio versions 2.0 to 2.5
The next group of settings I'd like to go over are options, video options
If you look down here under frame rates,
the first thing you'll notice is this "Capture Frames Every"
"Capture Frames Every" something "milliseconds"
For those of you not familiar with the term
Milli is 1 - 1000th
So a millisecond would be 1 - 1000th of a second
Basically there's 1000 milliseconds in 1 second
So what this value does right here is determine how often CamStudio
will take a picture of your desktop
Since there's 1000 milliseconds in a second and CamStudio is taking a picture of the desktop
every 50 milliseconds,
we're gonna divide 1000 by 50
That gives us 20 pictures, or 20 frames, captured, a second
Now if you'll notice CamStudio, by default, has a playback rate set to 20 frames per second
This is the same rate at which it's capturing frames
If you're capturing video and audio at the same time,
you're going to want 1000 divided by
whatever your capture frames every is to equal your playback rate
Otherwise your video and audio won't match up, or they won't sync
You gonna risk the person whose watching your video having what they're seeing
not match what they're hearing
This is why I recommend if you do happen to be capturing video and audio at the same time
you use one of these 4 settings right here
These settings are for your capture frames...
And these settings are for the playback rate
If you notice, they all divide equally into 1000 without having to use decimal points,
and they don't leave any remainder behind
Now I've seen in some instances where people are trying to capture at lets say what,
30 frames per second?
They figure well, what, 1000 divided by 30 equals 33.333 repeating?
Well the issue here is, if you say, put 33.333 333, you know, as many threes in there as
you can, here into this, uh, setting for CamStudio and hit okay,
if you go back here, to video options
You'll notice that CamStudio didn't store that 33.333
It stored it as 33 instead
This is because CamStudio can't store decimal values for these 3 settings right here
This creates problems because 1000 divided by 33 equals 30.303030 repeating,
it's not equal to 30
And since you can't try to offset this by entering
33.333 for your capture rate, and you can't enter 30.303
for your playback rate
You're stuck entering 33 and 30 for your capture frames and for your playback rate instead
This means you're capturing frames at 30.3030, whatever, frames per second, but you're only
playing them back at 30 frames per second
These two values are close, but they're not exactly the same
You might be fine for a shorter clip, maybe 30 seconds or so, but once you start getting
beyond that you're gonna notice your video lagging behind your audio
Another thing I've seen people do is enter something like
5 milliseconds for their capture frames,
and then having their playback rate be 200 frames per second
I don't recommend doing this for several reasons
For 1, most PCs can't truly capture at 200 frames per second
I mean that's 200 pictures being taken in 1 second
That can put a huge strain on a CPU
The 2nd issue is generally the lower the capture rate, the higher the file size because you're
taking more pictures in 1 second
This can cause problems because CamStudio can't save clips larger than 2 gigabytes in
size without corrupting them
At 200 frames per second you're gonna have a very large file size very quickly and you
will hit that 2 gigabyte barrier much faster than you would with a higher capture rate
The 3rd thing is not only are you gonna end up with that larger file size and risk hitting
the 2 gigabyte barrier much quicker, most people are gonna notice much if any difference
with a playback rate higher than 20 to 30 frames per second
Not enough to make the larger file size worthwhile anyways
Lastly, if you plan on uploading the clip to a video share site
like YouTube, vimeo, or MetaCafe
The frame rate will likely get bumped down to 30 frames per second, or lower, once the
site gets done re-encoding the file to whatever format it uses
For this reason I generally set my capture frames every to 100
giving me a playback rate of 10
If I don't like the way the clips turned out
and I found the frame rate just not to be smooth enough,
sometimes I might lower the capture frames to 50 and raise the playback rate to 20
But generally using 100 for the capture frames and 10 for the playback rate, I've found that
to work well for most material
Most of the other screencasts I've seen have been recorded using these settings as well