Helpful Info for making your own Videos.


[08] Mercenary
Hi Guys.

I have created this thread for us to share tips and tricks on making your own Soul Calibur videos.

I'll start with some products that you can use to capture your gaming.

The Adaptec Gamebridge
Advantages - Cheap. If you can find it.
Disadvantages - Discontinued. Though available if you look hard. Requires a moderately powerful PC to capture at higher quality.

Pinnacle Video Transfer
Advantages - No PC required. Capture straight to USB stick, iPod, external hard-drive or PSP.
Disadvantages - Relatively expensive compared to other similar products.
Where do i start i wonder???

Well first off i'd go wiht a decent capture card, I suppose the real question is if you really care for HD captures or if SD is good enough. So far i only know of 4 Capture cards that can do HD resolutions and 3 of them are japanese cards and pretty hard to get. The one card thats could possibly be easy tog et is the Black Magic Intesity Pro, It runs for $350 and can do HDMI(without HDCP support so no PS3 caps through HDMI) and Component/Composite/Svideo however i have heard there are issues with this card since tis not really desinged for caping thigns like games.

If any one has any info on the Intensity Pro or actually has oen and could write alittle about its performance and capabilities i think that would be great.

I personally use an SD capture card it only has Composite and Svideo inputs and max resolution is 720x480. The card itself only cost me 10 dollars and it runs off the PCI buss it doesnt have a hardware encoder so i use VirtualDub to capture in "Lagarith". I'm pretty happy with the quality from my card caping form PS3 and 360 i dont have Svideo cables for my 360 so i only use composite and with some simple filtering though avisynth the videos come out at acceptable quality.

Keep in mind that most of the non HD capture cards use the same decoder chips in them so the quality probably wont be toomuch different between them, usually you just pay for extra hardware and the more expensive oens have hardware encoders on them that will capture and encode directly to MPEG. I personally think its better to encode directly to a lossless codec like "Lagarith" which is what i use for all my capturing/processing.

I'm an encoding noob but some things i have learned is that using the right filters can drastically change the finale file size of your video. Keep in mind nomatter how you capture you allmost allways(i think analog methods its a MUST to atleast do some sort of smoothing) have to do some sort of cleanup work on the video.

hmm what else can i add to this wall of text...

I suppose ill add my PC specs for no real reason too, I run a Pentium D 820, 2GB ram and the drives i capture on are 2 WD 36GB Raptors in RAID 0, videocard while not important for captureing is a GF9600GT-OC. With the scipt i use for my captures from PS2/PS3/360 i usualy have a render speed of about 4FPS at 720x480. Basically a 3.5min video will take 30-31mins to run and thats just a Capture to Processed Lossless the finaly encoding which is usualy Lossless to H.264 can be equally as logn depending on compression settings. You'll have much better times if you have a newer PC however having more than a dual core wont really make a huge difference.

I guess if theres any questions or sample requests feel free to ask me.
The gamebridge has about 5 frames of lag, which is pretty good considering every other card has 10+ frames of lag.
The gamebridge has about 5 frames of lag, which is pretty good considering every other card has 10+ frames of lag.
I dont really notice any lag on my card, all the recorded matches i have is done using the capture card to record while watching on "preview mode"

IF you can give me good way to test it, that would be great.
The gamebridge has about 5 frames of lag, which is pretty good considering every other card has 10+ frames of lag.

The amount of lag your Gamebridge will produce is entirely dependant on the power of your computer and the capture settings you have chosen.

There is a very, very easy way to avoid lag though. Get an AV-splitter so you still use your TV as the viewing device, which will be lag-free. The PC will get get signal too through the Gamebridge, and will be able to record as usual.

You should be able to find an AV-splitter in any good electronics store like Maplins or Radio Shack.
There is a very, very easy way to avoid lag though. Get an AV-splitter so you still use your TV as the viewing device, which will be lag-free. The PC will get get signal too through the Gamebridge, and will be able to record as usual.

You should be able to find an AV-splitter in any good electronics store like Maplins or Radio Shack.
If you have a decent AV reciver you could use that too. Sometimes they have multiple video outs so it helps for monitors and such.

Oh something else that might be usefull is that with the XBOX360's component cable itwill output video though the composite and component video at the same time aslong as it is not set to "HD" so if your TV supports component in you could conect it though those and then run the composite video to your capture device.
I've been using a for work related things and I'm buying one for personal use. From my own experience with it, it has some decent capture quality, tells you if you drop even just a frame. And instantly finishes the converting after you press the stop capture button. The only problem with it is you need a computer to use it. And to get the most out of it you are going to have to plug it into a computer with a nice graphics card to get high quality. It allows both AVI, MPEG 1 and 2. And comes with a pretty simple DVD creating software as a bonus if you need it. Pinnacle products sometimes have terrible technical service if you have troubles with it.
It should be noted the GameBridge barely works with Vista x86 and does not work at all with Vista x64.
I just ordered that pinnacle video transfer, as that thingy looked quite fine to me...
And im too lazy too look around more for better options :p
The only thing i checked is if connecting could become a problem... but a few tutorials i watched showed that i can use it for my amateur ambitions of recording videogame footage :)
Actually I'm kinda curious. Does anyone know what Jaxel is using to capture the HD video from the CJ monthlies?
So If i buy the pinnacle all i have to do is buy it? Do i need to get any editing software with it ? Like say if I record a combo video and then I want to put it on youtube, I just plug in the pinacle plug in the usb stick do the video... stop recording then plug the usb stick in my computer and bam the video is on my computer??

LoL if thats how it works then , WOW! ha i never knew it was so easy... WTF :(
what is the best screen size, bit rate, file format, for uploading videos to youtube??? I'm using a video capture device that supports 640x480, 720x480, and a few others, and it has S-video on it. Can someone give me some advice???

I'm gonna try jaxel's flow chart but as far as settings and all that for the programs, i'm a little confused and it's hard to play aorund with everything, so if someone could just TELL me that would be awesome.
can someone help me... i am trying to deinterlace and when i use



The sound is always off. I even captured using the program in virtualdub!!! So I can't figure out the problem.
For SD, I've been using the Adaptec Gamebridge 1400 for quite some time now. I actually bought mine new at $21.99 more than a year ago, and now it's ~$70 new on eBay. It definitely works with Vista, despite what they say. I can tell you this because I used Vista the entire time. I didn't have a tv last year at school, so I used the Gamebridge to play on a Vista laptop. You have to tweak the installation. Now that I bought myself an HDTV, it looks like I'll have to spend a bit if I want to record in HD. I've been looking around for HD recording, and the cheapest I was able to find was the Hava Platinum HD.
I have an X800 All-In-Wonder card in my old XP machine. My friends and I have been wanting to share our fights with the world for quite some time now. The video card in this computer has TV-In/Out. Is this sufficient to capture videos if I buy the proper splitter? I know all about video editing, I just need to figure out how to get the capture part down.

That chart is super useful, thanks.
I was just wondering if anybody more recently had any updates; people talked a lot about discontinued devices, and I'm just wondering if it's possible to get some more updated information on cheapest currently available devices, tips for splitting PS3/360 signals, etc. I'll re-edit this post with my current setup, and my current problems.
Hey everyone, I can offer my take on this if anyone still needs advice and some updated information. I have done quite a bit of video editing (both SD and HD) and even made a few available on this site (check out Fan-made video section under my user name "skytoast" - some Soul Calibur machinima shorts).

I've started with SD but then eventually made the (somewhat painful) transition to HD. Most of the consumer enthusiast video capturing solutions I've worked with did an OK job. These were usually external firewire capturing devices but due to the speed in which they capture, they are only capable of SD. I've also noticed a lot of them usually lagged behind the real time feed so required an external monitor for realtime monitoring. Also when you're dealing with SD, you're usually working with specific pixel aspect ratios due to the nature of SD television/video formats NTSC, PAL/SECAM DV/DV1 Standard/Widescreen/Anamorphic, 4:3, 16:9 & their derivatives, interlace/progressive formats. Converting from one format to the other usually resulted in varying degrees of quality, because of the differences between these formats (unless you started with a progressive format). HD, in my opinion, is much more refined and uniform to work with. But it has its caveats.

If you got the resources, money, equipment, & time, definitely go HD. With the technology being more and more prevalent and widespread (HDTVs getting cheaper and being everywhere), going the HD route is the better, smarter, and lasting choice. With that said, here's what I would recommend as an ideal setup for video editing along with some related details:

Capture card: Blackmagic Intensity Pro Current MSRP Price ($199USD)
Yeah you read that right. The card is now only $199. This is the price now for the "Pro" version and not the standard Intensity which has now been discontinued (Standard version doesn't have breakout port/cables, only HDMI in/out). I paid about $350 about a year ago for this card. It's a relatively affordable card that does a tremendous job capturing all your gaming creativity. It has 2 HDMI ports (1 input/ 1 output) and a breakout cable/dongle with connections for Component, Composite and S-video - inputs / outputs. It can handle everything from 525 NTSC / 625 PAL SD to 720p HD up to 1080i HD. (Note however, it does not natively capture 480p since that isnt technically a HD video standard so grabbing things off your Wii may require some other workaround.) It's a PCI-Express x1 card thats compatible with both Macs & PCs. However you are going to need some specific minimum requirements to run this smoothly.

Computer Setup
Having a multicore CPU is ideal (Dual or Quad core a must for HD). Throw in as much memory RAM you can. Be aware that if you're using a 32bit O/S like Win XP or Vista 32, you are limited to only 4GB (~3.5 GB) so if you can go 64bit with either XP 64, Vista 64 or OSX Leopard (Macs) defintely do so. A 64bit O/S will allow you to use more memory. Get lots of storage space and I dont mean a single large hard drive. Having a dedicated drive for just video editing is ideal. At the time of this writing, 1TB hard drives can be had for less than $100. Faster the better (7200rpm - 10,000rpm +). Most of the video files that you download off the web to playback on your computer (even the really large ones) have already been encoded (compressed) so it only takes a small amount of space. When you're capturing uncompressed SD or HD video, the raw file (some of which is only a few secs to a few min long) can amount to GBs in data. But I'll talk more about that in a bit. If you are going to do HD, you'll need a hard disk array also known as striped RAID setup (RAID 0 - thats where you take 2 hard drives {identical} and essentially hook them up in parallel so they act as one big drive. Most motherboards today have this feature onboard and can easily be set up in the bios). The reason for this is because the fastest commercial hard drives (10,000rpm) arent fast enough to keep up with large data stream from capturing HD video. Having 2 drives connected in parallel essentially increases the speed by being able to read/write from both drive platters at the same time. The drawback in RAID 0 however is if one drive fails, then you're screwed since you'll only have half or parts of the data. If you want to counteract this problem, either backup frequently or build a Stripe + Mirror array RAID by having 4 drives tied together. That way, you'll get performance plus redundancy by duplicating or "mirroring" the data across multiple disks. The last bit in terms of computer hardware is to have a decent graphics card -any mainstream/professional Nvidia/AMD(ATI) solution for general video editing will do {but onboard video or integrated graphics like you find in most laptops may not do so well} and a good monitor(s) with plenty of viewing real estate.

Editing Software
Now if you're gonna just capture video for archival purposes then you probably wont need more than whats included in the box. But if you plan on making something presentable, then you'll need some kind of video editing software or NLE (Non Linear Editing) suite of your choice such as Adobe Premiere/After Effects, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Studio, Avid, etc etc. I use Adobe Premiere CS3 (and now CS4 since they updated all drivers that work with it finally). Most of these professional NLEs may be a bit pricey costing hundreds to over a thousand dollars or so but a lot of these companies also provide consumer level or stripped down versions of their professional editing suites such as Adobe Premiere Elements or Final Cut Express. There are also free solutions such as Virtualdub or even O/S bundled apps like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie that maybe helpful too.

For Adobe Premiere, the Intensity Pro card will install presets when you startup a new project so getting started is a snap. Capturing video is done directly through Premiere's interface and then its just a matter of dragging dropping clips into the timeline, editing the sequence, scrub for preview and all that fun stuff.

HD Resources
Now getting back to what I said about HD requiring massive resources, yes its going to need some hefty amount. The average size for few minutes of uncompressed HD stream at 1280x720p amounts to GBs in size. Yeah, I said Gigabytes! (HD @ 8bit 1280x720 59.94fps ~= 105MB/sec or 370GB/hr) A small 18 second clip of uncompressed HD video will be about 1.89GB when your done. Now you're probably scratching your heads and thinking WTF? How am I going to work with that? Well editing the raw part is easy (as long as your computer can handle it) but storing and creating the final master for distribution is another task. Thats where encoding comes in.

Encoding is simply a form of compression algorithim that takes this whopping uncompressed raw data stream and turn it into something more palatable, err well more portable, storable, and useable. But it comes in all forms and flavors also known as a codec. There are video codecs and audio codecs. MP3 or "MPEG-1 Layer 3" is an audio codec which is a form of compression to its uncompressed larger digital counterpart, most commonly a PCM file either a *.wav or *.aiff sound format. With most compression algorithims, there's always a bit of loss in data/quality. It's still acceptable to a certain degree depending on the user's taste but the tradeoff is you're saving a lot more space. There are lots of codecs to choose from that range in quality, performance, compression size, and price. I'm not going to go into an encoding discussion in this post because that could fill several posts in a thread all by itself. But I will mention there a lot of free codecs floating around on the web that may do the job for most of you. The Intensity Pro is packaged with the MJPEG codec which can be used to capture HD streams in real time. This may just be enough for some of you to use to later re-encode it to something else more suitable for your needs (divx,xvid,h264,wmv, etc). I personally dont like using it because compared to uncompressed at full resolution, the video picture are too jaggy (because its "too sharp") requiring some kind antialiasing to soften the picture in post production or reformat the video to smaller resolution.

If you want the best and dont want to compromise the beauty and elegance of uncompressed HD without taking up all that space, then there's hope: the Cineform Intermediate Digital Master realtime codec/plugin.

This is the best codec hands down that I have ever used. To the human eye, it is indistinguishable to uncompressed. It cuts the size to about a third of what would be required in uncompressed HD at full resolution. So that 18 sec 1.8Gb file cuts down to about 350-400Mb (megabytes). It translates well to other formats and given it's size, its great to use as a digital master for archival purposes. It integrates with most NLEs, fully supports Blackmagic cards and processes the encoding in real time while capturing your video.

But all this comes at a cost, and for most of you probably more than your willing to spend. The cost for the codec alone could probably buy you a brand new computer depending on which solution you get. The current price at the time of this post is about ($499USD - $1499USD). For your HD gaming capture needs, the solutions are PC: Cineform NeoHD/4K (PC version) or ProspectHD/Prospect4K. Mac: NeoHD/4K (Mac version). The difference between these versions is the inclusion of real time editing engines and integration into Premiere/Final Cut. The plain vanilla NeoHD will allow you to capture video but when you import to Premiere, you'll have to scrub & process render for all effects/tweaks, transitions etc. ProspectHD/4K on the other hand handles these effects in real time with full integration with no pre-rendering. They also include project and effects presets within Premiere. Cineform does offer another cheaper consumer suite called NeoScene ($129USD) but is only capable (locked) of converting HDV/AVCHD formats popular on HD camcorders to Cineform so wont do you much good if you're trying to capture/convert raw SD/HD video feeds from a game console. The price for most of these has come down a bit compared to what I paid for when I got the ProspectHD license (which was nearly a thousand dollars).

Dude, that's too much $$$?
Yeah, it isn't cheap but it depends on how serious you are about making videos. It wont make any financial sense if you just plan to casually capture a few rounds with your friends just so you can broadcast it over the web. Besides all that awesome High Definition quaility will be lost in translation when you take your final output master and encoded it to a format for the web (h264 mp4, wmv, etc) only to have Youtube (SD or HD) re-encode that encoding even further after you upload it. So a lot is lost by the time all your friends on your buddy list sees it. (It'll still look great as long as you encode it right but pales in comparison to the original master). For the most part, you never really see uncompressed quality in any commercial distribution, whether HD or SD. It just isn't practical. Even Blue-Ray discs sport a form of video compression even though it still looks absolutely fantastic on that 120-240hz Sony Bravia your neighbor has. So unless you do this for a living, decide to get into serious amateur/semi pro video editing/movie making as a hobby, or just a hardcore videophile nutcase who wants nothing but the best digital masters to keep for an eternity, then you'll have to justify the costs.

Blackmagic Intensity Pro + Cineform Workflow
When I make gaming videos, my workflow is similar to Jaxel's setup above except I dont use a signal splitter from the PS3 (or Xbox 360/other). I can monitor real time feeds from the preview window of the software or by plugging an external monitor (HDTV) to the output end of the Blackmagic Intensity Pro Card (HDMI or Component out). This is just fine since I'm only capturing footage for my personal needs and not running any tournaments that may require a large dedicated screen. The card captures in real time and I havent noticed any real lag so you should be able to utilize the output even for live events. The main video signal from the console is fed to Intensity where I capture via Cineform's HDlink software under Prospect HD then I compile all that footage to CS3/CS4 Premiere/After Effects for realtime editing/post production. CS4 Suite integrates another standalone app - Adobe Media Encoder which handles all my distribution needs, easily encoding Cineform media to the web, my ipod, dvd or blue ray disc. It's a similar workflow when I work with Vegas or Final Cut Pro on Macs dependent on the project.

::PS3/360/HDCam --> Intensity Pro ----> Computer (PC/Mac) Cineform capture real time ---> NLE Post Production/Final output
::::::::::::::::::::::::: Intensity Pro HDMI Component out ----> HDTV

My personal setup
In case any of you want to know, my current setup at home is an Intel Core i7 (Quad core with 8 threads (4 cores/4 virtual cores {Hyperthreaded}), 12GB RAM, running Vista 64 Ultimate, a total of 6 TB (Terabytes) hard drive space { 1x1TB dedicated for OS/apps system drive, 1x1TB for cache/scratch disk & misc storage, 2x1TB RAID 0 dedicated for video capturing, 1x1TB drive for other apps, games etc, 1x1TB for backup storage), a Nvidia GTX 260 video card, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Lite-on Blue Ray burner, and a 850w power supply powering this rig. I also have a Mac and access to a few workstations at work with different setups.

It handles HD video editing and cuts through most of the tasks like butter (well almost, when everything else goes well). And yes, it can play Crysis too.

I hope this information is helpful. :sc2ivy1:
I'm not quite clear.

with this:

I play on a 42" Plasma.. so my ps3 vid output it set to HDMI.
If I were to plug in the red/white/yellow cables straight into the device and hit record, I would get nothing, right?

But If I switch my ps3 to Analog Video, and plug the 3 cables into the device, how do I play? i don't understand how i'll be able to see on my tv what's going on...