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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Gaming > Making gameplay video

Making gameplay video
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devmage
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Feb 10, 2005, 09:54 AM
 
Greetings,

I was wondering if anyone knew of a program like Fraps for the PC that allows you to make video from your game play on the Mac. Specifically I wanted to create video from WoW but have not found anything to do it. Surely there must be something on a system that deals so well with video

Thanks!
     
lenox
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Feb 14, 2005, 10:58 AM
 
I bet Snapz Pro could do it. get it here
     
devmage  (op)
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Feb 18, 2005, 05:32 PM
 
Unfortunately that will not do the job. It is a cool tool but it was designed only to make movies with the quartz UI.

I need something that will allow me to dump game video to the HD on demand. Like Fraps
     
mozak
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Feb 22, 2005, 09:33 PM
 
that easy ?
     
jeffB
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Apr 26, 2005, 11:10 AM
 
bump..

devmage, did you try the demo?
i'm going to give it a shot tonight.
     
lenox
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Apr 28, 2005, 01:09 PM
 
snapz pro does a fine job recording anything on the screen....it's not just for the quartz ui.
     
MrBS
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Dec 20, 2005, 06:14 PM
 
So any word on this? I'm a bit bummed that my online rivals can make their crappy movies shot on a pc with fraps, where my FCP on the mac would make much better stuff... but I can't get any source!

Does Snapz handle full screen WoW without making everything grind? (dual g5 plenty of ram etc etc)

Can I activate it without switching aps?

~BS
     
lenox
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Dec 21, 2005, 12:05 PM
 
Yes, and yes. I'm pretty sure that they advertise being able to record 'anything on the screen'. Snapz Pro is invoked by a key sequence, so you don't need to switch apps. Your dual g5 should also have no problem. You may notice a few stutters here and there.

Worst case scenario, hit command-M to reduce WoW to a window, press the Snapz Pro key sequence, and either tell it to record just the WoW window, or just press command-M again and see if it captures fullscreen.

Voila!
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::maroma::
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Dec 21, 2005, 01:55 PM
 
If anyone has success with this, would you mind posting your results? I would love to see a WoW movie made with Snapz.
     
Horsepoo!!!
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Dec 21, 2005, 08:55 PM
 
Anything that isn't 'direct-to-screen' can be recorded using Snapz Pro X. If devmage is too lazy to try the demo, too bad for him.

edit: my bad...it seems even 'direct-to-screen' methods can be captured. This means anything that can be displayed to screen can be captured.
( Last edited by Horsepoo!!!; Dec 21, 2005 at 09:02 PM. )
     
MrBS
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Dec 23, 2005, 04:23 PM
 
Okay reading around it sounds like it does fine with WoW... with the exception of the hotkey. I guess WoW probably intercepts it or something but running in fullscreen mode it won't work, so you need to go to window mode (cmd M) and THEN do the hotkey, then jump back into the game.

Not as handy as I'd hope, it would be tricky to record fights and stuff if they weren't prearranged with a set start time and prep period... if you're just doing random encounters you'll either need to hope they don't kill you and are still there in the 30 seconds it takes you to switch out and back in or have hours of recorded video in memory somewhere.

~BS
     
AKcrab
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Dec 23, 2005, 07:16 PM
 
What if you check the "windowed mode" and "fullscreen" option? Does WoW still intercept the keystroke to start and stop Snapz?
     
::maroma::
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Dec 28, 2005, 06:45 PM
 
That's odd, WoW doesn't intercept the hotkey for Teamspeex client. I run WoW at full screen and my hotkey for push-to-talk works just fine. Maybe its a Snapz thing that needs to be fixed, and not a WoW thing?
     
MrBS
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Jan 20, 2006, 09:36 PM
 
Okay had a chance to test this out on a buddy's machine the other day, dual G5 with a lot of ram again. Tried making a bunch of short clips of WoW full screen (converted to 25%... and some staying at 100%) with different codecs and both checking and unchecking the "Smoother video capture (Higher CPU usage)" or something like that.

All the videos that I got were 'meh'. They looked fine (or the right codecs did), but they'd almost always have little chunks of lag, where one frame is repeated for 20 frames or something and then it jumps forward 20 frames. Not sure what the term is, but it's pretty annoying. I'm pretty sure it's not the system, and that's definitely not what it looked like on screen (it feels a little slower when snapz is running, but in the video there are very noticeable chunks where every frame is the same pixel for pixel, and this is with all sorts of stuff moving during the recording).

I guess troubleshooting that's probably outside this forum's jurisdiction, so I'll post somewhere else, but it's annoying.

I also wasn't able to figure out a way to start recording from fullscreen mode, maybe there's some secret key combo that lets you start recording with the previous settings but I didn't figure it out.

~BS
     
nforcer
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Jan 21, 2006, 05:39 PM
 
I agree with Mr. BS. Snapz in its current state is not good for recording gameplay. I have been unable to do recording like frapz can in Windows games with my Mac.
Genius. You know who.
     
Scooterboy
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Jan 25, 2006, 01:55 AM
 
Machinma.com has some good articles and tools for making movies from games, and also hosts many streamable and downloadable movies. I like the idea of making movies from games. It's too bad there isn't something for the Mac that can do this. But it looks so far like it's a console and Windows only party. There's a good interview with the creators of A Great and Majestic Empire about using JK II and Quake 3 to make a British sitcom about a bunch of British Stormtroopers bored silly guarding an Imperial battlestation. And the Halo based military sitcom Red vs. Blue, which I'm sure you're all familiar with, makes me laugh and has been written up in the Village Voice and other media. What are they up to now, 4 seasons?
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Scooterboy
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Jan 25, 2006, 05:34 AM
 
...Whilst we can write out all the things that need to happen in our world in a programming language, the fact is that doing that sort of thing is a total pain in the arse, is far too slow and cumbersome, totally inflexible, and generally sounds a lot like what computer animators have had to put up with for the last twenty years. Nuts to that.

Instead, we can use the networking and real-time capabilities of the games, which the game designers use to allow people to all meet up in a shared virtual reality to blow the crap out of each other, and instead of that use those capabilities to allow people to control characters, props, or whatever in the world like puppets, and thus actually "act" out scenes in the virtual reality, whilst someone else acts as a a virtual camera and "films" them with his viewpoint, which he then records for editing. 'Course, actually controlling a person with a keyboard and mouse is pretty complex, so we use some cool interface tricks and pre-created slices of animation here to make it easier - just like the games do to make their "deathmatches" user-friendly.

From here it's all pretty straightforward: like a real film, we then take those recordings and perform the miracle which we call "editing" on them, trim out all the bits where someone stuck a mike into shot, slap some funky moving text on, try and make the story make some kind of distant sense, that sort of thing. That can get kinda complicated depending on how you want to distribute in the end, but we'll get into that later. Mostly we'll just use common programs like Adobe Premiere for that sort of thing.

Then, we add sound - we might already have speech in there depending on how we recorded, otherwise we'll add it at this stage. Finally, we yank the handle, the Big Evil Encoding thing inside our editing program does its funky stuff, and out the slot at the bottom drops - a finished film! w00t, as our more dialectically-challenged friends would say...

...So that's the scoop. Now it's time to get into the meat of how you can actually get in there and start making your very own funky filmic goodness.

Re - Engineering

OK, first thing to do here is to decide what tech it is you're going to willfully abuse to make your film. I'm assuming here that you're wanting to dip your toe in the water at this point, making some kind of non-profit film, which already rules out a few choices: Director and MotionBuilder are great (we at SC use the latter), but at $1500 and $3495 respectively, they ain't exactly an impulse purchase. We're very much in the territory of game engines here, then, and I'm afraid we're also pretty much at the mercy of the PC: I'll get into Mac options a bit later, but they're kinda limited.
from this article by Machinima.com Editor-In-Chief Hugh Hancock.
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Scooterboy
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Jan 25, 2006, 05:51 AM
 
In the article, Hugh runs through various game engines used to make machinima films, such as the Quake engines, then discounts each in favor of either Unreal Tournament and Half Life. He continues,

Which one you choose is pretty much pot luck. Personally I tend to lean slightly towards Half-Life, and the rest of the article will reflect that to a certain extent, but both engines are very cool. Half-Life has a wider set of potential locations for movies built in, UT has a nicer, faster set designer. If you own one, go with that. Otherwise, on balance, choose Half-Life because some features are easier to use - in particular, I find creating characters for HL easier.

Oh, I mentioned Mac users' choices. That would be Unreal Tournament. No Half-Life for you guys - sorry...
So it sounds like we're not out of it entirely. Use UT and iMovie or Final Cut Pro or Express and make some movies.
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SlideWRX
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Jan 25, 2006, 12:30 PM
 
Alternatively for movie making, if one has a video card with s-video out, one can plug in some Digital video recorders and record that way. No load on the computer, and they go for several hours. import it later.

Tom
     
leehotti
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Jan 25, 2006, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by SlideWRX
Alternatively for movie making, if one has a video card with s-video out, one can plug in some Digital video recorders and record that way. No load on the computer, and they go for several hours. import it later.

Tom
You could even use a DV cam.
     
Scooterboy
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Jan 27, 2006, 03:10 AM
 
Does Unreal Tournament for OS X come with the Matinee tools for making machinima films? Or is that limited to the Windows version?
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