Source Recording Tutorial

Introduction

Well, I've seen a lot of tutorials about this, yet not a lot of them have been detailed. I felt like making a good tutorial on the technique I personally use.

Basic Recording

For those who don't know, Source Recorder is a built-in recording system that is in every game that runs on the HL2 engine. Just open up your console, and when you want to record a demo, type

record [DEMO NAME]

When you want to stop recording, just type

stop

in your console.

Converting to video files

After recording demos, it is recommended that you'd remove ALL custom content and do all the changes you need. Then type the following commands into your console:

1A - Straight into an .avi (Thanks Zippit for this)

After recording, what you want to do is type startmovie [DEMO NAME] avi. Now there will be a small window where you're going to have to pick how are you going to compress it. Do not choose anything else than uncompressed, the compressing will be done later on. Now just type playdemo [DEMO NAME] in your console and that's it. The .avi files can be found in your Steam\SteamApps\username\counter-strike source directory.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS METHOD WILL NOT ALWAYS WORK AND MIGHT GIVE YOU CORRUPTED .AVI FILES - USE THE METHOD 1B IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU.

1B - Frames and VirtualDub

This is an alternative way to doing 1A, but you might want to use this if the 1A method gives you problems or you just wanna be sure you're doing it right.

host_framerate [number] (30-120 recommended)

The host_framerate command defines how many frames will be recorded per second. 30 would be so 30 fps would be recorded. If you use a bigger digit, you're going to have to squeeze the vid to normal speed when you're editing. If you don't have the tools or don't know how, just use 30.

startmovie [DEMO NAME]

The startmovie command defines the name of the .tga or .jpeg files that will appear in your cstrike directory after doing this.

playdemo [DEMO NAME]

The playdemo command defines what demo shall be played. For example, if you, in the first step, typed "record 123" into your console, then in this case (and also in the startmovie one) you would type the same demo name. So now it would be "playdemo 123" and "startmovie 123". To stop playing the demo just press ESC and click Disconnect. This also works with the startmovie command, but another method is the command endmovie.

Demo playbacking commands

If you go past the part you want to start the frame recording at, don't worry. You won't have to watch the video all over again until you get to that part. There's the demoui command (you can alternatively press Shift + F2). It opens up a menu where you can go to a specific tick. If you want, you can also use the Demo Smoothing ability, just press the Smooth button on the menu. If you don't know what smoothing is, let me tell you. It's basically making key spots and using them controlling the ingame camera to go wherever you wish it to. That way you can get excellent angles, camera movements etc.

Sounds

If you want ingame sounds to play in your demo, then this is how you do it. First of all, make sure you've got 5.1 sound disabled. Go to Options > Sound and choose 2 Speaker Stereo (also works with the command snd_surround_speakers 2). When using VirtualDub, make sure you've got sound enabled. You might have to insert it manually.

Conversion to .avi

After doing all that, download VirtualDub. Install it and open it up through the .exe file. Go to File > Open. Then navigate into your cstrike directory, choose the first image (in this case, 1230000.tga or 1230000.jpeg). Make sure you've got Automatically load linked segments checked, otherwise this will NOT work. VirtualDub will now open all of the images in your cstrike folder. Delete all unnecessary frames and then go to File > Save as AVI or press F7. This will take a while, depending on how many frames will VirtualDub render per second. Now you have an uncompressed .avi file of your demo. You can either make a lot of these clips for your frag movie, or then if you just want one single clip, then compress that.

Compressing

You can compress .avi files with MyFFVideoConverter. After compressing (< 100MB for YouTube, < 1GB for FileFront), upload it wherever you want. Make sure the video file size is under the maximum limit of the uploading page.

Editing

Then you're practically done, you can also edit it with such programs as Windows Movie Maker (it's on your computer by default, unless you've got a Mac) or Sony Vegas 8. It costs some money, but if you're planning on just making one frag movie, a free 30-day trial is also available.

Compressing with MyFF

Just because I feel like it, I thought I'd also tell you guys some information on Vegas and MyFF. Let's start off with MyFF. If you really don't understand how to use this compressing tool, then I can help you ;) Open up MyFF. First look at the line that says "Import videos" on the left side of it. Click on the folder on the right side of the line. Navigate to your .avi file and open it. Let's say your .avi would be called "lol.avi". Now the output file should be named lol_agk.avi. Now you don't really need step two if you've already added necessary audio.

Editing with Sony Vegas 7/8

Now I can't really explain too well without making a tutorial about this subject as well, so let's make it quick. Download or buy Sony Vegas (any version will do), install it and open it up. Open your uncompressed .avi('s). If you have several, just open them up one at a time. Place them in the timeline as you wish in any order. You can also right-click the timeline for options such as text media. In the bottom left corner there are a few tabs that are quite useful. These are quite helpful, as you can browse for media, add transitions and such. The things you mostly need are the transitions - don't you want effects in your movie? If you just want simple fade in/out effects, then zoom in with the mousewheel (if necessary). Then you can probably see the small blue triangles in the corners of every video file on the timeline. Drag those as you wish to fade in and out. You can find several Vegas tutorials over the internet. The one I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND would be this one. It explains pretty much everything about Vegas.

Tips and Tricks

There are a few useful tips on movie making you'll find from this section, especially if you're doing this for the first time.

  • Recording with a low resolution is always the best solution if you want your video quality to be high. You can turn your settings as low as you want and use any skins during the recording. Once you get to the playback part, remove the custom content, put your graphics settings as high as possible and so on.
  • Don't record huge demo files. Try recording a maximum of 3-5 minutes or stop after you get some kickass kills.
  • Try using several useful commands to make your demo look a lot better. Some examples include:
    • r_drawviewmodel 0 // hides your weapon
    • cl_drawhud 0 // hides your HUD (Heads Up Display, includes your radar, health, round times, ammo and such)
    • hud_saytext_time 0 // hides every text message people type during the recording
  • If you don't want to use the cl_drawhud 0 command, you can always do as you might have seen in several frag movies - the awesome bar in the bottom to hide all of those annoying items there, such as health, round time and so on. You can add it easily with Vegas - the technique I used with that was:
     - Create a new document in a program you will be making the bar on.
     - Make the bar resolution <b>your recording resolution width x 103 pixels</b>.
     - Now make a new document, once again.
     - Make the document resolution match your recording resolution. So the resolution I used was 1024 x 768, since that's what I recorded with.
     - Make the whole document transparent. This can be easily done with Photoshop and other programs. There are a lot of tutorials in here about that subject as well.
     - Paste in the bar.
     - Go to Sony Vegas, and open the document.
     - Drag it to a new channel (channels are displayed left of the timeline).
     - Drag the bar to last as long as you want. I made it last for the whole video's frag part.
    
  • Try recording clips that are more than one frag. People don't want to see you kill one person and then changing clip, they want to see you kill 27 people with one shot (alright, maybe that was too much but you know the idea)
  • Avoid recording in custom maps, people WILL complain

Now you're done.

Hope you liked my "small" tutorial on the Source Recorder ;) I can also teach you with Sony Vegas and other video editing programs if you ever need.

  • Suckage

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Comments

  • KitkatRai avatar
    KitkatRai
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    2 years ago:

    is there anything like lawena for CS:S? i know how to do this, but having a program like lawena for it would be much simpler for me

    Bananite
  • Zniffern avatar
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    3 years ago:

    .. I do all that I understand of that you has writet here! But my videos end with It just go in slowmotion!! And lags!

    I gonna add a video here of all I do.

    Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHmuiDYImJY

    Sorry for bad english..

    Bananite
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    5 years ago:

    Okay.. I record my demo's with fraps, but when I open up the fraps videos (played in Windows Media Player, AVI format) the audio is out of sync, the picture is too big for the screen, and it plays in slow motion/lag. Any idea what's going on?

    My friend (who plays at a higher resolution than me) isn't getting this at all and doesn't even have to compress the fraps recordings.

    Help please?

    TAAAAAAAAANK!
  • skummelhustler avatar
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    5 years ago:

    I have recorded a demo a long time ago, how do i convert that into avi?

    it is saved in a .dem format.

    why wait if there is nothing t
  • Smashman avatar
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    5 years ago:

    You sir are a legend. I was trying to get the VDub method to work. Couldn't work it out. Thanks :D

    Woot!
  • Doomcat1066 avatar
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    6 years ago:
    Posted by Suckage
    Posted by Doomcat1066
    Posted by Suckage
    Posted by Doomcat1066 Sweet tutorial but i have 3 questions: am i able to do this in window mode? can i use all this info in Left 4 Dead or Team fortress 2? and if i can use it in Left 4 Dead would i be able to play through a whole campaign or versus mode with it running and have a working video? (that wont kill my computer)
    Works on all HL2 engine games. I'm not sure about the L4D though, I suppose it would start automatically recording a new demo between safe rooms adding a number to the end of the name each time. I think it should work.
    well i tried makeing a short (i mean short) versus demo of the first map of no mercy and when i tried to move to the next step (make a movie) i put in the play demo command and the game menu simply disapeered and i had to manually shut down the game :( any idea how i can fix that?
    Nope, I don't have L4D so.. :|

    okay i got them working ^.^ yay, one problem i have though is that i cant hear my own voice unless i use the voice_loopback 1 command which i HATE and other ppl seem to have for both TF2 and L4D do you know a way i can make my voice heard inside the demos without voice_loopback??

    Bananite
  • Suckage avatar
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    6 years ago:
    Posted by Doomcat1066
    Posted by Suckage
    Posted by Doomcat1066 Sweet tutorial but i have 3 questions: am i able to do this in window mode? can i use all this info in Left 4 Dead or Team fortress 2? and if i can use it in Left 4 Dead would i be able to play through a whole campaign or versus mode with it running and have a working video? (that wont kill my computer)
    Works on all HL2 engine games. I'm not sure about the L4D though, I suppose it would start automatically recording a new demo between safe rooms adding a number to the end of the name each time. I think it should work.
    well i tried makeing a short (i mean short) versus demo of the first map of no mercy and when i tried to move to the next step (make a movie) i put in the play demo command and the game menu simply disapeered and i had to manually shut down the game :( any idea how i can fix that?

    Nope, I don't have L4D so.. :|

      avatar
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  • Doomcat1066 avatar
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    6 years ago:
    Posted by Suckage
    Posted by Doomcat1066 Sweet tutorial but i have 3 questions: am i able to do this in window mode? can i use all this info in Left 4 Dead or Team fortress 2? and if i can use it in Left 4 Dead would i be able to play through a whole campaign or versus mode with it running and have a working video? (that wont kill my computer)
    Works on all HL2 engine games. I'm not sure about the L4D though, I suppose it would start automatically recording a new demo between safe rooms adding a number to the end of the name each time. I think it should work.

    well i tried makeing a short (i mean short) versus demo of the first map of no mercy and when i tried to move to the next step (make a movie) i put in the play demo command and the game menu simply disapeered and i had to manually shut down the game :(

    any idea how i can fix that?

    Bananite
  • Suckage avatar
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    6 years ago:
    Posted by Doomcat1066 Sweet tutorial but i have 3 questions: am i able to do this in window mode? can i use all this info in Left 4 Dead or Team fortress 2? and if i can use it in Left 4 Dead would i be able to play through a whole campaign or versus mode with it running and have a working video? (that wont kill my computer)

    Works on all HL2 engine games.

    I'm not sure about the L4D though, I suppose it would start automatically recording a new demo between safe rooms adding a number to the end of the name each time.

    I think it should work.

      avatar
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  • Doomcat1066 avatar
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    6 years ago:

    Sweet tutorial but i have 3 questions:

    am i able to do this in window mode?

    can i use all this info in Left 4 Dead or Team fortress 2?

    and if i can use it in Left 4 Dead would i be able to play through a whole campaign or versus mode with it running and have a working video? (that wont kill my computer)

    Bananite

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