Video Production Guide

Not open for further replies.


Well-Known Member

Compiled herein is a comprehensive guide for nearly everything involved with making a video captured from a television. The most applicable games would be Halo and Halo 2, however the methods discussed can be applied to nearly any console game. I'll cover everything from purchasing and using the right capture device for your needs to compressing the video in preparation to be hosted and distributed to the masses.

Since some people already have knowledge of the material I'm discussing, I've divided the guide into categorized Parts which are further subdivided into specific Sections. I still encourage you to read this in its entirety because there may be new information that you've missed in the rapidly changing world of digital video.


Part I: Capturing Methods
Chapter 1: Using a DV Camera
Chapter 2: Using a DVD Recorder
Chapter 3: Using a PCI Capture Card[
Chapter 4: Using an External Capture Card
Chapter 5: Using a VCR

Part II: Capture Devices
Chapter 6: Basic Settings
Chapter 7: PCI Capture Cards
Chapter 8: External Capture Devices

Part III: Capture/Editing Programs
Chapter 9: Windows Movie Maker
Chapter 10: iMovie
Chapter 11: Ulead VideoStudio/MediaStudio
Chapter 12: Adobe Premiere
Chapter 13: Sony Vegas
Chapter 14: Avid
Chapter 15: Final Cut Pro
Chapter 16: Supplemental Programs

Part IV: Editing
Chapter 17: Tips for a Better Video, by own-age
Chapter 18: A Study of Syncing, by adamllis

Part V: Compression
Chapter 19: Basic Formats
Chapter 20: Virtual Dub
Chapter 21: DivX
Chapter 22: XviD
Chapter 23: x264 Pending

Part VI: Appendices-Pending
Chapter 24: Glossary
Chapter 25: FAQ
Part I: Capturing Methods

Chapter 1: Using a DV Camera

You can record your footage to a DV camera while you play, then transfer the video to your computer afterwards. Connect the Xbox composite cables to the input jacks on the video camera. Then, using a secondary set of composite cables, connect the video camera to the television (from the output on the camera to the input on the television). Start recording and you should be capturing exactly what you see on the television screen. Keep in mind that many DV tapes are only good for 90 minutes. Don't forget to change your tapes periodically.

Once you have the footage recorded to the DV tape and are ready to capture the video to your computer, use the techniques provided in the instruction for your video camera to do so. This will probably entail starting a capture program and connecting the camera to your computer via a FireWire or USB 2.0 port.

Chapter 2: Using a DVD Recorder

Alternative to using a DV video camera, you can record using a DVD recorder, which will burn the footage to a DVD disk. The setup would be very simple: connect the Xbox to the input on the recorder then connect the recorder to the television. Once the video is recorded to the disk, put it in your DVD drive and import the files.

Chapter 3: Using a PCI Capture Card

A PCI capture card connects directly into a PCI slot on the motherboard of your computer. One problem with this is that there are no outputs on the device. This means that your Xbox cables connect directly into the card, and only into the card, thus you cannot play on the TV. However, there is a solution for this.

You can acquire splitters or Y-cables, perhaps something like these or these Y-cables. You can probably find these at a local electronics store as well. Be sure to get "Female to Two Male" connectors.

Affix one of these to the end of each colored jack of your Xbox composite cables. This should effectively give you 6 output cables, 2 of each color. Connect one set of three to your television inputs and the other set of three to your capture card.

If your capture card lacks inputs for all three, or you only get mono sound, then connect the two audio cables (the red and white ones) to your sound card. If you only have one input jack on your sound card, you will need to use a "Two Female to Male" splitter or Y-cable to combine the two audio cables into one. You only need to do these steps for the set of cables connecting to the capture card. Also, you may need some composite cable extensions which are most likely available at a local electronics store.

Also, for those of you who use S-video and would like to be able to capture in S-video as well, I have found an S-video Y-cable.

Once everything is set up, start up and configure a capture program and you should see the TV screen on your computer. When you're ready, start capturing.

Chapter 4: Using an External Capture Card

External capture cards, as the name suggests, are stand-alone devices that connect to your computer via a FireWire or USB cable. They offer a wider range of capabilities and often have composite output so you wont need splitters. For cards that do not have output, such as the Dazzle 90, you will need to follow the same splitting procedure as outlined in Chapter 3:

"You can acquire splitters or Y-cables, perhaps something like these or these Y-cables. You can probably find these at a local electronics store as well. Be sure to get "Female to Two Male" connectors.

Affix one of these to the end of each colored jack of your Xbox composite cables. This should effectively give you 6 output cables, 2 of each color. Connect one set of three to your television inputs and the other set of three to your capture card.

For those of you who use S-video and would like to be able to capture in S-video as well, I have found an S-video Y-cable."

Devices that do have output usually come with an extra set of composite cables. Connect the Xbox cables to the input on the device and use the extra set of composite cables to connect from the output on the device to the input on your TV. No splitters necessary as the device functions as a splitter itself.

Connect the device to your computer via a FireWire or USB cable (whichever one your device uses), start up a capture program, set desired capture settings and begin capturing once you are ready.

Chapter 5: Using a VCR

The primary reason for recording with a VCR is because you don't have a DVD recorder or a video camera available, or your computer is too far from where you play. If you use a VCR you will still have to capture it to your computer with a capture device. For capturing, follow the instructions in Chapters 3 and 4. Capturing from VHS tape will inherently limit quality. For this reason I don't recommend recording with a VCR and then capturing it, but if you have to, be sure to set the VCR to SP settings.

Part II: Capture Devices

Chapter 6: Basic Settings

When capturing media you are often given customizable options for the format, bitrate, compression, etc. Some programs, Windows Movie Maker for example, give a recommended capture setting; I don't recommend it. For the best potential quality you will want your captured video to be as uncompressed as possible. Usually the best setting is .avi or DV/Avi.

For example, when using my DAC-100 on a PC, Windows Movie Maker gives the option of capturing in DV/Avi at 25 mbps as well as some recommended setting at 4.8 mbps. The 25 mbps DV/Avi setting will yield far better quality, however it uses approximately 3.1 Mb of disk space per second, which is over 11 Gb for an hour of video. If you have the hard drive space to accommodate high quality capture you should do it.

Chapter 7: PCI Capture Cards
*Refer to [link]Chapter 3 for PCI card setup.

Hauppauge WinTV GO
≈$45.99 @ Newegg

SoftPVR? for making digital recordings in an MPEG or DivX format, from TV or from an external A/V source.
Capture high quality still video image, up to 1600x1200 pixels, in BMP, TIF, TGA and JPEG.
An inexpensive capture card.

ATI TV Wonder
≈$63.50 @ Newegg

Capture more video and still images in MPEG-2 format than ever before using the same amount of disk space*.
Zoom-in, pan or freeze video action.
Adequate quality at an inexpensive price.

Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250
≈$129.99 @ Newegg

MPEG1 recording at 1150K bits/sec (Video CD data rate)
MPEG2 record datarates:
2MBit/sec, 4MBit/sec, 6Mbit/sec, 8Mbit/sec, 12Mbit/sec.
Selections for DVD Standard play (8MBitsec), DVD Long Play (4MBit/sec) and DVD Extra Long Play (2MBit/sec)
NTSC format* at 29.97fps: Full D1: 720x480, MPEG1: 352x240
PAL format* at 25fps: Full D1: 720x576, MPEG1: 352x288
Audio capture formats: 32/44.1/48 KHz, 16bit stereo, 192/224/384Kbits/sec
Chroma sampling: YUV 4:2:0
Video file format: .MPG
MPEG file tested compatible with: MediaStudio 6.0, MyDVD and DVD MovieFactory DVD authoring applications

Canopus ADVC-50
≈$189.95 @ Adorama
Analog to DV converter ideal for video editing applications.
Convert your S-VHS, Hi8 or other analog video tapes to DV in one simple step using the ADVC-50. The ADVC-50 is compatible with all OHCI and DV capture cards for Macintosh or PC. No need to install drivers or any applications.

ADVC-50 perfectly compliments EZDV, DVRaptor-RT or any OHCI / DV capture card providing both analog input and easy cable access.

Easy to install
ADVC-50 allows convenient access to video cabling when fitted into the computers 5-? inch Bay. Alternatively the ADVC-50 can be installed internally as a standard PCI card. The ADVC-50 unit uses the PC's standard 4-pin connection for power supply (bay installation).

Proven DV codec technology
Canopus's proprietary DV technologies provide the best picture quality preservation.

Locked audio support
Other converters can lose audio/video sync when converting analog video for longer periods of time. The ADVC-50 is the first inexpensive DV converter that supports locked audio when converting from analog to digital, assuring perfect audio and video synchronization.

> Award winning DV Codec for best-quality conversion.
> Locked audio support
> Convenient cabling access via 5 ?" PC bay
> Both NTSC and PAL compatible
> Windows and Mac OS compatible

Features courtesy of manufacturer's website
Chapter 8: External Capture Cards

Dazzle DVC 90
≈$69.00 @ Newegg
Connection Type: USB 2.0

Dazzle DVC90 connects to a Hi-Speed USB port, which ensures the highest quality transfer of videos onto your PC from any camcorder, VCR or DVD player equipped with analogue output connectors. Dazzle DVC90 comes with Pinnacle Studio? QuickStart movie making software, whose intuitive interface makes it the ideal application to get started in video editing.

Hardware Specifications:

* External Hi-Speed USB video capture device


* Composite video input (RCA connector)
* S-Video input (mini-DIN connector)
* Stereo audio input (2 x RCA connectors)

Dazzle DVC 150
≈$116.50 @ Newegg
Connection Type: USB 2.0

Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Interface for Best Video Quality
The DVC 150 has a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface to the computer. This interface is about 40 times as fast as a USB 1.1 interface which means that if your computer supports USB 2.0, you can get almost 25% higher video quality. Don't have a USB 2.0 port on your computer yet? Don't worry, the DVC 150 will work on your USB 1.1 port and you will be ready for the future if you decide to upgrade your computer to USB 2.0.

Capture Full Resolution DVD Quality Video
Connect your Camcorder, VCR or TV to the Dazzle ? DVC 150 to capture DVD quality video source to your PC. The DVC 150 captures in full 720 x 480 DVD resolution.

DVD Encoder Chip Saves Hard Disk Space
The DCS 150 has a DVD encoder chip inside which automatically converts video in real time into DVD quality video. This shrinks the video to ? its original size saving hard disk space.

Output to VCR and TV
The DVC 150 has built-in analog video outputs connectors. This allows you to output your edited video back to a VCR. You can also connect a TV and use it as a video preview monitor for more precise video editing.

≈$85.00 @ Newegg
Connection Type: USB 2.0

Capture more video and still images in MPEG-2 format than ever before using the same amount of disk space*.
Zoom-in, pan or freeze video action.
Adequate quality at an inexpensive price.
Essentially the same as the PCI version.

ADS Tech DVD Express 2.0
≈$85.99 @
Connection Type: USB 2.0
DVD XPress is the fastest and easiest way to get Hollywood quality video into your computer so you can burn to disk or publish on to the Internet.

Now you can capture video into MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 (VCD, SVCD or DVD) at up to 720 x 480 (720 x 576 PAL) from any analog or digital source. DVD XPress is the fastest and simplest way to get movies from video tape to a high quality VCD, SVCD or DVD disk. Capture video in the Easy to use Capture Wizard application or Video Studio 7 SE DVD and then ?Create Disk? to burn your movies on to CD or DVD disk.

If you want to do more than straight archiving to disk, DVD XPress includes video editing with an integrate DVD Authoring tool that allow you to get very creative. Use Video Studio 7SE to add transitions, video filters, video overlay, fast or slow motion effects, and animated titles, back ground music and then Author your DVD disk.

DVD XPress utilizes the latest in video conversion and filtering technology to reduce noise on old VHS tapes to produce the highest quality video, DVD XPress also offers exclusive ?Audio-Lock? technology to provide perfect lip synch all the way through the capture, edit and disk burning process.

USB 2.0 connection to the PC, backward compatible to USB 1.1
Capture audio and video via the USB port with ?Audio-Lock? technology for perfect lip synch
Use temporal and spatial video pre-processing filters to help reduce noise on old VHS tapes or TV signals.
Supports MPEG 1 Layer 2 compressed and LPCM Audio
Capture from any analog video source in MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 video formats including VCD, SVCD and DVD formats via RCA (Composite) or S-VHS video inputs.
Capture DVD (MPEG-2) at video bit rates from 1 Mb/sec. up to 15 Mb/sec. (up to 4 Mb/sec. for USB 1.1 connections)
Capture using Constant or Variable bit rates and other custom settings.
Features a 9 bit video digitizer with 2x oversampling and 4 line comb filter Brightness, Contrast, Chroma, Saturation and Hue controls
Use Video Studio 7 SE DVD to capture and then burn to disk in quick, simple steps.

ADS Technology Pyro A/V Converter
≈$129.95 @ B&H
Connection Type: IEEE-1394 (Firewire)

The ultimate tool for capturing and converting video into professional quality DV format and just as valuable for exporting edited DV content to analog video tape recorders.

The missing link in DV Video
Capturing DV from a Digital camcorder is fantastic, but what about all of the video content you have in other formats (8mm, beta, VHS, DVD), how do you get that content into the DV format? PYRO A/V link solves the problem by converting any analog video source into DV.

Capture, Edit, Export
With PYRO A/V link you can capture from any video source, including DV camcorders. Mix and match your video content to create a truly unique video production. Edit the video with Video Studio 6 SE DVD and add video filters, transition effects, video overlays, narration, background music and more. When your video production is a wrap, export to any VCR or VTR, save as MPEG-2 and burn a DVD or publish to the Internet.

External FireWire/1394 device
Converts analog (RCA, S-VHS or Component Video) to DV video format
Export DV Video to analog video tape recorders (RCA, S-VHS)
Convert between devices (from DV to Analog or Analog to DV) without using a computer
Capture from DV camcorder with full device control
Edit with powerful editing software
Create VCD, SVCD, DVD disks

DataVideo DAC-100
≈$178.00 @ Harmony
Connection Type: IEEE-1394 (Firewire)

Selectable video standard: NTSC (525 lines /60Hz), PAL (625 lines /50Hz).
Inputs: DV, Y/C, Composite
Outputs: DV, Y/C, Composite
Two 6-pin FireWire (iLink) I/O ports, Available in
NTSC 4:1:1 or PAL 4:2:0 DV25 format
(25Mbps data transfer rate)
Selectable Video level, at 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE
Video Comb Filter for High Quality Video
Video input source auto-detection
Audio Sampling Rate:Selectable 32KHz (12-bit) or 48 KHz (16-bit) for unbalanced audio.
Audio Decoding Rate:Selectable 32KHz, 44.1KHz or 48KHz DV audio decoding
FormatsV (iLink), Digital 8, Video 8, Hi8, VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C and S-VHS-C, U-Matic, etc.
Computers:powerMac, iMac, Windows 98/ME/2000 and XP

Canopus ADVC-100
≈$266.00 @ DV Warehouse
Connection Type: IEEE-1394 (Firewire)

Convert your S-VHS, Hi8 and 8mm analog tapes to DV in one simple step using the ADVC-100. The converted DV streams are transferred to your PC or Mac via IEEE 1394 (i.Link, FireWire) and stored on your hard drive where they can be manipulated using your favorite photo or video editing applications. This device is ideal for all OHCI and DV-only capture cards for Macintosh or PC.

Proven DV CODEC Technology
At the heart of ADVC100 is Canopus's proprietary DV codec chip providing the industry's best picture quality preservation during analog-to-DV and DV-to-analog conversion.

Locked Audio Support
Other converters can lose audio/video sync when converting longer segments of video. The ADVC-100 is the first inexpensive DV converter that supports locked audio when converting from analog to digital, assuring perfect audio and video synchronization.

> High Quality (original hardware design, co-developed with NEC
> Custom hardware Codec chip (original Canopus algorithm)
> Locked Audio Support (capture long clips w/perfect audio sync)
> Analog output of NTSC color bars for reference signal)
> 4-pin DV jack on front; 6-pin FireWire jack on back
> Analog input connector on front
> Analog output connector on back

Part III: Capture/Editing Programs

Chapter 9: Windows Movie Maker

Acquisition: Free. WMM. *Also comes with Windows XP. Windows only.

Windows Movie Maker is a simple and moderately versatile program especially useful for beginning editors. It allows you to capture from your device and edit with speed adjustments, transitions, titles and effects. Exporting formats tend to be primarily .wmv, which greatly restricts versatility. For a more detailed critique and general tutorial of the program, read this article: WMM Review.

Chapter 10: iMovie

Acquisition: Free. iMovie. *Also comes with Mac OSX. Mac only.

iMovie is essentially the Macintosh counterpart for Windows Movie Maker. It is well suited to beginning editors as it provides a simple interface for capturing, editing, and applying transitions, titles, and effects. It supports a wide variety of export formats. For a review article by PC Magazine, follow this link: iMovie Review

Chapter 11: Ulead VideoStudio/MediaStudio

Acquisition (VideoStudio): $45.00 *Free trial available. VideoStudio. Windows only.
Acquisition (MediaStudio): $179.00 *Free trial available. MediaStudio. Windows only.

Ulead offers affordable entrance into the realm of advanced digital editing. VideoStudio is a simple to learn program, similar to WMM and iMovie, which follows a clear template to assist you in producing your video. MediaStudio builds on its lesser counterpart with advanced, professional features and far more customizable settings. If you've heard of the famous Quake III frag highlight video "Annihilation", it might interest you to know that it was produced using MediaStudio. For a detailed review of VideoStudio, check out this article by PC Magazine: VideoStudio Review. For a review of MediaStudio, check out this article: MediaStudio Review.

Chapter 12: Adobe Premiere

Acquisition: $849.00 Premiere Pro 2.0. Windows and Macintosh.

Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the staple editing programs. It comes at a high price however, so you may be interested in a less expensive editing program by Adobe, such as Premiere Elements. If so, be sure to explore Adobe's site at
If you are interested in Premiere Pro 2.0, then you're looking at one of the best editing programs available. It can do basically anything you would like in terms of video editing. For a more detailed view of the program, read the following article: Premiere Pro 2.0.

Chapter 13: Sony Vegas

Acquisition: $449.96 Vegas 6.0. Windows only.

Vegas by Sony is another leading video editing program. Similar to Adobe programs, Vegas performs a variety of professional functions to create flawless videos. Many of the latest "montages" as well as highly acclaimed Quake III videos are produced, at least partially, on Vegas. For more information on this program, I'll provide you with two articles: Vegas 6, I and Vegas 6, II.

Chapter 14: Avid

Acquisition: $450.00+ Avid Editing Programs. Windows and Macintosh.

Avid provides a variety of editing programs, such as Liquid and Liquid Pro. Although these are not commonly used among recreational video producers, they are very good for editing and constructing any digital video. For a review on Avid XPress Pro, go here: XPress Pro Review. For one of many available guides on the internet, go here: Avid help.

Chapter 15: Final Cut Pro

Acquisition: $1299.00 Final Cut Pro 5. Macintosh only.

This is one of the premiere editing programs on the market. It can do virtually anything you would like to do in terms of video production. You do need a Macintosh to run this program, however. If you'd like a more detailed view of this program, check out the following article: FCP 5.

Chapter 16: Supplemental Programs

So you have your editing program, but you are unsatisfied with some of the capabilities it offers or you'd like a more specialized program for specific tasks. Well, you should consider using a program specifically designed to the task. Briefly described below will be an assortment of such programs.

3D Maya: Academy Award? winning Maya software lets you create engaging digital imagery, 3D animation and visual effects.
3Ds Max: Highly customizable and scalable 3D animation, modeling and rendering solution for creative professionals and large-scale pipelines.
Discreet Smoke: Integrated editing and finishing system for SD, HD, 2K film and above.
Sound Forge 8: A powerful program for customizing and editing audio.
Adobe After Effects: Advanced graphics editing and compositing particularly for digital video.
Adobe Photoshop: A premiere photo finishing and digital imaging program to further supplement video editing effects.

Part IV: Editing

Chapter 17: Tips for a Better Video, by own-age

The following was posted by own-age on the own-age forums. This was not written by me, I am merely providing the information for people here. own-age covers the fundamental guidelines for making an exceptional video.

"First off, All the things I will state are suggestions for a better video, I am not saying following any/all of these steps will make your video get the #1 spot for downloads or favorites.. but can help in the replayability of your video as well as push you away from some of the abusive things some new editors do.

1. Get some opinions in about your video while your editing it. This always helped me, ask a few good friends(be sure to give em credit in the video if they help you) to review what you've done so far and give you some good feedback about it. I've found a lot of my good effects come out of a revision of the video because of a friend telling me it just didn't fit the bill yet.

2. Less is more, when editing don't try to use as many transitions as the editor has. Most of the "better" videos rarly use transitions in the first place, and even if they do use a transition, its usually just your standard crossfade (1 video sequence blends into another video sequence, can also be known as cross disolve or just desolve).

3. Watch your transitions, With most track editors, they have ab transition style editing. That is track a transitions into track b or vice versa. A lot of times when you insert a transition, it may not know which track you want to start with and witch track to end with. So be sure to double check all your transitions because having your nice sequence on track a all of a sudden switch to track b, then transition slowly to track a again ruins the point of having the transition in the first place.

4. Before creating your footage (your game shots or whatever it is your creating) try to create a more detailed config that shows off the better qualities of your game. Your gaming config is not interesting to other people, most poeple want to see a quality video config over a person's brightened, no detail config.

5. Choose music that flows well with your content. Although this is mostly a personal preference with the music bit. You should always listen to your music a bit, and see how well it flows with your content.

6. Find ways to make your music in sync with your content. By doing this, you can produce a better rush or feel to your video. If your not sure on how to sync your music up, just simply try to match up highlight moments on high points of the music, maybe an explosion when a clash or high part of the song hits.

7. Choose your content wisely. Most of the time, longer videos seem to get bad reviews because the content isn't very fun to watch. Remember that your video should be "highlights" or the best of whatever it is your trying to show. Showing the same thing over and over sept maybe in another direction or whatnot gets boring pretty quick (for example some tricking videos 3 different guys doing the same trick but just because they are different guys.. they are put in there again and again) around 70% of the viewers on prefer content over editing, so this means you should go for the harder tricks.. or the more impressive frags, and leave the not so good ones to the side.

8. Editing takes time, setting deadlines puts more pressure on yourself. Bottom line: a deadline can ruin a video. A lot of the time while I'm editing I want to just finish it and say I'm done with it, but the more quality work you put into the video.. the better the video will be overall. I've learned to go through a video once, and just sync up shots with the music, then watch it again and see if there's any way I can tweek this or that.

9. Video effects or filter use should serve a purpose, Your effects shouldn't just boom start unless you are syncing it with a paticular part in the music for a more moving effect. I often see in videos people just throwing in random filters like a ripple effect, or another effect in just because the effect is there, and it almost always destracts the viewer... they won't be watching the video.. they will just start looking for other destracting effects. Like I said before, less is more in most situations.

10. Avoide including inside humor in videos, By inside humor I mean humor that only a few guys would know. Maybe you got nicknames or something you say to your clanmates or gaming buddies that you all think is funny, but the average person would be like "WTF is going on?"

11. Compression is key. When creating the final video for distribution, be sure to use proper compression so that you don't waste bandwidth, and also so you show off your video the best possible for the filesize. You can find out more about compression here:

12. With the above link in mind I say this as well: Your final product can only be as good as your footage. No wonder codec can produce a high quality avi, if your content footage is crappy looking to begin with. If you have the hard drive space, Render it in uncompressed avi.. even uncompressed avi at 16 bit color doesn't take up TOO much space, and it will produce a very VERY nice output when making your final product, and really give your viewers something to look at.

13. This kinda goes along with the previous tip above, It has been my experience that along with content, how the maps (or backgrounds) look is crucial for a better video.. If your final product shows vivid colors.. it will make it more appealing to the eye. I personally will watch a video more if its not all bland shots or the same background through out the entire video (like all dm17 shots for quake videos) Which also leads to something else, Spice up your maps on your videos, Go for the shots on other maps besides dm6 for quake or other overplayed maps in other games.

14. Don't forget that you can always create different copies of your final video.. you don't have to create a first copy then delete everything off your hard drives and screw yourself over (which believe it or not, a lot of people do). Which brings me to another point, before you delete everything off your computer, Create a very high quality version of the finished product for yourself, most likely you will thank yourself in the future.

15. It helps to know what music you are using before you start going through your footage. Most of the time when I'm selecting my music, I try to picture shots going along with the music. Then I start looking into the footage and seeing if I can find shots that are similar to what I had in my head. Of course you have to be reasonable with what kind of footage your looking for.. but most of the time this is where I figure out what special effects and whatnot to use for the video.

16. Avoid making a long video. What is a long video? well the average adult's attention span is 15 minutes. That may help you a little, Usually a long video is a sign of poor selection of content, there are exceptions to what I'm saying but generally, when your video pushes past the 15 minute mark, you really need to overlook your content and make sure you think everyone would think that this footage would be appealing. if not, maybe consider cutting it down to just the best of for your video.

17. To help shorten your video, Get to the point with your video. The greatest thing about a video is the fact that you can cut out the bull****. Don't show a sequence where the guy misses 5 times before he makes a shot. Just show him shooting the rocket, and a little gibs and move on to the next scene. This can cut down the length of your video by a lot and give your video a more intense feel.

18. If you get burned out on editing, Take a break, Don't continue to edit while being frustrated, its not going to help anything. Good videos take a lot of time and patience and like I said before, editing just takes time, Nobody likes a rush job on a video. To kinda put things in perspective.. I edited AnnihilatioN for about 40 hours a week for about 4 or 5 weeks. At the end I started getting burned out and I put a deadline on the video which caused me to rush it a tad more and I ended up staying up late one night till about 4 am.. and sleeping for 2 hours just so I could get the video out a day later then my deadline date. After I made that video I was TOTALLY burned out on editing, I didn't even wanna do anything with editing for awhile, it almost became a hatred, But soon enough, I just avoided it for awhile and it came back and all is good again. Overall I was happy with the video and the feedback it was getting, but in the end, I wish I would of avoided setting the deadline, took a break for a few days, and worked on it a bit more to really polish up stuff.

19. Try new things. Avoid trying to follow other movies. Everyone wants to see something new. So don't follow your favorite frag video's technique. Weither it be by using the same songs, the same effects, or the same style of editing. Their video worked then because it was fresh and new. If you try to follow it, people will just become bored with your video. Not to mention you'll get some pretty nasty comments stating you tried to copy so and so's video"
Chapter 18: A Study of Syncing, by adamllis

"Syncing, the interaction or relationship between the onscreen action and the musical track, is one of the most common non-video-based effect used in vids. Sycning that is done well somehow draws the viewer into the movie like nothing else. It is one of the more difficult techniques, but proper syncing can add power to any movie. I am a huge fan of good syncing, and I have tried to discover where its power comes from.
From my observations, I have classified the different types of syncing that appear in gaming movies (and other vids) into four different groups, which I call micro, mini, macro, and mood.

This is the most obvious syncing technique to the viewer. Micro syncing would be the use of many very short scenes or clips, each lined up with one beat in the song per clip. So for every beat in a fast part of a song, the editor would have a unique scene or picture displayed from the time the beat begins until right before the next beat sounds. Usually this technique is used to show small pieces of what's to come, since the clips are so short they don't add much to the vid. Often micro syncing leaves the viewer slightly overwhelmed by the flood of visual images and begins to draw the viewer into the vid.

Examples of Micro Syncing:
Insane by Zale: The intro has some nice micro syncing, leaves the viewer wanting more.
CPMA done by VoO by VoO: Around 7:45 is unique idea. He shows the same gib about 5 times from different angels, then leads into a new scene, all with quality micro syncing.
AnnhilatioN by own-age: Very nice, very quick micro syncing throughout.

This is what most people think about when they hear the word ?syncing.? Mini syncing would be syncing an event or multiple events to music in a single scene. In micro syncing, the scene is not shown to its entirety, but in mini syncing the scene is shown completely. When only one event is synced, it?s cool but it?s not that cool. When two or more events are synced, that?s when the magic happens.
Mini syncing leaves the viewer pondering: ?how did they make it fit with the music like that? did it really happen perfectly like that?? Often, in order to have the maximum syncing potential, the editor slightly adjusts the speed of the content differently throughout the scene. If it goes too fast or too slow, the flow of the vid can suffer. Mini syncing is what people remember; they can feel it coming when they watch the vid again.

Examples of Mini Syncing:
QHLAN by TheBeast and Jebur: Probably has some of the longest mini syncing scenes ever made, thanks to a fast game (QuakeWorld), fast music (JockJams), and a very creative mind.
Get Quaked by Joka: Some good mini syncing at 2:14 and throughout.
AnnhilatioN by own-age: This vid has the most impressive mini syncing to this day, and a large part of the vid?s power can be attributed to it.

This technique is the most subtle of all the syncing techniques, and in some vids, it?s almost subconscious. What I mean is that macro syncing affects the viewer even without his knowledge. Macro syncing requires a dynamic song, one that has long ups and downs in its pace and sound, like a wave. Drum and Base does not usually have this type of flow. Also this syncing is bests with a game that has quick movement. Macro syncing is the interaction between the speed of the music and the speed of the visual image. This syncing takes place inside scenes in two different ways (at least that I have identified).
The first way is the physical movement of the player. When the player suddenly moves quickly through the level (or whatever) and the music suddenly changes pace, then that is macro syncing.
The other kind replaces the movement of the player with the movement of the visual image via mouse sensitivity. A player with a higher sensitivity looks around a lot more than a player with a lower sensitivity. This quick viewing creates a sense of speed that can easily increase the flow of the vid, and if it?s synced to music it is especially intense.

Examples of Macro Syncing:
GZ Done Extreme by some Russian dudes: Starting at 3:00, the music begins to slow done as we see some recams, then suddenly the scene changes and the player fires off a rocket jump script and flies forward just as the music picks back up again. Ahh, so beautiful.
Redemption by Vash: In the second half of the vid, as the color comes in and the game sound comes in (which is awesome), the music is picking up, and after we get game sound, we see a fight in a big room where the player is fighting off multiple enemies and shooting all around him rapidly. Hardcore macro syncing.

This type of syncing is similar to macro. It also is not very obvious on the first watch. Mood syncing would be when a scene has some degree of urgency or suspense, and the music also has a thrilling sound to it only at that part of the scene. The event is not one frag and is not expressed through one beat. Doing this with individual scenes is not very difficult, but doing macro syncing inside of a long scene is very impressive and powerful.

Examples of Mood Syncing:
AnnhilatioN by own-age: At the end of the first song when it goes all slowmo-ish, and he brings in scenes that all are very close games, the music fits perfectly because the mood has intensified.
Team Fortress Done Extreme 2 by Twisted: The ?Offense? scene has some of the most interesting syncing I have ever seen, and the best mood syncing I have seen. Every important flag steal is complimented by a suspenseful and intense part of the song. Great work there. You have to watch many, many times to get all the syncing.

These four types of syncing are not the only ones. Screen flashing, another common type of syncing, was not covered here since it requires editing the footage, while the four I mentioned can be done simply by timing the footage, which I think is more powerful of an effect. Also, there are plenty of examples that are mixes or variations of the types I mentioned, but I think the four main types are those I pointed out (and named :] )."

All credit to adamllis. The videos he references are available on

CPMA done by Vo0
Get Quaked
Get Quaked 3
GZ Done Extreme
Insane by Zale

Part V: Compression

Chapter 19: Basic Formats

In the realm of digital video there are many different encoding formats. On a regular basis, you probably encounter a variety of video types. Usually you can identify one video format from another by reading the extension on the video file. The extension is the ".xxx" at the end of the video name, such as ".avi", ".wmv", ".mpg", etc. I'll briefly cover a few of the common video formats and which ones you should use for a video.

In the series I previously mentioned, ".avi", which is a simple, effective format, stands for Audio Video Interleave. The second format mentioned,".wmv", stands for Windows Media Video and, predictable, is a specifically Windows designed format. It provides good compression on it own and allows for easy streaming. The final one, ".mpg", which can also be called MPEG, stands for "Motion Picture Experts Group" and is the primary format used in commercial video production as it offers good quality at small sizes. To learn more about video formats, since there is much more information available, you can take a look at the following site: Video Formats.

The good thing about AVI files is their customizability with the use of codecs. For purposes of video production, I HIGHLY recommend you use AVI files. When you are exporting your video, "Save as type": Microsoft AVI files (*.avi). Here is an image to show you what to select:

If you save as uncompressed AVI, the file size will probably end up being HUGE. To keep good quality and compress the file size, we use codecs. The following chapters will discuss various codecs.

Chapter 20: Virtual Dub

Although I have yet to extensively experiment with VirtualDub, I know that it is extremely helpful with finishing and compressing your video. In the future I will amend this section with an overall tutorial on VitrualDub. In the meantime, I encourage to you download VirtualDub and experiment with it yourself. One of the primary codecs used with VirtualDub is Huffyuv. Many video editors will compress using huffyuv before using a non-lossless codec such as DivX.

Chpater 21: DivX

Before you start compressing using Divx, you will need to download the free trial of the DivX Create Bundle. This includes the DivX player, codec, and a converter, but for our purposes we only care about the codec. When you have the codec installed and your video is ready to be exported, you can begin configuring the compression settings.

When exporting, change "Save as type" to "Microsoft AVI files (*.avi) and click options. Click the tab at the top called "AVI", scroll through the Compression menu, select DivX 6.0 Codec (the version may be different, i.e. 6.1) and click "Configure". This should bring you to the DivX Codec Properties window.

On the DivX template, I recommend selecting High Definition Profile under the Certification Profile section purely to be sure you get good quality. Under the Bitrate section, you should definitely change the Encode Mode to Multipass, 1st Pass or Multipass, Nth pass. This will give you better quality . You may also adjust the bitrate to suit your desires. Of course, the bitrate value does not absolutely govern the final file size and quality since it is only an average value. However, you should set it somewhere between 1,500 Kbps and 4,500 kbps. Remember, the larger the number, the larger the file size will be.

Click the Codec tab at the top, and select the Codec Performance that gives you the best quality. On my Macintosh this setting is called "Insane Quality". Click the Video tab at the top, and here you can alter resolution, crop areas of the video, and De-interlace the video. YOU MUST DE-INTERLACE. Interlaced video is used only for interlaces scanning video devices, such as a common television. Since computer monitors progressively scan, you must de-interlace the video.
Not that you didn't make this yourself, but I kinda doubt that you did lol. Whether you did or not, its great.
Woah woah now fellas, common, LeadingSpartan didn't know you werent finished, so lets not start a debate now :rolleyes
Maverick said:
Not that you didn't make this yourself, but I kinda doubt that you did lol. Whether you did or not, its great.
What right do you have to say such a thing? You're fairly new so know NOTHING about me. I hate your arrogance, it's rather annoying. Also, good job posting before I was finished and before you read it.
Last edited by a moderator:
Leadingspartan said:
Dude im really sorry about posting in your thread before it is done ok, but Macerick is right you need to calm down a little.
I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the fact maverick thinks he knows me enough to call me a thief.

Double Posting will get you banned....again.

Stop Double Posting!

-The MODs
Last edited by a moderator:
adreniline said:
What right do you have to say such a thing? You're fairly new so know NOTHING about me. I hate your arrogance, it's rather annoying. Also, good job posting before I was finished and before you read it.

Ok. If anything, I was trying to complement your post. It was almost too good if you can see what I'm trying to say- you just don't see many posts with this much detail and depth on subjects. Maybe I didn't read the whole thing, but I did scan through the majority. Secondly I can care less about the number of posts I accumulate, I simply enjoy this community and try to stay active in that respect, the number of posts doesn't mean anything to me. If anyone is arrogant it is you flying off the edge at people for posting too soon, it's not their fault, they didn't know, don't accuse them. And like I said, I don't think you didn't write it all, but Its just kind of too good if you can understand. I was only trying to be friendly, there was no need for that very rude pm you sent me, and I'm sorry if I came off sounding malicious to you. I did not in any way mean to say that you are a thief.
Last edited by a moderator:
Ok. If anything, I was trying to complement your post. It was almost too good if you can see what I\'m trying to say- you just don\'t see many posts with this much detail and depth on subjects. Maybe I didn\'t read the whole thing, but I did scan through the majority. Secondly I can care less about the number of posts I accumulate, I simply enjoy this community and try to stay active in that respect, the number of posts doesn\'t mean anything to me. If anyone is arrogant it is you flying off the edge at people for posting too soon, it\'s not their fault, they didn\'t know, don\'t accuse them. And like I said, I don\'t think you didn\'t write it all, but Its just kind of too good if you can understand. I was only trying to be friendly, there was no need for that very rude pm you sent me, and I\'m sorry if I came off sounding malicious to you. I did not in any way mean to say that you are a thief.
Saying someone didn\'t write something is calling someone a thief.
Last edited by a moderator:
Dude, Adren.
Lay off him. He said he was sorry.
He souldn't even have to appologize in the first place.
You should.
Not open for further replies.