Editing & Recording
In the last edition we looked at what tech you will need to start your Youtube channel, now its time for phase two! Editing and Recording. So as you will have guessed, in order to actually create your videos you will need first something to record your game play and once that is done you will need to do some editing to make it pleasant to watch for your viewers!
Screen Capture Software
There are so many programs out there that enable you to record your game, some are very basic and others are extremely detailed and have very in depth settings. I have used a few different ones in my time but by far my favorite and the one I am currently using is called DXtory. Although it isn’t free, it has very high capabilities and lots of options to suit your computers ability. The settings are very complicated but there are a lot of videos and guides out there to help you get everything set up! I used this one. As with any, it does have its downsides. I have noticed after a standard 25 minute recording my files sizes can be quite large taking up a lot of storage on my PC, however compared to other programs this is a minor defect.
Fraps is another popular program that people use to record their game play. I have used Fraps, but I think personally compared with DXtory it is not worth the £25.00 it costs. Also, the file size with Fraps is insanely large, I could only fit about 5 recordings before it maxed out the space on my computer! There are no settings to tweak screen resolution which is extremely important. If you are not recording at at least 720p your footage will not fit the Youtube screen in which the videos are played and you will experience black panels like this!
Furthermore, there are not options to alter your voice-over volume, and if you are like me and choose to record your voice and game sound together this will cause problems when editing as you wont be able to make your voice louder/quieter if need be. DXtory allows you to include your microphone sound when recording and separates them into two files so you have the ability to adjust them accordingly as well as giving you the option to change it in the actual settings themselves. Here is an image showing the two different sound files, all using DXtory but still separate. This saves having to record on Audacity for example and then having to spend hours syncing your voice to your game play!
There are free options out there if you don’t want to pay for your software. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is a free recording program that also has very impressive streaming capabilities. Again you may need help setting it up as there are lots of settings, but this is good as it enables you to get the right settings for your computer. Once you are all set up, much like DXtory you can adjust your microphone volume and such which is a very valued feature. However it isn’t as helpful in terms of actually splitting them for you. When you go to record, you will need to have your sound levels perfect beforehand because you wont be able to change them separately once you have filmed. Unlike Fraps & Dxtory the file sizes for OBS are tiny and you wont ever have to worry about taking up too much space with video files.
Always make sure you are recording in the correct screen resolution. Make sure your video is full screen (1280 x 720p) or 1080p if you have good enough specs to support that. (Personally, I can never tell the difference between the two but there you go!) Also a frame rate of at least 30 FPS is recommended to avoid laggy footage. Again, if your computer is capable you can increase this to 60 FPS. Always make sure your audio levels are listenable. You dont want to be too loud and overbearing or so quiet people are struggling to hear. This is just as important as your screen resolution. People will not want to sit through a 25 minute let’s play if it isn’t to a good standard, its just not pleasant.
So, you’ve filmed your first video and you want to know what you should use to edit! This is very much dependent on what you want to do, if you want to include fancy transitions, text animations, panning options and such then Windows Movie Maker is an awesome free program to get you started. Yes it is simple, but it has enough for you to put your own unique stamp on your videos. If you would like something more complex Sony Vegas Pro is excellent! I use this and I have found it very useful for many different things. Not only does it include everything that Movie Maker does, but a LOT more! For instance, if for some reason you accidentally recorded a video in the wrong resolution and you get this pesky black bars down the side of your footage you have the ability to remove them using Sony Vegas (awesome right!) There are also many more options for editing such as the ‘Chroma Keyer’ which you can use to remove backgrounds from your videos and all kinds of fancy video editing effects for you to create lots of amazing content for your viewers!
So that is your tech and your editing and recording software, check! Next time I will be going over actual game play and how you can maintain an engaging and entertaining let’s play to get those subs rolling in!