Best workflow for recording games

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What I'm trying to do: 
Capture 1440p60fps screen recording of a game at high quality and get it into Adobe Premiere. I have two options for screen recording: OBS and Camtasia. I'm not married to either choice - it's more what produces the highest quality and the most streamlined workflow. 

Camtasia workflow: 
1) Record to TREC
2) Export/share at 60 FPS/100 FPS quality - this took about 2 hours to export a five-minute clip - I experienced Naomi's issue, where it sat at 100% for about 2-3 hours.  
(also, trying to record to MP4 in V.2020 yielded a lot of choppy/dropped frame rates) 

OBS Workflow: 
1) Record to "Lossless Quality," which equates to 7 gigabytes per recorded minute 
2) Convert to the Vimeo YouTube HQ 1440P60 (2560x1440 @ 60FPS)
3) Import to Premiere  

Conclusion:
OBS Workflow is the quickest, easiest way. It's the most storage-intensive but it doesn't make me wait for hours while it renders. 

Question:
Am I missing something? Obviously, my computer could handle simple tutorial/education screen recordings because - comparatively - not as much is changing on the screen. I welcome your feedback and advice. 

Tech Specs: 
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Eight-Core Processor 3.7 GHZ
GPU: Radeon RX 580 Series
RAM: 64 GB 
Boot Drive:  Model: Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
External SSD: Model: SanDisk Extreme SSD SCSI Disk Device 2TB
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paulwilliamengle

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Posted 1 month ago

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Joe Morgan

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Well, I wouldn't use Camtasia myself. The files sizes are to large.
Camtasia 2020 can capture to mp4.But only as .trec which is only editable in Camtasia.
 
I Absolutely would not be capturing game play to a lossless format. "Or anything else to a lossless format for that matter" Theres really no reason to go there. A high quality mp4 is adequate.

I've got a 3 hour 2560 x 1440 Crisis 3 recording I made as a test.
Using Nvidia's screen recorder Shadowplay.With Max quality settings "Mp4" The file is 54 GB. Which to be quite honest, may be overkill. A 1080p Blu Ray movie can come in under 25GB.
I've made lower quality recordings that seem to look just as good.

For screen recordings and fine details like text. Camtasia's TSC2 AVI codec seems to be a decent balance between file size and highest quality. If you want to zoom into the screen and have sharp details overall. Re-render a video, its the only way to fly.

I'm not sure what motivated TechSmith to add Mp4 capture to Camtasia 2020. Its a .trec container format.Forcing you to edit it in Camtasia. You can't extract the contents like a standard .trec recording.
They've eliminated recording directly to avi.Which you could pop right into Premiere Pro "no rendering", with only one audio track recorded {:>(
The smaller file size has its merits. But thats all it really seems to have going for it.No custom settings, zero bells and whistles.

If I were in your shoes, I would probably use OBS and capture as high quality mp4's.


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paulwilliamengle

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As always, Joe, I deeply appreciate your advice. 

When I was doing anything other than the "lossless quality" setting on OBS, it was dropping frames and giving me choppy results. I may have not been giving the "stop recording" button enough time to do its work on the back end and finalize the Mp4. 
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Joe Morgan

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I have next to zero experience with OBS.
I installed it a year or 2 ago out of curiosity. Recorded a couple of things and never really looked back.

I like my Graphics card recorder because the CPU can dedicate its resources strictly to game play.
Other recorders tap the CPU to capture the screen and dragging performance down.Depending on the game and computer being used. It can make a big difference.

The GPU is already processing all that information for display purposes, so saving it as a recording along the way is no big deal or burden to bear.
At least, thats my understanding of the technology. 
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Ed Covney

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Paul - If your motherboard has a free M.2 slot, an Intel 665p, 2TB drive is under $300 and can easily keep up with dropping frames. Intel M.2 drives service life  is 400 TB or better.

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Ed Covney

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Paul - If your Motherboard has M.2 and/or DIMM.2  slots they'd be featured and you would know abort it. My old mother board (Oct 2014) ASUS Z-97 Pro had one M.2 slot and I never knew what it was or it's advantages until I started reading a series of articles at TechSpot- beginning last summer: 
https://www.techspot.com/article/1965-anatomy-motherboard/

Between the reads and Testing the M.2 on my old system, I had to get MORE. MY new, now current mobo (ASUS Z390 Maximus Extreme holds 4 on them, 2 in M.2 slots the the mobo itself, 2 on a DIMM.2 riser board that I put in a striped RAID.  When I bought 6 Intel 660p
(1-TB) drives last August, they were $84.95 each (today $124.95). Do they make a difference? You can't imagine !

Joe - "..  that might take 15 to 30 seconds longer.."  It's not just loading, all 4 M.2 drives reside on the same bus as Memory, my RAM Disk and Video Card. 32 and 64 bit wide transfers. Except for back-ups. all data exchanges on my system are at 2+ GB/sec. You don't use a RamDisk, so everything you do, data xfer wise, is 20x slower.

If you have time, read the TechSpot articles, they're eye openers and game changers!
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paulwilliamengle

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Ed, I want to make sure I didn’t overlook your answering my question: are your recommendations for intel only, or would this work with an AMD setup, as well?
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Ed Covney

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I should have made it more clear,  sorry. If your board has an M.2 slot or a DIMM.2 slot it will work with any, any  M.2 SSD drive including Intel. The only thing I've ever mentioned about AMD is that if you use an AMD CPU, you are best off using their GPU also. Likewise,  Intel CPUs are best used with nVidia cards. Storage doesn't enter that equation, at least for now. 

I favor Intel because I had and have friends there (and at nVidia).  They invent the stuff that others license or steal, and their library of "White Papers" rivals the Library of Congress, at least for guys like us.
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Ed Covney

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". . This setup is for me, personally, so I have to be able to afford it. ." Hopefully one day, you may see things in a different light.   Of course, you may have to bet on yourself.
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paulwilliamengle

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Oh Ed, I have so many feelings about this. There are entrepreneurs who'll max every credit card they have and they hit it big. They've got a spark that I just can't seem to light.

I definitely gone down the rabbit hole with professional audio gear, and I'm definitely trying to be a bit more careful this time around with computer equipment. 

Not to say that there isn't wisdom in your words, I'm actually thinking about upgrades in the fall, so this is good to know. 
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Joe Morgan

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I don't see much use for more file handling speed than I already have Ed.

I've got 3 internal SSD EVO's. They can realistically handle about 10GB of info every 12 seconds.Maybe more.

I have 2 external 7200rpm drives mounted in docking bays. You can't purchase 7200 rpm external storage drives. External storage drives are 5400rpm.

It takes them 3or 4 seconds to spin up to speed.
After the lull, they read and write nearly as fast as my SSD's.... through USB 3 connections.

I use a remote control switch to powering them up and down.I keep them shut down 95% of the time.My internals do the heavy lifting.

My projects rarely contain 10GB of files. Let alone exceed 10 GB.

Its even rarer I'm moving or capturing larger files.

Since USB 3 and SSD's came along. I'm not stymied by my computer moving around files.

It might be fun to watch a few files transferring so fast  I can't keep track of the action. Other than that.I'm Okay with what I've got.
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paulwilliamengle

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Hey Joe, sorry to put you to trouble, but can you clarify which HDDs are internal and which are external? 
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Joe Morgan

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I'm running 3 Samsung 1 TB EVO's internally.

Two........7200 rpm Seagate Barracuda's externally.
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Ed Covney

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Joe . . 

"I don't see much use for more file handling speed than I already have Ed."

How would you know? You don't have it.   Isn't that EXACTLY what you said about "more than 16 GBs of RAM just a few months ago? Yes it is.

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Joe Morgan

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I never said an upgrade to 32 GB of RAM wouldn't benefit me.

Purchasing 32GB through Dell. Who built my computer was cost prohibitive. I wanted 32 at the time. 
I opted for the default 16GB that comes with a XPS 8700. It was a user specified build.

I " RAM Crashed" Premiere Pro a few times about 2 years ago.  Up until then, 16 GB had been doing the job.
So, I wasn't in a hurry to upgrade. But it was time ,RAM prices started falling off. I finally pulled the trigger last fall.
Have I needed it?
For the most part. Not really.
Windows does a surprising good job of allocating and distributing RAM amongst multiple RAM hungry applications running simultaneously.
 
I hit 12.5 GB in a Camtasia project a while back. Combined with Windows and everything else. I was utilizing about 18GB of RAM. I used a bit of it there. Then you wanted to dissect what occurred.

Your right Ed, my computer can't move files around as fast as yours. Therefor, I can't  know with certainty and investing money. If I have any use for it.

I won't be purchasing or renting a Bugatti to drive to the norther territory at 190mph.
To determine if traveling at 190 mph is in my best interests either. {:>)

I don't envision myself replacing this desktop anytime soon.When I do. The technology's available may be vastly different than today's. 
Rendering this entire conversation pointless.
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Clint Hoagland, Employee

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Camtasia's recorder is optimized for screen recordings, to help people make tutorial videos. As you have seen, it is not optimized for recording 60fps game content; we've made some improvements in that area in v2020 and it can in some cases get closer to 60fps than it could previously but it's not as fast as something "closer to the metal" like OBS.

Video card manufacturers also make available recording software that prints the video that they are displaying directly to a file as it is being displayed: I have personally have had success recording 60fps game footage using NVidia Shadowplay and importing that into Camtasia.  I've never used Radeon ReLive but they advertise that as a similar solution for your video card (https://www.amd.com/en/support/kb/faq/relive-install) - I cannot comment on whether it works well with Camtasia as I have not tested it but since you get it for free with your video card it might be worth a look.
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paulwilliamengle

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Clint, thanks so much for the transparency on where Camtasia does/does not thrive. The irony is Camtasia recorder actually punched above its weight class - in terms of recording a usable video of smooth gameplay. 

Where it fell down was either trying to extract the AVI from the TREC container or export the TREC as an 100% quality/60 FPS video. 

I wonder what it would have been if I was able to just to record to AVI, but i think you guys killed that in V.2020.  
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Joe Morgan

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You want some Irony?
I've been telling people for years that Camtasia drops frames while recording.
You can't capture a video playing in a media player without dropping frames either.

Some long term members look past the drawbacks, or don't realize they exist. They recommend using the recorder when it shouldn't actually be used.Without acknowledging the problems associated with their advice. For whatever reason.

I've grown weary of bringing this up over the years.
I avoided the topic intentionally, some think I'm Camtasia bashing and have said so. I shouldn't have hesitated to tell you this.I'm glad Clint did. Sorry about that.
Never again!
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Hi Paul!

Being the gamer that I am, I figure I might pop in with my experiences. Like Clint, I've used Shadowplay before but I'm head-over-heels for Action! as a recorder for games; I use the recordings in Camtasia regularly, though more recently I've been using StreamlabsOBS (aka SLOBS) to record content while streaming and those are pretty solid in Camtasia as well. Action! has spectacular game recording tools and a lot of flexibility; I have recordings that are about 8GB / hour up to 15.5GB per hour while capturing at 1440p (60 FPS). SLOBS recordings aren't as rich in colors, but they are serviceable. With both SLOBS and Action!, Camtasia behaves quite well, though I think a big part is because of the M.2 drive; they really are spectacular (and becoming more and more affordable as we progress into the year).

I just upgraded from a machine very similar to what you have, but you should get solid performance at 1440p with Action! and/or SLOBS. I'm happy to talk about games and recording anytime, so feel free to reach out!
-Robert
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Ed Covney

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Robert -

Just to set the record straight there are 2 types of M.2 slots - they are very different:

1) M.2 SATA SSDs which run nearly twice as fast as normal SATA and adding a M.2 chip here will zero out 2 of your normal SATA ports. 

2) M.2 NVMe SSDs which run directly on the PCI bus.  It will share bandwidth with anything on the PCI / PCIe ports. Mother board settings and the BIOS will determine if whether they run as an X4 or X8.  

M.2 chips are available for either M.2 SATA   or   M.2 NVMe   slot NOT both.  If you have a SATA M.2 slot be sure to only get SATA M.2 chips and vise-versa.
(Edited)
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Joe Morgan

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I’d sincerely like to understand this.In a nutshell.....

I know Optane drives are fast and have their perks. My computer wasn’t built for gaming. It was built for video editing. Its older and won’t accommodate an Optane drive either.

I can game at 2556 x 1440. My card is limited to recording at 30fps at that resolution. With 1.5GB of RAM. Its definitely not a gaming rig. If I shut down my other monitor, I might be able to bump the numbers? I haven’t tried it, it just hit me in the moment. That being said.

I recorded a 2K..... 3 Hr. 52GB game quite some time ago. It was a ShadowPlay recording as a test at 30fps. Well, 29.90 if you want to split hairs. Crysis 3, a graphics intense game.

I loaded it into Camtasia 2019 at the time. This wasn’t a serious attempt to create a sharable video. I applied various clip speeds. Cut out small sections randomly. Added a few callouts.I can’t imagine what other edits one would normally apply to a gaming video? A few transitions I suppose.

I didn’t check my RAM memory usage, system resources or anything else at the time.

With only 32 GB system RAM. A 52GB video.I could move my playhead from the start of the timeline to nearly the end. Hit play and get instantaneous playback. No blips, no hesitation. Stop playback, move it back to the start.Positioned over a clip with clip speed applied. Hit play, same smooth playback. Jump to the middle, same result.

While 60fps footage places more demand on system resources than 30. It’s been my understanding and experience. The difference is relatively small.

 

So my question is layered. Strictly from a video editing perspective and “this particular scenario”. Let’s not muddy the waters.

If my 6-year-old i-7 4770 “And Camtasia “can perform so well without the new technology.

Shouldn’t newer faster computers “And Camtasia” require it even less?

Could it be CPU’s and motherboards have fundamentally changed? Whereas the newer CPU’s core architecture is centered around the bells and whistles. Like Optane drives. So true performance can only be achieved if you purchase all these items?

I don't pretend to know much about building computers or what makes them tick. Dell built me a pretty good one that's still humming along today. That much I do know. And I can put one through its paces. That's about it.

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Ed Covney

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" . . . I thought you could plug Optane into m.2 slots already . ."

Yes, Optane today comes in at least 4 flavors. The DIMM.2 is fastest by far but I'd rather buy a new truck.  Is your M.2 slot NVMe or SATA? Big difference. There's an Optane for either, (I think), but SATA is ~ twice as fast as you Samsung SATA3 drive, NVMe is 16-17 times as fast. There's also a PCI slot version. They may require an Intel mobo. 

My old (2014) "Z97 Pro ASUS" mobo had one NVMe M.2 slot, I already had an "Intel Series 7" PCIe based and with both, it was night and day. 

My new mother board, "ASUS ROG Maximus XI Extreme" has two mobo mounted M.2 slots as well as a DIMM.2 slot that came with a 2-NVMe chip riser board, so it acts like a 2 TB Optane drive, same 5GB/sec "slot" limitation. 

I suspect in the not too distant future, we'll buy Mother Boards with 4 - DIMM.2 slot for and only 1 - DIMM slot. 

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Joe Morgan

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Without opening the case and doing some detective work, I'd guess SATA.
Which would be an improvement just the same.

Thing is, I'm running a 4 core 8 thread processor.
I don't think its starved for data.


I would think the technology is a must have for those running processor rich CPU's.

I'll even go out on a limb and guess that these 16+ core 32+ thread CPU's that can only render Camtasia videos at 30 or 40% CPU capacity.
May be starved for memory resources? 

I've seen the complaint pop up from time to time.  
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Ed Covney

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From Dell, I'd guess NVMe? But that's a guess.

". . .Thing is, I'm running a 4 . . . processor. . . ".
Today I live in a 8 or 10 or 16 core world. Processor wise, I could've lasted in a 4-core world for a long time. But they came along with these NVMe things I could no longer ignore.

" . .  I don't think its starved for data. . . ." I could tell ya, you just wouldn't believe me, so stay happy with what you have. I'm OK with that if you are. 

#Last: Camtasia is not my bench mark for anything and never will be because Tech Smith is like 15 year old technology taking advantage as best they can of new hardware. They will fail eventually, if they don't re-start from line 1. 

Joe - I am not about owning the newest processor. The only advantage there may be higher overclock speeds and a better preforming math chip, which is nice, but I did what they have now, two or three years ago. It's things like NVMe that get my happy on. 
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Joe Morgan

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Its not that I  wouldn't believe you Ed.
I've yet to hear a compelling reason it would benefit me much.

Heres my take on it. I use a lot of video editing and animation software.

Camtasia is an indication of performance for me. As I use it fairly often.

I also use Premiere Pro,After Effects, Photoshop, Crazy talk animator,Crazy Talk and more.
Lots of timelines, lots of different workflows. Lots of barometers on performance in general.

Heres the thing, for the most part. I can predict when timeline playback is going get dicey in  any given program due to project complexity.
If I l check CPU usage while the stuttering is occuring, its running around 100%. The CPU is clearly maxed out.

How exactly would throwing additional data at it "Faster". Improve things?
(Edited)
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Ed Covney

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"How exactly would throwing additional data at it "Faster". Improve things?"

I know this may sound counter-intuitive, but it shouldn't. No matter which direction data and instructions are flowing, the fastest device never has to wait. And that is L1 and the CPU core to which it is physically attached.

When core #1 and its L1 are done with the instruction block or the data block, core #2 and its L1 continue the job. The instructions can probably be canned but the data block or parts of it must be put away and Core #1 must follow its progress. If it's getting filed to main memory, core #1 will check progress every 200 clock cycles until it's safely stored. If it's being stored on a physical drive, core #1 will continue to check progress each 50,000 clock cycles - on my NVMe drive that's just 1 instance of  50,000 cycles. On your SSD, it may have to check 5 or 6 instances of 50,000 cycles waits!

If Camtasia would notice that I have 48 GB or RAM available when I launch it, it would know  it's dumb as dirt to write anything to any of my drives when it could use memory arrays galore.  I wouldn't need NVMe drives, I wouldn't even need an SSD

Last year about this time, TechSpot did a series in 3 parts on how CPUs are designed and built. Part 1 is here:  (It was original released in Apr '19 and was updated in Jan '20.

https://www.techspot.com/article/1821-how-cpus-are-designed-and-built/


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Joe Morgan

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Well Ed, 
I think you'll really enjoy this.........................


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Ed Covney

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I did, although Linus is the guy who told everyone to avoid RamDisks . Moron plus. I sent him a link to my video on the RamDisk on my 4790K system . .  then he took down his videos but never corrected them. 

Joe, this may be fortuitous in that Liqid, Inc is in Broomfield, CO - 75 miles up the road from me. Anyway, I requested a quote and here's what I got: 
"
Hi Ed,

Thank you for your interest in the LQD4500 "Honey Badger" PCIe Gen4 x 16 SSD. The MSRP of our 7.6TB card is $5925. Please note the card is a FH3/4L single-wide footprint. 
 
We'd like to discuss your specific requirements and ideally what your enterprise wants to accomplish. Please respond to this email and we will reach out to you directly. Please note, we do not sell empty carriers. (my emphasis)

Best Regards,
Liqid
"
Single wide means 2 stacked chips.
I wonder if the quad is 4 times as much?
In the end, I'm committed to Intel, but I do think it may be worth my while to at least get an appointment and visit them. 

Anyway, thanks for thinking of me when you ran across this.
On a sadder note, I own a mobo less than a year old and it's already way, way, out-of-date!!
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paulwilliamengle

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Cheers, Robert R! Your recommedation of Action! has been the smoothest, and I've tried OBS, Bandicam, Radeon (GPU recorder), Camtasia and Action! 

Good Lord, that took a hot second to do. It should have not taken five pieces of software to be able to record a 15-year old game. 
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paulwilliamengle

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, which, to be fair, is apparently a game that doesn’t play nicely with gaming recorders.
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Joe Morgan

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So what are you doing with these recordings?

Do you upload them as Walk Through's  to teach others how to beat a level?
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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Oh KotOR 2, how tragically fantastic you were! I'm really hoping the KotOR 3 rumors are more than just rumors! Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order was a fun if flawed game that I think we all hoped would scratch that SW RPG itch but I think it missed the mark a wee bit.

I reinstalled the KotOR games after seeing the AI-enhanced HD textures mod that also covers the KotOR 2 Restored Content mod (that brings a bunch of cut content back into the game) with the hopes of giving them another playthrough as Sith (I've never actually beaten them as full on Sith/evil) but got a little carried away with Star Citizen. Maybe I'll revisit them in the near future after my current playthrough of Star Wars: Empire at War - Forces of Corruption, Fall of the Republic mod.

Anyhow, I'd be interested in seeing some of your content, assuming you're recording and uploading them somewhere :)
Thanks!
-Robert
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paulwilliamengle

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Joe, right now, more of a video essay sort of thing. 

Robert R., KOTOR II got some badly-needed love from the mod community to restore all the content dropped from the original 04/05 release and it looks -so- good in 1440P. 

Is there a mod to do the same for KOTOR I...cause oooofff, 2003 graphics are not looking good on a 4k monitor downscaled to 1440p. 
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Robert R., Online Community Admin

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There was a "Kotor Ultimate" mod that was upscaling each of the various textures to 2k and 4k but that was back in like 2016 or 2017, I'm not entirely sure it's still being worked on (last I knew there were still assets being worked on like doors and area-specific textures). Believe it or not, I've found that the best looking version of KotOR 1 is the Mobile version (and it doesn't play terribly). I think though, that has to do with the screen being tiny since it looses it's charm on tablets. There was also some sort of character model mod that replaced all NPC / character models in the game with 2048x2048 textures, though that is a fairly sizeable mod; might be weird though, seeing super high quality model textures and the old textures from the core, non-modded game (Ultimate HD Redux was the name I think?).
-Robert