How to Increase the Capture Performance?

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Camtasia: good stuff so far--only s.c. software I found that worked properly! I needed full fps (30+) HD and camtasia delivered near smooth files.

Could be improved--I'd like to see a 60fps+ option, just to make up for all those random dropped/lagged frames. Even if it had some sort of buffer involved or something. I'm running a system that can easily handle it & Camtasia isn't using much of the system's resources.

Anyway, thx!
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Posted 8 years ago

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Randy Schott

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Oh, I completely misunderstood the problem.

So, you're having issues with the recorder dropping frames while capturing. And of course, there's not much you can do about that in the editing/production stage.

However, recording performance is also something we are very concerned about and will be attempting to improve in the future. I don't have any details about it, but your voice has been heard. :-)

Here are some tips I can offer for performance. They aren't valid excuses for our recorder being slow, but they might serve as decent workarounds until we address the issue:

1. If you aren't too concerned about the appearance of the windows in the recording, you could try disabling the Aero color scheme. I know that interferes with our ability to quickly capture frames. It will give your windows a more plain look (like a polished Windows XP), but it may help with recording. You could also mess with the performance settings in Control Panel->Performance Information and Tools->Adjust Visual Effects. Toggling the "Adjust for Performance" option will disable Aero and other visual effects that might slow down the visual rendering pipeline that we are trying to record. The faster Windows can generate a desktop image, the quicker we can get access to it.

2. Kill all programs you don't need open. Your machine can run slowly even if the resource meter isn't pegged. Without going into the intricacies of the operating system, having a lot of programs running can cause a lot of "Context Switching", which is the extra overhead needed for Windows to switch the program that is being run on the processor. This can make the difference between capturing at 30fps and capturing at 25fps. Be careful if you're going to use Task Manager to kill them. As always, only kill programs if you know what they are ;-).

3. Don't record full screen. Full screen recording does give you the flexibility to pick what parts of the screen to focus on while editing. But, encoding a full screen frame takes a lot of resources. If you don't need to be full screen, then try capturing only part of the screen using region recording.

4. Lower your screen resolution. If you do need to record full screen, but your application doesn't need 1920x1080(which is 1080p) pixels to look good, consider dropping down to something smaller. 1600x1200 is a common resolution these days, but even that can be taxing for real-time encoding. You mentioned you were doing HD video. If it's going to somewhere like YouTube, 720p is usually sufficient. If that's your target, you only need screen dimensions of 1280x720. That's *half* as many pixels as 1080p. Big difference.

5. Record your audio separately. There are two benefits. For one, you don't have to think about speaking while you're performing the actions you are recording. Second, you can narrate the actions later in the editor, which allows you to pay more attention to what you are saying. If you are going to do this, make sure audio recording is completely disabled in the recorder by unchecking all the sources. Even writing out silent audio to a file will consume processing resources that our recording loop could use for processing video.

6. If you want to get really extreme, you could even try disabling all network adapters(both wired and wireless) while recording (if you aren't recording something that requires an internet connection). Handling network packets causes the same problem I mentioned in #2. The system will preempt every running program to handle the incoming packets. I doubt this would really make much of a difference, but you never know?

Others might have some better tips for performance. Hopefully these can help. And thanks for the great feedback!