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Johnny_Vegas's Video Battle Report Guide

Dec 2007

I was curious about the concept of video battle reporting, after seeing Psy Reaver's awesome report and then proceeding to watch quite a few video commentaries by KlazartSC from YouTube.

So I decided to figure out if it was possible to find a cheap or free way to do video battle reports. This is my first attempt, and I think its decent, costing a grand total of $37 (assuming you don't already own FRAPS). Note, that I have Windows Vista, but I think all of the software I downloaded will work the same on XP or Windows 2000.

Software Needed

  • Download VirtualDub for video compression(free)
  • Download Audacity for sound recording (free)
  • Download & Buy FRAPS (for video recording in game) for $37. If you come up with a good free alternative for this, let me know, but FRAPS is very easy to use and fairly cheap. For me, it was the only thing that "just worked".
  • If you don't have an MPEG-4 codec (some software you may have installed includes it), then you might try this, but there are many options for this.
  • (UPDATE - Dec 12, 2007) Also in place of FRAPS, I've been meaning to try out GunCam its got a 14 day trial, and is only $19 to register.

Recording the Video in FRAPS

  • Movies Tab - Video Capture Hotkey set to F12 (to not interfere with SC) set FPS to 10 (to reduce file size, while keeping acceptable quality).
  • Choose - Half-size which makes the video 50% of normal Starcraft resolution, but reduces file size.
  • Check "Record Sound" if you want to record Starcraft sounds.
  • Start Broodwar, and hit F12 when you are ready to record. You have now recorded the movie as an AVI file, default directory is C:\Fraps but that's changeable on the General tab.

Recording your commentary

  • Fire up Audacity (the sound recorder). I set mine up with a Project Rate of 32000khz (see setting in bottom left).
  • Hit the record button when you are ready to commentate the video.
  • Play back the video using windows media player, with the sound down low.
  • Click the stop button when you are finished commentating.
  • Save the file as a .wav file (VirtualDub requires it I think, but Psy told me that it accepts .wma just fine)

At this point you should have an AVI file for video, and a WAV file for your commentary. To combine them you could have just recorded the video and recorded the WAV at the same time (by running both FRAPS and Audacity). This is tricky though, and if you mess up your commentating you are screwed, and have to start the video recording over. I suggest the "two pass" approach, where you record video, then watch the video and record the commentary. To combine them you must use VirtualDub.

Combining Video and Audio into a compressed AVI

  • Open VirtualDub
  • Choose the following:
    File->Open Video File (select your AVI file)
  • Video->Color Depth (24 bit for both seems to work well)
  • Video->Compression
    choose: MPEG-4 Low-Motion (or just MPEG-4)
  • Video->Full Processing Mode
  • Audio->Compression
    choose: 32 kbps, 32khz mono for DivX. I discovered the 32khz had to match the 32000hz I choose in Audacity. Test this out, and ensure your voice doesnt sound too fast or too slow. I got it right on the 6th try I think, so please don't record 1 hr of audio without testing it sounds right.
  • Audio->WAV Audio
    choose: your .WAV file
  • Audio->Full Processing Mode
  • File->Save Processing Settings (so you don't have to choose all these settings again)

    File->Save as AVI

That's it. Create an account on YouTube, upload your video. You'll see they even give you some HTML which will allow you to embed your video into a web page (battle report). Of course, to create the actual report you need to go to the submit report page and fill in the form there.

Now enjoy the fame and glory that your fans throw at you. =p

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