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Screencasting performance problems

3 replies [Last post]
libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04

Looks like there will be no other way to record a video of some games than screencasting, capturing the screen or a window with an external screencasting program. But I'm having problems.

The best screencasting program I've found so far is instabul. It's a nice red "record" button in the tray which you just have to press to record your screen.

However on a normal resolution, 1280x1024 at 24bit colors in GNOME the framerate is just too low and it is too slow to even properly do what you're trying to screncast (let alone wander around in a game trying to record best shots).

I tried setting my xorg.conf to 16bit colors only and changed resolution to 800x600 and this helps although I think it is still below normal performances when recording full size. The best is quarter of size, but that diminishes the quality of the recording quite visibly.

Instabul has the ability to record even 3D desktop, but I find it barely able to record normal desktop with sufficient performance.

And the thing is, on a strong machine which I believe this one is, with a fairly good graphics card which I think this is, screencasting should be reasonably smooth even on the normal large resolution, and I believe I've seen screencasts with as much as 1024x768 resolution and looking good. So I think there must be something coming in the way, some sort of a performance bottleneck either related to my current install (I've had xvidcap working better even on older machines for example) or Ubuntu Feisty or something in between...

Any ideas?


libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Aside from istanbul,

Aside from istanbul, recordMyDesktop also seems quite good, but similarly has a performance problem of some sort. I tried recording the Battle for Wesnoth window (set to 640x480 resolution) and it didn't seem like the set 15 FPS, but more like 5 FPS or so. What's weird though is that it used barely 50% of my CPU power as shown by GNOME System Monitor.

I wonder what's the deal with that? Slow, but not even using the available resources?

Joined: 2007-09-10
I tried recordmydesktop

I tried recordmydesktop too, and xvidcap. And I have the same problems.
It works well to record simple desktop stuff, but for games, I always get a video with not enough frames (using default settings) or one that lags (using the "catch every frame" setting=>causes game to lag=>video lags).

libervisco's picture
Joined: 2006-05-04
Well that's unfortunate.

Well that's unfortunate. With time slipping away and no way to record the second video is off. :S

I have material only for armagetron so far, something someone else recorded, but no Battle for Wesnoth and BZFlag. For Wesnoth there is only a trailer which isn't suitable and BZFlag only has vids on youtube which are too low of quality to reuse (not to mention license is usually unclear).

Of course, things like this are really annoying, when you have to sacrifice something not because a computer is too weak to do it, but because software is so inefficient.

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