Teach me how these YouTube videos are made

I want to make flight simulator videos the way this guy does:

How does he record the footage of the game he's playing? How does he record his voice talking?

He probably uses a recording software like Fraps then edits and records voice over.

As stated above, Fraps is a good starter application for people creating videos. It can capture 60+ frames per second, automatically embeds audio from your microphone, and works for 95% of the games out there. The downside is the huge size of the files (a video at 1080p and 30 minutes long can be 300 GB). So that requires some post-processing to get down to a reasonable size and YouTube-compatible format, like Windows Movie Maker (yuk) or Handbrake.

I like using XSplitbecause it can create MP4 files (as opposed to Fraps’ AVI). Assuming I don’t need to edit the video, I can just record and upload. The downside is that this is a subscription program, so you have to judge whether or not it’s worth the cost. I’ve also come across some games that XSplit just refuses to record.

I’ve dabbled with free capture programs like OBS, but I find the interface off-putting and a little messy. It’s open-source and free, but I still haven’t figured out how to capture video at 60 FPS from it - I know the option’s there, but the documentation is lacking.

That’s just the recording software. The next step is the microphone, which is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Basically, just starting out, stick to a decent gaming headset. Later, if you decide to put more time into putting out videos, you can get into some serious microphone research.

Thanks! Good info.

Does XSplit make smaller files than Fraps? i.e., 20 GB rather than 300 GB?

To just get up to a video of that level isn’t that difficult, in that it’s not very technically advanced (mostly really bad sound balancing).

For just that sort of video, I’d pick up some sort of screen recording software and go. As far as that software goes:

If your production cycle is just going to be record->upload, then you can just grab OBS or XSplit and record at a bitrate like 5000 and upload. The compression will likely be at roughly the same level as a post-render video. In addition, if you have an Nvidia graphics card you can use Shadowplay for less of a performance hit. If you have Windows 10, it also has a built-in recorder, but I haven’t tried it.

The other option is to record in a lossless format, and then you can edit later. This may be undesirable if you have limited hard drive space or a slow PC. I do not recommend FRAPS for this, FRAPS has a really bad compression scheme and ends up with huge files.

Personally, I use DXtory with the MagicYUV codec (if you go this route, I can give better instructions). Right now I have a 50 minute 1080p 60fps lossless video sitting around that’s only 300GB. With FRAPS you’d likely double (or worse) that size. The caveat is that ideally you really should record on a hard drive that neither your OS or the game you’re recording is on, unless one of those is a solid state drive. I struggle consistently hitting 60FPS at 1080p unless I record to my SSD, but 30FPS shouldn’t generally be a huge problem. I’ve also heard good things about Bandicam, but I don’t know anything about it. If you have a better monitor, you can probably still forget about recording at anything over 1080p, it’s just not generally feasible unless you have both a beefy CPU and GPU (recording is generally CPU bound because most programs use the CPU to do their compression while recording).

The issue with this route is editing and rendering. Free editing software is not plentiful or nice. You’re basically stuck with VirtualDub which I never figured out, or AVISynth which is basically a video-oriented programming language I’ve only used lightly. Your paid options are Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere (unless you plan on editing on a mac). You can get Adobe Premiere CC with the rest of the Creative Suite now for a monthy subscription with 1 year contract. I got it on a big discount and pay $20/month, but I think the normal rate is higher.

For audio, if you’re going the “no editing” route, just tick the box on your recording software that records your microphone. You’ll probably have to do a few test recordings to make sure your audio balance isn’t bad, though.

If you’re going the “with editing” route. I heavily recommend using something like Audacity to record to a separate audio track (assuming you’re talking over the game and not commenting on it after-the-fact), and then you have complete control over audio balance, denoising, etc.

For microphones, I use a Blue Yeti. You can do a lot better, and I have some complaints about the Yeti’s sensitivity, but it’s good for the cost.

Rendering is its own beast, with the editing route. I recommend using MeGui so you don’t have to render a huge intermediate file, but again, I can give better instructions depending on which route you go.

Thanks - great info! My computer can store maybe only 200 GB though.

I was actually a bit off, it was about 220 for 50 minutes of raw video, which isn’t small, but if you stick to about 30 minutes you should have space.

Strictly, there’s no reason you can’t record in a lossy format like what OBS puts out and then edit and render, it’s just that it’s kind of like making a photocopy of a photocopy (and then Youtube will make yet another photocopy, Youtube compression is infamously terrible in some cases).

Still, with your space constraints it’s probably best to just record straight into the format you’re going to upload with XSplit or OBS.