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 Post subject: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favourite
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 11:23 am 
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There are a number of ways

How to record videos from the live web cameras.


I invite you all to post instructions of the way which you prefer and think could be useful to other members, too.
These different tools can be found in the internet. Some are freeware and some are sold. I guess that most of us are using some freeware programs when we make videos. I guess that there are some tricks in using most of them which are necessary to know to achieve the goal (a nice video) simply and quickly, with least amount of effort.

I'll describe first the ones that i use and know something about. I wish that the users of other tools (for example Realplayer, ScreenCast-O-Matic...) would post a few lines of their favourite tools. One trick which I'm quite ignorant is how to record video from the JWPlayer, i.e. the web-page player which is used to stream the web cameras. I would be very grateful is someone would describe how to record JWPlayer. :2thumbsup:

The program which i have used for making recordings almost exclusively is the VLC player. i have described how to download and start using it in a topic of its own, here:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=739


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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 11:39 am 
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Debut by NCH Software

this program can be found on the web:
http://www.nchsoftware.com/capture/index.html
download the free version in a file of your choice. they'll try to make you get GoogleChrome (or something like that) at the same time, but you can refuse if you wish. then install it.

it can be used for various tasks: recording from a webcam, external devices, your computer screen, or streaming video. i have used it for recording screen events only. first time was when the JWPlayer was introduced in the LK and using VLC wasn't possible for a while. the second time was quite recently for making fake 'close-up' videos of the newly-hatched WTE-chick at the Juras-Erglis nest. i can imagine that people who are making videos from the tawny owl nest might find this program worth their wile trying. by using this the in the night time they could exclude the dark half of the picture from their video.

when you start the program (free version) you will have to click an assurance that you will be using the free version for non-commercial purposes only. click on the 'home-use-only' - bar to start the program.
Image

then the opening screen will look something like this:
Image

i lost the sounds at one point and after some time of :puzzled: i found this note on the Debut-help pages (which aren't btw very helpful).
Quote:
Note:
In order to record audio from another application, Debut must be launched before the other application. e.g., To record audio from a media player application, first launch Debut, then launch the media player application.

in other words: if you plan to make screen records first start the Debut and after it's on then start the VLC or what-ever program you are using for watching the web cam. otherwise there will be no sound on your recordings. to get the sounds you'll have to close the web-cam and that is something we can't do, not for a minute! :laugh:

Note: they claim that you can get a free version, but after every about 10 days the free version stops working. you will then have uninstall the Debut from your computer and then download it from their site and then reinstall it again, if you wish to continue using it. i don't know how many times this is possible. they seem to be very eager to sell it to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 11:42 am 
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to determine what area on the screen you want to record you click the Select-button on the lower right.
Image

what you will get is a dimmed screen with a rectangle with green corners and borders of dashed lines.
this is the exact area on the screen which will be recorded.
you can select the size of the area by dragging one of the corners with the mouse, and you can move the rectangle around the screen with the mouse pointing in side the rectangle.
Image

when you are happy with the selection then confirm it by clicking Select-button (the arrow in the lower part of the picture).

i have selected here a portion of the nest view for recording. the live camera is playing in the VLC-window.
if i now would move the VLC player-window to another position on the screen the Debut screen-recording area will not move anywhere. the result would be then that the centre of the nest would not be in the recorded area anymore. also if some other element on the screen would be moved to the selected area it will be shown in the recording. this includes the mouse pointer, too.

i made a recording as an example of this. here i had started to view another video with VLC and its window overlapped the live camera window. then i clicked Start on the Debut. i also moved the mouse on the live camera area. all activity in the selected rectangle was recorded, also the sounds: you can hear an eagle taking off the nest on the video which was played. (the sound was a bit off-set as it often is in these recording.)


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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 12:37 pm 
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most of the operations of the Debut can be in several places. for example recording options you will find either on the drop-down menu on the top (A) or under the Tools-icon (B).
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of the video-options it's probably useful to select "Load last selection" (1) if you are recording the same thing repeatedly.
Image

of the Audio-options select "speakers". i haven't even tried the others, and i guess that if you select "microphone" all yours sigh's and :banghead: 's will be recorded, too.
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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 12:38 pm 
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for the "Output"-options there is more to select. first select a suitable destinatio folder for the recorded videos and the snapshots you might take. then think of a practical file name for your recordings. i have chosen here the J-E for Juras-Erglis which i'm repeatedly recording and added "year-mm-dd-a" in front of the %autonumber% which was suggested by Debut. Debut will show examples of how your file names will look like. here you can also reset the autonumber back to 1 after you have recorded n-thousand videos.
the letter a before the autonumber is practical endmarker when i later rename the files with more accurate time "hh-min".
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here is one selection which is probably useful to make in the "Record"-options. originally Debut offers abundantly 10 hours for maximum time of recording. i have selected 1 hour instead. that should be enough for my purposes. i also think that it's best to select "Stop" in the end instead of "Create new file" when the maximum is reached.
Image

in the "Snapshots"-options your can select destination folder and tune the name format for your snapshots. i seldom use this because in my case the web-camera's time-stamp is not shown in the pictures. the picture could be renamed later using the time of creation of the picture file.
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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 12:38 pm 
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Operation

in the picture below i have marked the button necessary for recording videos and other functions. start/pause/stop are self-evident. they can also be operated with hot-keys:
function key F5 for start, F6 for pause, F7 or ctrl-F10 for stop and F12 (ctrl-F12) for snapshot. i prefer the buttons because i'm too slow in finding the function keys.

on the horizontal bar you should see the sound level jumping at the same pace as you hear the sound level changing in your ears. the scale on the bar is a deciBel scale. the 'loudest' readings should not go much over 0 on this scale, i.e. the colours should not go much to the red side on the right. on the other hand the highest levels should be near 0 because otherwise the sound will be too hard to hear.

if you see nothing but a black line on the sound level bar, then the sound will be missing from your recording. if you want the sound back you will have close the live camera and the Debut, and then restart the Debut first and then the camera.
Image

the frame rate has considerable influence on the video file size. it can be selected in the "Video options". doubling frame rate will about double the file size and the required file space is therefore doubled. also the uploading time to Y-tube will also increase in the same proportion. i can't remember anymore what the default was. the Juras-Erglis camera gives High-Density stream with about 25 or so frames per second, but i have found that 15 fps (frames per second) is quite enough for my recordings.
Image

these are the basic functions you will need for making recordings with the Debut. remarks and questions are welcome. i'll try to find answers if possible.

have fun! :thumbs:
(and remember not to cover the recorded area with anything inappropriate. :rolleyes: )


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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 12:38 pm 
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examples

there was one example in my first mail about how a recording can go wrong. the most important thing is to make sure that the area which you selected really covers what you want to record. avoiding this is easily achieved by working carefully.

the following examples will illustrate the effect of limiting the recorded area versus full-view in a Y-tube video as the end product. the most striking effect you will see if you start both videos at the same time.
full-view video of the feeding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and a 'close-up':
.
the phantom-square in the upper left corner of the 'close-up' video is a result of me taking snapshots during the recording. VLC shows the picture in the upper left corner of the window. the lower right corner of those snapshots flashes in hte video. thus this was exactly the kind of interference which i have warned about in making Debut recordings: something extra coming into the selected recording area. :D

the Tube squeezes all videos to a standard format which has a definite size on the screen, either embedded here on on the forum pages or slightly bigger the Tube-page. the Juras-Erglis picture size is 1280 wide x 720 high, which makes picture area 921600 square-pixels. the area which i selected for the 'close-up' recording is 416x330 pixels which makes 137280 square-pixels. this means that the full-view bigger picture is shrunk much more in the Tube-process than the smaller area picture, in the ratio of the area sizes which is almost 1:7 (smaller picture is about 15 % of the bigger). thus the smaller picture video will look like a fake-close-up video when viewed in the Tube. the eagle chick will look about 7 times bigger in the close-up than in the full-view. that is a big difference when talking about such a small bird. :thumbs:

Note: the same 'close-up' effect can be achieved also with for example Screen-Cast-OMatic or any other screen recording program by limiting the area being recorded.

other comparisons of the videos. i'll write the numbers of the full-view on the left and for the 'close-up' on the right.
length: . . . . . 3 min 18s . . . . . . 3 min 17 s
file size: . . . . 55 428 kB . . . . . . 523 248 kB
the file size of the 'close-up' picture is about 10 times bigger than the normal full-view video, but the uploading times are still with reasonable limits for the 'close-up' videos. reducing the frame rate further would produce smaller video files, but i believe that it would soon result in visibly poorer picture quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 12:38 pm 
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now i recorded an example from the Owl camera to illustrate how one can exclude unwanted section of the camera picture. in the case of the Owl camera the unwanted part of the picture is the dark outside in the night time. selecting only the inner view of the owl's nest box one can get video like the video on the right-hand side. click both videos running at the same time and the effect of recording area selection will be obvious.
full-view video with VLC-recorder on the left and nest-box view on the right:
.

at the time of recording there was still some light outside the nest box so the outer view is not yet completely black.


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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 16th, 2015, 12:38 pm 
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reserved


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 Post subject: Re: Recording videos from web cams - Please post your favour
PostPosted: April 18th, 2015, 2:44 pm 
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sibo4630 has another solution for making 'close-up' videos.
sibo4630 wrote:
My videos are making by aTube Catcher with the"Screen Record"

Earlier I made it with VLC, but now i found this program, the browser of this program is smaler than the VLC, so I can open 2 browser-windows. ...

later sibo4630 gave more details of his/her method:
sibo4630 wrote:
Hi ame and Liz01,
I'm going to direct stream , which is slightly smaller than the entire page and on the right I open the aTube Catcher program. I set the location, go to Screen-record and than on cutting, frame the video to be recorded and click on Start. That's all.


I have a normal monitor, you can see, it's possible!

greetings from Deutschland
Sibo4630

thank you sibo4630! :wave:

aTube Catcher can be found here:
http://www.atube.me/video/


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