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View Full Version : Fraps works with Alice 3.0 beta, at least on an XP machine


DrJim
06-18-2009, 08:03 PM
One of the things still missing in Alice 3.0 beta is any video capture. (Frankly, I never cared much for the 2.2 implementation.)

Noting that the graphics are now jogl (i.e., OpenGL) based, I decided to try it with Fraps, which is one of the easiest screen capture programs to use (and is primarily used with games). It is much easier to use than BSR or Camtasia - not that those are particularly hard. Unfortunately, I never could get it to work with 2.0.

Sure enough, with 3.0 it worked! :) It can be downloaded from the site shown in the watermark on the attached video. The version with the watermark is free - haven't checked the price on the regular version recently but it was quite cheap.

DrJim
06-18-2009, 08:19 PM
As usual, I read the instructions after I ran the program. :mad: Turns out that the raw format from Fraps requires a special codec (supplied with the program).

Attached is the same movie run through Movie Maker to generate a .wmv file, which should be more generally readable.

arevira
06-18-2009, 10:56 PM
Jim why not use camstudio?

I like camstudio. But for making step-by-step video tutorials I like Wink (http://www.debugmode.com/wink/) You can do time-captures and input-driven captures (just keys, just mouse, or both). After capturing, you can edit the video with the same tool: you can add titles, call-outs, and even navigation controls (next, prev or jump to a specified frame). It can export to HTML (making a little Macromedia Flash animation, with loader, if you want to), PDF, etc.

Very slick.

DrJim
06-19-2009, 06:48 AM
Jim why not use camstudio?

I don't have a particular preference for Fraps - actually I usually use BSR.

But there are a few nice things about Fraps. First, it sits in the background, so you can just hit a hot key to start and stop recording. Second, it automatically records just the playback screen - you don't have to do any capture area setup. (Of course that means you can't capture the cursor, so it's useless for tutorial videos - but I don't do those anyway.) Finally, you can control the frame rate for capture.

It seems to do a faster job of screen capture than BSR, though I haven't done a direct comparison. I think that's a function of the special CODEC and the fact that it doesn't do much compression.

It certainly doesn't have any editing capability - but I have other tools I like for that. But that's pretty much a personal preference.

The main reason I did the posting is because Fraps wouldn't work with Alice 2.0 and there were a few postings expressing disappointment at that. The fact that Alice 3 has switched to a mainline graphics software approach (OpenGL) is for me a real plus. But basically Fraps is very simple and easy to use - something many people like.

dubastot
06-20-2009, 07:08 PM
So autoteck what's your secret?

DrJim
06-21-2009, 12:39 PM
Certainly a nice video but I'm not sure what it has to do with DirectX. :confused:

Since both Alice and Java are multiplatoform, they pretty much have to stick with Open GL (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_OpenGL_and_Direct3D). Hence there is a jogl but not, as far as I know, a jDirectX. There is also the problem of DirectX 10 not being backwards compatible with earlier versions (which lead to the demise of several good software packages that weren't econimical to update for Vista). On the other hand, I believe both XP and Vista have no trouble with OpenGL, though there are apparently some conversions to DirectX involved in the process.

DrJim
06-22-2009, 08:53 AM
Well I'm not sure about your Fraps stuff either

Conceptually, here is what I think is happening (of course the devil is in the details):

Alice 2 used some fairly old rendering software, I suspect from early visual reality work. As such, it was fully capabile of stand-alone software rendering (Slow and Steady Alice). At some stage, it was upgraded to handle then-modern (2004) graphic cards, but the overall graphics chain was never really modernized - opacity, for example, has always been a problem (Mac's, 2.2, etc.).

Most "screen capture" programs do just that - digitize and compress the actual video output from the graphics card - so you can capture full screen displays, complete with cursor, etc. Fraps apparently somehow captures an intermediate video output (don't ask me how) to get (or at least they claim) faster capture speeds. In 2.0, it doesn't look like Fraps could access the signal(s) needed for its input.

By going to jogl, Alice is now using a mainstream rendering chain (even if the "jogl" goes through some DirectX steps on XP and Vista machines). Hence Fraps can find the signals(s) it needs.

Please note this is largely speculation :rolleyes: based hints in various documentation. But it is at least an adequate and self consistent set of assumptions.