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How to record emulator footage properly (2016 tutorial)

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I'm just going to explain two methods for recording footage in a good quality with minimal file size.

Method 1: OBS



Here I use bsnes but another emulator with filters could do.

A) resolution of 512x448. For bsnes, these settings as well:

A-2) For bsnes, the Pixellate2x filter is nice and HQ2x also. This last one is available in zsnes and snes9x as well.

B) Open OBS and add a Window and Monitor capture (right-click source window)

C) Make sure your window capture has the following. The goal is to get the size (here 588x488)

D) Put your monitor size in "Video settings" as the bsnes window size and apply the following as well. Max bitrate in encoding can be 2000 kb/s. ~3000kb/s and above gives you the HQ setting in Youtube though. This example of 9000 kb/s is a bit too much. The only important thing in "Broadcast settings" is the file path ending with .mp4. "Audio settings" are unchanged, just make sure you got sound in the video.

E) Check "Monitor capture" in source and place your monitor in top / left corner.

F) Right click on "Monitor Capture". In properties, check "Sub-region" and add a Position of 50x50 to 100x100. The monitor size is not relevant here as you defined the size to the emulator window size.

G) It should now look like similar to this:

Expand your bsnes window borders a bit to have some room to fit the emulator centered in the middle of the monitor by dragging the emulator. The example here is for someone having 1 screen. Click preview to make sure everything is ok and record your video!


Method 2: snes9x


Lagarith codec (installer)
MediaCoder (Full Edition)

A) Record:

1- File > Start AVI Recording.
2- Change "full frames (uncompressed)" to Lagarith Lossless Codec.
3- Play the game
4- When you're finished, just go to File > Stop AVI Recording

B) Virtual dub:

1- open your AVI in VirtualDub
2- Go to Filters > Add Filter > Resize
3- Under "Size Options", "New Size" Check the "Absolute (pixels) box.
4- Change the width from 256 to 512. (1024 for bigger video)
5- The height should automatically scale up for you in proportion to the current aspect ratio.
6- Also under "Size Options", Look for "Filter mode" and change it to "Nearest neighbor"
7- Click OK
8- In the "Filters" box, Click OK
9- Go to "video" > "Compression..."
10- Select "Lagarith Lossless Codec" and click OK
11- When you're ready to save. Go to "File" > "Save as AVI..."

C) MediaCoder

Note that you might want to changes settings in step 3 depending of your needs. I used more or less default to good quality ones.

1- Open your file in MediaCoder
2- Click Wizard (a web page will open).

3A- Check Revert all settings to defaults, Next.
3B- Video files, Next.
3C- CPU only, Next.
3D- No, just keep the input resolution. Next.
3E- I want to keep the original picture proportion. Next.
3F-  No, just keep the original frame rate. Next.
3G- H.264 / AVC
3H- Two-Pass - the content is first analyzed and then encoded to distribute bitrate more efficiently. Bitrate: 1Mbps. Next.
3I- High Profile, bitstream level: 4, encoding preset: slow - high quality. Next.
3J- MP4. Next.
3K- AAC. Next.
3L- All the rest of audio setting are unchanged.
3M- Click "start MediaEncoder" and ignore next window.

4- Close and restart MediaEncoder app.

You should have similar following settings. Note that you don't need to do step 3 for every video, once is good.

5- Click Start. Voilà!


I personally think the second method while being longer is better but the first one allow some filters like hq2. The filesize is bigger with OBS (at 2000kbps). Forthe SNES method, my file size after media encode dropped from 190MB to 3MB.

For an ok zsnes recording package with all codecs:
zsnes video creation tutorial:

That's all!

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