Fraps'ing Your Way to Video Victory

It was brought to my attention by an awesome shaman that maybe I should blog about my process for recording and producing Fraps videos of our raids (or other crap I tend to record). And the little things that go into making a WoW video.

Let me preface the following post by saying that I’m not a videographer, a video producer, a hobbyist of video-making tendencies.. none of that. I just record our boss attempts/kills and sometimes add music.

My computer setup:

OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 7 (Service Pack 2)
CPU TYPE: Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz
VIDEO CARD MODEL: ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series
VIDEO CARD DRIVER: aticfx32.dll
DOWNLOAD SPEED: 1.63 MB/s (13.7 mbps)

(I totally pilfered that from my beta profile on bnet :>)

I generally have 30-45 fps in a major city even during peak times, even given my not-quite-awesome video card. So…Yeah I got no advice on that part. It is what it is.

My WoW Video Settings:

Fraps How-To: A Basic Introduction

Fraps is software that lets you record window content — games, browsers, etc. You can even record your desktop. You can download a trial (but only record limited-length videos), but I recommend buying a license. It will be money well-spent!

Here are screenshots of each of the Fraps settings screens to show how I have mine setup. Your mileage may vary depending on your hard drive space and personal preference for overlays, etc.

The General tab shows my current version and build of Fraps — I have the paid version.  The boxes that are checked are just some personal preference-type things about how Fraps window behaves. This part won’t make or break your vidya producin’.

The stuff on the FPS tab all looks really important, right? NOPE. The only part of this screen I actually use is where to put the overlay when it’s on the screen. Lower right (because it doesn’t cover anything too important).

Okay now.. the Movies tab is where the customization comes into play. I’ve selected a file path for saving movies after they’re recorded (done automatically after using the hotkey to stop recording). To make my life easier and my computer last a bit longer, I’ve selected a folder on my 2TB internal hard drive. Believe me when I say you will need a big hard drive if you are seriously thinking of working with video files. They can be monstrous in size and your computer will cry and kittens will cry, etc etc.

I’ve set up my hotkey to be F9 because, well, it wasn’t being used in-game. If you use default keybindings, you will want to unbind F9 because it’s default binding is to open one of your bags. You don’t want a bag opening at the beginning of every video you make, right? Esc > Keybindings > Open Bag # (look for F9) > Unbind Key. Done.

I also selected the “Record Win7 Sound” because this is what will capture vent/mumble sounds and game sounds. I suggest you don’t select “Record external input” because it will pick up EVERY LITTLE SOUND. I never realized how often I sniffle until I used that setting one night. The video had to be trashed. >___>

The Video Capture Settings is set to 30 fps by default. I picked 60 fps because it seemed the best. Things have been going okay so far…

As for the last of the settings on this panel, I just don’t use them. If you end up using them, let me know how it goes!

This final panel shows some screenshot settings. I don’t use them mostly because I use WoW’s default screenshot key (print screen). But if you’re not playing WoW and want a screenshot, Fraps will let you do that! I think the settings here are pretty self-explanatory, so.. :}

Produce That Vidya!

Now! So you’ve recorded some video of your awesome Blackhorn kill from last week but you don’t know how to get it on to Youtube! What do you do! I can show you how I do it on my Windows 7 PC. If you have a Mac, I’m sure there’s some sweet ass app you have that will do this a thousand times better… :|

First, you need to make sure you have a Youtube account. :|

Second, Open up Windows Live Movie Maker. Make sure it’s the Live version and not the previous Windows Movie Maker version (the previous is not as easy to work with and does not come with upload-to-Youtube-directly capabilities). If you don’t have WLMM, you can get it here for free.

Click to enlarge.

Third, Click the “Click here to browse for videos and photos”, find your raw Fraps video. WLMM will load it up.

Fourth, Make any edits to the video in terms of trimming out that accidentally recorded 10 min raid break >__>

Fifth, Add a witty title and credits pages, as necessary.

Sixth, Click the Youtube link, sign in, fill in all the field YES ALL THE FIELDS JUST TYPE SOME CRAP OKAY. You can always edit this later :>

Note: If you select Private at this screen, you will need to edit the video later to set it to Unlisted if you want to share it but not make it Public. Private means what it sounds like — only you will be able to see it.

Seventh, Click Okay (or save or whatever it says that isn’t Cancel) and your movie will be saved then published!

After the “Publishing” timer is done, you’ll be offered to “Watch Online,” “Open Folder” or “Cancel” (I think, I didn’t really pay attention xD Old habits!). If you click “Watch Online,” you will see this screen:

Click to enlarge.

Once your video is available, you can make minor edits to it or add music.

Other things to know:

– If you want to add music, make sure it’s of a free nature (and I don’t mean no cost; I mean not copyrighted!) You can add music in WLMM (there’s a button for it!) or you can add it after it’s uploaded to Youtube. Note: If you use Youtube, know that it will swap out any sound in the video for the music (that’s why it’s called “AudioSwap”).

– There are some pretty nice transition animations included in WLMM. Take a look for some fancy stuff!

– Be sure to save your movies at the highest resolution as possible for best playback quality.

– You may notice that most of my videos have a black border all around it. This issue is caused by what I call “double-letterboxing”: WLMM puts black bars on the left and right of the video (I think) and when it’s uploaded to Youtube, Youtube adds the top and bottom. I dunno man, it doesn’t really bother me. xD

Good luck in your vidya-ing ventures! Please let me know if you have any questions!

Focus Macro Magic!

So while I was watching Learn2Raid‘s Dragon Soul PTR videos, I noticed that Kinaesthesia’s focus frame was switching to whomever he was healing. And I was intrigued.

Another way to get more usefulness out of the default UI? Lessen dependency on addons for raiding? WHY YES I WILL THANK YOU.

Tonight… tonight I figured out how he may be doing it. I added a couple lines to my mouseover macros (my heals, Earth Shield, Unleash Elements, etc.):


/focus [target=mouseover]

(can also use /focus [@mouseover] if you’re running into the macro character limitation) I tried this and the macro didn’t work. <:\ I’m no macro expert.

I’ve found it to be a great way to keep an eye on the boss for shocking and regenerating mana AND keep an eye on who you’re healing since the default raid frames only show so many buffs/debuffs.

I made a short video showing this neat trick in action. Enjoy!

Q&A: How I Shaman Heal

After posting how I heal on my shaman to our guild forums, my GM and Raid Leader had a few good questions. I wanted to share both his questions and my responses, for funsies. :)
Answering Snack’s questions:
Q: Firstly, I had no idea that SLink totem was also a damage reduction buff – and it lasts the entire duration of the totem itself?
A: It does; keep in mind the short duration of the totem, though, at only 6 seconds. I wish they’d increase it’s duration to at least 12 seconds.

Q: I didn’t know much beyond Mana Tide totem other than it worked like Hymn of Hope – it seemed like something we might want to pair? Or, perhaps, to stagger on top of each other? It seems like something we could probably coordinate very well to work for maximum mana regen, on the longer more drawn out fights (Ragnaros? Possibly Deathwing?) or something else entirely?
A: I think there could be synergy between MTT and HoH. We will have to play around to see (testing in combat would be pretty easy I think?) I’m not sure of the duration of HoH, but it seems MTT is also a short cooldown. It used to be based on my amount of Spirit, but I don’t think it’s this way anymore (Shaman used to stack Spirit to be the “Mana Battery” back in Wrath).

Q: I’m very jelly of your ability to decurse AND dispel. ;~;
A: Isn’t it great? I try to dispel as much as possible, but Cleanse Spirit can drain me if I’m not careful (cost is 14% of base mana)

Q: What sort of things do you do to manage your abilities, since shaman seem to have nine million totems to manage on top of their heals, buffs, shocks, etc?
A: Do you mean in terms of UI? I have been using both the default UI and recently RealUI. I really like RealUI as it shows my Tidal Waves buff.

Q: Is there a particular reason you use Flame Shock over the other ones?
A: I use Flame Shock since it does damage (trying to be helpful for the raid). Frost Shock is more PVP oriented (it slows the target), but I could use that on trash (aren’t most bosses immune to snares/slows?). Earth shock doesn’t do as much damage since I’m resto.

Q: Do you try and use Telluric Currents during lulls in damage to keep a regen flowing in the midst of battle? (ex., Shannox, post Rageface, pre-burn?)
A: I try, but as I mentioned above, it’s often a decision between spending the mana on Lightning Bolt hoping I gain that plus more back OR casting a Healing Wave. My regen is decent enough that I can pretty much cast Healing Wave consistently throughout combat (but it’s not sustainable for a tough fight as HW does not do enough healing to overcome some damage).

Q: Also, I note Ancestral Healing/Ancestral Fortitude and it sounds an awful lot like my Divine Aegis, which seems really cool!
A: Ancestral Fortitude is a great buff — I try to cast a GHW to get it going on the tank.


If you have any questions for me, hit me up in the comments or on Twitter @_Lizzia!


Day 03: My First Day Playing WoW

It’s been quite awhile since I started playing WoW that I don’t remember my first day.  I do have some memories of those first few weeks, however.

My very first ever character was a night elf druid named Mireille.  My husband rolled his warrior, Loocifer (who he still has today!) and we set off to kill some purplish cats.  I couldn’t quite figure out how to fight, so I ended up doing a mishmash of Wrath spam and whacking at the cats with my staff.  For some reason, I remember the movement a female night elf makes when whacking things with big sticks.  I also remember getting super frustrated with her and yelling “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO” and “HOW DO I MOVE.”  I’m one of those people who when playing Mario Brothers, I physically make the controller “jump” to make Luigi (Yes, I always have to play stupid Luigi) jump.  I’ve never been very good at console games, so learning how to move around and use abilities in WoW was a week-long testament of my husband’s patience.

We finally finished the quests in the little cave there in Shadowglen after about 3 days.  We both kept dying to the evil, evil spiders for quite some time before realizing that we could just run away from them (and they’d “reset”).

I eventually rerolled a human rogue whose name has completely slipped my mind.  I leveled her to 20 and lost interest.  Maybe it was the poison quest in Westfall?  It was likely the sparkle-factor of the new Draenei (since we had finally purchased TBC).  Deleting that rogue has cemented my altoholism quite firmly. /sigh

FINALLY! [School of Hard Knocks] is mine!

Look at the dates of [Aw, Isn’t It Cute?] and [Home Alone] up there in the picture. 2 years ago!

I created my druid in 2008 when Wrath of the Lich King came out in November. Although my shaman is my oldest character, my druid will always be my “main.” I’ve transferred her several times, collected the most pets, titles, and achievements. She’s been faction-changed a couple times, too.

And now. She will be Matron Lizziã. :)

*I might change her name to get rid of the funky a.  It bothers me.  A lot.

Rift Cleric: Justicar for duo-leveling

Just a quick note:  The Justicar soul (well, this level 32 build to be exact) is really a lot of fun in a duo-leveling scenario.  I’ve been playing my cleric solely with my husband’s Champion/Paragon/Riftblade (I think his third soul is Riftblade?) and the Justicar’s indirect heals have been great.  Of course, it takes a good 30 seconds to kill something, but we both have increased survivability thanks to Righteous Mandate, Reprieve and Doctrine of Righteousness.

I still have my Druid/Shaman/Purifier role plus my healer role (which I keep going back and forth between Warden and Purifier as the focus of that build). I recently saw that to get a faster mount at 40 I will need 35 platinum, so a 4th role is out for awhile (I would make it another healer role so I could have 1 Warden-based role and 1 Purifier-based role).

I digress… Just wanted to share (and check out WordPress’s “Aside” format for posts!)

Rift Cleric: Shaman/Druid/Purifier; Versatile Melee DPS

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My cleric is now level 30 and I have played 3 souls so far: Healer (Purifier/Warden/Sentinel), Caster DPS (Cabalist/Inquisitor/Purifier) and Melee DPS (Shaman/Druid/Purifier). Of these three roles, I’m really diggin the Warden’s HoT-style healing for rifts, the Purifier’s direct healing for well.. direct healing, and melee DPS with Druid as the main soul focus.  This post will focus on the melee DPS setup with the Druid taking center stage.

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