I tweet. A lot. Some would say too much. I might agree. But what do I tweet? Generally, I live tweet along with sporting events, shows, or livestreams that I'm watching. Regular followers will know how easily I can slip from an Off-Topic stream to FP1 in the US GP.
That live tweeting is quite often screen captures, gifs or video of what I'm watching. That's the what whose how is to follow.
So lets get started.
I have 2 monitors. One for watching, one for everything else. Generally my right monitor is what I watch the content on, and the left is where I huddle my browser, video editor, photo editor and file browser.
I capture using Fraps. Anyone who's ever dabbled in capturing video or gameplay without wanting to buy capture hardware will have come across fraps at least a dozen times. In recent times, it's had a resurgence in usage as a primary capture software for VR gameplay, with it's basic screen record supporting higher frame rates than many hardware recorders. There is a problem with fraps, though. Fraps captures in an uncompressed AVI format. That means big file sizes. If you don't have a lot of available hard drive space, you're going to run into problems real fast. Luckily I have 2 hard drives; 1 250GB for all my OS and standard usage needs, and a 1TB drive for storage. Once I've cleared past captures, I have about 600GB of free space to capture to on that drive.
Fraps almost killed a hard drive, so I moved to using Mirillis Action. Captures in AVI, but with a compressed codec, and does the same single button press image capture as fraps. It's a much more robust software, and much more customisable.
There are things you can do to make the most efficient use of your space though. My primary monitor has a 1366x768 resolution. But, to cheat on space, I force my OS to push a 1920x1080 resolution, and capture at half resolution in fraps. So this gives me a 960x540 capture of a 1080p stream, which thanks to fraps capturing in uncompressed AVi has very little quality loss for being half of the original resolution. For ease of use, and for more efficient turnaround while the streams are live, I separate capture files either manually by stopping and restarting capture, or every 4GB if I don't need to make anything from it. For live content I edit in Sony Vegas Pro 13; it's my most familiar editor, and has the most efficient interface and render processing for fast turn around. All of the other video projects that I do I edit in Adobe Premiere.
Having a compressed AVI codec means I don't need to worry as much about storage. Capturing at 720p retains the quality of the video, and matches the output resolution I use.
What Action also does is single image capturing( (screenshots, screen caps, etc). By mashing a keyboard shortcut (F10 in my case), Action takes a still of whatever its active capture frame is. Hence how I "get" those perfect screenshots; it's mostly luck. But if I know I've missed it, I'll grab whatever video chunk has whatever sequence the screenshot was supposed to be from, find the best frame, and render that frame, +-3 frames either side, usually to a jpeg sequence.
One of the most important aspects of all this is correctly storing everything. To make sure I don't over bus my hard drives, I separate image capture and screen capture. Images go to the 250GB drive, recordings to the 1TB. They both go into a big system of subfolders of shows, months and days, so I can be accurate in what I'm posting. Rendered video and gifs also go into the 250 drive.
Yeah, that plan didn't really work, and I'm close to burning every bus channel to what used to be my primary capture drive. Various chunk and sector fixes later, and it still hangs and dismounts itself. I've 2 USB3.0 external drives which work fine, especially with the reduced storage needs.
Now that I've mentioned gifs, I should probably explain how those get made. It's quite a simple process actually. I watch the stream, when something funny, unexpected or just interesting happens, I grab whatever capture chunk it's in, cut it down to whatever the punch line is, render out that video, and use a quick and dirty program that converts a video into a gif sequence, adjusting resolution, input frame rate, colour matching and output frame rate. Though Twitter has an upload limit of 15mb, making gifs smaller than that keeps the turnaround time low.
Video clips are done the same as above, just without the making it a gif part. The usual video editing tricks apply too; cropping in to get a face reaction, tracking an object of interest, all the fun stuff.
And that's basically it. That's how I do what I do. It's my give-back to Rooster Teeth; both the staff and community. Every time I hear "I can't wait to see the screenshots of that", or "Well that's gonna be a gif", I take it as a personal challenge to get that online as fast as humanly possible. Having spent long enough refining the tools and set up, I'm pretty quick at it.
If you've any questions about anything I've rambled about up there, leave a comment down below, ask me a question on here, or tweet me at @peterhayesf1.