making tutorials with Captivate


when doing machinima in Second Life or OpenSim, many people use Fraps – a $37 program designed to capture games (you get free lifetime updates). it’s very lightweight and lets you maintain high frame rates while recording. it can do this because it does not compress the video while filming (your raw files will be HUGE)

however, Fraps is made to record DirectX and WebGL and won’t record your desktop or regular programs

i have heard subQuark talk about Captivate and CamStudio (CamStudio is free, Captivate is not) for doing eLearning and even machinima from Second Life, but my tests with CamStudio resulted in craptacular results (lots of frame dropping and low in-world frame rates)

i had a chance to test Captivate (a trial version) so made the movie below. i think it did okay and at the end is a little footage from in-world which seems fine. i forgot to see what the frame rates were though (Fraps displays frame rates while you film)

i think Captivate does fine for desktop recording and would be handy for tutorials and maybe CamStudio would work as well if setup properly. for doing machinima, Fraps and a Space navigator are the way to go

note: viewing this on YouTube with a bigger player and on HD makes it much more legible

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written by Ener Hax

March 6th, 2012 at 8:27 am

posted in OpenSim

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7 comments to 'making tutorials with Captivate'

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  1. Personally, I like HyperCam. It’s free, I get great framerates with it inworld, and it records anything you want. I always had trouble with fraps.


    6 Mar 12 at 8:58 am

  2. i don’t know HyperCam! cool, i will check it out! thanks ELQ!

    that’s awesome about great frame rates and i see it saves to AVI – so it should be a light footprint as well

    Ener Hax

    6 Mar 12 at 11:35 am

  3. I use Camtasia(

    Its an incredible tool. Yes it costs. But for me I can also use its comprehensive video editing for any movie.

    – Record full screen, any OpenGL/DirectX based program and alt-tab to desktop, and it still captures both
    – Windowed SL client(OpenGL), with half desktop showing
    – Sound in both
    – Catch a webpage with anything embedded. Quiktime, you tube, a 3D java applet, AVI, MPEG etc, including sound.
    -All that while catching the mouse if required, and highligting mouse clicks.

    Yes, it can struggle with full HD capture, but even Fraps struggles, and that is why one is seeing plug in “Capture Boxes” – they “see” your monitor output, and all processing in contained in the capture unit. These are called PVRs( and are made specifically for XBox and PS3 capture in HD, with You Tube Export.

    I realise this is crossing the Line a bit, but with average monitors at 1920×1080, it just becomes too many pixels to push.

    Breen Whitman

    7 Mar 12 at 11:58 am

  4. nice Breen, it so happens that i downloaded a trial version of Camtasia this morning! it costs, but it’s USD $299 versus $799 for Captivate!

    the video seems to compress with better results

    thanks on the note about it capturing even embedded media in HTML pages!

    1920 x 1080 = over 2 million pixels! phew!!!

    Ener Hax

    7 Mar 12 at 1:19 pm

  5. CamStudio is actually pretty good once you learn the right settings for your needs. Or maybe I am just saying that because I’ve been too busy (um, lazy) to try Fraps or others!

    Guess it’s time to check out the competition.


    7 Mar 12 at 6:48 pm

  6. Hi everyone,
    Ever heard about ActivePresenter( I’m sure you will be surprised even with Free Edition.


    13 Mar 12 at 4:14 am

  7. thanks Chipmunk, nice that there is a free version =)

    Ener Hax

    13 Mar 12 at 8:02 am

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