Video LP/Group Commentary Help?


#1

Hey there, I was considering doing a casual video LP with a few friends, but I’m hopeless with technical stuff.

What would be the best way to stream gameplay to a few other people? Skype has a screen sharing option, but I understand that usually tends to get laggy.

And on that note, would there be a good way to record audio from a Skype call directly for the commentary track and put that in Audacity? I’d like to do live commentary if possible, but if that’s a lot more complicated I could probably just do it in post.

Sorry, I’m fairly clueless on the video stuff. Any help is appreciated.


#2

Can’t really help you with the first thing, but have you tried CallGraph to see if that still works? I remember folks using that to record skype calls. No idea if it still works though.


#3

It depends on what is your OS, I am gonna assume right now you have Windows.

PLAN 1: "DESKTOP AUDIO OVERKILL"
You stream the game on skype using screenshare
You record the skype call and your gameplay using OBS
Making sure the computer audio of the game is less than the skype call, which should be maxed when it comes to desktop audio, and making sure your voice is heard will be the challenge when it comes to this.
You only need to edit the beginning and end.

PLAN 2: "PREPARE AND BEWARE"
Before your skype call, you already play the game in advance, up to a good save-point.
You send the raw file over to all your friends using skype
Headphones in Place, you split the audio from game out of your recorder (a call record software or desktop recorder like OBS as well)
When completed, you can compile it all together to sync it, dipping game audio if you request and spending about an hour getting it to work out.

PLAN 3: “THE AUDACITY OF HOPE”

Probably the odds-on favorite here, you record the game in advance, or on OBS with your microphone muted from the recording. streaming on skype with your friends.

At the same time, you and all your friends have to record their microphones using Audacity, when the stream or your recording is over, you ask them to send over each and every mp3 or wav file.

While in post, it could take a while, you’ll need to sync the commentary lines with the game itself, but believe me, it’s a good thing. If a joke doesn’t work, you can cut it, you can dip audio from a game if there is an audio overload, and the best kept secret in commentary - redoing a line.

Yes, if you have the hiccups or feel it’s necessary to fix your error saying “Samus” instead of “Sheik”, you can delete that clip, and re-record your line (or ask your friend to re-record their line) and send it over right away.

It’s also helpful if after your first pass-through you notice something that nobody else noticed, or have a better one-liner at a cut-scene. The big risk on this one is if your friend doesn’t record their end, you might end up having to redo a good chunk of the commentary, it’s also very exhausting on post-production, if you are trying to do just a Casual Video LP.


#4

If you’re doing post-commentary, all you need to do is sync the audio.

  1. You send the video file to each participant
  2. Each of you open up Audacity and make sure it’s only picking up your own microphone and no one else
  3. Click start record and open the video but down start playing it
  4. Do a countdown and make sure you all say “mark” or some other keyword together and click “Play” on the video at the same time
  5. After the video is over, everyone saves the audio and exports it to MP3 or whichever format you prefer, then sends it to you
  6. In Audacity, merge the audio tracks, cutting them all off at the “Mark” part so they’re synced up
  7. Drop it in your video editor and balance it out with your previously commentated video file
  8. That’s it

Make sure that people do “Save As…” before they record, as Audacity is finicky and this makes it marginally less finicky. Also ask all participants to hold onto the Audacity project files just in case until the episode is done.

If you’re doing live commentary, you have several options for video sharing.

  1. Use Skype: low video quality + no audio by default
  2. Use Hitbox for a private stream: higher delay than Skype, but better video and you have sound
  3. Use a private stream server: costs money but you can customize video and sound and the delay is absolutely minimal

If you’re going for option 1 and need audio, you have to use Voicemeeter and virtual audio cables to reroute your desktop audio and microphone audio to go through your Skype’s audio input, but without picking up your guests and echoing back to them. This needs a guide on its own.

If you’re going for option 2, you need to make sure the audio broadcast is not picking up your guests. There are a few ways to go about this. You can either set OBS sound capture to be desktop/speakers while your audio chat is set to headphones; or you can use Voicemeeter mentioned in the previous option to isolate them so that you hear both game and guests on headphones, but they only hear the game; or you can use Elgato’s Sound Capture software (which I think you can download without owning a card), which does something similar to Voicemeeter, just a bit less intimidating.

If you’re going for option 3, it’s the same as option 2, you just get less delay.

Here is a very hastily made lunch break chart just to give you a quick overview of the hassle you need to do. Of course, if you don’t care about sharing audio to people, then you don’t have to.

Voicemeeter isn’t as complicated to do with a guide, but if you don’t have a guide, it’s easy to mess up things.


#5

An alternative to syncing video start times for post commentary is to set up and use a Synchtube channel instead. Your guests won’t have to worry about hitting play on time and you can take care of the starting and stopping video playback as needed.


#6

The way I tackled live video & audio with minimized playback delay was with Skype screen sharing for video plus individual Audacity tracks from each commentator so I could do some audio quality mixing after an episode’s recorded. The set up works like this:

  • Install Virtual Audio Cables (http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm), which will create a “Line 1” input and output channel on your system.
  • Install Voicemeeter (http://vb-audio.pagesperso-orange.fr/Voicemeeter/), which will create a “Voicemeeter” output channel on your system.
  • Set “Line 1” to be your default output (“speaker”) channel.
  • Configure your gameplay capture app (I use OBS) to capture “Line 1”.
  • Configure Audacity to capture your microphone.
  • Configure Voicemeeter to use both “Line 1” and your microphone as inputs.
  • Use the Virtual Audio Cables MME repeater application to send “Line 1” to your headphones.
  • Configure Skype to use Voicemeeter instead of your microphone as its input channel, and use your headphones as its output channel.

This will result in OBS only hearing your game audio, Audacity only hearing your microphone, Skype hearing both, and you hearing both Skype and the game audio. You also can use Voicemeeter to boost your mic audio to your co-commentators without affecting the recording volume for anything else, which is nice.

My co-commentators and I share a dropbox directory so they can easily compress & upload the audacity project files from their recording. I sync & clean them up on my end so I can keep the technical work to a minimum for them, to ensure consistent results.


#7

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I’ll talk to my potential co-commentators about getting stuff set up and see what might work best for them.


#8

I am a PRO LP MAKER already because I just found out FRAPS didn’t even take any of the screenshots or videos I thought I took for the To the Moon LP I’m trying to make. So yes, technical issues already. It doesn’t appear to be picking up that To the Moon is a game as I can’t get the FPS Overlay to even display in the game screen to show that FRAPS is running in it. I’ve tried closing FRAPS and reopening it with To the Moon running to see if it picks it up (maybe starting it first was the problem?) No dice. I can’t do this LP without screenshots or video and I have a purchased copy of FRAPS and okay… how do I make it acknowledge To the Moon and start doing its job?

(I’m gonna have to start all over again to get all the screenshots and videos I thought I took…)

Ah… oh dear… ::searches for another screenshot and video capturing program that will work::


Let's Play To the Moon: It's like watching a trainwreck
#9

I’d say give Hypercam2 or even OBS a shot (It might capture upsidedown I dunno if that’s fixed or not.). It’s not as bad as it used to be and I’m sure it’ll have no problem picking up an RPG maker game. @Jenner


#10

I don’t want to do a straight VLP of To the Moon, I think that would be bad. A hybrid VLP/SSLP would probably be best. Which means I’ll need a way to take screenshots. I don’t think OBS or Hypercam does screenshots AFAIK.


#11

Well I mean, you could shoot it all in video then feed the video file to something like virtualdub and grab the screenshots you want and batch export them out as images. (Though to make the process easier I would go with Hypercam since it outputs to .avi)


#12

Looks like that’s what I’m gonna have to do. Alright, here we go. I’m sure I’ll be back. Thanks for the help. (Stupid FRAPS and stupid me.)


#13

Hypercam is recording the video really tiny, even though I’ve set it to record the full screen and am running the game full screen. Also the music is insanely distorted… Sigh, If only FRAPS would record it, I understand FRAPS. Looking stuff up now.

https://youtu.be/Z1lL4bRrgA0 See?


#14

Alright, so the reason your recording is small is due to way RPG maker games fill your screen. From my experiences with them, they don’t scale the actually resolution of the picture to your monitor’s resolution. Instead it stays at its native resolution, which shot in the dark, is like 640x480 based on your video? I would first google to see if there’s a way to scale up the in-game resolution. If not, you might just have to play the game windowed by hitting Alt+enter, but the screen will be tiny; and you can upscale it in virtualdub to 1280x960 using the resize filter and setting the ‘filter mode’ to ‘nearest neighbor’. That way your pixels will still be sharp and crisp. Then finally use the Save as avi button in the file menu to export your new raw footage. Also I recommend you set the compression (ctrl+P) to Lagarith. (And if you don’t already have this codec, I recommend you grab this to save you from exporting a 200 gig file by accident)

If you’re not down with playing in a tiny screen. you could take the video you shot, feed to virtualdub use the resize filter like I mentioned above and hit the cropping button found here:

To crop out the black area.

As for your audio, can you screenshot your Sound tab in Hypercam? (ctrl+alt+Print screen > open paint> paste> save) Maybe the sample size or sample rate are set low. But if that’s not the case you might have to use another recorder.


#15

The sound on my computer just suddenly stopped working… So, this is what LPers mean when they say the moment they start trying to LP their computer just starts exploding. I’ve tried using sound properties and such to put it back one but it’s just gone. I’m gonna restart, try recording video and audio in OBS and if not use one of the other programs listed in the tech support thread… This assumes my sound will come back on. But wow, it’s my first LP and already everything is just coming apart and I haven’t even made an update yet. I’m an expert!


#16

Just one of the many humps you have to overcome to make LPs. Anyways I do own To the Moon, so I can install and play around with it and see if I can better help you


#17

Well, the good news (or bad news) is I managed to capture video with Hypercam, and it turned out fine on my end.

Here’s the settings I currently have Hypercam set to if it helps. (Assuming your audio fixes itself)


#18

Wow! You even captured the window at a decent size! How? What’s your screen area set to? OBS recording is doing some amazing stuff that I’ll probably show off for fun soon.


#19

I just hit Alt+enter to pull out of fullscreen mode, and played and recorded it in 640x480. Then I resized it to 1280x960 using virtualdub’s resize filter.


#20

You just helped make a (possibly) great thing happen. Thank you so much.

Wait I need a bit more help. It displays a red box which is where the recording happens, but I cannot appear to adjust the capture area and when I move the window into the capture area it records the header too…

Holy shit, Hypercam 2 just disappeared off my taskbar and shut itself down but the red capture box remains. I tried restarting it, nothing. This is magical. Hahaha.