Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

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tepples
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Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by tepples » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:08 pm

DRW asked Alp:
DRW wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:11 pm
Alright, here's a question: fceux can create videos. Would you be willing to create a 10 seconds video of the gameplay of your "Castlevania" clone? Some actual gameplay where you kill an enemy and the player character gets hit by one.
I just tried recording one of my own projects in a 15-day-old build of FCEUX from AppVeyor in Wine 5.0 from WineHQ's repository in Xubuntu 18.04 LTS. The same misbehavior happened that had happened to me four and a half years ago: only two seconds ended up in the recording.

On each major desktop computer operating system, which NES emulators do a good job of recording videos, either in real time or through conversion of an input movie? It doesn't really matter what file format as long as it's something FFmpeg can read and not a serious quality degradation. Or is OBS the best option? Do I have to worry about skipping or repeating frames, or does it depend on how fast my PC's CPU is? (It's an Intel N3710, not the fastest.)

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Quietust
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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by Quietust » Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:28 pm

tepples wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:08 pm
On each major desktop computer operating system, which NES emulators do a good job of recording videos, either in real time or through conversion of an input movie? It doesn't really matter what file format as long as it's something FFmpeg can read and not a serious quality degradation. Or is OBS the best option? Do I have to worry about skipping or repeating frames, or does it depend on how fast my PC's CPU is? (It's an Intel N3710, not the fastest.)
Nintendulator can record AVIs, whether from live gameplay or from an input movie. As long as you force Frameskip to 0, everything ought to record correctly (since it renders the AVI output separately from the screen and also submits audio even if playback is disabled).

Granted, I've only ever tested it on Windows, so it's possible that something might malfunction under Wine.
Quietust, QMT Productions
P.S. If you don't get this note, let me know and I'll write you another.

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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by tepples » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:42 pm

AVI recording in Nintendulator indeed malfunctions in Wine. After I choose the "Full Frames (Uncompressed)" codec and unpause emulation, I first get this error:

Code: Select all

AVIERR_UNSUPPORTED: compression is not supported for this type of data

[ OK ]
Then this repeats over and over:

Code: Select all

AVIERR_ERROR

[ OK ]
Clicking OK makes the AVIERR_ERROR reappear. Every two clicks on OK cause the emulation to advance by one frame. I have to terminate Nintendulator from Task Manager.

Choosing "Wine MS-RLE video codec" or "Wine Video 1 video codec" instead results in a single alert:

Code: Select all

AVIERR_COMPRESSOR

[ OK ]
Recording does not begin, and I can close Nintendulator normally.

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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by tepples » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:04 pm

So far, the best choice for recording appears to be Mesen. The Stopwatch test in 240p Test Suite confirms that it outputs the full frame rate (60.0988 Hz) with the lossless CamStudio codec, from which I can use my upscaling and frame blending filter recipes in FFmpeg.

One thing to watch out for is that Mesen's video export uses the current video scaling and filter settings. So for the smallest high-quality intermediate file, set it down to 1x and apply upscaling and frame blending in post.

calima
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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by calima » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:33 pm

I use mednafen for that. It records lossless (but large) videos using the -qtrecord switch, supported in every emulator inside it.

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rainwarrior
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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by rainwarrior » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:41 am

Retroarch is good at recording video on anything it has a core emulator for. It's not usually my first choice, but there's many times where the emulator I like for a platform doesn't record but Retroarch has a core for it.

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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by zeroone » Fri May 01, 2020 10:56 am

Nintaco should be able to record video on any platform. However, most people use external programs like OBS for that purpose these days.

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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by tepples » Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm

Last time I tried OBS, I got sidetracked by Twitch's requirement for a phone number and installation of the proprietary Authy application that at the time was not compatible with X11/Linux.

Anyway, how does OBS tell when an emulator has presented each frame?

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Quietust
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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by Quietust » Fri May 01, 2020 6:15 pm

tepples wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:42 pm
AVI recording in Nintendulator indeed malfunctions in Wine. After I choose the "Full Frames (Uncompressed)" codec and unpause emulation, I first get this error:

Code: Select all

AVIERR_UNSUPPORTED: compression is not supported for this type of data

[ OK ]
Then this repeats over and over:

Code: Select all

AVIERR_ERROR

[ OK ]
...
I did a bit of experimenting and research, and it turns out that it was failing to write the second frame worth of audio to the file due to a bug in Wine. For now, I've added a workaround so that it functions on both Windows and Wine.
Quietust, QMT Productions
P.S. If you don't get this note, let me know and I'll write you another.

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rainwarrior
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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by rainwarrior » Sat May 02, 2020 10:53 am

tepples wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Last time I tried OBS, I got sidetracked by Twitch's requirement for a phone number and installation of the proprietary Authy application that at the time was not compatible with X11/Linux.
Does that matter?
tepples wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 4:58 pm
Anyway, how does OBS tell when an emulator has presented each frame?
I've not seen tearing, so it must know something about synchronization, but I think for the purposes of your question the answer it that is doesn't, really. It records at the rate you specify. It's not designed to capture anything 1:1, it's designed for translating it into a stream. If you record at 60fps, you can get close to 1:1 but it will skip or double a frame here and there most likely.

vnsbr
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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by vnsbr » Tue May 26, 2020 3:32 am

Im running in the same problem, ill try some of the solutions said here, wonder if @tepples found anything really good.

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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by tepples » Tue May 26, 2020 8:22 pm

Mesen is the front-runner for NES emulator video recording on Linux as of right now. I don't know what to recommend for Mac though.

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Re: Emulators that can record video, esp. on non-Windows

Post by vnsbr » Tue May 26, 2020 8:25 pm

thanks will take a look :D

edit: now that i remember last time i tried my record on mesen came out laggy, even though the game doesnt lag... maybe its the codec I used at the time.

Ill try again

edit2: confirm it works flawlessy :D i think i was running the windows version via wine on ubuntu, using it "natively" has no video recording problems

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