Monday, July 06, 2015

Quick Tip: Bandicam Releases CFR-capable Recording Update (for Importing into Vegas, Premiere, Lightworks, etc) [Notice of Update]


Just a Quick Tip for people having problems editing their recordings in Sony's Vegas, Adobe's Premiere, or Editshare's Lightworks, Canopus' Edius and other similar Non-Linear Editors:
Bandicam has released an Update to their software today, that allows the choice of either VFR (Variable Frame Rate) recording [Shadowplay's Default, for example] or CFR (Constant Frame Rate) recording - which is much more compatible for importing into these video editing applications, when recording with NVENC, AMDAPP or QuickSync codecs.


For a number of years now, people have been having issues with importing videos into Vegas or Premiere (to use these as an example, as two of the more common consumer editors) - mainly because many recording applications/settings use, by Default, VFR recording (Nvidia's Shadowplay, for example). As many people have already found, this can cause a multitude of problems, when trying to import these recordings into some of the video editing programs mentioned above. Problems such as:


and other issues...


While these issues are a combination of the strictness of the video editing applications and the settings that the codec is using in a recording application, these may now all be alleviated, with the latest update to the game recording program, Bandicam.

The Bandicam interface after the recent update, showing the Steps ("I. II. III.") for enabling CFR, which increases import compatibility with video editing applications such as Vegas, Premiere, Lightworks and more (MP4 container, GPU-accelerated H.264/AVC via the AMDAPP codec, 60fps format/settings shown as example). Click to see Full Size


Today, after updating to the latest version of Bandicam, there can be seen the option to choose either VFR (the Default for Shadowplay and many other recording applications, including Bandicam - which is more efficient for compression, but can result in problems when importing into Vegas/Premiere/etc) or CFR (which is less efficient for compression, but can alleviate the problems with importing into Vegas/Premiere/etc).

For those wanting to use NVENC, AMDAPP or QuickSync to record, for example (GPU-accelerated recording capabilities), this will allow increased importing into these editors, without the need to 're-compress' the videos into a more compatible video format (for example, adding the extra step of using Handbrake to convert the videos into CFR, making the videos importable into Vegas/Premiere/Lightworks/etc, as I wrote about here, when talking about Shadowplay). 

(As another example, if you used Plays.TV's client to record with (which can also use buffered and GPU-accelerated recording), you may have noticed audio/video desynchronization occurring, when attempting to import your recordings into video editing programs - as Plays.Tv's Support Area talks about here, it is due to the usage of VFR)



As a quick Test, I captured my Desktop in a short recording (using Bandicam with the new CFR setting), then tried to import that into Vegas, to see if the video and audio were indeed importable without problems, as a trial of this new compatibility setting.....

A short test of the CFR setting in Bandicam (Desktop portion, short recording, imported into Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 13, playing back within Vegas, output converted into GIF with Honeycam).
Click to see Larger Size

It worked great! The recording was not only imported into Vegas without complaint, it was faster (more responsive) in editing/shuttling/scrolling through the video, due to the CFR setting.

[This was with the AMDAPP (AMD GPU-accelerated) codec, in the MP4 container, using the CFR setting. This codec setup within Bandicam utilizes AAC audio as well and I would use it mainly when editing with Sony's Vegas line of video editing products, as it seems to import without issue. If I were to switch to other codecs or the AVI container, they may then not be as easily imported into NLEs such as Vegas, so I would then use something else, such as CyberLink's PowerDirector (for example), which is far less 'fussy' when it comes to codecs and formats, for importing]


VFR (Variable Frame Rate) helps increase possible compression by reducing the number of frames in a group ('groups of frames utilized per second' in the file) - literally reducing the number of frames used in a file - when less is changing/occurring onscreen. CFR (Constant Frame Rate) will increase file size moderately, due to the fact there is no longer the reduction of the number of frames in a group useable as a factor in compressing the video further - when 60fps is set as a FrameRate, it will literally write sixty frames every second into the video file, regardless of how much has changed onscreen. BitRate is still the major factor in how large the video will be, however. Also note, that this setting is independent of the "fps" (Frames Per Second) displayed output.
[TLDR: CFR will create larger files than VFR because it cannot compress the video as much, but not excessively large, as BitRate is still the main factor in video compression/sizes - and both of these do not affect "frames per second" output onscreen]


Hopefully, this new capability will alleviate the problems with importing your game recording experiences into your favourite video editing application. Try it out, have fun with it - and See You In The Game!




 N.B.: 

I discovered when editing recordings with NLEs (Non-Linear Editors) such as Vegas, Lightworks, Premiere, et al. you may need to utilize a GOP (Group Of Pictures) of "1" for editing compatibility... 

Usually, with MPEG-based video data, there are set intervals of "Keyframes". 
Keyframes are 'stand-alone' images, where all the picture data is kept within one frame (it is not dependent on surrounding frames in the file). Video editing applications use these Keyframes to begin/cut edits from. If there is a large GOP (with many frames in-between these Keyframes), the video editing program must 'key off' of these frames, rebuilding the GOP within the program, causing slowdown in edit processing and possibly causing visible corruption ('trails' or 'glitchy' output). 
Setting a Keyframe Interval of "1" makes every frame in the video a Keyframe, eliminating the possibility of this issue. 

I have written a couple of articles on this, here at the blog,
http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2013/06/and-more-how-to-record-with.html
http://gametipsandmore.blogspot.ca/2013/05/game-recording-with-mpeg-4-using.html
and submitted this occurrence to Bandisoft, the development house of Bandicam. I am proud to state that this led to the inclusion of a Keyframe Interval option within Bandicam. 

This setting may still be required for full compatibility with Non-Linear Editors. 

Although a GOP of 1 takes away most of the 'headroom' to work with video compression (the video file sizes will increase as it does not have the inter-frame dependency), if you are having issues with importing your videos into these types of video editing applications, even with this new CFR setting, try configuring the Keyframe Interval to "1" [you can also use PCM ("Uncompressed") audio to increase audio compatibility] and this should assist with issues with importing your recordings into these editors. 

Good luck with it!

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