Guide to making a video of Virtual Skipper for YouTube
The basic idea is to use a programme called FRAPS to record your screen view while you are playing an arranged series of clips using VSK5’s Replay Editor. Then to use Windows Movie Maker to format the FRAPS recordings so that they are suitable to upload to the internet. Keep the movie short; 1 or 2 minutes only for your 1st effort. Video files are large and uploading & formatting takes a while. The intention of this guide is to give enough information to get you started - you'll find many more menu selections are available at every step which you can try out once you have got the idea.
Download FRAPS from http://www.fraps.com/ The free version is limited to clips of 30 seconds and has a FRAPS watermark. The unlimited & unwatermarked version costs $37 at the moment.
- Launch the programme.
- Setup the location of the saved movie clips and which hotkey will start recording.
- Select 'Hide mouse cursor’ in the Movie options.
Be careful to only minimise the FRAPS setup window. Closing it exits the programme
- 'Edit' a Replay in VSK5 via the Editors<>Replays menu
- Click on the Add Track Icon and then ‘Camera’ and then ‘Camera Custom. There are other camera options and they are worth trying out once you are used to the technique.
A new Block will have been added to the tracks, called Camera. The block will by default last only 3 seconds and will be almost invisible at the start of the race and you need to extend it to cover the whole race, either by changing the time shown as ‘Block End’, or by dragging the yellow bar to the right in the Camera Track. The area of the block will be red.
MAKING THE FIRST CLIP – SETTING CAMERA POSITION
- Drag the red square at the foot of the red time indicator until the race time is just before the action you want to include in your video. The Target is by default set to the race host and the camera will follow that boat as it moves around the course, as you drag the time indicator. You can change the Target by clicking on the arrows and you can show the boat names by clicking on the Boat Name icon.
- Use the keyboard arrow keys and the Page Up & down keys and the mouse scroll wheel to place the camera for your 1st movie clip.
- Once the camera is where you want it, click the icon to Insert a Key and a yellow square will apprear in the camera track.
Camera position start of 1st clip
- Click the Play icon & watch the action. By default, the Anchor is set to ‘None’ so the camera remains stationary and follows your chosen boat. If you want it to follow the boat at the same distance, then change the Anchor to the same boat as you are targeting. Or you can view your target from another boat if you want, as I have done here. Try out the different views by clicking on the yellow key square before you change the target or anchor boats. Make the AnchorVis & AnchorRot lights unlit (dark) at the moment for this 1st video.
Camera position end of 1st clip
- Let the action for your clip play out till you have passed the point you need and then click stop. Now decide if you would like to change the camera position gradually throughout the clip to a different position. If so, use the keyboard & mouse controls to do this (eg zoom in and/or alter angle).
- Once you are happy with the end position, insert another key and click on the Save icon to bring up the save menu.
Note that you can left click & drag the keys closer together or further apart. You can zoom in on that part of the track by right-clicking & dragging on the red block line.
MAKING THE FIRST CLIP – RECORDING
- Click on 1st key to bring time indicator to that point.
- Click Play icon.
- Press Tab key to hide the controls panels.
- Press your FRAPS movie activation key.
- Let clip play and thereafter re-click the FRAPS key to stop recording.
- Press Tab key to bring back the controls & click on Stop icon.
MAKING THE SECOND CLIP
Now use the red time indicator to move to another piece of action to make your second clip and repeat the steps you have just used for the first to control the camera positions and make the recording. Don’t forget to save again. Close VSK5 now.
Camera postion start of 2nd clip
Camera postion end of 2nd clip
You have now made 2 movie clips and they can be played in Windows Media Player if you want to admire them. However if you want to put them together as a movie and upload them to a site like YouTube, you will need movie making software. I have used Windows Movie Maker which will already be on your PC from your Windows installation and is accessed from All Programs.
WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER
- Launch programme
- Expand the Capture Video menu using the chevron arrows and select ‘Import Video’. Browse and select your 1st clip.
- Once it is imported onto the workspace, drag it to the video track.
- Now import your second clip and drag it to the video track, to the right of the 1st clip.
You will see a blue timeline indicator over the video track which you can drag to any place in the clips. When a clip is highlighted, a preview pane opens on the right with play buttons, allowing you to check whether you need to cut anything out. Use the ‘Clip’ menu to select ‘Split’ to mark the cutting place and then highlight & delete the bit of the clip you don’t want.
You can right-click over the 1st track & select ‘Fade Out’ to improve the transition from one clip to the next.
If you want to add some music to the background, then use ‘Import audio or music’ to collect a .WAV file and drag it to the Audio/Music Track where it can be clipped and faded just like the video. In this example I have used ‘Poison Prince’ by Amy Macdonald.
Titles and Credits
Use the Expanded ‘Edit Movie’ menu to select ‘Make Titles or Credits' to create beginnings & endings for your movie. Experiment to see what effect suits you best.
- Save your work using the ‘Save Project As…’ menu, which will let you go back and alter it if you need.
Create Formatted Movie
- Select ‘Save to my Computer’ from the expanded ‘Finish Movie’ menu and accept the default setting. Saving the formatted movie as an .wmv file will take several minutes.
Once it is done, you can upload it to YouTube or wherever you have a suitable account. Note that YouTube has a limit of 15 minutes and 2 GB on the file size.