HyperCam

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HyperCam Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Problems

General Advice

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How to enter HyperCam license, which I received by email? Or will you send me a CD with a fully licensed copy of HyperCam 1?

Note: this license entry instructions are for HyperCam ver. 1.60 and ABOVE. If you have an older version of HyperCam, and were referred here by your license message text, please download and install the latest HyperCam first from here.

The "registered" copy of HyperCam is the same one that you use for evaluation. You only need to enter your license key into it to convert it to a fully functional copy. This method of selling has an advantage for you: if we release a newer version 1 (for example, you have version 1.60 and we release 1.70) you may upgrade for free by simply downloading the newer one and installing it over the old version. If we sent the full version on CDs, we would not be able to ship you a new CD with each program update. This free upgrade policy is valid for as long as HyperCam version number is 1.something.

To enter HyperCam 1.60 and above license received by email, do this:

  1. Find the "### Begin License ###" text in your message with the key. Press and hold the Left Mouse Button (LBM) over this line.
  2. Move your mouse down, still holding the LBM, until you find and pass the line with "### End License ###" text. Note that the text that you move over with LBM pressed, gets marked, usually with black color (but some email programs may use different colors for this).
  3. Release the LBM when all of the text between "### Begin License ###" and "### End License ###" lines is marked.
  4. Copy this text to Windows clipboard. You can do this in several ways, for example by pressing Ctrl+Insert keys on the keyboard, or by selecting "Edit/Copy" from the menu of your email program. Yet another way of copying text is to click your RIGHT mouse button over the marked text, and selecting "Copy" from the menu that pops up.
  5. Click on HyperCam window, if it is displayed elsewhere on the screen, or on its button in Windows taskbar (at the bottom of the screen). Or, if HyperCam is not started yet, start it from your shortcut on the desktop or in Windows "Start" menu.
  6. Immediately after the click or "Start" above, HyperCam will find your license and reply "Thank you...". It will also prompt you to save the license on a floppy disk as a backup. Please make sure to back-up your key!

The frame rate you requested is too high error message, or the computer is very slow to respond when recording, or you see a lot of skipped frames when recording is finished.

Here is what you can do to improve HyperCam recording frame rate on most computer hardware:

  • Right click empty Windows desktop and select Properties from the pop up menu.
  • In Display Properties window that appears, click Settings tab.
  • Check the Colors or Color Quality setting. Select the lowest setting that is still acceptable for your purposes, e.g. 256 colors, 8 bits per pixel or the Medium Quality (also called High Color), 16 bits per pixel. Higher color settings will also work, but not as fast.
  • Now click the Advanced button, and in another ... Properties window that appears, click the Troubleshoot tab.
  • Move the Hardware Acceleration  slider all the way to None (to left), then click OK button in both windows.

Now HyperCam should be able to record frames at much higher frame rate than before, at least on most graphics controllers that we tested. If the above is still not enough, you will need to either record at a lower frame rate, or a smaller screen area.

When done with HyperCam recording, you may go back to Display Properties again as described above, and restore Hardware Acceleration to Full, or whatever it was before.

If the above suggestion does not help, read on...

÷ Consider using the "Cursor/Full frame capture ratio..." higher than 1 on "AVI File" tab. For example, if you specify this ration as 3, HyperCam will make a full screen capture for only 1 frame in 3 (every third frame). The other two frames will have just cursor position updated, so that cursor movement will still appear smooth.

÷ Consider the color depth of your video mode. Today, many computers work in High Color, which uses 16 bits per every pixel and can represent accurately up to 65536 colors, or True Color, which use 24 or 32 bits per every pixel and can represent millions of colors. Pictures in High and True colors modes contain a lot of information to capture from the screen memory, compress and write to AVI file, and this takes a lot of time, processor power, and disk space.

In many cases, the programs that you want to capture will probably look as good in 8 bit color mode, which can display 256 colors. The programs optimize the color map to make the best use of them, so you really do not lose that much quality unless your subject demands higher color depth. In 8 bit color mode the amount of information to capture and compress is 2, 3, or even 4 times smaller than in the other modes. These pictures can be also compressed fastest, and produce the smallest AVI files. Please consider switching your monitor into 8 bit color mode (256 colors) for AVI recording.

÷ Try to record your AVI file capture to the fastest hard disk that you have available.

÷ Try making the "Key frame" value on the AVI tab higher, or the "Frame compression quality" factor lower can help a little in improving the fps rate.

÷ Consider recording a smaller picture to achieve higher frame rate for your movies. You could make a good use of HyperCam's panning capability to make up for the lower size of your picture.

÷ Finally, if you really need high fps rate and picture size, you may need to consider using a machine with a faster processor. Dual (and even more) processor machines running under Windows NT, 2000 or XP will be to your advantage, too, as HyperCam is using three program threads when recording. Windows will schedule the threads among all available processors to give you better performance.


I recorded a large screen area, but when I play it back, the text (or graphics) is unclear.

This not a problem with HyperCam recording, but with the way you are playing the movie. If you your movie's frame size is as big as the screen, then the AVI player has to shrink the picture (by deleting some pixels) to fit it on the screen - plus it's own window, buttons etc. This produces the "unclear text or graphics effect". To see the movie in full quality, switch your AVI player to full screen playback, or switch your monitor into higher resolution. .

To avoid this problem, you can also record an area smaller than the full screen. HyperCam allows you to pan the recorded area to show the parts of the screen where something interesting is going on. Hold Ctrl+Shift keys on the keyboard and move the mouse pointer to pan the recorded area.

You may also record several clips - some at 800x600, giving the user "bird eye view" of the screen, other - detailed "zoom in" at maybe 640x480 or less. Then use a movie editor software (like Adobe Premiere, Windows Movie Maker or similar) to assemble all the clips into one movie - of the frame size equal to your smaller "zoom in" clips. The editor program will resize the 800x600 clips smaller, less detail will be visible on them, but a general "bird eye" view will give the viewer an idea of what's on the entire screen. Then, as your movie switches to the "zoom-in" clips, they will have an impression of coming closer and seeing the detail. You can assemble your final movie to switch several times between such views.


How to fix broken HyperCam AVI Files, e.g. after a computer crash during recording.

Note: I did not try this myself, this is an information sent by one of our users. Please also note that the file from which you actually may try to recover your interrupted video recording session, is the file ending with .avi (or .AVI). The file with .avi.bak ending does not contain any useful information and may be deleted instantly. It only serves a recording HyperCam program to reserve some disk space to be used for correct file closing in case of running out of free disk space.

Update Jan. 5, 2012: Another user reports a succesful repair of an AVI file for which recording was unexpectedly terminated, using DivFix utility, find it at http://www.divfix.org/

Update Nov. 2, 2009: Here is a good tutorial of such succesful repair, created by our user Andrew Risky Nova. Thank you, Andrew!

- Greg.

Did your power go off while running Hypercam, or did it for some other unexpected reason quit? Well I've figured out how to repair the files, so I thought I should let you all know.

You need 2 tools to do this; UltraEdit32 http://www.ultraedit.com/ and DivFix 1.10 http://divfix.maxeline.com/. You also need a functional .avi file (I suggest, if you don't have one, just run HyperCam for a few minutes then use that new file). We will refer to this "Good" file as Good.avi, and your broken file as Broken.avi from here on in. Backup all files before you do this, just in case you screw up; HEX Editor's aren't forgiving.

1. Open Good.avi and Broken.avi in Ultraedit 32.
2. Select from lines 00000000h to 00000800h in Good.avi. Copy.
3. Select from lines 00000000h to 00000800h in Broken.avi. Paste.

Posted later: Actually, I did the same thing today and found out that it's not always line 00000800h - it can be a line off (one less), it seems.

So just make sure you're copying up to, and including, the line that has "LIST" in it, but not the line that starts with "00db".

Just wanted to let everyone know, though I'm not sure it even matters.

4. Save the new Broken.avi

What we've just done is inserted the header which tells programs that this is, indeed, an avi file, as well as what codec it uses, etc. The last line you copied, 800h, should likely have the word "LIST" in it, while the first line afterwards, 810h, should start with "00db". All we need now is an index.

4. Open DivFix, load the newly edited Broken.avi.
5. Hit Rebuild.

A new file, likely named DivFix.Broken.avi should be made. DivFix just rebuilt the index for us, so you should now be able to watch DivFix.Broken.avi. At least it worked for me! Twice! :)

If you get an error in DivFix that says "Read past end of file", you didn't copy/paste it correctly and likely left out a line.

- Sheps

Note: On a somewhat related matter, sometimes WinXP doesn't like to let you move/edit/delete broken avi files (it says that it's in use). If you have this problem, follow these instructions -> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1206650,00.asp].

Oh, and I completely forgot! I record using DivX (hence the use of DivFix). I have no idea if this will be at all similar in other types of avi files, but at least you'll have somewhere to go from there.


Sound recording does not work...

Please make sure you are using the latest version of HyperCam 2 from this site. Then look at the "Sound" tab. Mark the check mark next to "Record Sound from" description, then click the box to the right of it and see what sound recording devices your system has. Select all of them in turn and try recording until you find the one that works right. If the recording volume is too low, open Windows Sound Control and adjust recording levels for that device.

Sound is recorded from your sound card input channel. Double click "Windows Volume Control" in system tray (a little speaker icon next to your clock in low right corner). Click "Options/Properties" menu and under "Adjust volume for" select "Recording" and click OK. See what recording channels your sound card offers. Usually you  can find there "Microphone", "Line" and "CD Audio". Some cards have additional channels, like "Mixer" or "Stereo Out, also "Video" etc. Make sure to select the channel you know works and has the sound you need, and then also adjust the volume for it correctly. Most probably you will select "Microphone", make sure your microphone is plugged in and turned on, and make sure the volume adjustment for it is set high enough.

Channels like "Mixer", "Stereo Mix", "Mono Mix" or "Stereo Out" (if your card has them) allow you to record whatever the computer sound card is playing, without a need to use microphone to re-record it. You can use them if you want to record some computer generated sound, without your spoken comments etc.

Please experiment first with Windows "Sound Recorder" applet. If it can record the sounds you need, HyperCam will record them as well. Note also that if you are using some other software that takes over your sound card input, such as teleconferencing software, then you can not capture these sounds with Windows "Sound Recorder" or HyperCam. This is because the sound input is already taken by the other program and can not be shared.


How to record the sounds the computer is making directly, without using the microphone?

Some sound card and their drivers do have a "stereo out", "mixer", "Stereo Mix" and "Mono Mix" or similarly named input channels, that allow you to record whatever the computer is playing, without using the microphone. Here is how to enable it, and if your computer does not have such input channels, read on below on how to use the audio patch cable to capture sound.

Please make sure you are using the latest version of HyperCam 2 from this site. Then look at the "Sound" tab. Mark the check mark next to "Record Sound from" description, then click the box to the right of it and see what sound recording devices your system has. Select all of them in turn and try recording until you find the one that works right. If the recording volume is too low, open Windows Sound Control and adjust recording levels for that device.

You may also set any device as the "default sound recording device" in your system in the following way:

For Windows 2000 or XP

  • Right click the loud speaker by the clock and choose "Adjust Audio Properties." Choose the "Audio tab." Under sound recording set the default device to your sound card. Choose the "Voice tab" and do the same thing. For other programs (ie. VOIP) to work properly you may have to reset these defaults before using them.
  • Open the "Volume Control" by double-clicking the loud-speaker icon in the low right corner of Windows (next to the clock), select "Options" and then "Properties" from its menu, and in the frame labeled "Adjust volume for" - select "Recording". Then look below into "Show the following volume controls" to find the "mixer" or "stereo out" input channel - if there was no check mark there, put the check-mark next to it, click OK.
  • Now you will see a "Recording Control" window, and you can select from which channel to record, and adjust volumes for them. Select "Stereo Out" or "Mixer" if available (or similarly described channel), and you may record directly. However, this ability is a property of the sound card hardware and drivers you have, some cards/drivers may not have this.

For Windows Vista and Windows 7

  • Right click the speaker icon in the system notification area (system tray, usually in low right corner of the screen) and select "Recording Devices".
  • See the list of devices displayed in the "Sound" window that will appear, on the "Recording" tab. One of them will have a green check-mark - this is the default device, form which currently the sound is recorded. Usually it is the microphone.
  • Right-click anywhere in the recording devices list area and make sure that "Show Disabled Devices" option has a check-mark - if not click to enable this option.
  • If you have devices listed as "Stereo Out", "Mono Out", "Stereo Mix", "Mono Mix" or "Mixer" (or similar, there is no standard), select them as the default and click the "Apply" button. If such device is listed in grey as "disabled", right-click it to enable it first, then select as the default.
  • Double-click the device you want to use for recording (Stereo Mix is preferable if you try to record something that the computer is playing, Microphone if you plan to record your speech or any other sounds from the room). Then click the "Levels" tab. Adjust the sound recording level to maximum (or whatever is really needed), for a microphone you may also want to adjust the "boost" setting. 
  • Do a quick test with HyperCam to see if it now records the sounds that the computer is making directly. If not, try another selection. Some systems may have only "Microphone" and nothing else - in such cases the only way to record the sound is to place the microphone close to the computer speakers and catch it that way.

If your computer does not have the input channels that permit direct recording, read on - the suggestions below were sent by R., a long time HyperCam user.

Method 2 (front panel connection):

This method will work if your system has a front mounted speaker outlet (green color “ typically mounted near front USB ports) which most systems have today. To use this method purchase an inexpensive audio patch cord from your local Radio Shack store or on-line supplier. The audio patch cable has a connector on EACH end that is the same size and shape as the connector leading from your system speakers that are plugged into the back panel speaker jac. Careful: there are a couple different sizes of these pin jacs so be sure to specify that your patch cord must be the same size as a computer speaker outlet. Follow the initial instructions to be certain that your sound system functions are all selected properly (no â€Åmuteâ€? checked!). Connect one end of the patch cord to the FRONT speaker (green) jac and the other end into your BACK mic input (pink). That•s it. HyperCam will now record sound. If this method does not work it suggests that your front panel inputs have not been connected to your motherboard; or the case connector has the wrong internal connector for your motherboard and the front panel jacs do not function.

Method 2 should work with Laptops having an "earphone" jac and a "mic jac". Just connect the two together using the patch cord.

Method 3 (if you have an older system that does not have a front panel speaker jac):

In this event one of your speakers MUST have an earphone jac. If not, then purchase an inexpensive set of speakers that do (cost about $10 or less) for use with HyperCam. When you have this capability then follow the previous directions regarding purchasing an audio patch cord as described above. Connect the patch cord from the earphone jac on a speaker to the mic (pink) input jac on your back panel. Again, double check that your sound controls are enabled. Above all, make sure that your mike input does not have the â€Åmuteâ€? box checked! That•s it…HyperCam should now record sound correctly.

 


Sound goes out of sync, playing faster or slower than video

This usually happens when your computer is very busy capturing video frames and running other programs, so some sound buffers captured get lost. You can free some of computer time by capturing less frames per second and shutting down other, unnecessary tasks running.

Also, please read The frame rate you requested is too high error message article on this FAQ list on how to speed up frame capture operation on most computers - this will free a lot of processor time to also capture sound correctly.

If you already recorded a large file with sound out of sync, you may repair this e.g. with freeware VirtualDub tool, availalbe at http://www.virtualdub.org/ . One of our users wrote:

Thank you! Virtual Dub worked extremely well for synchronizing video and sound in existing AVI file.

I just had to select:

Video->Frame Rate -> â€ÅChange so video and audio durations matchâ€?

Then

Video->Compression…->Microsoft Video 1-> Quality @80%, key frames every 100,

Then

File->Save As AVI

And that was it!


HyperCam recorded movies crash PowerPoint, when inserted into presentation

I stumbled once or twice on the same problem. If I remember right, the problem was that the sound recording check box on "AVI File" tab of HyperCam was turned on, even though no sound was recorded. The "no sound recorded" was either due to a missing or malfunctioning audio card/microphone, or because a half-duplex card was busy actually playing sounds, and could not record at the same time.

Try to check off the "Record Sound" box on HyperCam's "AVI File" tab, and record a movie, then insert it again into PowerPoint and see if it will be any better. Then, if you actually need to record sound, turn the box on and make sure that some sound is really recorded  (see also: Sound recording does not work...).


ActiveMovie ERR: "No combination of filters could be found to render the stream." - or other problems with ActiveMovie

This is actually not HyperCam's problem, but with ActiveMovie setup on your computer. Kourosh Madjzoob sent this advice on how you may fix it:

ActiveMovie ERR.
"No combination of filters could be found to render the stream."
Greg, I noticed many have asked this Q from you!!! This is how you could fix this problem:
1- go to Control panel folder
2- Add/remove programs
3-press on Windows Set up
4- Dbl-ck on Multimedia
5- UN -Check Media Player to uninstall it & press on
6- repeat above but this time Check Media Player to reinstall Media player every thing show be OK now :)
p.s. you may also down load the latest version of NetShow from MS site.


Every copy of HyperCam I download is corrupt, I can't install or...
...even if it installs, HyperCam says that CmHelper.dll could not be started.

Most probably your system is infected with a computer virus, which attaches itself to HyperCam installer or the actual program. Unlike other software, HyperCam checks its own integrity before running, and refuses to run if it was changed by a virus or some other means. So please get yourself a good virus checker (e.g. VirusScan from McAfee) and check your system, then clean it from viruses.

Note: recently we have a report of a virus corrupting HyperSnap-DX and HyperCam (and other programs), which is not detected by McAfee scanner. It is called "CIH Space Filler" or something similar. We were told that it can be detected with VET virus scanner from http://www.vet.com.au One user told us, that VET in fact detected and reported the virus correctly, but was unable to clean it up completely. He subsequently tried the latest version of Norton Anti-Virus product to clean it. We have no report if he did succeed or not.

Another virus recently reported and not detected by popular anti-virus programs is Win95.CIM. We are told that AntiViral Toolkit Pro (AVP) can detect and remove it. The Toolkit can be downloaded from http://www.avp.ch or http://www.avp.com .

Another report of anti-virus program to clean Win95/CIH virus (which was first detected by our other product, HyperSnap-DX, refusing to run):

Greg,

Thanks for all your help! I was successful in detecting and correcting the Win95/CIH virus on all of the infected files on my system. I then again downloaded HyperSnap-DX from your site and it worked without a problem.

I used TBAV (ThunderBYTE Anti Virus ) for Windows 95 http://www.thunderbyte.nl to confirm that I indeed had this virus. I then used Norton AntiVirus Command-Line Scanner (NAVC) to repair each infected file. I found the instructions to use and download NAVC at http://help.mindspring.com/modules/00800/00843.htm

Thanks again!

Other possible causes of such behaviour would be a disk error (bad sector on a disk, or something). If you find out your system to be clean of viruses, run SCANDISK program (standard Windows 98 and 98 component) with a full surface scan to identify and mark out all bad sectors. When all of the above is done, download a fresh copy of HyperCam, best from Hyperionics web site directly, and install.


VERY USEFUL: Creating professional training videos

Thanks to Colin Campbell, IST, University of Waterloo for the original version of these instructions! - GK

1. download Hypercam from www.hyperionics.com.
2. register the product for US $30 (you can try it first though).
3. install it on at least a Pentium 200.

4. set Display/Settings to 640x480 and 256 colors.
5. set Display/Background/Wallpaper to None (i.e. black).
6. set Display/Appearance/Scheme to "Windows Standard", but change everything blue to black, and everything off-white to white. (Save this scheme as "Windows Standard but Black".)

7. set Mouse/Pointers/Scheme to "Windows Standard (extra large)".
8. re-size task bar at bottom of screen to 3 times as tall.

9. set hypercam video recording to 640x428 at 4 or 5 frames/sec, with sound recording at 11025 Samples per sec, 16-bit.
10. connect a microphone like the one that comes with IBM ViaVoice speech-to-text software which is directional and cancels
background noise.
11. do a recording test using: Programs/Accessories/Multimedia/Volume Control (you may need to install this from Win95 CD):

a. Click on Options/Properties. Click on Recording and OK.
b. Your Microphone Balance should be at the highest volume.
c. Your Master Recording Balance should be about in the middle.

Do a recording with Hypercam and make sure that when you talk normally the indicator flashes green and yellow and not red (which means "clipping"). If necessary, adjust the distance of the microphone from your mouth (1-3 cm) and/or adjust the Master Recording Balance.

If this doesn't work, try a different computer (i.e. different sound card). Not all sound cards seem to be created equal.

Also make sure there is as little extraneous noise as possible from breathing, lips and tongue sounds (3+ cm distance helps).

Play the video back through head-phones. Switch Master Volume Control to show Playback volume. Put Wave Balance in the middle and put Master Out Volume Control Balance at the second lowest setting line. Play the video - it must be at a comfortable level: not too soft, not too loud. Compare with another recorded source if necessary, such as an audio CD. Adjust recording properties as necessary.

Also crank up the volume and play it through speakers and make sure there is no appreciable hiss or hum.

12. Do the recording.

a. Make sure you have a word-for-word script and that you have rehearsed it. Change it on the fly if appropriate though.
b. Have another person move and click the mouse pointer and do the typing. They should become one with you so that it seems to viewers that the speaker and the "driver" are the same.
c. Expect some lessons to take 10 takes, but others mostly only 1 or 2 takes. (I did a 10-minute lesson once in 1-take, but it was after about an hour's worth of recorded material.)

One last thing. It seems to help if you hand out a document showing screen shots of what the student's screen should look like once they've practiced each lesson - so that they know what the goal is they have to work towards. They can also use it as a "quick reference" to jog their memory on how to do things later.

Here are some more comments from Colin, who created the videos to aid the MathCad classes he teaches - GK:

It might interest you to know that we are in the process of creating the final version of those videos, and making them available free through MathSoft and possibly book publishers.

We have used them with over 200 students now with good success. In some cases they played the videos on their own in a lab, and practiced Mathcad on their own, and we were available to answer any questions.

In other cases the whole class would watch the videos together and practice Mathcad together in lock-step. Finally in one case we had to dispense with the practice because the lab computers were down.

I was always glad the videos were doing the teaching so that no key details were left out, and the flow was always even. I think the students also are more engaged in the lesson than they are when I talk live. The videos are always available if someone misses the tutorial or wants to review; I'm not so available. The lessons are broken up into separate video files of 3-10 minutes duration, which gives students a chance to ask questions in between.

Although I can make comments between the videos (in cases where the classes are viewing in lock-step), the script of the video should make that not necessary. For example, it should nicely handle overviewing and motivating the subject, and making transitions between topics.


Advice: Recording videos for distribution/support

Nathan Jolly from Micromine posted the following very useful advice to our Support Forum - I'm repeating it here, where more people can find and read this:

Hi all,

Have been using Hypercam for about a year at work now (thanks for the great product!), and thought I'd share what I've learnt about capturing so far. I spent the best part of 2 months fiddling here and there trying to optimise my captures, and since finding these settings I've never looked back.

The FAQs are a godsend - especially the advice about turning off hardware accelaration and making sure DirectX capture is disabled within HC.

A bit of background: as a support consultant at an enterprise software developer, every now and again I find that there's a support call to answer that would make no sense in text, and take forever to describe on the phone. Videos are the perfect solution.

The sort of videos I need to put out need to be:

* Fairly static - the screen image doesn't vary greatly during a walkthrough * Perceptually lossless - readable text is essential * Relatively short - usually under 10 minutes * Emailable to our clients (0.5->3Mb) * Instantly accessible - no codecs, no runtimes * Designed, encoded, and emailed with less than 15 minutes overhead

I use the following settings when making my captures:

* Rate in FPS: 5-25, depending on the power of the computer I'm on * Playback FPS: Same as rate * Cursor to Frame ratio: 1 * Keyframe: N/A (but I leave it at 100) * Video compressor: Full Frames (Uncompressed) * Record cursor: On * Record starburst: On (1 frame, 8 pixels)

I capture at 800x600, but my screensize stays at 1024x768 in order to allow me access to the taskbar or off-side desktop icons. I've found BrianApps' Sizer (www.brianapps.net/sizer.html) to be indispensible - by right-clicking the title-bar you can automatically resize any window to 800x600 and center it directly in the middle of the screen. Even if my presentation involves 3-4 apps, I can prepare the windows on the screen in under 30 seconds.

If my recording is going to contain sound, I always plan ahead - making storyboards if necessary, and typing out or writing down what I'm going to say. However, even though I'm talking while I run through my videos to ensure that my spacing is right, I usually save the voice-over for later (and I'll discuss this shortly).

I find it helps to break long footage into chunks - technically you need to do this to avoid hitting the 2Gb filesize limit, but it also allows you to focus a lot better on what you're presenting. The autonumbering of files actually works to our advantage, so it's handy to have this turned on.

Stage 1 ends up being fairly striaghtforward:

* Set your capture settings * Prepare the windows you need "on camera" * Storyboard or write scripts as necessary * Record in as many chunks as you need

So, at this point you've got one or more video files and your hard disk is a few gigabytes lighter, you may have a voiceover script, and this is still not quite ready to send to a client.

If you're happy with the video, and recorded any sound you need when you did the HyperCam recording, you can safely skip the second part - editing.

The editing phase is where I load up my favourite editing program. In my case I prefer VirtualDub (http://www.virtualdub.org), but other users may prefer more mainstream video editing software, or indeed Hyperionic's partners' VideoFramer.

Whatever you use, this is where you'd probably:

* Remove stuff-ups you made during the recording * Recording an accompanying voiceover and mix it in * Add frames where you need longer to talk * Add filters, resize, etc. * Add subtitles, watermarks, etc.

If possible, it's always best to keep saving your work uncompressed at this point, so you've got a perfect-quality source file to work with for the next step.

So at this point we now have one or more video files, including a voiceover/soundtrack if we worked on that, but we're still up a few gigabytes higher than we want to be.

My final step is to break out Bink or Smacker, part of the great RAD Video Tools suite produced by RAD Game Tools (www.radgametools.com). This is completely free to download, but comes with the caveat that their logo is displayed at the end of every movie. Even for professional videos, I find this is a small price to pay.

Those of you who are game fans may have noticed that many of the Half-Life 2 demo videos were recorded using these tools - the codec produces amazing quality for both static windows and FMV.

I won't delve into the settings here a great deal, except to say that there are two options here - 256-colour mode (Smacker), and Hi-colour mode (Bink). The colour reducer here leaves everything else I've seen for dead, and I normally go with Smacker for the lower file size. A decent bitrate for this at 800x600 is about 300,000 bytes per second.

The benefits of encoding to Bink/Smacker:

* Great quality, especially if reducing to 256 colours * Very low system requirements for the user - uses ~2% of my CPU * PHENOMENAL compression ratios * Can save out movies as .exe files, with the codec built in

Just to give you an indication of what I mean by phenomenal compression ratios - my average compression ratio is about 1000:1, and I've had up to 3000:1 on occasion. This means that 2Gb of video data compresses quite nicely down to a single 700kb-2Mb file, and I can't tell the difference between the original and the encoded file!

This is a far cry better than all of the messing around I've done with QuickTime, WMV, RealPlayer or DivX. Sadly I've never had the chance to mess around with the TechSmith Capture Codec... but it's hard to improve on this when it's free :)

At this point, we have a single .exe video ready to go, which will automatically play the movie and accompanying sound, and requires absolutely nothing installed on the client's machine. Given that it's encoded in 256 colours at 800x600, it also means that it will play on almost any Windows computer out there!

(There are actually Macintosh and Linux players available also, and they can even play the .exe files, but it's not quite as intuitive as in Windows)

If you're emailing, you may wish to zip up the .exe file, to prevent mail filters or MS Outlook from messing with it - but these can also be great for embedding in Word documents or Powerpoint presentations if you have that need.

I know this is kind of long, and I'm not sure if anyone's got the stamina to get through it all, but if you did, congratulations!

It's taken me a while to get to the point where I'm really, really happy with the quality of the videos I'm sending out - so I really hope that this might be useful to somebody else struggling with the same issues.

Regards, Nathan


QuickTime support, or how to create QuickTime movies with HyperCam

HyperCam does not save movies in QuickTime format directly. Herever, there is a very simple and inexpensive solution:

Download QuickTime 3 from www.apple.com/quicktime/. Then purchase an upgrade key to QuickTime Pro from the same site, cost is only $29.99. Now your QuickTime player becomes a video editor, where you can select/copy/paste/ delete frames, if necessary, concatenate several AVI files etc. When done, just save the whole movie as QuickTime movie. Just make sure to select the "Make movie self-contained" option, else it will be still referencing your AVI files, which need to be present for the movie to play. Now you have your "screencam" files in QuickTime format.


MPEG support, or how to create MPEG movies with HyperCam

HyperCam does not save movies directly in MPEG format. You can download a third party AVI --> MPEG converter. To find one, enter a search term like "avi to mpeg convert" into Google or another search engine.


I get "Error opening AVI file. (...)" when trying to record with HyperCam

This errors are caused most often by a damage to Windows  registry file. The registry branch under

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AVIFile

is either missing or damaged. Windows does not provide a good way to fix this  automatically, other than to run SETUP.EXE program from the original CD-ROM for Win9x series. Probably the easiest way to fix the problem would be to find another machine which is configured similarly to yours: has the same version of Windows on it, and the Windows directory is on the same disk. This should be a "healthy" machine, where nothing in the registry is missing. You could verify this by making sure, that HyperCam works there. Then run REGEDIT on the "healthy" machine, find and click on the above registry path, and from the menu select "Registry/Export Registry Path". Remember the name and folder where you saved the registry file (some name ending with .rgs), take it to the damaged machine, and import that file into your registry.

You could also verify and try to add manually the following keys to the registry:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AVIFile\Compressors\auds 
(Default) REG_SZ {0002000F-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AVIFile\Compressors\vids 
(Default) REG_SZ {00020001-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

The less likely reason could be that the video compressor-decompressor (codec) which HyperCam is trying to use, is not installed on your system, or is somehow damaged. Please try to go to Windows Control Panel, select Multimedia icon and click on Devices tab there. Expand the Video Compression Codecs branch there. If you can't find such branch, see below. If it's there, try to find Microsoft Video 1 and Microsoft RLE codecs. If they are not there, click the Add... button to add them. If they are already there, remove both, reboot your machine, then go back to the same place and add them again. Note: you will need your Windows installation CD-ROM to perform these operations.

If the video compressors are not there, or if the above procedure did not work, do this:

  1. Click on Start menu, then Settings/Control Panel
  2. Double click "Add/Remove Programs"
  3. Click on "Windows Setup" tab in "Add/Remove Programs" box.
  4. Under "Components", double-click on "Multimedia"
  5. Scroll down the "Components" box until you see "Video Compression".
  6. If there is no check mark next to "Video Compression", click at the little square to put the check-mark into it, then click the OK buttons. You will need your original Windows 98 or 95 installation CD-ROM.
  7. If the check mark was already there, click on it to remove it. Then click on all the OK button to go out of "Control Panel" and reboot the machine. Next go back to point 1. above and follow the steps again to add back the "Video Compression" option. This should repair whatever was wrong with the codecs.

HyperCam connects periodically to the Internet... What info does it send?

HyperCam does not send any information from the user's machine to the Internet. It only reads a text file from Hyperionics web site, by default once every 7 days, to tell you if there is a new version of this program. You can change the frequency or disable this check by clicking "Check for a new version" button on the "License" tab.


How to re-record other video files playing on the screen (from RealPlayer, MediaPlayer or QuickTime)

Please note that HyperCam is not intended for re-recording of other video clips from the screen (e.g. playing in Media Player, RealVideo, QuickTime etc.), but rather for creating regular software presentations, tutorial, demos etc. If you still want to try it for re-recording other movie clips, please read on for some tips, but do not complain if it won't work for you. We do not support this function.

Sometime people want to re-record with HyperCam other movies, that they see playing on the web or in Microsoft Media Player, RealMedia RealPlayer, Apple's Quick Time Player etc. The problem they face is that often these players use video overlay for faster, smoother playback of the movie. A video overlay is invisible to Windows capture programs like HyperCam, because it is handled by a special video hardware. HyperCam will then record only a solid color block (usually pink, blue or black, the so called "overlay key color", which is all Windows sees at the place where the movie is played. But all is not lost, the overlay use for playback may be sometimes turned off, at least temporarily for recording. Here is how to do this:

Apple's QuickTime Player
In Ver. 4 control panel, disabling, "Enable QuickDraw Acceleration" in it's "Video" settings does  the trick.
In Ver. 5 select "Edit/Preferences/Quick Time Preferences" from the menu. Then in "QuickTime Settings" window I have to select "Video Settings" in the selection box at the top and click "Safe Mode (GDI Only)". Then close "QuickTime Settings", close completely and re-start QuickTime Player.

Microsoft MediaPlayer: For different versions, different path through the settings may be needed. I just verified that with MediaPlayer ver. 7 and 8 you must select Tools menu, then Options, click the Performance tab and slide the Video Performance - Hardware Acceleration tab down, all the way to None. Note that this does not work for DVD playback in MediaPlayer - DVDs seem to be always played in a hardware overlay, not matter what you set for "Hardware Acceleration" - probably to protect from from copying.

RealMedia RealPlayer
RealOne Player:
select "Tools" menu, then "Install/Configure Devices...". In the left "Category" panel, click "Hardware". Next, in the right panel under "Video card compatibility", click to remove the checkmark from "Use optimized video display" button. Close completely and restart RealOne Player.
Older G2:
If you are in "compact view", switch first to "normal view" (from "View" menu). Then select Options/Preferences from the menu and click "Performance" tab. Then, at the bottom of "Preferences" window, turn off the "Use optimized video display" option and click on OK. Now you can record with HyperCam whatever is playing inside RealPlayer window.

Another user, Craig who probably worked with an older version, says: I went into the "Video Renderer" properties, (under advanced,) and un-checked both YUV and RGB overlay and flipping. With these four boxes unchecked, it's now recording fine.

Greg Przywara sent me the following advice:
In the Media Player there are these codecs that decide whether the playback screen is optimized or not. To turn off the optimization, you left click on the screen, click on Properties, then click on Advanced. You get a list of codecs in use. (Very important: You must be playing a local AVI file to do this!!) Click on the Indeo Codec and there will be a list of little checked boxes. Uncheck the one that says "transparent" and wa-la! you can now tape Media Player movies with Hyper Cam!!! But always remember to set the compression quality on the Hyper Cam at 100 percent especially if you're recording anything in color or the playback quality will give you a headache.


Recording a fragment of DVD movie with HyperCam

The advice given above in the topic "How to re-record other video files..." works for playing many movies in Media Player from hard disk files, but does not apply to DVD players, even if you play a DVD inside Media Player window. There is a trick that works with some graphics cards, e.g. on one of my WinXP machines with NVidia Ti4600 card - you may try this:

- right click empty Windows screen, select "Properties" from the menu
- click "Settings" tab
- click "Advanced" button
- click "Troubleshoot" tab
- move the "Hardware acceleration" slider all the way to "None" and click "Apply" button. Don't close the window with this slider yet, as you later want to re-set it back to "Full"

Now close and re-start your DVD player software and try playing the movie. Does it display anything at all? If it does display the movie normally, chances are you can now capture it with HyperCam. On many machines though, the player will refuse to work at all, in that case we can't capture DVD movie.

When done with the above experiment (no matter if it worked well or not), re-set your "hardware acceleration" back to full. Only change it back to none if you want to record any DVD/video again.


Game recording - how to record a movie clip from a full screen computer game

It is possible to record with HyperCam from a computer game, although has limitations. Set your game to a low resolution mode, e.g. 640x480 or at most 800x600 pixels. Then, before starting the game, set HyperCam recording area to coordinates 0, 0 and width x height the same as your game resolution, e.g. 800x600. Also turn off the option saying â€ÅShow rectangle around recorded areaâ€?, and enable â€ÅCapture layered/transparent windows…â€? at the bottom of â€ÅScreen Areaâ€? tab of HyperCam.

Set frame rate to not be too high, maybe only 5 frames per second. You may experiment, if your machine can handle this, you can increase it later to 10 fps or at most 15 fps.

Now, having HyperCam running and all parameters set, start the game and try to start recording for a while by pressing F2 hot key (or if you changed HyperCam hot keys, the corresponding key of your choice). Play for a while, press F2 again to stop recording and exit the game, see if anything was recorded. Also, while in the game, watch the game performance, if it is too slow, you probably need to use a lower frame rate. If it̢ۢs OK, view your video and if it̢ۢs too jumpy to your taste, you may try to increase somewhat the frame rate and try recording again.

It is possible that nothing got recorded. If that happens, the game is probably blocking HyperCam hot keys to start/stop recording. There is a work-around for this. Download and install our HyperSnap ver. 6 software “ you don•t have to buy a license, a free evaluation version is enough. Start HyperSnap and enable its â€ÅSpecial Capture…â€? feature under â€ÅCaptureâ€? menu, then minimize HyperSnap window and leave it there. Go back to HyperCam, click â€ÅHot Keysâ€? tab and you will see a new field appear there, described as â€ÅUse HyperSnap-DX v. 5.10 or newer "special keyboard" handling for recording gamesâ€?. Enable it, then start the game again and re-try the above recording procedure.


How to convert HyperCam AVI files to much, much smaller Windows Media files, which can be also streamed over the Internet

You need Microsoft Windows Media Encoder to convert AVI files to WMV format, and Windows Media Player to play them. You can download the Encoder from Microsoft web site - they change the location URL often, so find it by entering "Windows Media Encoder" into your favorite search engine.

The instructions below refer to Encoder 7, a newer version may be different. At the time of this writing the above Encoder is a free download, the download file size is about 9.5 MB.

  1. Record your HyperCam AVI file best at 5 frames per second, with 8 bit sound. If you really want files as small as possible, record them at 256 color mode, but high color or true color should also work.
  2. Start Windows Media Encoder
  3. Select "Broadcast, capture, or convert a file using..." and click OK
  4. Select "Convert an audio or video file into a Windows Media file" and click Next.
  5. Select "File to convert" - your recorded AVI file. The "File to create" will be automatically filled out with the same path and name, with ".wmv" at the end. Click Next.
  6. Select "File will stream from a Web server or play directly on a computer", click Next.
  7. Select "Screen capture for e-mail and dual-ISDN (128 Kbps), click Next.
  8. Fill out the fields here any way you want (title, author, copyright etc.), click next.
  9. Click Finish. On my machine some message pops-up, click OK on it, and Encoder goes ahead and converts the file.

In my test as above, this cut down the file size to about 25% of the original (from 2.8 MB to 728 kB). If that is not enough, repeat the above process, but in poin 7. above select "Screen capture for dial-up modems (28.8 Kbps)". This reduced the file size to only 6.3% of the original size (183 kB from 2.8 MB), but the quality may be a little bit worse.

Remember that your viewers will need Windows Media Player 7 or higher to view these files. It comes as standard Windows component with Windows ME and the new Windows XP (still in beta tests at the time of this writing), but the users of older Windows versions will need to download and install this player separately from Microsoft.

To stream your WMV file from a web server, you just need to place it on the server and make a link to it, if your server is Microsoft ISP 4 or 5 (Windows NT or Win2000 server). Other web servers may need to have Microsoft streaming components installed separately - but your users will be still able to download the file from such servers and play them locally on their machines.
 

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