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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Chicago
    Search Comp PM
    Hi all! I'm new to basically everything I'm doing and I just signed up--I'm not sure if this belongs in the conversion or editing forums.

    In brief, I've been inspired by the creativity of the Dark Souls community to begin recording my gameplay and to make videos. I landed on Dxtory for capture and Sony Vegas for editing. I was impressed enough with Dxtory that I purchased it outright (also because the watermark was annoying) but I'm still using a trial version of Sony Vegas 13. If I can get this setup working, I will absolutely purchase it.

    Dxtory -> Sony Vegas

    The stock codec in Dxtory looks great, but produces absolutely gargantuan files (several GB per min, even on the lower settings) and so after some searching I found a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jw6YAoai8fQ by a guy named jackfrags, and this describes the use of the lagarith codec. I tried it out, and it was an improvement on the filesize at about 1GB per minute.

    Dxtory -> Lagarith -> Sony Vegas

    Lagarith configuration


    This worked for a couple days of capture, however after every hour or so of recording I would have to dump everything off of my system drive (which is SSD) onto my slower data storage (two 1TB drives in a Windows 8 Storage Space). This was a bit annoying but it allowed me continue to capture while I'm still learning how to edit.

    Now, I've run into a different problem: both my system drive and data drives are full. Capturing with Lagarith, while better, is still pretty big. So I did some additional searching, and I learned about the h.264 codec as well as the x264 encoder, x264cli and x264vfw. Being lazy, my first interest was using x264vfw directly in Dxtory so that I would just have nice, small files the second they hit my drive.

    Dxtory -> x264vfw -> Sony Vegas

    Right off the bat I was quite confused since there are two x264vfw (http://komisar.gin.by/ and http://sourceforge.net/projects/x264vfw/) that both go by the same name, and it's unclear if there was a functional difference or if it was just a difference in the configuration GUI. Eventually I would end up trying them both. I ran into difficulties though:
    • Dxtory only seemed to detect the installation of the x86 version of x264vfw.
    • My system is a little old and began dropping frames like crazy when trying to encode on the fly.
    • Even despite the dropped frames, I was totally unable to open these files in Sony Vegas. ("None of the files dropped onto Vegas Pro could be opened.")


    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : .\x264captures\DarkSoulsII 2014-07-26 14-48-17-715.avi
    Format                                   : AVI
    Format/Info                              : Audio Video Interleave
    File size                                : 337 MiB
    Duration                                 : 2mn 11s
    Overall bit rate                         : 21.4 Mbps
    Original source form/Distributed by      : Video:x264vfw - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec Audio:Windows Default Out (Virtual Audio Cable)
    Writing application                      : DxtoryCore ver2.0.0.126
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 0
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : High@L4.0
    Format settings, CABAC                   : No
    Format settings, GOP                     : N=1
    Codec ID                                 : H264
    Duration                                 : 2mn 11s
    Bit rate                                 : 21.2 Mbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:10
    Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
    Original frame rate                      : 25.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.379
    Stream size                              : 333 MiB (99%)
    Writing library                          : x264 core 142 r2453bm ea0ca51
    Encoding settings                        : cabac=0 / ref=1 / deblock=0:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=hex / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=0 / me_range=16 
    / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=4 / lookahead_threads=4 / sliced_threads=1 / slices=4 / nr=0
     / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=0 / weightp=0 / keyint=1 / keyint_min=1 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc=crf / mbtree=
    0 / crf=20.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : MPEG Audio
    Format version                           : Version 1
    Format profile                           : Layer 3
    Mode                                     : Joint stereo
    Codec ID                                 : 55
    Codec ID/Hint                            : MP3
    Duration                                 : 2mn 11s
    Bit rate mode                            : Constant
    Bit rate                                 : 192 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 3.02 MiB (1%)
    Alignment                                : Split accross interleaves
    Interleave, duration                     : 1000 ms (29.99 video frames)
    MediaInfo from Dxtory -> x264vfw (masternobody)


    Even now, I'm a little unclear about x86 vs x64 bitness affects the capture application/encoder/editor chain. I'd prefer to use x64 for everything just to keep it simple, however I'm not sure this is possible since Dxtory only appear to distribute an x86 version. There's an executable called Dxtory64.exe in the install directory, however it cannot be executed directly; instead it appears as a child process under Dxtory.exe during runtime. Additionally, Vegas distributes only in 64-bit, as far as I can tell (http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/trials/vegasproedit). The mystery continues.

    I did some more searching specifically for configuring Dxtory with x264vfw for use in Vegas, and found some (very old) links describing the use of "--keyint 1" or "--keyint 15" as custom parameters to x264, but these had no discernible effect; Vegas continued to barf when I tried to shove my videos down its throat.

    I continued struggling with x264vfw for a little while, simply for the sake of personal fulfillment (I'm a programmer by trade), and this led me to trying both komisar and masternobody's versions of x264vfw, as well as different config values for FourCC ("H264" and "x264"), but nothing panned out. Based on the frame dropping during recording, I decided it would be better anyway just to encode to a smaller format afterwards so that my captures retained their framerate. First, I investigated the x264cli (http://download.videolan.org/pub/x264/binaries/win64/) on videos captured again with Lagarith.

    Dxtory -> Lagarith -> x264cli -> Sony Vegas

    I tried quite a few different switch combinations, the most recent of which was:

    Code:
    C:\Videos\Dxtory\x264.exe --crf 19.5 --tune fastdecode --preset fast --level 41 --slices 4 --vbv-maxrate 6250
    0 --vbv-bufsize 62500 --keyint 24 --output C:\Videos\Dxtory\DarkSoulsII.2014-07-26.16-31-16-398.fast.19.5.avi
     C:\Videos\Dxtory\DarkSoulsII.2014-07-26.16-31-16-398.avi
    The effect for all of them was the same, though--not only could Vegas not open any of these files, but they wouldn't play in VLC either. What's more, I read that Vegas doesn't handle .avi containers well, and the distribution of x264cli isn't compiled with mp4 support. Rather than attempting to compile it myself, I then looked to Handbrake because it supports mp4 muxing and audio passthrough, and I'm only looking to encode the video.

    Dxtory -> Lagarith -> Handbrake -> Sony Vegas

    I started off with this configuration in Handbrake--pretty much entirely default.

    Handbrake video configuration


    The videos produced in this configuration are nicely functional, in that VLC can play them and the audio is preserved; the filesize is (as advertised) astounding. However, when importing into Vegas, the file can be opened for once--progress!--but only a single track is imported and and it seems to be neither audio nor video in that it plays neither.

    Handbrake x264 mp4 in Vegas


    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : D:\Dxtory\mp4-h.264\Darksoulsii.2014-07-26.16-31-16-398-1.mp4
    Format                                   : MPEG-4
    Format profile                           : Base Media / Version 2
    Codec ID                                 : mp42
    File size                                : 141 MiB
    Duration                                 : 2mn 11s
    Overall bit rate                         : 9 046 Kbps
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 19:37:45
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 19:42:44
    Writing application                      : HandBrake 0.9.9 2013052900
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : Main@L4.1
    Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
    Codec ID                                 : avc1
    Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration                                 : 2mn 11s
    Bit rate                                 : 8 849 Kbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 972 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
    Frame rate mode                          : Variable
    Frame rate                               : 26.258 fps
    Minimum frame rate                       : 3.333 fps
    Maximum frame rate                       : 30.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.201
    Stream size                              : 138 MiB (98%)
    Writing library                          : x264 core 130 r2273 b3065e6
    Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=2 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=hex / subme=6 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 
    / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate
    =1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=1 / keyint=300 /
     keyint_min=30 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=30 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=50000 / vbv_bu
    fsize=62500 / crf_max=0.0 / nal_hrd=none / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 19:37:45
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 19:42:44
    Color primaries                          : BT.709
    Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
    Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 2
    Format                                   : MPEG Audio
    Format version                           : Version 1
    Format profile                           : Layer 3
    Mode                                     : Joint stereo
    Mode extension                           : MS Stereo
    Codec ID                                 : 69
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Bit rate mode                            : Constant
    Bit rate                                 : 192 Kbps
    Maximum bit rate                         : 194 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 3.00 MiB (2%)
    Writing library                          : LAME3.99.5
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 19:37:45
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 19:42:43
    MediaInfo for Handbrake output


    At this point, I'm somewhat out of ideas. I've read that some people actually manage to get this working, so I'd like to keep trying; however, I'm not sure what direction I should be going now. Any hints or observations of things I'm blatantly doing wrong?

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by bisl; 27th Jul 2014 at 16:02. Reason: grammar
    Quote Quote  
  2. about x264 and Vegas, ..., I would mux mp4 with H.264 video (mp4box), if Vegas would not load that mp4, put some AAC audio in that mp4 as well, ... , there should not be any problem loading mp4 with H.264 (encoded with x264), AAC and using mp4box to get mp4, into Vegas
    Quote Quote  
  3. Lone soldier Cauptain's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: Brazil
    Search Comp PM
    Using Dxtory + Sony Vegas the easy method is:

    Dxtory using UT VIDEO RGB to record. Yes, big files like Lagarith but better compatibility in Vegas.

    Edit on Vegas but export using DEBUG FRAMESERVER to any X264 converter like RIPBOT264, TENCODER, VIDCODER...

    Get UT VIDEO CODEC here

    Get DEBUG FRAMESERVER here

    Claudio
    Quote Quote  
  4. I agree, with that above, get some extra disc space, 3T or so, if you get it full, you have already too much footage to handle , delete some, go on ...
    Quote Quote  
  5. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    1) not that you're using x264vfw anymore , but vegas should accept them if you have ffdshow installed . If lagarith didn't exhibit dropped frames, there is no way in hell that x264vfw on the ultrafast preset should have dropped frames - or something is seriously messed up on your system

    2) komisar's "kmod" x264cli binaries have MP4 muxing support with l-smash, but no audio or passthrough , so another option is ffmpeg with libx264

    x264 cli and vfw by komisar
    http://komisar.gin.by/

    windows ffmpeg binaries by zeranoe
    http://ffmpeg.zeranoe.com/

    3) you used VFR with handbrake - even if you got it working, you would have sync problems in vegas as it can't handle VFR very well

    Frame rate mode : Variable
    Frame rate : 26.258 fps
    Minimum frame rate : 3.333 fps
    Maximum frame rate : 30.000 fps
    Last edited by poisondeathray; 27th Jul 2014 at 16:32.
    Quote Quote  
  6. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2014
    Location: Chicago
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    I agree, with that above, get some extra disc space, 3T or so, if you get it full, you have already too much footage to handle , delete some, go on ...
    This exercise for me is twofold: first, figure out a way to reduce the storage occupied by future recordings; second, reduce the storage required by the footage I've got already. There's other stuff on my data drives, but even still 1GB+/min would still fill that up before long.

    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    3) you used VFR with handbrake - even if you got it working, you would have sync problems in vegas as it can't handle VFR very well
    Thanks for the tip! I've set Handbrake to use Constant Framerate now.

    Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    there should not be any problem loading mp4 with H.264 (encoded with x264), AAC
    This is right on the money! Using AAC proved to be the missing link here for me, it seems. Vegas doesn't seem to like LAME MP3 at all, nor seemingly any of the other audio encoders I can find for Dxtory, including AC3ACM and PCM.
    To review, this is what I started with:

    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : C:\Videos\Dxtory\DarkSoulsII.2014-07-26.16-31-16-398.avi
    Format                                   : AVI
    Format/Info                              : Audio Video Interleave
    Format profile                           : OpenDML
    File size                                : 2.64 GiB
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Overall bit rate                         : 173 Mbps
    Original source form/Distributed by      : Video:Lagarith Lossless Codec Audio:Windows Default Out (Virtual Audio Cable)
    Writing application                      : DxtoryCore ver2.0.0.126
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 0
    Format                                   : Lagarith
    Codec ID                                 : LAGS
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Bit rate                                 : 173 Mbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:10
    Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 3.091
    Stream size                              : 2.64 GiB (100%)
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : MPEG Audio
    Format version                           : Version 1
    Format profile                           : Layer 3
    Mode                                     : Joint stereo
    Mode extension                           : MS Stereo
    Codec ID                                 : 55
    Codec ID/Hint                            : MP3
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Bit rate mode                            : Constant
    Bit rate                                 : 192 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 3.00 MiB (0%)
    Alignment                                : Split accross interleaves
    Interleave, duration                     : 999 ms (29.98 video frames)
    Writing library                          : LAME3.99.5
    Dxtory with Lagarith & LAME MP3
    • Plays in VLC
    • Imports into Vegas
    • File is huge (1GB/min)

    On this advice I tried recoding the audio stream in Handbrake, and this seemed to do the trick!

    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : D:\Dxtory\mp4-h.264\Darksoulsii.2014-07-26.16-31-16-398-1.AAC-ffmpeg-Audio-recode.mp4
    Format                                   : MPEG-4
    Format profile                           : Base Media / Version 2
    Codec ID                                 : mp42
    File size                                : 142 MiB
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
    Overall bit rate                         : 9 107 Kbps
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 23:43:35
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 23:47:51
    Writing application                      : HandBrake 0.9.9 2013052900
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : Main@L4.1
    Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
    Codec ID                                 : avc1
    Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Bit rate                                 : 8 927 Kbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 972 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
    Frame rate mode                          : Constant
    Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.177
    Stream size                              : 139 MiB (98%)
    Writing library                          : x264 core 130 r2273 b3065e6
    Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=2 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=hex / subme=6 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 
    / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate
    =1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=1 / keyint=300 /
     keyint_min=30 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=30 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=50000 / vbv_bu
    fsize=62500 / crf_max=0.0 / nal_hrd=none / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 23:43:35
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 23:47:51
    Color primaries                          : BT.709
    Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
    Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 2
    Format                                   : AAC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Audio Codec
    Format profile                           : LC
    Codec ID                                 : 40
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Bit rate mode                            : Variable
    Bit rate                                 : 176 Kbps
    Maximum bit rate                         : 197 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Channel positions                        : Front: L R
    Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 2.75 MiB (2%)
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 23:43:35
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 23:47:51
    Handbrake with AAC Audio recode
    • Plays in VLC
    • Imports into Vegas (Sound & Video in previewer)
    • Good filesize (70MB/min)

    For comparison, this was the MediaInfo for the Handbrake encoding with auto Audio Passthru.

    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : D:\Dxtory\mp4-h.264\Darksoulsii.2014-07-26.16-31-16-398-1.Auto-Passthru-Audio.mp4
    Format                                   : MPEG-4
    Format profile                           : Base Media / Version 2
    Codec ID                                 : mp42
    File size                                : 142 MiB
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Overall bit rate                         : 9 120 Kbps
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 23:47:54
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 23:52:16
    Writing application                      : HandBrake 0.9.9 2013052900
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : Main@L4.1
    Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
    Codec ID                                 : avc1
    Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Bit rate                                 : 8 927 Kbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 972 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
    Frame rate mode                          : Constant
    Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.177
    Stream size                              : 139 MiB (98%)
    Writing library                          : x264 core 130 r2273 b3065e6
    Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=2 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=hex / subme=6 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 
    / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate
    =1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=1 / keyint=300 /
     keyint_min=30 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=30 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=50000 / vbv_bu
    fsize=62500 / crf_max=0.0 / nal_hrd=none / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 23:47:54
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 23:52:16
    Color primaries                          : BT.709
    Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
    Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 2
    Format                                   : MPEG Audio
    Format version                           : Version 1
    Format profile                           : Layer 3
    Mode                                     : Joint stereo
    Mode extension                           : MS Stereo
    Codec ID                                 : 69
    Duration                                 : 2mn 10s
    Bit rate mode                            : Constant
    Bit rate                                 : 192 Kbps
    Maximum bit rate                         : 194 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 3.00 MiB (2%)
    Writing library                          : LAME3.99.5
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 23:47:54
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 23:52:16
    Handbrake with Auto Passthru Audio
    • Plays in VLC
    • Imports into Vegas, but no audio or video in previewer.

    x264vfw

    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    1) not that you're using x264vfw anymore , but vegas should accept them if you have ffdshow installed . If lagarith didn't exhibit dropped frames, there is no way in hell that x264vfw on the ultrafast preset should have dropped frames - or something is seriously messed up on your system
    In the end you're quite right--I went back to x264vfw (although it was still the masternobody build, not komisar), and used all the defaults except for switching it to Ultrafast. This differs from the configuration I was using before (from a different thread somewhere) which was set to Superfast preset with Fast Decode and Zero Latency. Under this configuration my overall CPU was under 50% the whole time, and my framerate stayed consistent with Lagarith.

    I used this x264vfw configuration along with the AC3ACM codec in hopes of it being accepted straight into Vegas.


    Dxtory video configuration


    x264vfw (masternobody) configuration


    Dxtory audio configuration

    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : C:\Videos\Dxtory\DarkSoulsII 2014-07-27 16-30-01-907.avi
    Format                                   : AVI
    Format/Info                              : Audio Video Interleave
    File size                                : 260 MiB
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Overall bit rate                         : 19.5 Mbps
    Original source form/Distributed by      : Video:x264vfw - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec Audio:Windows Default Out (Virtual Audio Cable)
    Writing application                      : DxtoryCore ver2.0.0.126
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 0
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : Baseline@L4.0
    Format settings, CABAC                   : No
    Format settings, ReFrames                : 1 frame
    Codec ID                                 : H264
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Bit rate                                 : 19.3 Mbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:10
    Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
    Original frame rate                      : 25.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.345
    Stream size                              : 257 MiB (99%)
    Writing library                          : x264 core 142 r2453bm ea0ca51
    Encoding settings                        : cabac=0 / ref=1 / deblock=0:0:0 / analyse=0:0 / me=dia / subme=0 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=0 / me_range=16 / chro
    ma_me=1 / trellis=0 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=0 / threads=6 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / in
    terlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=0 / weightp=0 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=0 / intra_refresh=0 / rc=crf / mbtree=0 / crf=19.5 / q
    comp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=0
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : AC-3
    Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3
    Mode extension                           : CM (complete main)
    Format settings, Endianness              : Big
    Codec ID                                 : 2000
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Bit rate mode                            : Constant
    Bit rate                                 : 192 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Channel positions                        : Front: L R
    Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
    Bit depth                                : 16 bits
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 2.56 MiB (1%)
    Alignment                                : Aligned on interleaves
    Interleave, duration                     : 1016 ms (30.49 video frames)
    Dxtory using x264vfw (masternobody) & AC3
    • Plays in VLC
    • Does not import into Vegas ("None of the files dropped onto Vegas Pro could be opened")

    Then, I tried recoding with Handbrake using auto Audio Passthru.

    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : D:\Dxtory\mp4-h.264\Darksoulsii 2014-07-27 16-30-01-907-1.Auto-Passthru-Audio.mp4
    Format                                   : MPEG-4
    Format profile                           : Base Media / Version 2
    Codec ID                                 : mp42
    File size                                : 140 MiB
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Overall bit rate                         : 10.5 Mbps
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 21:40:16
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 21:43:06
    Writing application                      : HandBrake 0.9.9 2013052900
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : Main@L4.1
    Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
    Codec ID                                 : avc1
    Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Bit rate                                 : 10.3 Mbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 972 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
    Frame rate mode                          : Constant
    Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.204
    Stream size                              : 137 MiB (98%)
    Writing library                          : x264 core 130 r2273 b3065e6
    Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=2 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=hex / subme=6 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 
    / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate
    =1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=1 / keyint=300 /
     keyint_min=30 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=30 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=50000 / vbv_bu
    fsize=62500 / crf_max=0.0 / nal_hrd=none / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 21:40:16
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 21:43:06
    Color primaries                          : BT.709
    Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
    Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 2
    Format                                   : AC-3
    Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3
    Mode extension                           : CM (complete main)
    Format settings, Endianness              : Big
    Codec ID                                 : ac-3
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Bit rate mode                            : Constant
    Bit rate                                 : 192 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Channel positions                        : Front: L R
    Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
    Bit depth                                : 16 bits
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 2.56 MiB (2%)
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 21:40:16
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 21:43:05
    Handbrake with Auto Passthru
    • Plays in VLC
    • Imports into Vegas, but audio only (no video in previewer)

    Finally, I tried again with Handbrake using AAC to recode the audio.

    Code:
    General
    Complete name                            : D:\Dxtory\mp4-h.264\Darksoulsii 2014-07-27 16-30-01-907-1.AAC-ffmpeg-Audio-recode.mp4
    Format                                   : MPEG-4
    Format profile                           : Base Media / Version 2
    Codec ID                                 : mp42
    File size                                : 140 MiB
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
    Overall bit rate                         : 10.5 Mbps
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 21:43:07
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 21:46:46
    Writing application                      : HandBrake 0.9.9 2013052900
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : Main@L4.1
    Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames                : 4 frames
    Codec ID                                 : avc1
    Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Bit rate                                 : 10.3 Mbps
    Width                                    : 1 728 pixels
    Height                                   : 972 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
    Frame rate mode                          : Constant
    Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.204
    Stream size                              : 137 MiB (98%)
    Writing library                          : x264 core 130 r2273 b3065e6
    Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=2 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=hex / subme=6 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 
    / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate
    =1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=1 / keyint=300 /
     keyint_min=30 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=30 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=50000 / vbv_bu
    fsize=62500 / crf_max=0.0 / nal_hrd=none / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 21:43:07
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 21:46:46
    Color primaries                          : BT.709
    Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
    Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 2
    Format                                   : AAC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Audio Codec
    Format profile                           : LC
    Codec ID                                 : 40
    Duration                                 : 1mn 51s
    Bit rate mode                            : Variable
    Bit rate                                 : 175 Kbps
    Maximum bit rate                         : 188 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
    Channel positions                        : Front: L R
    Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 2.33 MiB (2%)
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-07-27 21:43:07
    Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-07-27 21:46:45
    Handbrake with AAC recode
    • Plays in VLC
    • Imports into Vegas
    • Plays in Vegas previewer with audio & video

    I repeated this process with the PCM audio codec, but the results were exactly the same in all three cases. Seems like AAC is the only way to go. There's no AAC encoder that I can find for Dxtory, though, and so it seems that I'll be stuck with two steps for good--one to encode during capture, and one to encode for import into Vegas.

    So for now I think I can work with this! The initial captures look ok, and don't take up too much space on disk, and with a little time I can run them through a Handbrake script to work with them in Vegas. I'm not looking to be professional, but superficially I know that multiple applications of lossy codecs is bad--will running this additional encode be terribly noticeable?
    Quote Quote  
  7. Computer generated gradients or dark areas in your video, or just color gradients are encoded with visible artifacts called banding. X264 encoder needs very low RF (less than 18) to keep it in check, better 16 or lower (which increases size immensely), so more you encode especially with higher RF) gives you worse result everytime, I guess, you want to have only one generation loss obtained with lower RF. And in generall, it makes a difference to encode two times with CRF 19 or with CRF 16.

    As for YouTube, they will encode your video giving it a very low bitrate so maybe it does not even matter, one or two generation loss, it might look almost the same anyway, give it a short test, ... so I would treat your question - personal use, storage and Youtube upload
    Quote Quote