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gdigrab just capturing a still frame when using window title

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gdigrab just capturing a still frame when using window title

Kenn Sippell
Hello!  I am attempting to use ffmpeg to record some video games. In this
scenario I'm recording Dota 2 from my PC (working great) and from my laptop
(having some problems).

ffmpeg -f gdigrab -i desktop output.flv

This command works fine on both my PC and my laptop.

ffmpeg -f gdigrab -i title="Dota 2" output.flv

This command works fine on my PC but does not work on my laptop.  On my
laptop, I'm often seeing either a) the game window is transparent, and I
can see the desktop or other windows beneath it, or b) a single random
frame from the game. In all cases the mouse is capturing accurately.

My laptop has two graphic cards:

   - Intel HD Graphics 4600
   - nVidia GeForce GTX 860M

I thought this might just be a manifestation of this sort of issue --
https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/laptop-black-screen-when-capturing-read-here-first.5965
But I've tried configuring ffmpeg.exe as described with no results.

Is this a well understood issue or one I can work around in gdigrab?
Is there an alternative to gdigrab that can capture the game in Windows?
I'm very performance conscious for my scenario (minimize CPU), is there an
alternative to gdigrab that is less CPU intense?

Bonus round lol --- Can anybody explain (or direct me to some reading
material which would explain) what is happening under the covers here?

Cheers!
Kenn
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Re: gdigrab just capturing a still frame when using window title

Moritz Barsnick
On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 01:21:41 -0700, Kenn Sippell wrote:
> Is there an alternative to gdigrab that can capture the game in Windows?

I have no real experience with capturing on Windows, but there's also
the dshow and the vfwcap input devices.

> I'm very performance conscious for my scenario (minimize CPU), is there an
> alternative to gdigrab that is less CPU intense?

It's probably not gdigrab, but the actual conversion? There are many
things you can do:
- reduce frame rate (may have little effect if the video content
  doesn't change much anyway).
- reduce resolution
- use a less CPU intense codec, or better
- tune the codec to use less quality (which usually means less CPU)
- tune the codec to use more bandwidth (which usually means less CPU)
- use a hardware (assisted) codec
- ...

If your encoding to FLV uses H.264 as video codec, you could try adding
"-preset ultrafast" (or "fast" or "faster") and watch the required
bandwidth explode. ;)

> Bonus round lol --- Can anybody explain (or direct me to some reading
> material which would explain) what is happening under the covers here?

LOL indeed! Which part of the covers?

Moritz
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Re: gdigrab just capturing a still frame when using window title

rogerdpack2
In reply to this post by Kenn Sippell
On 5/12/17, Kenn Sippell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello!  I am attempting to use ffmpeg to record some video games. In this
> scenario I'm recording Dota 2 from my PC (working great) and from my laptop
> (having some problems).
>
> ffmpeg -f gdigrab -i desktop output.flv
>
> This command works fine on both my PC and my laptop.
>
> ffmpeg -f gdigrab -i title="Dota 2" output.flv
>
> This command works fine on my PC but does not work on my laptop.  On my
> laptop, I'm often seeing either a) the game window is transparent, and I
> can see the desktop or other windows beneath it, or b) a single random
> frame from the game. In all cases the mouse is capturing accurately.
>
> My laptop has two graphic cards:
>
>    - Intel HD Graphics 4600
>    - nVidia GeForce GTX 860M
>
> I thought this might just be a manifestation of this sort of issue --
> https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/laptop-black-screen-when-capturing-read-here-first.5965
> But I've tried configuring ffmpeg.exe as described with no results.
>
> Is this a well understood issue or one I can work around in gdigrab?
> Is there an alternative to gdigrab that can capture the game in Windows?
> I'm very performance conscious for my scenario (minimize CPU), is there an
> alternative to gdigrab that is less CPU intense?

Try grabbing the whole desktop and cropping help?
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