Recording Fraps Footage of CS:S/HL2/TF2/Portal/Alien Swarm (or any valve game) Replays

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For people that play any games powered by Valve's Source Engine (Half Life/CounterStrike/Portal/TeamFortress2, ect), this guide should help you get the best results for recording fraps footage.

While you are recording with fraps, you are limited to the framerate you are recording at. This means if your system can't handle anything above 30fps while running fraps, you're going to be running around trying to kill people at 30fps. In order to get past this, we are going to use the built in demo record feature available when we activate the developer console in the game we wish to record. For this howto, we will be using Half-Life 2.

Recording the Demo (.dem) Footage

First, start up the game.

  1. Go to "options", click the keyboard tab and then click "Advanced" Then enable the developer console. Hit ok and go back to the main menu.

  2. Test it out by hitting the ~ key (above left side Tab) and you should get a console. Hit it again to close it. Let's start the game up and begin recording a demo. Do the following:

  • Get the level loaded
  • hit ~ to open the console
  • type "record demoname"
  • play the game as you normally would, when you get to a point where you want to stop the recording, just open the console again and type "stop" and hit enter.
Now you have a demo file saved, but this won't run outside of the game client, as it just stores movement/action information. Here is where fraps comes in.

Recording .dem footage with fraps

  1. Set the game to run at your desired graphic settings
  2. Open the dev console again, and type "demoui" then hit enter.
  3. Using the new "Demo Playback" menu that just appeared, select the file you just saved (yourfilename.dem)

  4. Start Recording with fraps
  5. Click "Play" and close the demo window. (you can open it again with the ~ + demoui command when you're finish.) You can also control the speed at which the demo plays, but note that the sound is not changed so it will quickly become out of sync.

You can easily cut out the demo playback menu footage when you produce your movie. Or just leave it in if you don't care. One nice thing about .dem files is they take up very little space compared to fraps footage. So don't worry too much about filling up your drive space with demo files.
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