Please tell me if there's anything I should change or add on... The guide's not set in stone or anything. Also feel free to tell me how awesome it is... Anyway, here it is.
"It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!... Sort of."
There are a couple of different options for capturing the video from your PlayStation 2 in the first place.
The first of these options is to use what is called a "video capture card" or a "TV tuner card" for your computer. Generally, these are installed in an available PCI expansion slot inside your computer or simply plug in to a USB or Firewire port. Here are some examples of video capture cards and TV tuners:
- PCI TV Tuner: Click Here
- Pinnacle Studio (includes good editing software, a PCI capture card, and a "breakout box" that you use to connect video and audio cables from your PS2): Click Here
- USB Capture Device: Click Here
Some other ideas:
- Dazzle Video Creator: Click Here (Thanks to Mxyzptlk)
- Dazzle Fusion (and a small warning about the Dazzle): Click Here (Thanks to Kingjad)
I personally think this is a better option for capturing the video, mainly because the quality of the video is much better, and you generally don't have to deal with too much equipment and stuff. However, this method's a little more time-consuming and requires a pretty good working knowledge of computer hardware and software.
1. CAPTURING continued
The second option for capturing the video is to use a camcorder or a digital camera's movie mode. Basically, you just set the camera up to point at the TV screen where you'll be playing the PS2, and hit record. NOTE: I'd only recommend doing this if you have a DIGITAL camcorder or camera, so that you can easily get the video on to your computer. Otherwise, you would pretty much have to go through the whole above process anyways (if you were using a camera that doesn't have FireWire or USB 2.0 output).
Once you've recorded the video, you can use whatever software came with your camera/camcorder to get the video on to your computer. With a digital camcorder, you simply hook it up to a computer with a FireWire or USB cord (depending on the camcorder) and follow the steps in the software you're using. With a digital camera, you can generally just download the video as if it were a normal photo.
This method is nice for those that already have a camera or camcorder they can use, and they don't want to spend the extra money on a capture card. Also, with this, you don't have to have your PS2 near your computer to get the video. However, the overall quality is not going to be anywhere near what you'd get with a capture card or TV tuner (just because no TV looks good when viewed on a camcorder), and it can be hard to get the camera set up just right so everything's lined up.
Once you have the video on your computer, there's any number of things you can do with it.
If you don't feel the need to edit your video (adding transitions, titles, or music, cutting out scenes, etc.), you can probably just go ahead and skip to the next step (uploading the video). However, make sure the video is an appropriate filesize before you do. You can do this with a bunch of different programs, usually including the software that came with your video capture card or any simple video editing program.
If you'd like to make your video flashy and cool, or if you just need to cut out long stretches of boring parts and add transitions and stuff, then you need to use a video editing program. There are MANY video editing programs out there, and they range from free and pretty bare-bones to extremely expensive professional-level. Here are a few examples of these programs:
- Windows Movie Maker (free)
This is included free in Windows XP, and it's just a simple but useful way to make smaller changes to your videos. You can cut out scenes, add basic transitions and titles, and other basic operations. Definitely a good choice if you already have Win XP and don't want to buy a better editor.
Added 1/28: Microsoft has a great site describing how to capture, edit, and share your video with Windows Movie Maker. You can find it here.
- Other free editing programs
Just search Google or go to download.com, and you can probably find a bunch of other free programs, most of which are similar to Windows Movie Maker in overall capability.
Added 1/28: VirtualDub's a great open-source video editing program. It's a small download, and it's very simple. It may not be the best out there, but it's great for basic linear editing. Click here to visit the homepage and download it.
- Pinnacle Studio or ULead VideoStudio (ranging from about $50 to $150)
These are both slightly more high end editing programs, and they offer many more features than the free or really low-priced programs. Some of these (usually the higher-priced ones, like Deluxe versions) come with a video capture card you can use, and those ones are good choices because the capture card integrates directly with the program.
- Sony Vegas Video, Adobe Premiere, etc. (ranging from $500 and up)
These are the REALLY high-end, professional-level programs. They have tons of features, options, premade goodies, and tools, and are generally less user-friendly than the other categories. I use Vegas Video myself, but that's just because I'm an A/V enthusiast and I use it for MANY things aside from GTA videos. This is probably overkill for most people, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who's not looking for the utmost control of their videos.
Once you're done editing and you're satisfied with the result, save the video as one of the more common formats (WMV or MOV is generally preferred by people on this forum) and wait for the program to do so. It may take a while, depending on the length of your video. Once it's finished, check to see if the file size is too big. A good rule of thumb for a low-to-mid quality video at a resolution of 320x240 is 3-4 MB per 1 minute of video. I wouldn't go much higher than that unless the detail of the video is a very important part of it. Experiment with compression settings in your editing program to find the right balance for your video.
Now here's the part where you get to display your finished, refined product to the whole world! For people to view your video online, you need to upload it to a web server first. There are a couple different options for this.
If you don't feel comfortable uploading the video yourself, ask someone on the forums to help you out. Generally, you can e-mail them the video, and they can take care of uploading it for you. I personally can host videos on my website if you'd like, so PM me if you'd like to do that.
If you have your own web server, just upload the file there. If you are in this situation, I doubt you need help figuring out how to upload a file, so I'll just continue.
You can also upload your video to a site like www.putfile.com, azupload.com[I forget if this one accepts video files], or yousendit.com. Each site is different, so if you need help uploading to any of them, either find the Help section on the site or ask one of us here at GTAForums.
Uploading Tip from Mxyzptlk:
|Remember you can host videos in zip format at www.thegamersalliance.com. BUT! Keep in mind 50% of people will have firewalls or security settings that just send them from the download page to the main page and back again.|
Other good upload sites:
- Rapid Share (30 MB file limit)- Thanks to Mxyzptlk again.
- FileFront (need FTP client to use) - Thanks to gotups294
Once your video is uploaded, make sure you tell people about it and post a link to it, so we can go see it!
Hope this helps!