Capturing uncompressed video, frame rate and resolution of console games

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by SolidSnakeEater, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. SolidSnakeEater

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    Hello. I am new here, so please excuse me if am posting this in the wrong place.

    Is there any way to record uncompressed footage from PS4 and Xbox One? Furthermore is there a way, I can measure the frame rate and resolution of PS4 and X1 games?

    I am working on a project and I don't want to use Digital Foundry. Any help will be deeply appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Shifty Geezer

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    You need a lossless capture card. Not sure what's available, but I doubt it'll be cheap. For resolution, you need a human pixel counter, and it's an increasingly difficult task. For framerate, you need to analyse each frame for uniqueness and count unique frames over a given time period (one second. There's a big debate on this board about the 'simple' notion of FPS!). You should also factor in tearing.

    DF started by offering the world's first lossless HD game capture hardware, and added to it a piece of custom software to count unique frames including torn frames, then got together some expert pixel counters for analysis. It won't be an easy undertaking to match DF's info gathering.
     
  3. TheWretched

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    Well, for what it's worth, on PS4 you can disable HDCP, so capturing lossless is "pretty easy". A lossless HDMI capture card is harder to get, I think. Most consumer hw in this regard usually has an h264 encoder chip on board and doesn't pass through the image to the PC unprocessed. Though... I am not sure you need the uncompressed stream to actually pixel count. If it's "good enough", you should be able to distinguish between actual new frames and the same frame with a different compression.

    But this is just spitballing, to be honest. I am not sure how high the bandwidth needs to be to have reliable differentiating between minute (game) changes and compression.
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Pixel counting is best without compression artefacts. High bitrate video looks good but still muddles the minute details that makes counting pixel trickier, especially with better AA methods.
     
  5. Globalisateur

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    You need to be sure that you capture uncompressed 1080p 60fps footage, for instance with the Avermedia ExtremeCap CV710

    http://www.amazon.com/AVerMedia-Technologies-Inc-Avermedia-EXTREMECAP/dp/B00MX7RS26/ref=sr_1_1

    And you'll need at least a decent SSD + decent CPU to capture that kind of data. Beware of the input port specifications between the capture device and your PC, for instance the aforementioned Avermedia device requires one brand of USB3 chipset.

    In order to measure framerates, unfortunately you'll have to write your own software. I can only guide you here to the beyond3D framerate reference thread that'll give you many good starting points of how to begin to write such a software:

    https://forum.beyond3d.com/threads/frame-rate-analysis-thread-simple-rules-post-2.42660/

    Pixel counting to measure resolutions is comparatively very easy. In many cases, you'll need just a few adequately selected screenshots, and a couple of tools: a basic image viewer (to crop the selected aliased edge) and a simple image manipulation tool (to zoom in) will suffice, I personally use Irfanview and paint. The less compressed the image is, the more precise the estimated resolution will be.
     
  6. HTupolev

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    The Amazon page says its maximum resolution is 1920x108!

    :O

    You don't just crop in Paint?
     
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  7. Globalisateur

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    Usually no. I like using Irfanview (a specialized image viewer) when I want to quickly look at several screenshots.

    Mostly I don't even zoom in the image with paint, and use only Irfanview.
     
  8. Shifty Geezer

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    Pbbbbt. How you you distinguish between the seven flavours of post AA? It's comparatively easy when you have MSAA and no post effects, but few games are like that these days.
     
  9. Globalisateur

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    Finding adequate screenshots can be very hard in some cases but up to now all postAAs I have personally analysed left resolution clues (often very rarely like a few in a 5mn video).

    But obviously most screenshots with some advanced kind of post AA (not the FXAA family which is easy as pie) wont leave anything that could betray them, particularly PR selected screenshots. We need a HQ gameplay video in those cases, a few press ready screenshots are not enough.
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

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    I doubt many people are well versed in the different AA methods for them to find it very easy to identify them.
     
  11. orangpelupa

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    FXAA should be easy to detect by seeing the textures got blurred or not... right? others... well.. hard
     
  12. TheAlSpark

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    FXAA is tweakable in the shader though - look at the different settings sometimes offered on PC (Arkham series, Frostbite3 etc.). FXAA on PS360 had a couple different default iterations that made it easy to recognize across games; the limited HW performance also meant these were the worst implementations. :p

    Anyways, given the additional post-processing that can be added for cinematic... directions or simply other screen-space techniques, blurring can be just as easily attributable to something else.
     
    #12 TheAlSpark, Jan 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  13. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    ah yeah, with compressed video the blurring can deceive. not from AA but from the compression.

    btw for video capture, the correct 0-255 range (what was its called?) also need to be taken care properly. It can me stuff harder to see and sometime "Auto" does not work.
     
  14. SolidSnakeEater

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    Sure, I will go ahead and buy the Avermedia CV710-AB EXTREMECAP U3. But are you sure it will give me 100% uncompressed footage? Also am I correct in assuming that since it will be uncompressed footage it will show me the correct frame rate so can I measure it with fraps?

    Also, I did not got your part about resolution. Do I need to take a HQ screenshot from the uncompressed footage? And then do what?

    Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it man. :)
     
  15. Shifty Geezer

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  16. SolidSnakeEater

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  17. Globalisateur

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    No it definitely won't!

    Hold your horses! before continuing you really have to read this whole thread about measuring real framerates of a game from a video:

    https://forum.beyond3d.com/threads/frame-rate-analysis-thread-simple-rules-post-2.42660/

    I am not sure you really acknowledged the real difficulty of the task...
     
  18. Shifty Geezer

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    What did you zoom with? You need a pixel/nearest neighbour upscale. But, as I said in the very beginning, these days it's getting harder to find clear edges that give a nice degree of stepping for counting pixels. Edges are typically blurred through motion and DOF, and the AA methods can conceal stepping very effectively.

    If you really want to go through with this, start with old games (PS360) and practice on those, and see that you get the same counts as listed here: https://forum.beyond3d.com/threads/list-of-rendering-resolutions.41152/

    Personally, I don't bother because it's too hard! It's pretty time consuming at times just finding a screenshot that presents a decent edge (although I suppose you intend to capture your own). But the post processing effects can generate so much blur as to make it very hard to determine the difference between upscaled or processed. In our own threads on this board (https://forum.beyond3d.com/threads/...r-unreleased-games-read-the-first-post.44654/, https://forum.beyond3d.com/threads/...or-available-games-read-the-first-post.44653/), you'll find experts discussing results because it's not obvious, so it's taking multiple attempts by multiple people to ascertain a reading. Again, you can read through those threads, find the source material and the corresponding analysis from the pros, and see if you can reach the same conclusions.
     
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