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   >  Using RecordMyDesktop
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Capturing Video from your Desktop in KDEnlive

Why Capture your Desktop?

Online tutorials are quite common on the web now (-we do a bit of it ourselves!) - and the best way to show what is showing on your screen is by capturing your screen output. This is an improvement over simply filming your screen, as it cuts out lighting and positioning problems - plus the quality is improved by recording the digital source.


Configuring your Webcam for Capturing Sound

Before you can capture audio using KDEnlive, you will need to set up your microphone or webcam inside your Linux distribution. This is normally the same process in all the main distros with slight differences. For example, in Fedora, you configure it via the Fedora Sound menu or the Ubuntu Sound menu - both on the top panel of the desktop.

Please see our article on Skype Audio Setup, which shows how to configure audio input.


The RecordMyDesktop Utility

In order to capture your desktop, KDEnlive uses a utility called RecordMyDesktop: if your KDEnlive installation did not automatically pull down this utility, you will need to install it. You can quickly check if RecordMyDesktop is installed by searching your Software Centre for the string "recordmydesktop":

recordMyDesktop in KDEnlive


Configuring Screen Capture in KDEnlive

You may also need to configure the recording settings in KDEnlive before you begin. These settings can be accessed by clicking on the wrench icon in the "Record Monitor" tab:

Wrench Icon in KDEnlive

This will open up a new dialogue box, similar to the one shown below:

Screen Bug Configures tab in KDEnlive

Note: make sure you select the "Screen Grab" tab, if it it not open by default

From this window, you can tweak the audio setup, set the frame rate and video quality, etc. When you are done, click on the "OK" button.


Screen Capture in KDEnlive

The basic process to record your desktop using KDEnlive is as follows:

  • Click on the "Record Monitor" tab:

    Record Monitor tab in KDEnlive

  • Change the drop-down box to the "Screen Grab" option:

    Screen Grab option tab in KDEnlive

  • Click on the "Record" icon to start recording your session:

    Record Icon 1 in KDEnlive

    Note: we have found there can be a lag with sound capture, so you may want to wait a few seconds before beginning your audio track

  • When you have finished, click on the "Record" icon again. Unfortunately, the visual cues as to whether you are in "record mode" or not are scant, so you just have to remember how many times the button has been pressed

    Record Icon 2 in KDEnlive

  • KDEnlive will then attempt to convert the capture audio & video into the Open Source .ogv format; this will take some minutes - similar to rendering times - during which period the Record Monitor window will display the text:

    Encoding captured video...

    This message will disappear once the encoding has been completed - and the resulting clip will be displayed in the Project Tree:

    Encoded Clip in KDEnlive

  • If the encoded .ogv is not compatible with your current project, you will see a dialogue box stating something similar to the following:

    Incompatible clip in KDEnlive

    If this occurs, you can either create a new Project Profile that is compatible with your desktop settings - or, more often, alter the Recording Settings to match an existing profile.

    Note: you may also have to change your Gnome screen resolution to a more standard one if you choose the latter option


Further Reading:


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