(FAQ) What OBS Studio settings work well with VEGAS Pro?

Nick Hope wrote on 1/3/2018, 4:35 AM

OBS Studio is a free, open-source application for video recording and live streaming. It is very popular for screen-recording gaming sessions, tutorial videos etc..

It is important to choose the recording settings carefully if you intend to edit the recorded videos in VEGAS Pro. Many formats that OBS Studio can record, will not open or play well in VEGAS. However, when done correctly, videos recorded by OBS Studio are more compatible with VEGAS than many other screen-recording options.

1. OUTPUT SETTINGS

Make sure the Recording Format in the Output settings is mp4.

These output settings work reliably for me. I changed very little from the default values. These settings use the Simple Output Mode to record AVC video in an MP4 wrapper using the x264 codec with a crf (constant quality) value of 23, which is the x264 default:

If quality is very important to you, and you can tolerate larger files, you could try setting the Recording Quality in the Output settings to "Indistinguishable Quality, Large File Size", which uses a crf value of 16. Note that quality increases as the crf value decreases, however it is generally not worth using a crf value lower than 16, as the quality gains are very small.

If you have a GPU that supports hardware encoding such as NVIDIA NVENC or AMD VCE, then it is generally OK to use that instead of Software (x264) encoding, but be sure to still use the mp4 recording format.

If you still have problems with the above settings, NormanPCN proposed some alternative settings in this post "that have a lower decoder overhead for edit performance than commonly used settings". You need to switch the Output Mode to Advanced to access these settings.

Also in the Advanced recording mode you could try setting Tune to animation if you are recording gaming.

2. VIDEO SETTINGS

Any settings you use on the Video page should not make your recorded videos "incompatible with Vegas", but of course higher resolution and higher FPS (frames per second) values will increase the load on your computer during playback. These are my regular Video settings for screen-recording demonstration videos:

3. IF YOU STILL HAVE PROBLEMS

If you have trouble opening or playing back videos recorded with OBS Studio, despite the above advice, then please make a new post on the forum with this information:

  • The exact version and build number of VEGAS Pro you are using.
  • The OBS Studio Output and Video settings you used.
  • Your graphics card model and driver version (if you used hardware encoding)
  • Other computer specs, in particular Windows version, CPU and RAM.
  • A MediaInfo text report of your recorded file.
  • The VEGAS Files Properties of your recorded file (the MediaInfo guide linked above shows you how).
  • If the media is not too large you could post a link to a sample of it (e.g. on Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, mega.nz, wetransfer.com or mediafire.com)

Comments

Nick Hope wrote on 1/3/2018, 4:36 AM

Suggestions for corrections and additions via comments or personal messages are welcome but comments here may be deleted later as this is an "FAQ" post. Please start a new post or use an old thread to discuss subjects in depth or to raise individual cases.

Musicvid wrote on 1/3/2018, 11:08 AM

Nice one, Nick!

Once again, thanks for saving some wear and tear on us oldtimers.

Musicvid wrote on 1/3/2018, 11:18 AM

A lower crf value gives higher quality.

But only up to a point. https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/forum/analysis-of-rendering-to-a-target-bit-rate-vs-constant-rate-factor--109452/#ca675408

It is generally not worth using a crf value lower than 16, as the quality gains are very small.

The likelihood of the output data to be larger than the input data is quite probable at RF16. Of course the point of superfluous encoding was reached long before then. so isn't it better to free up cpu cycles for the source generation?

Nick Hope wrote on 1/3/2018, 8:48 PM

A lower crf value gives higher quality.

But only up to a point. https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/forum/analysis-of-rendering-to-a-target-bit-rate-vs-constant-rate-factor--109452/#ca675408

It is generally not worth using a crf value lower than 16, as the quality gains are very small.

The likelihood of the output data to be larger than the input data is quite probable at RF16. Of course the point of superfluous encoding was reached long before then. so isn't it better to free up cpu cycles for the source generation?

I have rephrased that part, to try and avoid any ambiguity.

In the "Simple" modes, which I prefer to recommend in an FAQ post to keep things simple, the crf jumps from 23 in the "High Quality, Medium File Size" preset, to 16 in the "Indistinguishable Quality, Large File Size" preset. I'm pretty sure 16 will be less lossy than 23, so it's worth mentioning as an alternative even if it may be a little overkill. I did render my last couple of YouTube videos at crf 16 and they came out great, so I would consider that setting myself for recording tutorials for YouTube. Users can always tweak settings by switching to Advanced mode and using for example crf 18-21 if they want something in-between.

I have also added sentence about trying animation tuning for recording gaming, as per your suggestion.

Musicvid wrote on 1/3/2018, 10:47 PM

I agree that the jump to 23 in the next closest preset is a little weird, as most production types would consider that too compressed, and prefer to work in the 18-20 range.

It's the size factor and thus system hit that goes off the rails below 18, as john_dennis' revealing graphic (linked above) clearly shows.

Musicvid wrote on 1/3/2018, 10:59 PM

Also, though not as clear in the graphic, is that the arguable "sweet spot" for quality (SSIM 0.995) most often occurs in the crf 18-19 range.