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How to Capture a Screencast Using VLC

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Setup Screen Capture Using the Command-Line

You can choose more configuration options by creating a screencast using VLC on the command-line rather than the graphical interface.

This approach requires that you are already familiar with using the command-line on your system, such as the cmd window in Windows, the Mac terminal, or the Linux shell.

With your command-line terminal open, refer to this example command to setup a screencast capture:

c:\path\to\vlc.exe screen:// :screen-fps=24 :screen-follow-mouse :screen-mouse-image="c:\temp\mousepointerimage.png" :sout=#transcode{vcodec=h264,venc=x264{scenecut=100,bframes=0,keyint=10}, vb=1024,acodec=none,scale=1.0, vfilter=croppadd{cropleft=0,croptop=0,cropright=0,cropbottom=0}}: duplicate{dst=std{mux=mp4,access=file,dst="c:\temp\screencast.mp4"}}

That is one long command! Remember that this whole command is one single line and must be pasted or typed that way. The example above is the exact command I used to record the screencast video included in this article.

Several parts of this command can be customized:

  • c:\path\to\vlc.exe: This should be the correct path to your vlc.exe executable.
  • :screen-fps=24: This should be set to the frames-per-second rate you want to record.
  • :screen-follow-mouse: Include this to record the mouse pointer, exclude if you want to hide the mouse pointer in the screencast.
  • :screen-mouse-image: You need to supply a path to a pointer image if you are capturing the mouse pointer. Here is one you can use.
  • vb=1024: Set this to the bitrate you want to record. A higher bitrate will produce better quality video but with a larger file size (this works in combination with the fps value). Try values of 1500 or 2048 if you want to improve quality.
  • :scale=1.0: Set this value to proportionally reduce or enlarge your video. For example, a value of 0.5 would create a screencast of your desktop scaled down to half-size.
  • cropleft,croptop,cropright,cropbottom: These values represent the pixel size of your crop areas. Set to 0 will capture your entire desktop. For example, if you set cropleft to 100, the recorded desktop will crop out 100 pixels of width from the left side of your desktop. The same logic applies to each parameter.
  • dst="": The full path and name of the video file you want to create.
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