How to record a high quality video for YouTube

YouTube is very popular. It can also be very useful for companies to promote their products.

It provides free hosting of your video and allows you to embed it on your website,  this keeps your companies bandwidth costs down.  YouTube also provides a social network for its users allowing videos to be commented on and voted for and promoted within YouTube itself!

When creating the videos for OEAPI, CookiePie, Deviare and SpyStudio. I did some research on how to make a High Quality video for YouTube but found no complete source on how to make it from scratch using free software.

I used the following software for making my videos.

CamStudio 2.0 too record my desktop. (GPL)
Audacity 1.3.5 too record audio for the video. (GPL)
Virtualdub 1.8.5 for cutting and encoding. (GPL)
G.I.M.P. 2.4 for creating a company logo to put at the start and end of my video. (GPL)
JPGAvi 1.07 for converting the jpg into an avi frame. (Free/Donateware)
XviD Codec for encoding the video. (GPL)
LAME for use of MP3 in Audacity. (LGPL)

The main problem with using YouTube for your video is that the default videos are 320 x 240 resolution, using the H.263 codec that was developed in 1995.  This provides a low quality blurry picture that makes it almost impossible to see what is going on.

YouTube have recently added an option to view their videos at an increased resolution.  This is at 480 x 360 and also comes in 2 different Codec formats H.264/MPEG-4 AVC with stereo AAC sound and the standard H.263 but in the higher resolution.

To make the videos:

CamStudio Full Screen

I used CamStudio to film the full desktop but i set the desktop size to a more viable 800×600 so it can be viewed easier on YouTube.

CamStudio Autopan

I also duplicated the recording by repeating the exact same things but this time using cam studios panning option i recorded an area of 320 x 240.

We then needed to convert these videos in something usable and manageable so we could edit them.  I did this by loading both videos into VirtualDub and changing them as follows.

For both recordings.

Video > Filter > Add > Resize

Then changed the Absolute (pixels) to 480 x 360 resolution.

VirtualDub Resize
VirtualDub Resize

The default frame rate from CamStudio is 200 fps which is unnecessary for what we need so i downgraded both videos to 30 fps.

Video > Frame Rate > Convert to fps

VirtualDub Framerate
VirtualDub Framerate
VirtualDub Framerate


Raw video editing requires a large amount of harddrive space.  To get around this without losing much video quality i also re-encoded the video into Mpeg4 format using the XviD Codec.

Video > Compression > XviD MPEG-4 Codec.

Xvid MPEG-4 Codec


Xvid MPEG-4 Codec
Xvid MPEG-4 Codec

Then to make the videos.

File > Save as AVI.

A start and end to the videos was needed.

I did this by placing the Nektra Logo on a 480 x 360 background and loading it into JPGAvi.

Nektra Logo
Nektra Logo

This outputs a small avi file that i then loaded into VirtualDub and changed the Resolution,  Framerate and encoding in the same way as above.

I then copy pasted the single frame until the start was 5 seconds long.

Now with all the videos ready for editing i started a new project in VirtualDub and appended the video i needed starting with the logo introduction.

File > Append AVI Segment

I went through both videos (closeup and full screen) selecting areas and exporting them to be imported into the final video.

Edit > Set selection start

Edit > Set selection end

This gave me the video i wanted which i could then use Audacity to record a voice over.  Exporting as a mp3 i can then use VirtualDub to place the audio track in the AVI.

Audio > Audio from other file

This video when uploaded to YouTube can then be embeded on your own website in both

and High Quality by adding &ap=%2526fmt%3D18 to both urls in the embed code.

  • free

    The best codec Xvid MPEG-4 for youtube video 😉