Screenshot and Video Capture: PlayClaw Game Video Recorder

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If you play a lot of games on your PC, whether First Person Shooter (FPS), MMPOG, or Adventure games, chances are there will be points of the game where you want to take screenshots or capture video fo your exploits so as to show off your skills to your mates, or simply as a way of creating new backgrounds in Windows.  There is no way of doing this without specialist software, one of which is PlayClaw.

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PlayClaw is a simple little application that allows you to capture screenshots and video whilst in the midst of gaming, whether it runs utilising OpenGL, or DirectX 8-11.  Installation and setup is simple, requiring nothing more taxing than deciding how to start the software and what language to install for under the "General" tab.

The "Screenshots" tab gives access to everything related to taking in game pictures.  The output path is easily specified as is a hotkey for activiatiing the function in the game and then it is simply a case of choosing the output format (BMP, TGA, JPG, or PNG) and the output quality.

The "Videos" tab basically offers the same options as the "Screenshots" menu, with added options for video compression, frame size and rate, as well as offering the chance to decide how many cores to use whilst in use.  Finally the sound source can be selected.

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Finally the "Overlays" tab gives users the ability to put benchmarking overlays over screenshots and videos to either monitor (or boast) performance stats during in game footage, with the ability to choose font, font size and basic markup (bold, italic or antialiased).

Performance in the games we tested was excellent, we were expecting games to be radically slowed (especially when using the video mode), however, we noticed no significant drop in frame rate using either function, although it is important to make sure that you have enough hard disk space if you intend to use high quality video recording as the file sizes soon mount up.  The output screenshots and video were also excellent quality in all the games we tested and this coupled with the performance makes this software a very attractive proposition if you love wowing your mates with your gaming exploits!).  At the time of writing the software costs £24 through the PlayClaw website.