NOTE: If you get an error about having a description which is too short while trying to submit a video (as per Section IV below), use the submission option at the bottom of this page, not the link on the navbar. There is a browser-related conflict that causes the navbar submit feature to break for some people, but the submission form at the bottom of the page does not suffer from the same problem.
This is a tutorial to explain how to get a Total War: Shogun 2 battle replay online and hosted in the Org Media Library so that it can be easily viewed at any time, and in any place.
The vast majority of the work involved is in converting the replay file into a properly optimized video file, and then uploading the file to the internet. If you already have an uploaded video file and simply want to know how to submit it to the Org Media Library, please scroll down to Section IV: Adding Your Video to the Org Media Library.
Section I: Recording the Battle Replay
When you save a TW:S2 replay, you are not actually creating a video of the battle you just fought. Instead, you are creating a file that records the in-game movements and actions of the units involved. This file can only be read by the game itself, and is useless for any other purpose. Thus, the first step to turning this replay into a video is to watch the replay and record it. For this, you will need a video capture program.
FRAPS is a popular and easy to use program, but full-length video capture requires a registered version which not everyone wants to pay for. Xfire includes a free video capture utility, which you can read about here. If you know of other good programs for video capture, please PM TinCow and I will add those programs to this list.
Once you have a video capture program running, start up TW:S2 and select the proper battle replay from the main menu. As soon as you do this, the loading screen will appear with a status bar and details of the battle you are about to watch. I recommend that you start recording when the status bar nears the end of its load cycle. That way you will get a shot of the load screen with information about the players, teams, and maps, but won't waste a lot of time waiting when you're watching the video.
After the battle starts, do your best to film the battle to showcase the important events and maneuvers. Remember that people watching the video will only be able to see what you do while recording. So, if you just go stare at trees and ignore the battle, they won't see anything but trees and your video won't be very popular. If you are recording a replay from a multiplayer battle, it is particularly important to try and view the overall tactical movements that are being made, focusing on the important things that decided the battle. TW:S2 is a very pretty game, but no one will be able to tell what tactics decided the battle if you only show close-up combat between units. So, keep in mind what the purpose of the video is when you are flying around spectating it, and let that purpose determine how you watch the battle. If there is a long period of time without action, such as at the start of the game when the armies march towards each other, or if there is a stand-off with neither side wanting to make the first move, consider hitting fast forward so that the video will get to the more interesting parts faster.
When the battle is done, stop recording the video. Congratulations, you've now converted the battle replay into a video! Exit the game and move onto the next section.
Section II: Compressing the Video File
Recording raw video from a game can result in a massive file. I personally use FRAPS, and it's not uncommon for the raw video output file to be several gigs in size for a single 10 to 20 minute battle replay. That's way too large to upload and view conveniently, so we need to compress the video file into something a lot smaller. As with recording the video, there are multiple programs that you can use. I personally use Windows Movie Maker because it's free (it's probably already on your computer, and if it's not it's available from Windows Update) and easy to use. It's not the most powerful program out there, but we only need to use it to compress a movie file, not make a shot-for-shot remake of Citizen Kane. So, this tutorial will focus on using Movie Maker. If you want to submit a tutorial for another video editing program, please PM it to TinCow and I will add it to this list.
First, go to the File menu and select Import into Collections. Browse to the video(s) you created in Section I, and hit Import. If the files are very large, this step could take a few minutes. When the importing is done, select the Collections dropdown bar at the top-middle of the screen and select the video. You should end up with a screen showing lots of short video clips, like this:
Next, select ALL of those clips, and drag them down to the Video bar at the bottom of the screen. You will end up with a short storyboard that looks like this:
Note: If the video you recorded in Section I produced more than one file, you will need to join them together. To do this, go back up to the Collections dropdown, select the second video, and then drag all of those video clips down to the end of the existing storyboard on the Video bar. Be aware that if you are planning on uploading to YouTube, you cannot submit a file that is longer than 15 minutes. In order to submit videos longer than that, you will have to split them up into multiple videos. To do that, simple stop adding video clips to the storyboard before you hit the 15 minute mark (duration is listed on the bar). Then compress the file according to the instructions below. When that's finished, make a second video, this time starting with the clip immediately following the last one on your first video. Repeat this process until you're done.
Now, to compress the video, go to the File menu and hit Save Movie File. Select My Computer as the destination and hit Next, then give it a file name and select whatever location you want to save the file, and hit Next again. You will then be looking at a window that looks generally like this:
The quality you select on this screen will determine how good the video looks when played online, so pay attention to it. I highly recommend making your videos suitable for 720p HD resolution, as they will look a lot better when viewed on the Org. For comparison, this video is in standard 480p resolution, while this one is in 720p. In order for your video to be viewable at 720p on YouTube, the Display Size entry on the window in the screenshot above should read 1280x720 (for widescreen). If your version of Movie Maker does not have this option, download this file (right click, save link as) and place it in this directory (assuming a default Move Maker install): C:/Program Files/Movie Maker/Shared/Profiles/. That should enable the 1280x720 resolution option. Now, hit Next. The video is now re-encoding to an MPEG and compressing. This may take a while depending on how large the original file was, so be patient. When the process is done, your video is complete and ready for uploading to YouTube.
Section III: Uploading Your Video
There are many different websites that host video on the net, but few are as powerful or as easy to use as YouTube. So, this tutorial uses YouTube. Go to YouTube, login (register if you don't have an account, it's easy and you only have to do it once), and the click Upload in the top middle of your screen. Then click Upload Video, browse to the video you made in Section II, and YouTube will automatically start uploading and processing the video. This will take a couple minutes, but if you compressed the file properly in Section II it shouldn't be too long. When the upload is complete, YouTube will give you the URL to your video. Do not if all of the resolution options do not appear immediately. It take YouTube a few minutes to process the video even after it says it is complete. The higher resolution options will become available on that same URL within a couple minutes.
Section IV: Adding Your Video to the Org Media Library
On the Org, hit the Media tab on the top menu bar. On the next screen (the Media Library), hit the Submit Media link, which will be just below the Media tab. You will then see a screen that looks like this:
Paste the YouTube URL to your video in the Media URL text box and hit the Retrieve Information button. Your video will automatically be linked, a thumbnail will be generated, the title will be entered, the video length will be added, and any description you wrote about the video on YouTube will be added. If you want to change any of this information, do so now. In particular, consider entering information such as who the players were, what the map was, what the armies were, etc. in the text box at the bottom with the smilies next to it. Now, select the proper Category for the video (probably Battle Replay). When you're done, hit Submit Media at the bottom of the screen. Congratulations, your video is now part of the Org Media Library and will show up immediately on the Frontpage widget and be viewable from the Media Library itself. The sidebar within the forum only updates every 60 minutes, so it might take some time for it to appear there.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitiate to PM TinCow and I will help you solve any problems you have.