Howto:Creating FlightGear Promo Videos

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Contributors: LukeaFG, Osjcag, Trez, connect, sa7k


Recent example of a good video:

Illustration of using a recent model GPU, good memory, and full settings while using a IR point tracker to impress the FSX guys:

We recommend two different styles. The first video is showing you the detailed features of FlightGear Version 3.2:

The second video shows you how to present a FlightGear Version 2.10 video in the form of a slideshow:


Use the Next changelog for the list of changes or updates to include in the video. Probably, promo videos should focus on feaures to be found in the release, not on optional aircraft, addons etc. (see screenshot guidelines).

Please also try to include your system specs, so that others can more easily determine if certain features are likely to work with their own hardware, specifically:

  • operating system
  • hardware (CPU, GPU, RAM, VRAM)
  • FlightGear relevant settings (Rembrandt vs. ALS, Basic weather vs. advanced weather)

Style / Appearance and Branding

Place the FlightGear logo in some corner of the video and a link to the official website, i.e.

I would probably make sure to add links (or even watermarks) to each video, so that "" is made very prominent - to make it more difficult for scammers to reuse such promos for their own purposes ... For the same reasons, we may want to use the terms "free" and "open source" to ensure that people cannot easily reuse the promo videos to sell rebranded versions of FG. And maybe each review you should have a date added, so that people know just how recent the promo video really is ? A semi transparent FlightGear logo in the corner of the video might help

Audio / Background Music

Use royalty free audio or ask for full permission, FlightGear is opensource your video should follow that as much as possible. Look up royalty free on google, there are many websites that feature royalty free music. MachinimaSound is a great site for royalty free music and it's made for content that features gaming.

Using the aircraft sounds also showcases FlightGear well.


We may still want to provide an option to localize/translate videos (I understand that's made possible for YT videos), to give even wider exposure to FG. I think YT videos can have text comments and audio translated for different audiences. Also, using the changelog to create a promo is definitely a very good idea! You can create an interactive transcript for YouTube in a .txt file in a different language which would be helpful.


Only record video if FlightGear's framerate is high (this prevents jerky motions... Example of what I mean here:

A good way to get better framerate is to slow the video down in the flightgear replay and speeding it up in the editor.

Format & Codecs

  • Container: mp4
  • Codec: h264 (for optimal quality)
  • Resolution : 720p or 1080p (progressive)
  • Framerate: 24 - 30FPS (30 is the maximum YouTube supports)
  • Aspect ratio: 16 ; 9 (any other ratios will have unwanted back bars in your video)

You should also consider encoding with webm, which is google's royalty free codec if you are just planning to upload to youtube.

Video Recording Software

Programs to record your video:

Name Platform License Notes
Action! Windows Commercial one of the best, has openGL support, can utilize multi-threading.
CamStudio Windows GPL Last release 2013
Fraps Windows Commercial Works great if configured right
Glc-capture Linux Free License unspecified see glc.h. Difficult, Fast capture, Produces large files.
Nvidia Share Windows Proprietary Formerly Nvidia ShadowPlay. Requires Nvidia card & recent drivers. Good frames. Part of Nvidia GFE
Open Broadcaster Software Linux, Mac, Windows GPL v2 Modern, Intuitive.
QuickTime X Mac Proprietary Part of MacOS
RecordMyDesktop Linux GPL Last release 2008
VLC Linux, Mac, Windows GPL Multiplatform

Video Editing Software

Programs to edit your video:

Name Platform License Notes
Adobe Premiere Pro Windows, Mac Commercial
Kdenlive Linux, BSD, Mac, Windows GPL
OpenShot Linux, Mac, Windows LGPL
Pitivi Linux GPL
IMovie Mac Commercial IMovie comes with every mac for free. Paid upgrades.
Sony Vegas Pro Windows Commercial
VirtualDub Windows GPL Discontinued

Helpful Tips & Tricks

  • It is recommended to record in full screen mode, this gets rid of any compositor double vertical synching effect, on Linux you simply disable the compositor(the implementation depends on your distro), while for Windows Vista and 7, just disable the Aero theme, unfortunately for Windows 8 and above, the compositor cannot be disabled, the compositor runs as DWM.exe, and is re-instanced by the winlogon.exe manager whenever you try to close it, two alternatives exists is to run the classic shell, or you follow this guideline for a hack to disable DWM.exe temporarily(this will break some effects including the Window Manager). disable-desktop-composition-in-windows-8-force-it

  • If you have a powerful machine, it is best to disable VSync(as it adjusts frame-spacing to a minumum static value), if you are worried about maintaining a constant FPS for recording, just impose an internal frame cap in Flightgear by going to View > Rendering Options > Throttle Framerate. From my experience most OpenGL screen recorders impose an FPS limit anyway(unlike some DirectX recorders).

Linux: export the env variable "vblank_mode=0" on the same session you're running FG from.

Windows w/ Nvidia GPU: Nvidia Control Panel > Manage 3D settings > Program Settings.

  • It is better to write to a separate HDD then the one you're running Flightgear from, as not to overwhelm your drive's IO controller.

  • Avoid live encoding, as that would bog down the CPU while recording and consume lots of memory, always perform transmuxing without re-encoding if you want to edit, i recommend ffmpeg if you know how to operate it, or MP4Box(GUI MP4 stream extractor for Windows).


Everything else is up to the editor... ;)