“IF YOU EVER WONDER HOW TO RECORD ALL YOUR PRO PLAYS & MAKE A FRAG MOVIE OUT OF IT, THIS GUIDE MIGHT BE USEFUL TO YOU. THE SOURCE ENGINE PROVIDES A SET OF TOOLS TO RECORD A GAME TO A DEMO FILE FOR POSSIBLE EDITING AND LATER PLAYBACK. THESE FUNCTIONS ARE PROVIDED VIA CONSOLE COMMANDS OR GUI TOOLS LIKE THE DEMO PLAYBACK WINDOW, DEMO EDITOR AND DEMO SMOOTHER..”

Basic Recording & Playback

Basic Recording & Playback

To record a game, type in console record "name", while the file name shouldn't have any special characters or spaces. The demo file (.dem extension) is saved in your current game directory, e.g. \hl2\name.dem. You can start recording anytime within a running game and stop recording with the stop command.

If a changelevel occurs while recording, the current demo file will be closed and a new demo file name_2 (name_3, name_4, etc.) is created. To playback a previously recorded game, type playdemo "name".

If you want to use demo playback for system benchmarking use timedemo "name". Timedemo plays a demo as fast as possible and shows performance stats after the playback is finished (total drawn frames, seconds needed for playback, average frames per second and variability).

Built-in Demo

Functions of Built-in Demo Player

Anytime while playing back a demo file, the Demo Playback window can be brought up by pressing Shift+F2 or the demoui command. The Demo Playback window allows to pause and resume, change playback speed or move your camera viewpoint.

To load a new demo file hit the "Load…" button and choose a file from disc. The current loaded demo file name will be shown right beside the "Load..." button. The current and total playtime is shown right below. Using the slider on the right, you can adjust the playback speed between slow-motion and fast-forward (0% to 600%).

To change the camera's viewpoint, switch to "Camera drive mode" by pressing the "Drive..." toggle button. The button will stay in the pressed-down state as long as the "Drive Mode" is active. To navigate the camera, move the mouse out to the viewport, keep the LMB pressed and move around using the W, A, S, and D keys. You can move up and down with Z and X, and slow down with the Shift key.

There is also Demo Editor & Demo Smoother option available in the Demo Playback window. The Demo Editor allows you to add and execute a set of commands during demo playback. These demo commands can display text, fade in/out, change the FOV or run any other console command. The Demo Smoother can be used to smooth out the recorded view or create completely new camera paths.

Demo console commands

Overview of all demo console commands

Champions Astralis
SkipAhead Skips demo playback ahead to a specified tick and resumes playback.
StopPlayback Stops demo playback immediately.
PlayCommands Executes a console command.
ScreenFadeStart Fade screen in/out.
TextMessageStart Shows a simple text message.
PlayCDTrackStart Starts playing a CD track.
PlaySoundStart Plays a .WAV or .MP3 sound file.
Pause Pauses playback for given seconds.
ChangePlaybackRate Changes the playback speed.
demo_debug <0/1> Shows additional demo debug info
demo_fastforwardstartspeed <factor> Go this fast when starting to hold FF button.
demo_fastforwardramptime <seconds> How many seconds it takes to get to full FF speed.
demo_fastforwardfinalspeed <factor> Final playback speed when holding the FF button.
demo_interpolateview <0/1> Enables/disabled view interpolation between demo ticks
demo_quitafterplayback <0/1> Quits game after demo playback
demo_recordcommands <0/1> Record commands typed at console into .dem files
demo_pause [seconds] Pauses demo playback, seconds optional
demo_resume Resumes demo playback
demo_togglepause Toggles demo pause/playback
demo_gototick <tick> [relative] [pause] Skips to a tick in demo. If the relative parameter is 1 the tick is an offset to the current tick. If the pause parameter is 1, playback while be paused when tick is reached
demo_timescale <scale> Set the demo playback speed as a factor, 1.0 is normal playback

Hiding HUD

Here is a list of console commands which are required to hide HUD in demos for recording movies.

  • demoui;
  • sv_cheats 1;
  • cl_drawhud 0;
  • hidepanel all;
  • cl_draw_only_deathnotices 1

If you want your awesome plays to get featured in our official “Ultimate Plays” videos then submit your recorded demos (.dem file) and we will definitely provide you the opportunity to get recognized among the gaming community. Help us to help you. Thank You.