View Full Version : How to watch OR Record a Demo TF2

03-30-2008, 08:20 PM
How to watch recorded TF2 demo files Or Record a demo TF2
Team Fortress 2

Recording a demo:
To record a demo press the tilde "~" key to go into console. Then type "record NAME" to start recording the demo. To stop the demo go back into console and type "stop" to stop recording the demo.

Locating the demo:
To locate the demo you recorded or to place a demo file you just downloaded you'll need to go into the tf folder of team fortress 2. Go to "C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\Login Name\team fortress 2\tf"
.dem is the extension of the recorded demo.

Playback demo:
To watch the demo go into console by pressing the tilde "~" key on your keyboard. Then type "Playdemo NAME" to watch the demo you recorded or downloaded.

Playback Control:
When you are watching the demo hit "SHIFT+F2" to toggle on/off the demo control player. This will allow you to do basics such as fastforward/rewind, skip, stop, start. Also it will allow you to add texts, sounds etc for more advanced publishings.


This was made for anyone who was lost on what to do with all the gameday demos like myself who didnt want to ask =p

03-30-2008, 08:26 PM
One thing though, were to place the demo you downloaded.

EDIT: Nvm, i cant read.

03-30-2008, 08:59 PM
What about converting it to a video file?

03-30-2008, 09:13 PM
should have done it for my map on gamedaY! FUNCK

03-30-2008, 09:34 PM
Wow, this is very cool. Never knew about it before, I hope I can put it to use.

The Scientist
03-30-2008, 10:13 PM
It's been asked, but is there a way you can convert it to video format?

03-30-2008, 10:15 PM
from doing a lot of searching.

No, no direct program to convert it because .dem technically is not a Video file.

Closest way i've seen and read is play the demo and capture it will FRAPS or another video capture program.

03-31-2008, 03:23 PM
actually i think there is a method, in quake 3 the prefered method was to dump each frame as a screenshot and then use something like virtualdub to create the movie, personaly i've got a registered version of fraps so i'm lazy and just playback the demo and record from there,

but for anyone interested on the process you can have a read of,


basically the game will screenshot each frame for you - so its gonna use ALOT of hd space = and then there are a multitude of programs the best free one being virtualdub where you can make it into a movie - change format etc etc.

03-31-2008, 04:10 PM
theres no way to detatch the camera from the player once its recorded is there?

03-31-2008, 04:24 PM
from doing a lot of searching.

No, no direct program to convert it because .dem technically is not a Video file.

Closest way i've seen and read is play the demo and capture it will FRAPS or another video capture program.


This may be written for Counter Strike, but it works for TF2 as well.

03-31-2008, 04:52 PM
theres no way to detatch the camera from the player once its recorded is there?

ive only briefly messed around with the demoui and only touched briefly on the smoothing options - i posted a flyby of my map in the wip forum using it.

Although they are other commands listed here


which i havent tried yet, i think it is possible using the Spline angles and spline origin settings.

03-31-2008, 05:27 PM
theres no way to detatch the camera from the player once its recorded is there?

There's always Source TV

03-31-2008, 05:27 PM
theres no way to detatch the camera from the player once its recorded is there?
As far as I know there isn't, unless you're recording SourceTV.

04-02-2008, 12:03 PM
OK guys here's the info you need:

Source SDK docs page on demo recording tools

I make videos of TF2 all the time. You need fraps (or equivalent).

Yes, you can move around in demo play back. Use the drive tool. Also, you can get into 3rd person view for some cool angles. The drive tool is really quirky though, your player model will still do the things you did during the recording of the demo. So if you record a demo and plan on using the drive tool to move around, make sure you don't die, even in drive mode, you'll be sent back to spawn.

Here's the short of the long:

- Record demo
- Start Fraps
- Open TF2 and adjust video and screen settings (cl_drawhud 0, r_drawviewmodel 0, resolution, etc etc)
- Start demo, hit Fraps hot key to start recording
- Edit videos in Windows Movie Maker and output at high quality.
- Upload to youtube
- Profit

here's a couple examples I did...

In the first video, I used the drive tool along with a slight drop in speed to acheive the smooth fly over.

In the second video, again, used the drive tool move around and capture certain events.

YouTube - ctf_avantiville preview
YouTube - eVa Fun Night II

Ill write up a detailed tutorial, its pretty easy. Just need to use the right settings on stuff.

04-02-2008, 01:30 PM
personally i'd always record the flyby type demos in spectator mode, there is a console command that slows the "spec camera movement speed" down so its easier to navigate around your map without flying through the walls :d, i just checked the avanti vid - and it would benefit from using the smoothing options afterwards for a really clean flyby effect.

when im remember exactly what the console command for slowing the spectator free look cam down i'll post it :/

Colt Seavers
04-02-2008, 01:48 PM
there are options to have up to 5 spectators able to act as cameramen for the source tv demo recorded serverside. with a source tv demo off the server operator you can view all player angles, all cameramen shots and in freeview.

before the next game day, remind me to enable this for the server and i'll post up the files afterwards.

04-02-2008, 01:53 PM
As far as I know there isn't, unless you're recording SourceTV.

I think you can use drive mode, not sure how its done but I saw something for counterstrike where they placed cameras all over the place to get a multi-angle shot of their 'tripple-nade-kill' so I can't imagine why the demo tools would be less advanced for TF2 than CSS

04-02-2008, 02:21 PM
I have not learned the smoothing tool. I started messin with it, and couldn't figure it out. My way to do the fly over was not the "correct" way. The correct way is to plot out a path in the smooth tool, but I couldn't tell you how! :D

04-02-2008, 02:27 PM
yeah i only messed a little with it in

YouTube - TF2 - CTF Geothermal b1 fly-thru

thats just basically me naviagting through the level in 1 pass - using a slowed down spectator cam - and then just using the automatic settings from the smoothing to help tidy up my shoddy camera work - quality is kinda poor but i didnt feel like uploading a big file to youtube - uk adsl uploads ftw :D

Colt Seavers
04-02-2008, 04:27 PM
we have a whole section filled with video tutorials guys if you want to know more ;) And the multi angle thing is easy with server side source tv demos - cos they include EVERY angle 8-)

04-02-2008, 07:05 PM
Here's a good tut on basic demo smoothing:

04-09-2008, 11:58 AM
If not enough methods already you could do it this way as well. TF2 directly to AVI with your choice of codec.

host_framerate 30
Startmovie <title> avi <- after you enter this, a box will pop up asking you what codec to use. Once you select it and press ok, depending on the codec chosen you may get another box; set it up the way you want and then go back to the game window
play <demo name> <- After this, wait for the demo to play back. It will seem to playback slowly; this is normal. Once playback has stopped, enter:

You now have an AVI ready for editing in the teamfortress folder!

04-09-2008, 10:22 PM
So if I'm to understand this correctly, I could make a demo of people playing on my map, and then watch it to see how people play on it and react to it? It sounds like the drive tool would let me drive around and watch people. Can you record a demo any time, on any server you're playing?

04-11-2008, 03:24 PM
this video if a really good example of whats possible using the drive tool along with the smoothing options,

YouTube - Team Fortress 2 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service

04-11-2008, 03:43 PM
OMG thats epic! I wish wish wish I could do that but as with most things I doubt Ihave the time to learn (note, not 'I dont have the patience')

09-19-2009, 05:22 PM
I get one of two error messages any time I try to view demos. They're not consistent with which demo I watch (i.e. I will get one for demo a, then the other error for demo b. This error crashes my game. So I reload it, try demo c, and get the first error. Then I try demo a again and suddenly, instead of the first error, it crashes. Make sense?) I have downloaded three different ones of my favorite map (fastlane) so that I can learn how the class is played for comp play (I know fastlane isn't used much, but I know it like the back of my hand; that way I can follow how it's played rather than trying to catch up on the map). If it's relevant (I'm sure it is) I'll post the text of the error messages.

P.S. Paria, that video is EPIC.

A Boojum Snark
09-19-2009, 05:24 PM
Are they old? Most updates to the game will break old demos because of code changes.

The Political Gamer
09-19-2009, 05:46 PM
Ya what ABS said.

Also for people like me who are lazy use this: http://code.google.com/p/seads/

09-19-2009, 06:14 PM
I just went off a link I found (apparently not in this thread, though I thought it was) and downloaded some high-ranked fastlane demos. I can't attest to the age, though # of ratings generally corresponds to the age of the file.