I was asked about Lawena by my friends often, and others who see our conversations talk about how they wanted to try Lawena, but when they did, decided against it due to a steep learning curve. There are not a lot of up-to-date tutorials for Lawena, and some features broke over time that I still don't understand how. So, I figured I could just explain a simple workflow for POV demos.
I'm going to assume most people can install software and you will need the following software to record POV demos without interfering with your normal configs:
If you want cinematic shots:
Half Life: Advanced Effects (not covered here)
When you first run Lawena, it will ask you where your tf folder is if you do not have it installed on your c: drive. After you select it, or have it installed on the c: drive, you will have to select the movie folder.
THIS NEEDS TO BE SELECTED AS TF FOLDER FOR TWO RECORDING OPTIONS TO WORK.
Something occurred between the last update in 2017 til now that causes Lawena to not have access to any other folders other than the tf folder, even if it's being run in admin mode.
First, let's start with the window.
The top left quadrant is for the in-game recording settings, with ViewModel and Skybox settings included. Note, HUD is also included and if you plan on using a custom hud, you can select your hud on the right side of the window.
The bottom left quadrant is for in-game settings, they are clearly labeled, so feel free to enable and disable what you need and what you don't.
The right side of the screen is custom resourcecs from both your tf and Lawena's custom folders. You can install a hud just for Lawena, enable the one you usually use for TF2, or enable/install any mod you would like to use for your fragmovie. This includes crosshairs.
Next, the advanced dropdown.
Enhanced particles sounds exactly what it sounds like, you can enable certain enhanced particles that will replace explosions, smoke effects, medi beams, etc. Some particle effects appear behind walls, so test before you record or else a AM player will roast you in the comments for a spark that appears from behind upper IT.
Custom settings is where you can put custom commands you would put in console. Think of it like your autoexec.
Custom launch options are straightforward. You would most likely not need to touch this unless you would like to run the game on high priority.
Launch mode is where things get tricky. There are three options.
Launch using HL2 is the default, and if you don't plan on using HLAE, it gets the job done.
Launch using Steam is virtually the same as using HL2.
Launch using HLAE requires you to have installed HLAE and selected the exe from the button below it. HLAE is it's own beast within itself and I won't be going over how to use it, however, there are CSGO tutorials that can also teach you how to use it.
Now, if you are planning on using OBS or Shadowplay to record your clips, you are all set to go out and create a IM fragmovie. Just be warned, you probably won't be able to get a smooth 60 FPS or will have abyssmal bitrate on the clips you get.
If you plan on using Lawena to record, be prepared for workarounds galore.
There are three main ways to record, and two are basically the same thing.
The first is hitting P. P is bound to recording a movie and once it starts recording, you will know because the demo goes from 60 fps to 2. Once the clip you want has been recorded, go ahead and hit P again and it will return to normal, and you have your clip recorded in TGA format and a WAV file is created, which we will get to later.
The second option is using the command startmovie <name> tga wav . This does the exact same thing P does, but you can specify the name instead of using letters A-Z to record. Sometimes if P doesn't work to record, this option does. Once the clip is recorded, you will need to use the command endmovie . The same files, TGA and WAV, will be created and these files will be labeled under the name you set it as.
The last option is using the VDM page on the lawena window to create a config and VDM file to record, which is the cleanest way to record.
You will need to click browse, select your demo, then input the ticks that you want to begin recording and end recording. Then select add exec+record. Afterward, create the VDM files. Once you begin playing the demo, it will automatically skip and start recording the clip. Once it reaches the end of the clip, it will stop recording and stop the demo. It will follow a similar naming scheme and format to P.
Ok, now you have your clip recorded, have audio, but now you need to create it into a video. This is where VirtualDub comes in. Once launched, click file and open video file. Then you need to navigate to your tf folder and select the first image in the sequence
Afterward, go to audio then audio from other file and select the corresponding WAV file.
Next, go to video then frame rate. Select "Change so video and audio durations match."
We're almost done to export, but you will need to select a codec to export the clip in. If you export now, you will get a 25-gigabyte file for 10 seconds of footage. Go to video, then compression, and select a codec.
I recommend using Lagarith Lossless Codec, but you will need to download it. If you are lazy, you can use either Intel or Logitech codecs. All three are visually similar, but Lagarith is about 80% of the size of both Intel and Logitech's output.
Once you have everything set, you are ready to export the clip. Go to File, Save as AVI, and save the file to wherever you store clips. Play it back, make sure it looks good, and you are ready to send the clip to whatever editing software you use.
Lawena is very easy to break and has a habit of not telling you what's wrong with the client. I've done some troubleshooting around some common problems I was having and found solutions to most.
TF2 starts to launch, but it boots me back to desktop
Make sure Steam is running and if you have a custom hud selected, make sure you have it selected in your custom resource window.
Crashes when disabling captions
Get a different HUD or just enable the default HUD lawena offers. I don't know why, but whenever I tried a HUD that had captions on automatically, it would crash when I disable them, even in the custom settings window.
Pressing my record bind doesnt record
Check if your Movie folder is set to your tf folder. If it is and it still isn't working, either A. try the startmovie command or B. check if you have space in the drive TF2 is installed on.
Virtualdub Files are fucking massive
Try a different codec or use OBS/Shadowplay instead.
Exported videos buffer
Get the file off of a hard drive/external drive. The files have a massive bitrate, and you will need to have an SSD if you plan on playing them back in real-time.
That is a basic workflow for Lawena POV recordings. If anyone has any other information, feel free to reply and correct me. There are still features that I'm figuring out.
EDIT: the command startmovie has been only recording at 30 FPS for me, seeing what can fix it