Basti’s Buggy Blog

Poking at software.

Comfortable Screen Recording

All-in-one screen recording solutions always lacked some configuration option:

  • OBS: Awkward selection of area to record, output size has to be changed every time
  • ffmpeg: Area to record has to be passed as a string
  • Others: Ancient output formats, missing quality configurations

I just replaced simple screen recording tasks with a combination of these tools:

  • slop: Interactive selection of the area to record
  • ffmpeg: Recording the selected area in any imaginable format
  • yad: Extremely simple tray icon

The Result

  • scrrec command executable from anywhere after placing the script in a PATH directory (e.g. ~/.local/bin)
  • A tray icon that stops the recording when clicking on it
    i3bar with the new tray icon

The Script

set -euo pipefail

# Description: Prompt for area selection, record screen, provide tray icon
# Dependencies: slop, yad, ffmpeg

OUT_FILENAME="$HOME/Videos/scrrec_$(date --iso-8601=seconds).mp4"

# prompt for area selection
# -b 5
#   5px border for selection
# -c 1,0.5,0.5,0.8
#   translucent red for selection
# -l
#   fill the background on selection
# -k
#   disable keyboard events cancelling the selection, this
#   allows switching to other windows. the selection can be
#   cancelled with RMB
# -f
#   define the output format
SELECTED_AREA=$(slop -b 5 -c 1,0.5,0.5,0.8 -l -k -f "%x %y %w %h %g %i")

# store selection into variables
read -r X Y W H G ID < <(echo $SELECTED_AREA)

# record the selected are using ffmpeg
ffmpeg -f x11grab -s "$W"x"$H" -framerate 30 -i :1.0+$X,$Y -c:v libx264 -crf 0 -preset ultrafast "$OUT_FILENAME" &

# wait for click event on the tray icon
yad --notification --command="quit" --image="media-record"

# end the recording

yad allows for using arbitrary tray icons. To list all available icons on your system use find /usr/share/icons/ | less or gtk3-icon-browser.