Call of Duty: Black Ops II Video Editor and YouTube Upload

Wanted to follow up my videos from today with some additional comments and info about the COD Black Ops 2 video editor. While it’s not the first game to have a built in machinima editor it is the first, to my knowledge, with direct export to YouTube and that makes it kind of a big deal here in the land of Google.

First, it’s kind of limited. Two key things seem to be missing. First is that you can’t properly scrub through a film in the proper sense of the idea. You can fast forward up to 6x speed. If you pass the point you want you can’t scrub back you can simply jump back to the last “Event” point(usually a kill) that was registered and then fast or slow forward to the point you want. Once you’re at the point you want you don’t “cut” the film in the traditional sense you simply start recording. This means if you aren’t quick on the play button or quick on the record button while the film is playing then you get a pause or delay at the start of your clip. Think back to the days where you would try to edit two VHS tapes together. It’s like that.

Second, speaking of clips…Clips are smaller units of a Film. A Film is basically a single game or round of play. Now that you understand that I’m gong to tell you something sad. You can not combine clips from different films in the editor. This effectively prevents you from creating a montage from multiple films. This seems like a pretty big miss step on the part of Treyarch and Activision. It makes it difficult for those of us who are not always good at the game 100% of the time from being able to assemble our exploits for the world to see. It also seems like it would make things considerably more difficult for those who might want to create real machinima from the game with out the outlay of additional hardware.

Protip: Clips are uploaded to YouTube immediately and after rendering. If you keep a laptop or tablet handy you can upload individual clips from different films and immediately set them to private or unlisted and then use YouTube’s own built in video editor to assemble them in to a single movie montage. That’s how I got Shotgun Highlights video put together.

While it has some glaring issues there are some neat things it does do. One of those things is an automated highlight real creator that looks at the registration of kills in a film and sort of auto cuts them for you and then presents a timeline of clips that you can arrange to make a highlight real from a single film.

It also succeeds at a one click to upload to YouTube which, between the auto highlight maker and that could make it really easy for a great player to put their exploits online.

Over all it’s not a bad first attempt for the folks at Treyarch to create a full featured in game machinima/video editor in the style of Bungie.net services.

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