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Rockstar has some big improvements inbound for how gamers make and share video machinima using their video editing tools in Grand Theft Auto V. They briefly discussed what sort of features and functions players will have at their disposal in the upcoming release on PC.
PC Gamer managed to get in contact with Rockstar and find out what sort of improvements are being added to the upcoming game when it comes to video editing and gamers being able to put together their own machinima.
According to John Macpherson, lead designer at Rockstar Toronto, he stated that...
"The Rockstar Video editor in GTA V features a number of significant improvements," … "This starts at the recording level, where players now have the option to start and stop their captures at will. We have also added a brand new feature known as 'Director Mode'. This gives users the ability to play and record using any actor from GTA V such as story and heist crew characters, members of the ambient population and even animals."
The recording feature to stop and start captures at will is a huge, huge, huge step up from GTA IV. For those of you familiar with recording in GTA IV you might remember that it required capturing footage at intervals of 30 second. Talk about a logistics nightmare. It's usually why you'll see a lot of people mention how long it took them to shoot, chop and publish a video machinima from GTA IV due to the way the tools were setup. You basically had to pre-plan which pockets of 30 second footage you were planning on shooting before you started the capture process so you wouldn't have a bunch of the same 30 second clips piled up in the editor and slowing the machine down drastically.
In addition to that, not having to directly rely on gobs of those clips means you don't have to keep flushing the RAM every so often to keep it clean while compiling the video clips. If it sounded kind of like a nightmare that's because it was, even in spite of how fun it was making and editing some movies.
As for the “Director Mode”... that's an interesting twist. Previously, gamers had to use in-game trainers to switch characters for recording purposes. Again, you would have to pre-plan who you were going to record and what they were doing. Then you would have to use the trainer to swap the models for Niko. If you want to alter the voice you would also have to edit that as well. Switching characters and cars with the trainer also frequently resulted in the game crashing, so it was nerve wrecking going through the process. Having that feature built-in makes it way, way easier to direct the kind of movies you want in GTA V without having to rely on trainers, memory flushing or constantly re-opening the game after crashes.
The new video editing tools also include contextual speech modifiers and the ability to even control and direct animals. Once again, this is a feature that was previously relegated to trainers. Players would have to manually overlay speech or dialogue to a character while running them through the mouth animations, or use a pre-recorded clip from within the game. If that sounded tedious to you, well it was.
Moreover, Macpherson mentions...
"GTA V now allows players to add and trim multiple radio tracks to a single video. Scored music is also available as are numerous in-game commercial recordings. A new suite of custom filters have been added along with custom post effects tuning. Players can add and customize depth of field effects in their videos now as well. For camera edits, additional targeting and blend options have been added for greater control over shots. Final edits can now be shared directly to YouTube and entered into upcoming Social Club contests."
Now that's really cool. Having post processing already available within the tools without needing iCEnhancer should make it even easier for gamers to put together high quality machinima without killing their hardware.
Despite all the grief Rockstar has received from some PC gamers for being two years late to the party with the PC rendition of GTA V, I at least have to give Rockstar props for adding a lot of the necessary upgrades in the game from what was featured in GTA IV. So long as the game is as optimized and smooth-running as Max Payne 3 on PC, I think PC gamers will be in for a real treat with GTA V when it launches on April 14th.