Hello there, Natalie here. So, I promised in the last post to talk about working in a video editor and effects software. Then, let’s begin.
Now, disclaimer here, I am not going to claim to be the best video editor out there. I am not even going to claim that my process, tips or tricks are even good advice. This is just how I function in a software that I taught myself how to use.
Stepping into an editing software can be daunting, there is a lot on the screen, and even more you generally do not see(until you click on all the menu buttons and then your head explodes because you are like “what are all these magical tools?!”). Anywho, you move past that and the first thing to do to start working on editing a video would be to import your media files. Do you remember in the last post I talked about how the team would capture footage of the gameplay? In making a game trailer those are the main media files you would be editing, along with some art and sound files. Next, what I like to do is organize these files into folders. In an editing software there is usually a menu where your imported files will be located and in that menu, you can make folders. I generally create an “Art”, “Sound”, and “Raw” folder. An “Art” folder: for any files that are visual but are not in themselves videos, a “Sound” folder: for sound, and finally the “Raw” folder for the raw, uncompressed videos.
Since you have imported your files, now you can start editing! Depending on the software you are using you might have different tools and steps you want to take before getting into editing in the timeline. For instance, in HitFilm there is a tool called the trimmer which allows me to select a sequence of frames in a video asset and then drop that sequence into the timeline. In essence cutting away any extra frames at the beginning and end of the clip, leaving only the meat of the scene.
Finally we get to the editor where most of the work takes place, the timeline. This is where the art of editing begins. Here you will decide how scenes cut together and flow to create one succinct story. However, first you have to add the clips. I just sort of drop everything into a general order based on the storyboard for the video. Then I dive in head first into the frames and cut and refine as I go until I start to feel the flow of the video. Once I have that then it just takes a little more refining work till I am happy with what I have made. Now there is a fancy technique of converting clips into what is called composite shots so you can add VFX work to the scene, but since, in making this game trailer, I never touched on that I won’t discuss it here.
For me, the hardest part of editing is the audio work. I find it difficult because at least for the I’m Too Lazy trailer, when the gameplay was recorded the recording did not capture the sound properly. So, when the raw videos were played the sound associated with them was like grinding metal, nails on a chalkboard, or whatever worst sound you can imagine. This caused me quite a problem cause now to make the video believable I had to add and then balance game sound clips with the trailer music. As you might, imagine it was a headache. Generally, in editing, you do not have to do that much work for audio. More often than not when making a final version of a video you will be adding in pre-made and refined sound clips that you just have to trim, place properly, and adjust the audio levels. Even better, you just might have to adjust the levels of the audio that comes with your clips.
After all that is done, the final stretch of editing involves tightening up those transitions and effects you might have. Refining is the most important step, and spending most of your time polishing your work will show much more than restarting your work over and over again. Lastly after everything is done and polished you export the videos in whatever format suits you and you are done.
I hope some of you have found this insightful and that I have not misled any of you with my own personal take on editing. Keep checking back at this site for more posts in the future!
So, last time we went over my thought process through creating the physical stage of the boss fight. This time we are going to talk about the emotional build-up of the fight during the mental stage. It is important to note I will be discussing the idea of the interest curve for this aspect of the level.
You can think of an interest curve like a graph describing the plot of something; there’s your initial hook, a period of rising tension, the big climax, and finally the end. In a boss battle this is relevant too. For example let’s take a classic Zelda boss fight, Gohma from Wind Waker.
First we start at point A, when you see the dragon tail hanging from the ceiling. Then we are at B as Gohma rears up out of the lava. Points C, D, E, and F are the player figuring out the contraption to weaken the boss and the first couple of strikes. The last cycle of steps and the final blow on Gohma’s eye make up point G. H would be the cutscene that plays after you beat the boss.
Back to talking about our game though, we already had one interest curve complete at the end of the first part, and now we are immediately barreling into another. The transition from the physical stage to the mental is our hook. The player has already beaten ACTIV to the ground, so ACTIV is hurt but still determined and angry.
For the mental stage it was important that this confrontation be more of a back and forth between ACTIV and the player. This is their final moments. The player could finally rest control from ACTIV or ACTIV could come to terms with everything. So, even though it is a boss battle it is more like a conversation. We are also delving into the deepest consciousness of ACTIV, here all his flaws and good points are pushed to their extreme.
But that’s all for now folks! Hope you enjoyed this little discussion. Keep on the lookout for more posts in the future!