Black Ops II – Dolly Cameras and heat maps

Amongst all the other features of the current game of the moment Call Of Duty : Black Ops II there are some great tools for exploring replays. Every game that you play is stored away on servers somewhere. In game you can pull one of those games as a replay. In the replay you have full control over the camera views, and can zoom back an forward through time. This replay is a reconstruction from the player data, so it needs the game to be able to see it (or anyone else’s shared replays). It does however allow you to render the replay to an actual movie and put it on youtube. Of course just a first person or 3rd person view of the game might get a bit samey, so hidden away is the ability to set camera positions and have cameras follow a virtual dolly to let us budding action movie directors create this sort of thing.

It seems to be having a few teething troubles as this was twice as long as this when I rendered it 🙂 However you can see the sort of control you can have over the cameras to make mini action machinima 🙂
The Elite web side used to be a subscription only extra add on, but is now open to everyone, this lets you explore the data in more ways. Things like the heatmap view of a level that shows a map view of where things happened and when. With the ability to drill down into the data and see what happened where. Of course this is not for everyone but it is interesting as it gives an insight into what gets captured and stored. Whilst it is just player positions and status over time, that is used to reconstruct the visuals it is a huge amount of data, given the millions of games that have happened already.

As you can see in this example I tend to die more than anything else 🙂 It is still great fun though.

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