Bungie have gave us a nice random present today by releasing their much awaited render to video beta. Render to video allows you to render your clips on your fileshare straight to a downloadable wmv video. The beta is open to Bungie Pro subscribers and ex subscribers like myself, nice of Bungie to reward the people who subscribed back in the day when Pro was new, exciting and expensive. Rather than give you a meaty meandering explanation I’ll give you the info straight from the mouth of Bungie.
Q. How do I create a video?
A. When a saved film or clip is in your File Share (or someone else’s) and you want to turn it into a computer-playable video file, you can click “Render Film” on Bungie.net and it will tell you the cost in “Bungie(R) Points ™”, based on the length of the file and the resolution you want to render to. If you have enough points, you can confirm your purchase, and a little while later your video will be available for you to view and download. Simple! (Well, simple for you. We have to deal with storing 500GB/day of new content!) There are currently two resolutions you can choose from. Standard definition is 640×360 WMV at about 1Mbps. High def is 1280×720 WMV at 6Mbps. That’s full 720p resolution!
Q. How do I get Bungie Points?
A. We expect to make points available in a couple different ways: for light usage (say, one short clip a month), Bungie Pro members with active subscriptions (or, currently, beta testers as described above) will get one or more points dropped into their Bungie Pro account each month at no additional charge over the current Pro plan. You can think of a point like a rollover minute on a phone plan- you can redeem it for your short clip, or save it for a longer one. For more dedicated render users, we plan to offer a pay-as-you-go model where you can buy “point packs”.
Q. How do Points work during the beta?
A. We’ll start off beta users with 2 points each. For now, standard-def video will be set to cost 1 point per minute, and HD will cost 5. After we make sure that things have spun up smoothly in the SD world, we’ll start topping off users’ accounts to 5 points so that you can try out HD. Don’t worry about saving up points right now, go ahead and use them as you get them.
Q. How do I watch my rendered videos?
A. After the video render is complete, you’ll see a video player appear in the web page for your saved film. You can watch the video right there, or download the WMV to your computer. Currently, all Beta users can see the videos of other Beta users, but other users cannot. We’re looking into getting enough bandwidth to enable public embedding of the player in the future.
Q. How long is the Beta?
A. We expect for the beta to run until sometime in July, and we plan that real post-beta points will start to accumulate on Bungie Day (7/7). So if you’re planning to buy Bungie Pro for the video feature, mark your calendars, since that’s the first date that will give you a full year of video service with your subscription!
There is more information on Bungie’s news page.
I for one am very very excited by this, I was a little put off at first by the points but it makes sense now. How could Bungie cope with all the millions of Halo clips being rendered at one time, it makes sense to slow it down and deal with it in bite size chunks. I can see myself buying points packs to capture the odd full game. I don’t mind giving Bungie more money as they do give us, the halo player, so much.
As for the quality? Why not have a look at a standard definition clip that I got off my fileshare and uploaded to Youtube this morning. I’m very impressed with the quality…and the skills.
The only problems with the clip is the lack of reticule. All Halo addicts know you fix this with a few clicks of the right stick but as of now there is no way of getting around this on the Render to Video. The other problem is multi angle recordings, if you capture footage with a capture card then you can record it from multi angles. There is no way to fix this with your old clips but if you plan to render a clip in the future then you could save multiple replays of the clip showing different angles and edit it together.
All in all im very excited by this and its just one more lovely gift from the beautiful girls and boys at Bungie. We ❤ you…most of the time.