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Thread: [Discussion] AMV editing theory and techniques

  1. #1
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    Default [Discussion] AMV editing theory and techniques

    So. A lot of people seem to have no idea how to really "edit" when making an AMV.
    Since the current minis challenge right now is to make an AMV (or at least a portion of one), it seems like a good time to discuss things.

    Anyone having trouble figuring how how to do this? How to choose scenes, how to match things up to the synch of the music, how to make it flow?
    When to use cuts and fades, how to make effects that don't look incredibly cheesy, how to make it just generally not suck?

    Ask away!

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    I guess, for starters, I have to ask if there is nowadays a way to make masking easier or more accurate than the traditional manual point plotting method? You know, something around "magic wanding" directly into the video editor or whatnot? You see, I'm still in the Dark Ages with Vegas 8.0, since I gotta practice the basics first.

    One way I think of achieving this to a similar effect with a still scene is to export it from the editor to an image, magic wand the mask out it in Photoshop or similar, import that image back into the editor, and run a masking filter to it.

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    For masking like that, Adobe after effects is really about as good as it gets. It has a ton of different tools available. I believe the latest version does have a feature almost exactly like what you described, but I have not tried it.

    After Effects CC: Mask Tracker: http://youtu.be/v7wpUtUMw8A

    There is also a paint bucket effect, which is quite literally like a magic wand for video.

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    If you have absolutely, positively no other alternatives:


    Edit:
    It won't look THE BEST but it won't be terrible
    Last edited by MarkSoupial; 10-30-2014 at 03:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkSoupial View Post
    Edit:
    It won't look THE BEST but it won't be terrible
    You must have different standards. Looks terrible to me....

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedarkmessenger View Post
    You must have different standards.
    ****, I could have told you that. Have you seen the **** I've submitted?

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    I have difficulty with creating a strong story element in full length amvs, to where the end result most always turns out to be more of a collection of scenes that generally tie in to the lyrics happening rather than a meaningful arc from beginning to middle to end. Zarx and others, is this something that you were able to develop over time by taking amvs from concept to completion? Does it require a step in the planning stage akin to storyboarding? Something else/ other advice? Thanks.

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    @ the4ten:
    Probably the first thing you may try, is to make sure that your audio source
    does, in fact, tell a story. If you choose a song that has maybe 1 or 2 verses
    and endless chorus vamps, there's probably not much of a story there to work with.
    Pick a ballad if you want a strong story.

    Another angle is to ignore the lyrics altogether and focus more on the patterns and
    arcs of the music. Apply imagery to changes in key, tempo, and so on.
    This can be tricky, as your movie can come out looking like a commercial for your video source.

    Finally. Sometimes all you have is an idea based on 1 or 2 lines of lyrics and a particular anime
    or scene that would go with it. Expanding that idea into a full length AMV sometimes can be done,
    however if that key scene is lyric-intensive, then whatever you do to expand must follow the words
    just as intently.

    Oh, and a bonus tip. About lip-synching. If you are going to lip-synch, then make sure your characters
    only open their mouths when they're singing. NO Extra Lip-Flaps - Ever! Even if you're not lip-synching,
    it's still a good idea to to keep their mouths shut. This avoids any confusion on whether a scene is
    synched or silent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the4ten View Post
    I have difficulty with creating a strong story element in full length amvs, to where the end result most always turns out to be more of a collection of scenes that generally tie in to the lyrics happening rather than a meaningful arc from beginning to middle to end. Zarx and others, is this something that you were able to develop over time by taking amvs from concept to completion? Does it require a step in the planning stage akin to storyboarding? Something else/ other advice? Thanks.
    I think the concept of a "story" in AMVs is often misplaced. Its really difficult to tell a story in the same sense that one might consider a story from other media. Generally, what you really just want is some sort of progression from beginning to end. That is really what most AMV stories boil down to, and I can think of relatively few AMVs that really go much deeper than that.

    But generally, I think it all stems from a deep knowledge of your source material. First of all, you want to be really familiar with your song. Years ago I learned a technique from oldschool editor "Kusoyaro" that basically goes like... once you decide what song you are going to use, start listening to it all the time. Listen to it in your car. Put it on repeat on your phone. Or while you are playing games, or whatever. Listen to it hundreds of times, and become really familiar with it. At the same time while you are listening to the song, you should be able to start putting things together in your head. Imagine your video playing out. See the key scenes in your mind. Develop a plan for how you want it to go. I have never really created a formal "storyboard" for anything that I have made, but I usually have a solid outline put together that exists entirely in my mind.
    In order to do this, it of course also requires you to be very familiar with your video source. If you are just using a movie or a short series, it would probably do you good to watch it all over again after choosing your song, expressly to look out for scenes that might work well with your concept. I never take notes or anything like that, but some people do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsNotMyName_studio View Post
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarxrax View Post
    .
    Great stuff. Thanks, sirs.
    Last edited by the4ten; 10-31-2014 at 12:21 AM.

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    when im done editing my amv with sony vegas what do i render it as i have just been kinda guessing .avi ntsc quality like 420x something and i could tell rough quality in my last amv challenge submission

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    render as uncompressed avi, with settings the same as your project settings.
    And in your project settings, you need to make sure they match the settings of your source footage.
    You basically look at what settings your source video is, and never change from that.

    After you render it out of vegas, you can compress it using something like Zarx264gui.

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    I apologize if this isn't the right thread for this, but I'm looking for any suggestions you all might have for superb editors to follow. I have a few that I've kept an eye on over the years, but I don't have much knowledge of the full length amv community outside of amv.org and the folks I see consistently submitting to conventions year after year. Doesn't need to be any particular genre, as the point of this for me is to get a more broad idea of how you experts do it. It can be editors that are extremely technical, or editors who use simple visuals but have a great eye for flow.

    Developing my own style, learning how to make something structurally sound, learning the visual language of music videos... it's all a bit much. I'm interested to see who you guys think is really doing it well.

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    I haven't followed amvs a whole lot in the past several years, but going back a decade or two, a few of the editors that I followed and learned a thing or two from, though most of them aren't editing anymore:

    AbsoluteDestiny
    AluminumStudios
    Aquasky
    Beowolf
    BigBigTruck
    CastorTroy
    DokiDoki
    Ermac
    Fluxmeister
    JCD
    Kevin Caldwell (one of my all-time best inspirations)
    Koopiskeva
    MaboroshiStudio
    Meri
    Nostromo
    Scintilla
    Scott Melzer
    Steakslim
    VegettoEx
    Vicbond007
    Vlad Pohnert
    ZephyrStar

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    Anyone have any tips or tricks with photoshop elements in Premiere Pro CS6? I've read a few tutorials (and failed miserably in this tennis thread submission) but I can't seem to achieve fluid movement. Is this something more easily achieved in After Effects? Thanks.

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