Stellafera

The PMV Help Thread: Hey, Artists And Writers Get One!

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(edited)

Wandering around Octavia's Hall, one can see the proud works of artists, writers, and musicians. But few and far between are the PMVs. Is it because people don't find it as interesting? Or they never really thought about making them? Or because they don't know where to get started?

 

Well, this thread can't help with the first one, but it can certainly help with the latter two. If you have a question, ask it! If you have some tips, share them. Perhaps the After Effects-using-bronies amongst us can provide tips for doing crazy stunts with the program. Anything. If you have any interest in PMVs at all, go forth and post! Even animators could take a tip or two from stuff like timing and lip sync. 

 

Admittedly, I'm only on my 5th video so far with less than 1000 views on Youtube, but I'm in the "tips" mood more than the "questions" one today, so here's what I've found:

  • Start with the finest caliber material. Use the best quality sound source that you can find, and for your video, look for watermark free sources in HD quality (and remember that itunes now has 1080p episodes). It makes all of your hard work that much nicer to see and hear!
  • Check that your video editing program is in 16:9 aspect ratio mode if you are using HD footage. This prevents any black bars from showing up.
  • When you start and end a clip or otherwise come across an important part in timing, work in frames. This lets you make that one clip last for just that teeny bit longer, or cut a clip short to avoid mouths moving when you don't want them to. 
  • You'll probably only find a small handful of transitions to be useful for most purposes, but the ones that you do use frequently will be very useful indeed. Dissolves in particular (where one image just fades into the other smoothly) are great for handling abrupt changes or switching scenes. It's the most simple type of transition, but highly effective.

 

Post your own tips or ask questions. I know that I'm not the only one around here who is interested in PMV making!

 

EDIT: 

 

Hmm, no replies yet (come on guys!), but I found out something useful that expands on that comment about lip syncing I made earlier:

 

Manipulating the scene a bit helps a lot with lip syncing:

 

1. If a character's mouth is closed and you want them to be speaking, trim off all but one or two frames of their "mouth closed position". As long as there aren't any big changes in their body position or the background, it will look just like they were continuously speaking. 

 

2. Characters talking when you want them to not talk is more difficult. Sometimes you can cut out parts where their mouth is moving between parts where it isn't, but oftentimes it makes an awkward jump.

 

3. If you end up with an awkward jump, separate out the part that you don't want to be there and speed it up slightly. If you overdo it, it'll look funny, but if it works, it looks just like it was intended that way. Similarly, if the problem is that they are moving too slowly, speed it up slightly.

 

Using these tips, one apparently continuous scene in a video can actually look like this in the editing:

 

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Edited by Stellafera

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Although I only have like a couple vids of my own posted on YT, I'm no video master. It really is a skill that is going to take time to master. Not to mention i've read alot of video discriptions on how long it takes some people to make pmv's. For a 3.5 minutte video it takes some people an entire month. Granted there's real life getting in the way and all but it really is a time consuming project. I do appreciate you advice given though. =) 

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Although I only have like a couple vids of my own posted on YT, I'm no video master. It really is a skill that is going to take time to master. Not to mention i've read alot of video discriptions on how long it takes some people to make pmv's. For a 3.5 minutte video it takes some people an entire month. Granted there's real life getting in the way and all but it really is a time consuming project. I do appreciate you advice given though. =) 

 

It depends on the video. Some videos for me have taken weeks, others were completed in a day. I guess I don't mind how long it takes because I'm having fun while doing it. That powers me through any setbacks.  :)

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(edited)

Great topic!

 

I haven't done a PMV in a while -- I have at least three in development right now, not sure if i'll finish them as my interests have moved elsewhere at the moment (SFM, remixing/re-arranging songs.)

 

Anyway, I've been using a fairly 'brute force' method of lip sync. It relies on the 'speed ramp' function available in most decent video editors (vegas and premiere do it) and basically involves marking where the vowels of the audio are and re-timing the video so the 'singers' mouth is open at the correct times.

 

The approach has drawbacks, as any single approach does. How good it looks still depends on how closely the original clip's phonemes match what is being sung. Also, when re-timing, certain types of clips are a 'no-no.' Avoid clips with moving backgrounds as that will make it rather obvious you are re-timing. Also, don't try to get 'blood from a stone' -- if a character opens their mouth for like two frames, don't try and turn that in to a drawn out, sustained vowel. Also, AfterEffects has optical frame interpolation which can do amazing things but can also make stuff look pretty weird if you don't use it right. You can see examples of all these issues (because i'm not very good at this) in the example below, which is something I put together a few months ago. The lip sync starts at around 1:00

 

Edited by decoherence

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