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Unread 07-12-2012, 02:41 AM
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Exclamation Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

The ultimate goal of any anime music video creator is to make a good video. The ultimate goal of any anime music video is to entertain. Here is a brief guide on how to accomplish that goal.

PREPARE

Before you get started on your own video, you must first figure out what is a good anime music video and what makes it good. Figuring this out isn't some 10 minute revelation. You have to watch many videos over and over again that are considered good. Watch them closely. Watch them several times in a row. Why is the video good? Be sure to view a minimum of 15 AMVs. Figure it out and then try to do what they did.

Then watch some mediocre videos. Why are they mediocre? What makes them mediocre? What could the creator have done to make the video better? (Now don't get too cocky here about what they could have done better. There are be plenty of legitimate reasons why they didn't make it as good as they could: insufficient equipment, insufficient time, insufficient footage, not enough effort, or they just plain got tired of making the video and just wrapped it up.) At any rate, notice what could have been done better and try to avoid what they did: learn what not to do. I'm not going to give you a list of mediocre videos; I'm sure you've found some on your own. =)

MOTIVATION

The next question may come as something you may not have thought of: Why should you make an anime music video?

Contrary to popular belief: creating an anime music video does not make you cool. This misunderstood belief is the cause of the majority of the crappy videos out there. What will make you cool is creating a video that is appreciated by your fellow creators and AMV fans. So, contribute a video to the world that represents the best of your abilities, is a fresh concept, and is a video that you believe will be appreciated by others.

So now that you've gotten a general idea of what to do and what not to do, it is time to start on your own video.

Ok, you can't make a video without equipment and here is where the major cash expense comes in for creating videos. You basically have a few things that you must pay attention to: video capture card, hard drive, RAM, and CPU speed.

1. GETTING STARTED


An anime music video starts with an idea. There are generally two approaches to getting an idea. You either choose the song first and then place some anime to it, or you choose the anime first and then find a song to fit. Both approaches are equally good for getting an idea. Remember: you will be listening to this song for the new few weeks or months, so make the song something that you hopefully won't get sick of quickly. It is very difficult if not impossible to make a good video in a weekend. The more time you put into your video, the better the video will be.

RESEARCH

First, you have to find out if your idea has been done already. Luckily, this phase of creating your video has gotten tons easier with youtube. Browse though the catalog of videos that have been entered and see if your idea has been taken. If a video has been done already, download the video and watch it. Generally, nobody wants to see a video done again (unless you think you can do soooo much better than the first guy).

LENGTH

If you notice in your preparatory research, most good videos are about four minutes or so long. If the song you choose is longer than that, an easy way to remedy the length is to cut out a verse or a guitar solo or some other part and splice the song into a shorter track. Doing long songs with videos is very difficult because you have to hold your audiences attention and keep the video idea going longer.

Another good method for reducing song length is to just fade out the music and cut it off whenever your ideas run out. It's better to stop while your ahead instead of killing the video by putting in filler material. Extending a short song is generally not a good idea.

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

To the newbie, you may be saying to yourself, "No problem. I get the same cool feeling when I listen to this music as when I watch this anime. I can match them up in some cool way." You've got to do more than find some music that matches some anime. You actually have to do something with every moment of the four minutes or so of the song. A good thing to do is to plan out some sort of story or overall concept to go along with your video. In my "Material Girl" video, Nabiki's clothes get more and more lavish as the video goes on (this was not an accident). Remember: music + random scenes does not equal a good video.

One thing you will want to plan on is the video off with a bang and end it with a bang, or at least something cool. Surprisingly, it's not necessary to have constant high kickin' coolness throughout your video to have an overall good video. Viewers can usually tolerate a lull in the action during the video. In fact, the contrast of a low point in the action of a video will help enhance the high points of the video. The one thing you don't want to do is start of real cool and then slowly fizzle out into nothing. Generally a good video will start with a bang, go low and then build until the final bang at the end.

Four minutes is 240 seconds. If on average there is one cut per second (some cuts last a few seconds while others only fractions of a second), that means there is a minimum of 240 clips you have to dig up for your video. If you're looking to lip sync, prepare to make many many more.

LISTEN UP

Now listen to the song you are going to use. Listen to it again. And again. And again. Listen to every beat, symbol crash, rise and fall in dynamics, tone, melody, bass, rhythm, everything. Pick the song apart piece by piece on every layer. Listen to it at home, in your car, at work/school. Visualize as much as you can of what you want to create.

Generally songs have lyrics. Go out and get a copy of them. Write them down or print them out. Listen to the song and time the lyrics. How much time before the lyrics start? How much time is in each line of each verse? How much time between verses? How long is the chorus? How long is the solo?

MAP IT OUT

On the copy of the lyrics where you've now mapped out the lyric times, write in or storyboard some ideas on what should go where. This will give you a good map on what clips to look for when you go to get some footage.
If you are searching for certain anime episodes, if it's not here, you'll have to google it: http://nyaa.eu

2. CUT, SPLICE, AND SYNC


Get a comfy chair because here is where the most time will go into your video. The more time you spend on this step, the better your video will look.

ACTION

The first and easiest thing to do once you start arranging your clips to the sound track is action sync. From your planning in step 2, you should have a good grasp on where the beat, symbol crashes, and dynamics are in your song. The trick is to make stuff happen at those times. Generally, the more stuff happens at these times, the better the video will look.

LIP SYNC

Lip sync can be easy or hard depending on the scene you choose to sync. Easy clips to lip sync are ones where the character speaking and the only thing moving in the entire frame is the mouth. Generally in these clips, there are two positions of the mouth, open and closed. Advanced (and better) lip syncing can be done with more mouth positions. To lip sync, all you have to do is isolate the open and closed frames and then repeat them with the words. The open position could be repeated for five or six frames and then two or three frames of the closed position. With more mouth positions, you can follow the dynamics of the lyrics better and add more realism to your lip syncing.

Mouth movements are not good when there are no words. Mediocre videos will usually make the mistake of having talking head shots during the solo of the song. It may be a crucial moment in the anime where someone is explaining something extremely profound to someone else. But to the viewer who hasn't seen the anime yet (imagine that, someone who hasn't seen the same anime you have!), the viewer is left thinking "I wonder what are those people talking about?" instead of paying attention to your video.

REPEATING

Another thing that is generally not good to do is repeating footage. Say you get through the first verse and chorus. After the second verse you get to the second chorus. Don't use the same series you did for the first chorus. Bad, creator, bad! Even using the same clips in different parts of the video is usually bad. The viewer is going to say to themselves, "you've been there, done that". There are some good uses, such as repeating a small segment in rapid succession for dramatic effect. Other than that, repeating footage in a video is considered bad.

EFFECTS

The last thing to cover here is digital effects. I know, your looking at this big pallet of effects and transitions, like a kid in a candy store, wondering how you're going to fit them all into your video. Don't do it! There are pleanty of excellent videos which use few to no effects. Using digital effects for the sake of using them puts you video in danger of ending up being a disgust when it could've been epic! Just make sure you use them correctly

INTROS

Intros are completely optional. If you are going to use them, try to keep them around the 6 to 8 second mark and definitely under 10 seconds each. Not many people want to sit through a 10 to 30 second intro before they see your video no matter how cool the intro is. People want to see the video, not some 3D graphic that took 30 hours to render.


Regards, Animaker
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Unread 07-12-2012, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

Ah, I think I've seen a longer version of this guide on AMV.org, written by Phade. In case you and Phade are not the same person, you should give him some credit (don't post the link to the AMV.org forum though, that'd be considered unapproved advertising. ).

Anyway, this is certainly one of the best guides out there and very helpful! I think the bottom line is, that generally the more thought and time you put into an AMV, the better it'll turn out.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

Oh, I could barely put Regards, Animaker because I had to delete all the stuff I though not interesting and innapropriate, becausecharacters limit is 10 000 the full guide took 20 000 :c
It is nice to see someone here is even paying attention to the little details, even guides on AMV.org

By the way: can you sticky this? I think it earns it
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Unread 07-12-2012, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

gues i dont need to make a tutorial about making a amv anymore (2 seems a bit too much )

first of good job on making it i do have some thoughts though :
Your talking about action but you say nothing about non action (slow parts)i think if you explain one part you need to do both

When i read the whole guide i get the sense that its about editing a story based amv not action based/random action (if thats suppose to be maybe want to change the title?)

Also i think aslong as you ask a smod(or even the amv mod) if you can double post to get a better guide iam sure it would be fine.

Besides that my personal experience is that i dont even plan that much, aslong as i get a good song that really inspires me i just edit right away.
While i do have a vague understanding of the concept of my project i really go more with the flow

Last edited by Gokunl; 07-12-2012 at 09:16 AM.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Animaker View Post
Oh, I could barely put Regards, Animaker because I had to delete all the stuff I though not interesting and innapropriate, becausecharacters limit is 10 000 the full guide took 20 000 :c
It is nice to see someone here is even paying attention to the little details, even guides on AMV.org

By the way: can you sticky this? I think it earns it
Ah yeah, the character limit. xD

About stickying: I think this thread would deserve it, but Gokunl made a few good points in his post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gokunl View Post
gues i dont need to make a tutorial about making a amv anymore (2 seems a bit too much )

first of good job on making it i do have some thoughts though :
Your talking about action but you say nothing about non action (slow parts)i think if you explain one part you need to do both

When i read the whole guide i get the sense that its about editing a story based amv not action based/random action (if thats suppose to be maybe want to change the title?)

Also i think aslong as you ask a smod(or even the amv mod) if you can double post to get a better guide iam sure it would be fine.

Besides that my personal experience is that i dont even plan that much, aslong as i get a good song that really inspires me i just edit right away.
While i do have a vague understanding of the concept of my project i really go more with the flow
Maybe you two want to work together to make a really detailed guide? You could double post in that one because it'd certainly exceed the character limit of a single post. I know that you, Goku, already started working (or at least planning) on making such a guide too, so your work wouldn't have been in vain.
What do you think?

I'll temporarily sticky this thread, as it's the best guide on AMVs we have here so far. If you guys decide on making a more detailed one, I'll sticky that one instead.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gokunl View Post
gues i dont need to make a tutorial about making a amv anymore (2 seems a bit too much )

first of good job on making it i do have some thoughts though :
Your talking about action but you say nothing about non action (slow parts)i think if you explain one part you need to do both

When i read the whole guide i get the sense that its about editing a story based amv not action based/random action (if thats suppose to be maybe want to change the title?)

Also i think aslong as you ask a smod(or even the amv mod) if you can double post to get a better guide iam sure it would be fine.

Besides that my personal experience is that i dont even plan that much, aslong as i get a good song that really inspires me i just edit right away.
While i do have a vague understanding of the concept of my project i really go more with the flow
Action is not the Action AMV, The amvs are like films, the action is like in a role-play, action is the whole amv developing it's story, I mean, when you say action, its ALL THE AMV, you get what I mean? d= I think it isn't necessary to show how to make an action, or story, or the fonts to use on the lyrics of the amv(in case you insert the voices in japanese and make subtitles in a trailer amv)

I can, yes, change the name of Action, because generally, an AMV HAS to have a story involved, or make sense, not just a bunch of clips together you're gettin' me?

If you are really really determined to complete the guide , I'll help you out, I see you want some credit on such a big topic too d:

But i'm gonna desmotivate you here: I think the whole tutorial is perfect, and I don't mean to tell what people have to do to make this effect, or to make the good transitions, or whatever!

I give them this so they have the base of their pyramid.
People have to discover the rest by themselves and try it alone, because after-all, it's their amv (:

This is the base,the other extras and How-to's I created a topic just for that ^-^ HERE: http://www.animeforum.org.uk/showthread.php?t=25911

I hope you have the patience to read what I wrote, thank you
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Last edited by Animaker; 07-12-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Unread 07-12-2012, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

the way action is used in editing term is editing the action part of the songs thats why i thought you ment that (kinda confusing to me o.o)
Besides that you dont have to have a story (thats why they called it random action) but that just depand more on impact/scene choice and stuf.

Like you said you think this guide is perfect so just keep it that way then
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Unread 07-12-2012, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Guide on How to Make a Good AMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gokunl View Post
the way action is used in editing term is editing the action part of the songs thats why i thought you ment that (kinda confusing to me o.o)
Besides that you dont have to have a story (thats why they called it random action) but that just depand more on impact/scene choice and stuf.

Like you said you think this guide is perfect so just keep it that way then
Nothing is perfect, but I would still would like to know what you've done and wanted to contribute, please, If I don't know what you had I cant' decide if I keep this or change
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