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Abridging Acupuncture
04-07-2013, 03:16 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2016 12:37 AM by ThornBrain.)
Post: #1
Abridging Acupuncture
It's a pun. Don't think too hard about it.

Older forum-goers might be expecting me to be passive and vindictive towards your videos, but that will not be the case. Abridging is more complex than people tend to realize, and this thread for those who truly want to tighten their grip on its many aspects.

Generally I will be looking at every element of your submitted video. Not just "editing", but what about the editing I notice and, particularly, what I don't notice. Not just "voice acting" but the believability and naturalism thereof. My approach towards your writing will depend on your intended style.
There won't be any number or letter grades; just your video and my assessment. Upon request I can review only specific elements you want help with (writing, editing, etc).

FROM YOU: Post a video along with any details you think I need to know first before I watch, including your writing, editing and/or lipsyncing style; intended direction with certain characters: how much of it I may not understand if I haven't seen the rest of your series; etc.

RULES: The video cannot be older than five months, and don't post a video if you're not looking specifically to improve your abilities. Otherwise, posting your video here is pointless.

Critiques so far:
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04-07-2013, 03:53 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013 03:53 PM by OoziHobo.)
Post: #2
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
Okay, so this is my newest episode. It went through a very difficult production, having persevered through two editors and a personal hiatus. It is also combines two episodes of the original anime.

What's important to know is that the guy in the big red coat is Vash the Stampede, an outlaw by reputation that usually finds himself being the hero. He's being followed by two girls (who have a very small part in this episode), and they're trying to prevent any trouble he might cause. Towards the end an old character resurfaces who wasn't in the original episode, so that joke will not make sense unless you have seen Quadgun 2.


Don't worry about pulling punches.

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04-07-2013, 09:01 PM
Post: #3
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
This is my most recent work. Everything else I will have coming out is based on months old scripts, so this is the best example of my current ability.

Just a note, I've recast JoJo for the second episode. I didn't know if that would affect your comments or not.


"Your stuff is pretty good, but it's no TeamFourStar. Be more like them!"- My supportive roommate.

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04-14-2013, 12:01 AM (This post was last modified: 06-22-2013 09:27 PM by ssdrwh0.)
Post: #4
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
Edit: Since you're taking so long, I just deleted my post so that you can do other vids.
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04-28-2013, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 04-28-2013 08:18 PM by ThornBrain.)
Post: #5
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
Got a big school project and Ni no Kuni out of the way, so I can finally get around to you guys. I'll go one at a time, in order of posting.

Quadgun 7

Visual Editing:
Lip-syncing and editing all seems tight for the most part. There are places though where it seems to abruptly jump from everyone moving and the general scene being animated to everyone being perfectly still while a character talked, and it's a bit jarring. Focusing on one or the other for an extended period of time might allow for better flow.
I've noticed it's actually a bit of a pitfall for abridgers: the camera does not always have to be on the person talking, especially when the dialogue switches back and forth quickly. Doing so just makes for whiplash. You avoided it for most of the episode though; I just wanted to throw it out there as something to think about.

Voicing:
One thing I noticed early on was a slight difference in everyone's mic volume and presence. You'll want to make sure everyone can be heard at about the same level throughout, but be aware that some of the mics have more treble, making that "tinny" sound, and some have more bass response like Dotvob's, which certainly helped his deep voice for Neon. Treblier mics don't necessarily detract from the acting too much, but it does mean that they don't have to be as loud to be heard at about the same level as everyone else. Boosting the bass in a treblier recording (I believe Audacity has the option, and pro audio software is basically made for that) might also help to even it out. It might be something you'll have to train your ears to catch.

I'm also hearing mic pops from the captain/conducter/the guy whose mic keeps popping. If the VA doesn't have a pop filter or can't be assed to put a sock over the mic, just have them set the mic off to the side, but face it towards their mouth. That way the puffs of air don't go directly into the mic, but the audio doesn't end up sounding distant.

Generally everyone's acting seemed to work and no one VA felt at all out of place or undirected, though some people like the captain were noticeably not voiced by someone in their age range. I mean, I know that's never going to happen in abridging, but be willing to make your VAs make an effort. In your case Oozi, I'd recommend working on your enunciation when voicing Vash; it never sounded like you were mumbling per se', but it did sound a bit tight-lipped, and when Vash was talking over the intercom I could barely understand it. If you ever feel your lips tightening while you're recording, try blowing a few raspberries. Seriously, it works.

Other Audio:
In the cases of the gunshot sound effects, they were recorded in stereo, so it's very obvious they're not coming from the guns in the video (a couple shots sounded like they were coming from behind me during the mid-episode firefight montage). If your editor has the option, try switching the gunshots' audio to mono (I use Vegas, which allows me to select "Both channels" for this when I right-click a section of audio) and/or panning the audio based on the gun's location in the video. It might take some experimenting, but it's that little extra that helps the video become more believable, thereby emphasizing the humour itself.

The music got close to drowning out the dialogue in places. One thing I've learned is that background music is often a necessity, but a little goes a very long way to keep the video from sounding empty. You could drop the music 10-20 dB's across the board without losing their impact, save for the music-only segments like the montage or the opening rap.

Writing:
Speaking of which, I wasn't sure what to think of the rap at the beginning. I rewatched the video, and it was actually kind of cool. That through the pilot and Kaite's dad were pretty damn funny too. "Kaite, I can't stand here knowing I'll never be a sand steamer!" Harry delivered that perfectly.
Beyond that no particular lines or scenes stood out.

On one hand, I was really prepared to hate you with "two days to retirement", but I actually like what you did with it.
On the other hand, I've reached the point where cliches in any capacity are just too tedious and annoying to even fully enjoy their mockery.
Generally I liked the writing, but I feel like you could take so many more risks with it. It feels safe: it never phrases anything in a way that's never been said before, and it felt like you included the "retirement" bit, not to make fun of it, but because you couldn't quite resist the temptation but didn't want to follow through on it either. Not saying I know what you were thinking while writing it, but that's how it came across. Be willing to damn the temptation. For comedy's sake.

In Conclusion:
Overall, I did like it. Most complaints with the editing were small things with the audio, but they were the most plentiful, so I'd suggest training your ears a bit more and making sure you know what to look out for. Writing wasn't bad or even necessarily mediocre, but I think you're capable of taking risks. Be willing to forgo all predictability; it'll only help you stand out even more.
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04-30-2013, 01:09 PM
Post: #6
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
That was a lot of awesome advice, and I really appreciate it.

When it comes to the technical stuff involving sound editing, I am fish out of water but I will try to keep these things in mind. It never once occurred to me if a sound effect was in stereo or mono.

As for the writing, I am in agreement. When writing I will throw away the joke that breaks the "mold" and opt for a safer one that doesn't threaten to break whatever consistency I have, which is really silly of me given that this is an amateurish abridged series.

And you were right about the "retirement" joke. I didn't like it, but I didn't want to take it out either. I rationalized that some people would laugh at that even though it is atrocious, and for everyone else, there is the twist to it. But I still cringe for those seconds it takes to get to the mockery.

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04-30-2013, 05:53 PM (This post was last modified: 04-30-2013 06:16 PM by Innagadadavida.)
Post: #7
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
People have a tendency to not be honest about my work. I think I'm kind of intimating. I picked up a habit from Remix of immediately going into offense at any sign of dissent but I think I may have ended up shooting myself in the foot by doing that. But I really would value some harsh and helpful critiques on some of the work I'm involved in. Just to be clear, because some folks don't know this. I also write Dub of the North Star. I edit it entirely. And I do some voices.


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05-01-2013, 01:04 AM
Post: #8
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
Jojo's Bizarre Abridged 1

Video Editing
Lip-syncing and overall editing is solid. I'd recommend tightening your lip-syncing to closer represent the audio. It's close but not as accurate as it could be; for example, right at the beginning, Jojo's mouth closed before he'd said the 'g' in "dog".

Disregard the following if you're not using Sony Vegas: you'll want to right-click the video clips and turn off "resample". Resample adds these blurry transitional frames into the clip automatically (no way to turn it off permanently so you'll have to do it manually each time), and I could see them pretty clearly during action scenes. If you're using a different video editor, check with someone else who uses it and see what you can do about it in there. Also disregard this if the blurriness is in the source video itself.

Audio Editing
You need to be careful that your sound effects don't overtake dialogue, which happened every time there was a punch. It'd be hard to take the impact out of the punch sound effect you went with, so you can afford to drop the volume on that, especially if someone's talking over it.

In most other cases where there wasn't any dialogue, the music could have actually been a little louder. There was a lot of noticeable empty air during Jojo's fight with Dio at the end.

You'll also want to even out the dialogue volume as well. Some people's mics were louder than others; in fact Dio's growl during the fight drowned out what Jojo was saying, and just before that Jojo grunting while Dio drilled his face drowned out everything Dio was saying. Keep the vocal audio consistent, but obviously have the dialogue that needs to be heard take precedent.

Voicing
Part of the unevenness in the audio seems to come from the acting. Most voices fit the characters, but there was a big lack of projection and enthusiasm. Nobody sounded like they wanted to get very loud, which looked really awkward when the characters' mouths were wide open. It never fell into whisper-screaming, but you can't let it come to that if it gets to that point.
Think about it this way: when someone is a considerable distance a way, a normal speaking volume isn't going to travel far enough for them to hear it. Speak and shout as loud as is necessary, and don't settle for any less. Anything less will only drag down the entire episode. You'll also want to make sure the dialogue fits with the source video as well; it looks awkward when a character seems furious but is talking at a normal register.

That being said, for fuck's sake make sure you and your VA's know the limitations of your microphones. A lack of projection is bad enough; don't swap it for clipping and irreparable distortion, 'cause clipping is irreparable. That's my PSA for today.

Writing
My biggest problem with your video is that I couldn't tell what was supposed to be a joke. The five minutes passed without any particular lines standing out or any creativity with the dialogue. I couldn't tell what was a setup to a joke or what was the payoff. The lines that seemed like they were supposed to be jokes only made me think "well, that's just saying what's happening and not doing anything with it."

A big pitfall you'll want to work on avoiding is self-awareness for the sake of self-awareness. I assume the first joke of the episode is Dio kicking the dog; you lead into that by having Jojo... say that Dio kicked the dog. And then you show... Dio kicking the dog. You see the redundancy there - well, that's also how it feels when that scene plays out.

A key part of comedy is setting up an expectation but delivering with something else. Since you're limited by the source video and your own editing abilities, I'd recommend changing the way you setup a joke; it could be as simple as phrasing a sentence in a way that hasn't been done before, especially in cases where a cliched line would fit perfectly - E.G. "Ow! That's gonna leave a mark" could be rephrased as "[actually no one can make that funny never mind]". That way when the payoff comes around, you don't get quite what you're expecting.

Also, punchlines: the "punch" is the key idea here. If there's not any serious payoff when you're writing something that's supposed to be funny, it won't be.
At the same time, don't go the whole other way and write a bunch of one-liners and throw them into a directionless blender. Then, even your funniest lines become mundane. Okay, end of lecture.

One thing you seem to have though is character interaction. They're obviously not just joke dispensers; they have personalities and are actually conversing. Now you just need to take those steps further towards the dialogue being memorable. Otherwise it's just people talking.
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05-01-2013, 09:50 AM
Post: #9
RE: Abridging Acupuncture

I hope I'm not too late to post this video. This was the last good video I made. I recognize it has flaws with it's ending, but I would greatly like to know what I can do to improve the series overall.

Thanks for all the good times.
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06-18-2013, 01:07 AM
Post: #10
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
I'm considering getting back to these. Guys who have already posted videos: if you want me to critique the ones already up, let me know, or I can look over a more recent video if you'd prefer. Since it's been two months I'll forgo the 5-month cap.
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06-18-2013, 06:06 PM
Post: #11
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
My latest episode:




I refuse to be constantly bullied by Truthordeal just because I'm a "Junior" Mod.
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06-19-2013, 10:36 AM
Post: #12
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
I'd prefer my latest one of my old episode 3. I think I could learn a lot more from a critique of my latest episode.

Thanks for all the good times.
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06-19-2013, 05:40 PM
Post: #13
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
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01-11-2015, 11:36 PM
Post: #14
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
I would like brutal honesty about this video. Its my first attempt, and due to computer issues I had to use imovie (ugh) over my usual copy of sony vegas, and I rushed it (mainly because I hate imovie). Kinda just a tableau of awful. Still, I'd like to get some suggestions on what I can do to improve in the future.


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08-30-2016, 02:33 PM
Post: #15
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
Several years later and having watched far more TIBA entries than I thought I would, I can revive this thread mainly to offer the same level of critique for those looking to improve post-TIBA. So if you want to post your entry and see where I can help you improve, give it a go.
I'd prefer TIBA entries only for now, but we'll see how it goes.
And I know I never critiqued most of the videos posted here.
Yeah that's it.
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08-30-2016, 03:13 PM
Post: #16
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
I'll take that offer. It's not my newest video, but I'd like to receive some critiques nevertheless Smile





It's not really an abridged series but more or less similar in a way to the Dragon D*b Z stuff that Remix used to do. The writing style is in two acts, the first being absurdist humor with a bit of story-driven writing and the next act is mostly story-driven writing. There's not much you need to know about the characters or much you need to understand from my past stuff as long as you know the basic stuff of Death Note like writing down someone's name and they die or L is looking to capture Kira (Light) through any means.

Thanks in advance Big Grin
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08-30-2016, 05:26 PM
Post: #17
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
Oh good, I'm glad someone finally started up/revived a critique topic, so now I can get some decent critiques on my TIBA.





I'll give you a few freebies, I was an idiot and forgot to run noise removal on almost all the lines in the video and some of the lines don't have enough breathing room between them. But stuff like that's bound to happen in someones first video, I look forward to your critique!

Mic: Audio-Technica AT2035 l Twitter l Youtube l Wiki Page

Princess Princess Abridged 2 - Writing

Und Shot - Recording
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08-31-2016, 01:38 AM
Post: #18
RE: Abridging Acupuncture




I only edited the Kyouma scenes rest was done by someone that does not know how to edit. Enjoy!

Voice Actor and Editor for Believe It! Entertainment
Naruto Abridged / TWQ:Gurren Lagann Abridged
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I suck but I try not toooooooo! xD
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09-02-2016, 11:53 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2016 12:36 AM by ThornBrain.)
Post: #19
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
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09-03-2016, 02:22 AM
Post: #20
RE: Abridging Acupuncture
Just a few things to clarify from this critique:
(09-02-2016 11:53 PM)ThornBrain Wrote:  Lip-syncing looked pretty tight. I absolutely HATE lip-syncing when the camera's panning, and it looked smooth where you did it. Don't know if you followed the pan or panned the video later yourself, but I still give you credit for it.

I tend to follow the pan whenever doing those kind of lip-flaps, and I hate doing them too XD So thanks for the credit there Smile

(09-02-2016 11:53 PM)ThornBrain Wrote:  Also I put a pun into the last paragraph of the Writing section, and you might have even noticed it, but I didn't immediately draw attention back to it. That's how it works.

"flashes of brilliance" yeah? Tongue Still, very fair point. I got what you meant when you mentioned the explosions joke and not trying to draw attention into it.

Overall though, thanks for the critique! Whenever I get around to doing another one, I'll be sure to look out for improvements based on the advice you gave me Big Grin
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