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 Lipflaps, Looping and Complications

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TutuOn
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PostSubject: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:32 pm

One of the most integral parts of the abridging process is matching audio comedy, to visual media from the source material, whether that's sprites, or animation or gameplay.

How do you make the characters talk? Well, the strategy varies.

Some abridgers let the footage of the character run while the line plays to make them "Talk" looping the same footage of dialogue for longer lines and cropping it for shorter lines. Let's call this style "looping".

Some abridgers take screen shots of the three types of mouths on a talking still character (That is, open, partially open and closed) and then edit them together in a series of stills which accurately matches the natural pauses in the line: Often better than anything that could be accomplished by Looping. Let's call this tactic "Lip-Syncing".

And Finally, some abridgers simply play clips from the series with alternate dialogue and let the character's mouth move however. Let's call this "Not Caring".

Each of these methods has it's pros and cons.

Lip-Syncing is accurate and clean, with an acute sense of realism; but it is also limited to static scenes. In fact, using only the lip syncing method can leave your series feeling rather lifeless since the characters cannot move and talk at the same time.

Looping is often messy, with approximate movement matches, movement required where there was none, flaws and the like. But Looping uses the existing animation to be--well, animated. A person talks while walking, waving their arms or even fighting.

Not Caring is fast and easy, it takes virtually no time at all to complete an episode using the not caring method. For some reason this strategy is frowned on my the abridging community.

But no matter what style you use, there are a few things that are the bane of your existence:

Moving Back Grounds

Want to loop that clip of [Character] Talking? Too bad! That water wheel in the background won't seem to match up without a terrible jerk.

But how about Lip syncing [Character] while he's flying his plane. Wait, why isn't that propeller moving? It's just jerking back and forth. That plane has stalled! He's going to crash!

How many times has this happened to you? You're going along minding your own business when suddenly you realize that the same tree keeps appearing in the middle of that one window on the train your character is riding? Those things, which add a great since of realism to the actual anime, that just don't want to stay out of your way?

Pans

A film technique that's been passed onto animation, the Pan follows an invisible camera moving while the character stays still: ending with a completely unbutcherable scene-- any attempts end in funny jerks, or the sudden doubling back of the camera.

Foreign Language Sections w/ Subtitles

Does your show stick to the original language? What's an epic tale without a few dips into German, or French? Of course we have to subtitle it, there's no other way to convey what's going on.

So, let's share: What technique do you use to match voice and video? Do you have any things that really stick a thorn in your side while abridging? Have you found any clever tricks to work around any tough editing challenges? Any advice to people who struggle with any of the above problems?

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Last edited by TutuOn on Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:48 pm

I think I'm gonna move this over to the Editing section of the forum. For one thing, you'll probably get some more traffic there, and it'll be slightly more on topic.

EDIT: I realize now that Xagersfeld didn't put up a thread specifically pertaining to editing in the Method's section, so I'll leave this here until either he makes one, or I figure out how to make one and then do that.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:23 am

Yeah, I didn't really know where to put this since it's more discussion than a tutorial. Thanks for looking anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:27 pm

Truthordeal wrote:
I think I'm gonna move this over to the Editing section of the forum. For one thing, you'll probably get some more traffic there, and it'll be slightly more on topic.

EDIT: I realize now that Xagersfeld didn't put up a thread specifically pertaining to editing in the Method's section, so I'll leave this here until either he makes one, or I figure out how to make one and then do that.

I'm on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:34 pm

Can't figure out how to move your thread. You may have to re-post. I'll keep trying.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:00 pm

Moved it.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:06 pm

Wink You misspelled editing in the forum name.

But now that that's over with, any comments on the actual topic?

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:00 am

[quote=TutuOn]
Some abridgers let the footage of the character run while the line plays to make them "Talk" looping the same footage of dialogue for longer lines and cropping it for shorter lines. Let's call this style "looping".

Some abridgers take screen shots of the three types of mouths on a talking still character (That is, open, partially open and closed) and then edit them together in a series of stills which accurately matches the natural pauses in the line: Often better than anything that could be accomplished by Looping. Let's call this tactic "Lip-Syncing".

And Finally, some abridgers simply play clips from the series with alternate dialogue and let the character's mouth move however. Let's call this "Not Caring".[\quote]

I use the "Not Caring" method whenever I'm simply doing some small video on the side that doesn't fit in with the rest of the series. For example, a comment special. I simply loop the frame over and over again and whatever animation flaws get in the way be damned.

I use the "looping" method in actual episodes, where I actually try to make the lips match.

I've only used "lip-syncing" once for a special skit where I wanted the characters on a different background to talk. I would probably use this method more often, but Corel takes still images in a way that makes it obvious whenever I use them. Ergo, I avoid using them at all possible.

Scourgemaster found a way to turn the moving background problem into a running gag with his "portals" routine.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:24 pm

I admit, matching the character flaps is something I'm still not very good at.

Lip-synching is entirely out of the question for me, because my video editing program pauses for just the tiniest of seconds when switching from clip to clip, so it's impossible to tell if I've got it matched correctly. My last attempt at trying that was episode 7, which resulted in some guy constantly thwacking the wall, and my stinger having WAAAY too many lip flaps at the end.

Looping is what I tend to do the most, with relative success. More success than when I try lip-synching, at least. When a clip isn't long enough, I usually take the second loop and play it in reverse, that way the background movements look at least somewhat natural, rather than jerky. (Look carefully when Sasuke is talking during the one-year special; the sliding door behind him starts to close, then opens again.) Still results in a few times when the mouths move and no sounds come out, though.

As for not caring, I try to avoid that, unless ZomgRuler really gets on my nerves and I have to go "Okay, fine, we've got the line, it'll have to do, now STFU and let's move on to the next scene."

So yeah, this is my weakest point when it comes to abridging. Just gotta keep practicing until I find a way that really works, I suppose.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:38 pm

I usually do looping myself for similar reasons. And I've been pretty successful even without the ability to reverse clips.

But the real problem is the freaking Pans. Princess tutu just loves them for no particular reason. A simply scene of people taking? Let's pan left! Or Down! Hell, Let's Pan out. Pain in the neck.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:45 pm

I usually use the Not Caring method for ReBoot Abridged, but I'll sometimes use the looping method if nessacary.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:15 pm

You know, I kind of put "Not caring" in there as a joke. I'm not sure if so many people picking it makes is more funny or less. Suspect

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:34 pm

I think more people are taking Not Caring to mean just getting the mouth to move at the right place. There are some that take it to an extreme (cough cough Tyler1337Admin).

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:13 am

Actually, that's looping. Not caring is when you don't even bother to make sure the pauses match up.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:39 pm

Hello all I am the editter for Bastard the abriged series. I use sync, I haven't try looping yet being that we're working on episode 2. I think why use the "I don't care method" I think if your doing an abriged series, the "I dont care method" should be the last resort. No dissrespect to anyone.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:17 am

Kwortz wrote:
Hello all I am the editter for Bastard the abriged series. I use sync, I haven't try looping yet being that we're working on episode 2. I think why use the "I don't care method" I think if your doing an abriged series, the "I dont care method" should be the last resort. No dissrespect to anyone.

Oh good, seems some one got the joke. I thought that calling it the "Not Caring" Method would tip people off.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:40 pm

I use the 'Not caring' option whenever I make a non-abridged episode. As for abridged episodes, it is hard to explain. For example, I use two copies of a scene. On one copy, I use looping so the mouth matches up with the lines. The other copy remains unchanged. The mouth loops on one copy and is cropped and overlaps the mouth on the original scene.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:10 am

LK actually showed me how he does panning/moving lip flaps the other day.

If it wasn't so long and complicated, I'd type it here.

Might use it in my next episode.
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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:42 am

It's probably some advanced trick exclusive to Sony Vegas anyway, so it would more than likely be wasted on us anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Lipflaps, Looping and Complications   Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:45 pm

I have, at times, utilized most methods of lip-syncing mentioned. Whatever works for a particular clip I will use. If I can get away with pasting a clip with pre-existing dialogue then I consider myself lucky and move on to the next scene. Most of the time it requires some tweaking to get it to work right. I may have to use a freeze frame to stop the lip flapping for a pause or loop the same clip over and over for a character that is doing a lot of talking. Back in the 90's I would edit the animation first, write the script, and thn voice the scenes to what was there. I did not have the luxury of digital editing software to play with, but rather, audio cassette tape and analogue cuts only video.

What I have found that works for me in regards to a moving back ground is using the "mask" feature in Sony Vegas. I am able to mask the character so that mouth movement can happen without any problems while the back ground can either be duplicated in a lower layer to do its thing or have an entirely different back ground. I can also animate the mask if a character is moving, but that is extremely tedious and I have not quite got the hang of that yet. For example, I've been working on something analogous to "Robot Chicken" in which I took the old Star Trek Animated Series and did a cross over with an Animated Doctor Who I found. I'm having a terrible time with Martha Jones's hair and ear ring when she is moving. I'd like to show you but I'm not allowed to give a link because I'm a new member here.

The not caring method I'm afraid has been used by me at times as well. Usually for amvs when I get a bit too lazy for my own good.
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