Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

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Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Zarxrax » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:21 pm

I *finally* got around to finishing up a new version of the guide and amvapp.
I haven't done any thorough testing of it yet, so hopefully some of you guys can be on the lookout for any problems. If everything looks ok, I'll push it out as the finished version. In particular, I HAVEN'T tested all of the included avs functions.

For now, it can be viewed here: http://amvhell.com/stuff/avtech/
If you don't want to use the installer for the avs plugins, a simple zip file containing all the plugins can be found linked from the amvapp page.

Here is the main changes that I can think of:

- Removed lots of redundant and unnecessary information, making some parts of the guide much shorter
- Added "key concepts" to several pages, to quickly summarize the most important parts
- Tried to simplify some of the toughest topics, and provided a few short video tutorials.
- Got rid of some old stuff that no one should be using anymore, like mpeg1 and xvid encoding guides
- By popular demand, removed explanation of Deen.
- Recommend UTvideo as the primary lossless codec
- Added basic info about ripping blu-rays.
- Completely revised IVTC suggestions AGAIN
- Made the index look shorter and simpler
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Zarxrax » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:16 pm

no one's interested i guess :|
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:09 am

Just looked at it yesterday for a short bit while ripping footage for something. Update your images for that - the program looks a bit different now.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby ngsilver » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:21 am

I read through most of it actually. Surprised at the omission of Toon(). I understand the reason for taking it out, as newer sources don't really need it, but I still use it for older sources. But beyond that I didn't see anything that I felt needed to be re-worded or anything like that. In a way, I find this a lot easier to read then the guide was when I started using it. Though I don't know if that is your work or just the fact that I already understand the principles discussed.

Either way good work.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby mirkosp » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:38 am

ngsilver wrote:Surprised at the omission of Toon(). I understand the reason for taking it out, as newer sources don't really need it, but I still use it for older sources.

Even for older sources there are better filters at disposal. If you want to do line darkening, I'd suggest you to take a look at Scintilla's Hysteria.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Zarxrax » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:27 am

ngsilver wrote:Surprised at the omission of Toon().

I replaced its mention in the guide with FastLineDarkenMod(). Basically the same but more tweakable.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Zarxrax » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:29 am

BasharOfTheAges wrote:Just looked at it yesterday for a short bit while ripping footage for something. Update your images for that - the program looks a bit different now.

Uh, really? I've got version 8, and compared it to the images (version 6 in the images), and it looks exactly the same to me :|
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:26 pm

Zarxrax wrote:
BasharOfTheAges wrote:Just looked at it yesterday for a short bit while ripping footage for something. Update your images for that - the program looks a bit different now.

Uh, really? I've got version 8, and compared it to the images (version 6 in the images), and it looks exactly the same to me :|

I'm at work so i can't go to your site (they block it) and i can't look at the program, but they've updated GUI elements to be slightly different than your images show. It's pretty much the same. That's why i said "bit" different. It's pretty minor.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Zarxrax » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:01 pm

I tested all the avs functions today, and everything worked except fft3dfilter, because I was apparently including the wrong dll with it O_o

I don't really see anything in dvdfab that changed enough for me to bother making new screenshots of it.

So now i feel pretty satisfied with the guide as it is, so I'll try to get it posted up in the next week or so.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Zarxrax » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:35 pm

Added an antialiasing section to the avs filtering page of the guide
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:37 am

Before this starts to become tl;dr, I should probably note that I come from an Education background, so hopefully that should lend credibility to what I write. :P

I seriously like all the condensing. It's really difficult to cover all the important info while staying concise. In particular, the "key concepts" was an excellent idea, although I would consider putting them at the top so people know what stuff they are supposed to learn right away (the last thing we want is for this information to be hidden). Maybe leave them at the end too, simply retitled "Review of Key Concepts." It may seem redundant, but it can really reinforce what you are supposed to know.

Content-wise, I think we're pretty good. Although honestly I haven't read through it all. One concern I have with the guides is (and has always been) the layout of the index page. It is so disorganized (to the point that we can't even call it a singular Guide-- rather we call it The Guides). Some things in particular:

  • The Theory guides are the most daunting part of amv production, and certainly not what new editors are looking for when they want a guide about amv's; yet you get a gigantic chunk of it right at the beginning with no real connection to where it applies later on. Ideally you would want to introduce this information in the guides when it becomes relevant. Now, without re-writing the guides from scratch this would be difficult to implement. So with the way we have it now, I would suggest putting the Theory guides at the bottom of the main page, listed as an Appendix. Then in the main body of the guide, links can simply be introduced whenever it seems appropriate.

  • Most people prefer a more linear layout. While I think dividing the audio/video into their respective sides is a novel idea, it makes more sense if there was a clear time and place to do all the audio stuff. In my opinion, this should all be done before you even touch the video component-- I mean, generally you work your amv around the audio anyway. So I think the entire audio side should be scrapped and placed right before "Getting your Video." Additionally, since there are only two Audio Theory Guides, they can easily be put with the rest.

  • Some things are still redundant, but considering the evolution of this guide, I think that is something to be expected. If we move towards a linear guide, this shouldn't be a problem. I'm just looking at how many times we say Download the AMVapp, which makes me question whether I'm an idiot, or if I really missed something. When I first started making amv's, I swear I thought there were multiple AMVapps-- then got annoyed when I found out all the links went to the same place :rofl:. Anyways, if we have a linear guide, and one of the first steps says "Download the AMVapp," nobody is going to miss it. Plus, it's generally easier and more efficient to learn things in chunks, because people can scan down... almost like a checklist.

  • Also regarding multiple links to the same place: Keep it to a minimum. I wouldn't add links to the headings "Getting your Video", "Getting your Audio", "Editing and Preparing your audio" when the subheading goes to the same place. I would probably scrap all the headings under Getting your Video, and replace with everything under the overview page, which is really the heart of the guide anyways. At one point, I didn't even know that existed. I'm kind of shocked it was so hidden. :shock:

  • Use magical numbers. [Educational mumbo-jumbo ahead] Generally, people can't remember more than 7 items unless they condition themselves. On average, people remember 5. This should be your target for the number of headings (or less). I think we should be good for headings (at least the main ones). But even if the number goes over 7, never combine distinct concepts into one heading. However, if concepts are related, use subheadings under a more general main heading (for instance, .d2v and .avs files can fall under a general heading like "Reading your Ripped footage" ...or something similar).

  • Having the headings centered isn't very readable

/tl;dr

Ok, I think I have ranted enough and you probably hate me by now, so I should start being useful. This is how I suggest the main index page should look with a linear layout:

[see next post]
Last edited by Phantasmagoriat on Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:46 am

------------

A/V TECHNICAL GUIDE [v3.1_Linear]

***Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to read Appendix A & B first so that concepts make more sense as they are introduced. Even just a quick glance over the Key Concepts can make a huge difference. Nobody is forcing you to become a technical expert, however, it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you look up concepts if something doesn't make sense. But of course, if something confuses you, you can always come and ask about it in the forum. ^__^ Please keep in mind, any responses are provided by other members in their spare time.

0. Getting Started:

1. Getting your AUDIO:

2. Getting your VIDEO:

3. Editing your AMV:

4. Post Production: (optional if done completely before editing)

5. File Compression/ Video Distribution:

___________________________
APPENDIX A: Theory Guides

___________________________
APPENDIX B: AviSynth?

___________________________
APPENDIX C: Glossary

___________________________
APPENDIX D: Visual Aids

___________________________________________________________________________________
| AMV Home| Forum |#AMV | AMVApp 3.1 | Guides | FAQ | Glossary | Top 10% AMV | VCA |


------------

All the same information is there in a nice linear fashion, and the way you cleaned it up made it that much easier Zarx. Thanks.
Sure it might not look as pretty :aimkissyface:, but I modeled it off the way textbooks are written (they're written that way for a reason... :book: )

So. I don't know what other people think, but I think the index page needs a makeover.

~Phan
Last edited by Phantasmagoriat on Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:10 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Zarxrax » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:09 am

Thank you for the suggestions, Phantasmagoriat.
I won't be implementing any of your suggestions right now (some stuff in the guide is just really bad and NEEDS to be updated right away), but I will be looking into some of your suggestions for the future.

Regarding the placement of the theory guides, I really feel like much of the content is stuff that people REALLY ought to know before they begin editing. That's why it comes at the beginning.
I at once point considered integrating all of the theory stuff directly into the rest of the guide. But this made some of the pages really long and daunting, and when you were just trying to look up how to do something real quick, it could be difficult to find the relevant info within a page. Putting links to the relevant sections of the theory guides within the main pages might be a good way of doing things. I will look into this further at some point.

I think the audio theory guides are pretty useless, though perhaps slightly interesting. But they look like AbsoluteDestiny put a lot of work into them, so I keep them around >.>

The reason some stuff is said multiple times, like download the AmvApp, is so people wont miss it if they are skipping around and not reading linearly.
Can you believe I still see people asking where to download AmvApp? :p

About the links on the headings, good point, I'll remove those right away.

The index page is something I've always been working on improving. I think you could definitely say that its way better than the old one :p
One reason that I like having the audio stuff separated, is I don't really expect people to be USING that part of the guide very often. So if you aren't interested in it, its over out of the way, and can be ignored.
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:11 am

While that looks great for someone actually using the guides for the first time, i'd venture a guess that the same people go in for a refresher multiple times. They would (most likely) be going to #2 part B as a refresher. Why make them click multiple links to get there? Isn't "good" web interface all about reducing click-through?
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Re: Updated AVtech Guide - Beta

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:20 pm

Zarxrax wrote:Thank you for the suggestions, Phantasmagoriat.
I won't be implementing any of your suggestions right now (some stuff in the guide is just really bad and NEEDS to be updated right away), but I will be looking into some of your suggestions for the future.
For sure, they are just suggestions after all.


Zarxrax wrote:Regarding the placement of the theory guides, I really feel like much of the content is stuff that people REALLY ought to know before they begin editing. That's why it comes at the beginning.
I at once point considered integrating all of the theory stuff directly into the rest of the guide. But this made some of the pages really long and daunting, and when you were just trying to look up how to do something real quick, it could be difficult to find the relevant info within a page. Putting links to the relevant sections of the theory guides within the main pages might be a good way of doing things. I will look into this further at some point.
My main reason for wanting the Theory guides as an Appendix is because I'm concerned about the front-end appeal of the guide. New members scream when they see Theory guides first thing. I'm not saying they are not important, but you can get through the majority of the guide without knowing every detail of video theory. For instance, knowing about Colorspace isn't even relevant for most people until later when they try to use avisynth filters that require yv12. I think my intentions can be summarized in the disclaimer I wrote. It doesn't even mean anything needs to be changed-- just the appearance of the front-end.


Zarxrax wrote:I think the audio theory guides are pretty useless, though perhaps slightly interesting. But they look like AbsoluteDestiny put a lot of work into them, so I keep them around >.>
I feel the same way, and by no means do I want to get rid of relevant information, just place more emphasis on what's really important. For instance, I still think people should have access to the mpeg-1 and xvid guides, as long as they know they are depreciated


Zarxrax wrote:The reason some stuff is said multiple times, like download the AmvApp, is so people wont miss it if they are skipping around and not reading linearly.
Can you believe I still see people asking where to download AmvApp? :p
:lol: I believe it. But I think that's always going to happen. If people are blind they are blind :roll:


Zarxrax wrote:The index page is something I've always been working on improving. I think you could definitely say that its way better than the old one :p
The evolution of this guide should be put on display in the Smithsonian :amv:


Zarxrax wrote:One reason that I like having the audio stuff separated, is I don't really expect people to be USING that part of the guide very often. So if you aren't interested in it, its over out of the way, and can be ignored.
I seen what you mean, although I don't think it's really out of the way like it should be. It literally takes up half the page. I would rather have three simple lines that I can forget about, rather than have it stand out the whole time:
1. Getting your AUDIO:
  • Overview
  • Preparing your audio

--------------

BasharOfTheAges wrote:While that looks great for someone actually using the guides for the first time [...]
I have to stop you right there. You hit the nail right on the head :beer:


BasharOfTheAges wrote:[...] i'd venture a guess that the same people go in for a refresher multiple times. They would (most likely) be going to #2 part B as a refresher. Why make them click multiple links to get there? Isn't "good" web interface all about reducing click-through?
Well, I wanted to make the index simple, straight forward, and easy to read because that's what index's are for, but I see what you mean. I made some changes to hopefully address that issue. Basically, everything in the Overview is now one level higher.


Thoughts anyone?
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