Disclaimer: These interviews are not associated with a-m-v.org's administration. Continued exposure to "The Lip Flapper" may cause unexpected amounts of laughter and glee.
Welcome to the Lip Flapper! Each week, we delve deep into the community and get a look into both individual members as well as group discussions on various issues that surround our hobby.
________This Week in "The Lip Flapper"
This week, we talk with Mister Hatt! Later in the week, we review Kazemon15's "Gaga for Bishes!"
So why did I decide to interview Mister Hatt this week? Well, if you've even remotely ever been in our technical forums, you'll notice his name popping up everywhere!
Mister Hatt isn't an editor and doesn't even enjoy most AMVs, yet he serves our forum with technical expertise and assists us in many helpful ways. So I thought I'd get the inside scoop on Mister Hatt and share his story with the rest of you.
---------------The InterviewQ: Thanks for being with me today! How about we start things off with you introducing yourself, and explaining a little bit about what you do around here?
No problem! My name's Hatt and I'm a systems architect and encoder from Australia. I mostly offer encoding advice on the tech boards whenever someone has an interesting enough problem. I guess I also answer random questions when I have a spare moment to browse too.
---Q: Well thanks for joining me Mister Hatt. You actually don't have any videos cataloged, and don't seem to edit that much in terms of AMVs. What brought you around to a-m-v.org?
I actually got involved via the #AMV IRC channel on SynIRC. My friend OropherZero asked me to join to help someone with a weird IVTC issue, and eventually he asked me to answer some questions on the forums. I met a few editors on IRC who had the potential to be decent encoders and became a mentor of sorts; those guys kept me on the forums.
---Q: Do you plan on ever editing a video?
Not if I can help it! I'm not really a fan of AMVs, but I do like interesting video issues.
---Q: You seem to have a lot of passionate/knowledgeable discussions about visual quality in the technical forums. How'd you get so knowledgeable about the subject, and what makes you decide to help others? I've known several editors that prefer to say "read the guides" or say "figure it out yourself".
I started out encoding under the mentorship of one of the best encoders I've known to be around in the last 10 years. He taught me a lot about video theory and defects, especially about image processing rather than specifically video. I think the important thing for knowing how to filter is knowing what the filters actually do rather than how to use them. It's much easier. I've been encoding since 2005 or so and I guess years of practice certainly helps. It isn't something you can learn over night like many editors wish.
As far as the way editors offer their help to others, there are a few things going on I think. Many encoders look down on editors because of the outdated guides and the general mindset of the community. Because of that, most editors keep to the confines of the forum. I help mostly out of self interest, but I find editors come across bad or strange footage far more regularly than encoders do these days, and that's probably because they're more likely to work with older horrible source content. I also think that a lot of editors tend to say "read the guides" or "figure it out" because they honestly don't know. There is a whole heap of misinformation going around because of the guides and people pretending they know. That contributes a lot.
---Q: Do you have any advice for someone (such as myself) that may wish to learn more about scripting in Avisynth to better improve their videos, but not have to read a small novel on how to properly utilize just one function?
I have two things to say there. The first is understand that Avisynth is a programming environment, not a GUI. Most editors look at avs as being part of AvsP or whatever else, and think they can just copy-paste filter chains. This is not the case. You need to tailor your script to the content's needs. If you think of it as a programming language, you can write much longer scripts. I thought this was kinda silly until I tried it.
The other thing people get caught up on is that there are so many filters. Many of them are quite old and slow though. They also ofen do the same thing internally, but you wouldn't know that from half of their manuals. I would say that everyone should read and understand the first paragraph or so of the Wikipedia pages on Telecine and Fast Fourier Transforms. Telecine neatly explains how interlacism and IVTC work and what they actually do, and a good non-complicated explanation would eliminate most of the blending issues editors seem to have. The other thing is FFT filters. Understanding what they actually do makes it a lot easier to use pretty much all of them without using the manual. The page for FFT is quite big though so you only need to read the first bit of what they do and how they represent it, but that's most major filters. Understanding the relationship of bluring to sharpening is probably good too. If you want to mess with x264 or grain manipulation filtering, psychovisual optimisation is another excellent topic to read up on. It all comes down to knowing the theory behind common filters rather than how to use them all specifically.
This sounds like a bit of tl;dr on it and I often say to ignore the theory parts of the guides, but understand image processing theory and you're all good.
---Q: So what do you think of the a-m-v.org community as a whole? How do you think that our site might be better improved upon?
Aha, actually I'm working with trythil on the new version of the site, with a whole heap of extra functionality to replace the guides. If anyone wants to help, PM him on SynIRC. Ruby or perl experience is good practice for avisynth!
---Q: Well thank you for joining me today Mister Hatt. To end us off, how about you tell us what your favorite AMV is, or perhaps just some general words of wisdom that you may wish to give someone starting out in learning the real technical stuff?
I'm not really much of an AMV fan but mirkosp's I Win Fags is pretty fun, or Nostromo's Auriga. Words of wisdom? Don't scared of doom9/doom10 or IRC. It's a lot easier to find someone to walk you through things in realtime on IRC than it is in a forum.
April 1: WTF?
April 2: Fall_Child42 Review
April 9: Effects Panel
April 16: GuntherAMVs Review
April 23: Unconfirmed
Check the Main Thread
for all relevant information about future Lip Flappers, as well as past/future interviews!
____Next Time on "The Lip Flapper"
We have an interesting "WTF" interview from a prior interviewee and then talk with Fall_Child42 about comedy! Come Friday, I shall also have a review of Kazemon15's "Gaga For Bishies".