My video is cold, hard action with no plot!

That's awesome! Everyone needs a good random action video once in a while.
There are a few things you need to know, though.

- Keep it to the action. Don't try to do some wacky character profile.
- People like shiny things. You can give them seizures which will hurt your review score later, or you can give them some nice scenes of stuff blowing up. Which do you think is better? You should've answered stuff blowing up.
- Got a nifty view of a weapon and a little downtime in the song? Try showing off the anime's art of weaponry by panning the metallic wonder. ^_^



Drum beats

There are a few things you can do for the infamous drum beat.
(1) Flash black every time it happens.
(2) switch scenes
(3) go to a different view of that scene(which, in essence, is still switching scenes).



Here's your boring clip that you have now.

(1) By flashing black at every drum beat, it can help you save footage if you don't have a lot. Normally, this isn't a great idea if you want to build up suspense, but it's the easiest(in my opinion) of action editing tricks.
How to do this.
This is the waveform of the audio I used. It doesn't matter what editing program it's in, because all programs(that I know of) show the audio's waveform when editing.

The large spots, where the waves get bigger, is where each drum beat is.

So where the red marks are, are what should be left black. ^_^

(2)Switching scenes, while using up a ton of footage, can keep the audience guessing what happens next as well as raising the suspense value. Normally you'd put more action scenes here, but if I did that in this example, I would've given away some hefty Wolf's Rain spoilers. ^^;
How to do this.
Again you have your waveform, but instead of blocking off whole areas, you change scenes at the waveform's highest point, which is signified by the red dots:

So, where the dots are would be the highest point of the waveform, where the start of the drumbeat is. That should be exactly where you switch your scene.

(3) Switching scene views can make what ever is happening in that moment seem a lot more important. I try to use this whenever possible, but the scene switch method depends on if the anime has it in there... >.o
You do this with the same method as switching scenes.

 

Cymbal Crashes

There are a few common things you can do for a cymbal crash.

(1)Flash white every time it happens
(2)Flash a scene.

 

Here's your boring cymbal clip.

(1) Adding white flashes can be the magic wrecking ball. Sometimes it works beautifully, other times, people hate it. That, and you could cause seizures. 0.o So use this with caution. It's good for saving your footage and showing the whole scene you want.

How to do it.

This is the audio waveform again. Where do you think the cymbal crashes are? If you've been paying any attention to what the guide said earlier, you'd say where the waves are the highest.
 The common misconception for white flashes is that you just put them there and they do the work. This is wrong. You must fade the flashes! The red lines going up are where you should fade in. When they go down, that's where you should fade out.

Really all you are doing here is following the flow of the waveform. Once you get the hang of this, all editing is easy as eating pie!(Mmm... pie...)

(2) Flashing a scene causes drama among your music video. While showing an explosion, you can show each character's expressions as it happens. You could also show someone being cut in half, and then during the cymbal flashes, you could show the sword coming down. Flashing a scene can be used in many different ways... You can do a different scene each cymbal crash(like the characters' expressions) or you can do one single scene(such as the sword) at different points in time. You could also do a single picture, to insinuate a certain person, feeling, or moment.
In my example, I chose to show what happened after the main scene(the one not syncing to the cymbals). It sounds confusing, but it's actually a lot easier than it appears.
If you combine the scene flash with changing scenes on the beat, not only can you hurl a ton of footage at someone at one time, but you can also make your video have feeling or emotion... And look really cool. ^_^
You can achieve this the same way you did white flashes.

 

Guitar Riffs

Guitar riffs are tricky things. There can be a lot of different guitar riffs, and that's why it's hard to show how to synch to them. Fast guitar riffs could be dealt with as if they were a cymbal crash or drum beat.
Slow, electric guitar riffs are a little different... And that's what I'm going to pick on, here.
You can do a few things relating to this certain type of guitar riff:

(1)Fade to a new scene
(2) Make something happen

Here's your boring guitar riff clip.

(1) Fading to a new scene doesn't really do anything for your action-ness. But it syncs to the music, and if you synch to stuff, more "advanced" editors will applaud you.
How to do it.


Here's the guitar riff waveform. Anything with guitar riffs is pretty much guesswork. See where the wave went from small to huge? The huge part is the guitar riff. To fade to another scene, you pretty much start fading in at the start of the guitar riff, and then stop whenever it looks good. I'm serious! It really doesn't matter when you stop as long as it looks good to you. ^^;;

(2) Making something happen can be interpreted in many different ways. If you've got a clip of two people fighting each other with sword, at the guitar riff, you might want to make it so that a slash comes down right at that moment. You could also speed up the framerate of the footage when the guitar riff starts. This can be a magic bullet, because changing frame rate speeds throughout your video is looked down upon. So just use it once or twice, if you "have" to use it. In the example, I just switched scenes without fading. It all depends on what you want your video to look like.
How to do it.

You have the same guitar riff as before, and whatever you do, you want to do it right when the riff starts.

So, the red line would be where the guitar riff starts, and where you should start something new happening.

 

Drum rolls

Drum rolls are tricky things. In order to make a drum roll look good, you can do either the sissy, no work needed way, or the lots of hard work needed to make it look really really good way.

The sissy way, is just putting something exciting there. Like, someone's head being chopped off. That'd be exciting. And sissy.
The other way takes a lot of time for just about a second of song, but looks much, much better- changing scenes every time you hear a drum beat. Much like the regular drumbeat section, the only reason why I have a whole section on drum rolls is because it's a lot harder to know where to queue on the waveform.
I figured if I showed you how to spot where drum rolls are,  you could pretty much handle anything else that's really close together or condensed.

Here's your boring, wussy-done drum roll clip.

As I said before, the tricky thing about drumrolls is that you can't really spot them on the waveform. In fact, here's the really confusing waveform right now.

I already zoomed in some, and you still can't really tell what the heck you're doing, right?
So, by normal means, we just go through the song really slow-like, and see if we can hear where each of the drum roll's beats are. That almost never works. But if it does, go ahead and do it like that.
If it doesn't, then let's take a look at the waveform, and switch scenes where each wave is the highest, which would be where the red dots are:

Really, all we did was switch scenes where the waves just randomly spiked up higher than everything else, right? Well, this is how the product turns out after doing it that way.
It looks okay, but a little weird, doesn't it? Sometimes if you match the waveform, it still doesn't look right. So from that, I have a lucky number. My lucky number happens to be two. So, when I come upon a drum roll that I just can't figure out, or what I do doesn't look right, I'll completely ignore the waveform and change scenes every two frames.
Suppose you're using an editor that doesn't allow you to edit frame by frame(such as Windows Movie Maker), what do you do then? Well, you zoom in all the way, and then make the clip as short as possible. It usually equals 2-4 frames. ^_^
So you do the lucky number trick. How does it look? It looks like one confusing mess where you have no idea what's going on... But it looks darn good to the audience, that's all I can say. Here's an example.
Cool, no?

So that's all you need to know about action synch for action videos! I purposely left out other things so you can learn those things for yourself. You can't have everything handed on a platter to you! ^^

Go to:

Action synch for other videos

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