- Member: VegettoEX
- Title: Nobody Blink!
- Premiered: 2003-01-15
- Takayuki Iwai Nobody Blink
*** IDEA BEHIND THE VIDEO ***
There's been a lot of "Final Fantasy" videos. More specifically, there's been a lot of "Final Fantasy VII" videos. More specifically than that, there's been a lot of real crappy "Final Fantasy VII" videos. It all started back in September of 1997, probably, when the game was released. It was a brand-new "Final Fantasy" game, and the first one to get a whole slew of pre-made CG video cut scenes to enhance the story being told.
Otakon 1998 saw a buttload (OK, three) of music videos produced to footage from the game. Over the years, there's been many more videos produced using the game's footage. Many of them try to tell a story; most end up telling the story of the game. This is all fine and dandy, and quite a few of them ended up being very watchable (check out SephirothJenova's "To The Limit" for one).
The problem is that while it seems like there's a lot of footage... there really isn't. A lot of the footage on the discs is pre-rendered background scenes that your characters are placed on top of, or are very short scenes. Sure, there are the long ones like the opening, major death scenes, and the endings, but honestly, it's VERY hard to have a normal-length music video and not run low on footage.
So with the exception of a few FF7 videos, there have been VERY few that I enjoyed, much less find myself astounded by. I've been saying for at least two years that I wanted to do an FF7 video... that didn't suck. I guess things just fell into place at the right time.
I also wanted to prove to myself (despite being well aware of it!) that I was fully capable of editing a music video on my own without Meri :P.
*** PRODUCTION NOTES ***
There's not that much to say about the process behind creating this video. A long session was had of simply sitting down and ripping clips straight from the FF7 game discs (PlayStation). That night began the conversion process. Taking hints from Quu's guide to ripping game footage, I went ahead and dived into VirtualDub. All clips were ripped from the game as 320x244, 15 fps AVIs (their native format) and saved as HuffyUV. All clips were brought into VirtualDub and had the following performed to them:
Upsize to 1140 x 960 >> Blur More >> Smart Smoother >> Downsize to 720x480
After this process, all were saved as HuffyUV files, once more. The theory behind this is the same as editing simple images in PhotoShop: lowering the window size of something hides "blemishes" in the actual source. By applying the blur and smoothing filters it was possible to get rid of a good amount of jaggies in the original source, and then hide them by reducing the size by half (down to standard DVD resolution).
MotionJPEG AVIs were exported from all of these "upsized" AVIs in order to edit with in Premiere. Essentially, I ended up with three folders: "original" (for the straight rips off the game), "upsize" (for the cleaned up 720x480 clip) and "mjpeg" (for the clips to edit with). These three folders alone ran me 12.9 gigs... and the song to be used was only going to be 30 seconds.
I decided on the opening theme to "Street Fighter Zero 3" ("Alpha 3" for us in North America). This was a funny (OK, not so "ha ha" funny) process. One night, I just started going through a whole bunch of game intros (mainly "Street Fighter" and "King of Fighters") seeing if any would be fun to edit a video with. I've always wanted to try a hand at a fun "techno" or "dance"-type song. The "Zero 3" opening theme, "Nobody Blink," stood out to me above all the rest. First off, I'm a huge SF fan and player. I live through its music. Second, the song just had such a great beat to it, with all of its notes and hits being instantly heard and recognizable.
It fit. BOOM. Time to do that FF7 video I wanted to do.
With a song having so many distinct beats to it, I knew this was going to provide me with the edit-crazy environment I envisioned for the video. Also, being only thirty seconds long, I would be able to pull tons of footage from all over the game, and not have to worry about an on-going "story." Now, don't get me wrong... the video is not pointless. There is a theme, despite having no story. What I ended up doing was always turning to focus on something else JUST as you think I'm sticking on a subject at hand. For example, you'll find yourself in the middle of a WEAPON battle, only to find yourself face-to-face with Sephiroth, and then back again... in the span of three seconds.
My editing pattern is pretty obvious if you watch the video: don't skip a beat. With the exception of just a few beats, there's something going on on EVERY SINGLE beat of the song, whether it be a cut, an action, or what have you (and when there IS nothing, wait a beat... you'll probably see why). There's a good deal of jump-cuts, simple edits, etc. If there's a "long" scene (by long... uhh... longer than 10 frames ^^;;), it's there for a reason... there's a BOOM coming.
The video was severely edited in segments over about a five-day period.
DAY ONE: 00-07 seconds (4 seconds of video-time)
DAY TWO (part 1): 07-12 seconds
DAY TWO (part 2): 12-18 seconds
DAY THREE: 18-22 seconds
DAY FOUR (part 1): 25-end
DAY FOUR (part 2): 22-25 seconds
DAY FIVE: finishing touches, encodes
In all honesty, I doubt more than five hours of actual EDITING time was had. I'm sure more CPU time was put into all the AVI conversions than anything else... but I got to sleep through all that ^^;;.
The most attention in this video was paid to movement, as it should be in any video. If the movement to one scene conflicts with the movement of the scene after it, your eye is going to notice it. So taking what I've learned in past videos (mostly "Alone in the World"), I definitely kept this in mind while during things such as the opening and ending drumrolls. You'll notice that the track of movement goes: left, center, right, center, left, center, right... etc. It somewhat makes its own circle of movement, always keeping your eye in the right place.
All clips are their original 100% speed, and all but one clip (fans will probably notice it.. it's the third-to-last shot in the video) are in their original horizontal positioning. I felt that any real "effects" would have simply been overboard, and well... it doesn't need any more effects. Hell, all of the CG scenes themselves ARE special effects, essentially. All in all, the video is simple edit, cut, paste, couple dissolves on flashes... not much more, even if it looks like it is.
You may notice that no clips were used from any of the three video files that make up the game's ending sequence. This was for several reasons:
1) They are all in different aspect ratios from the rest of the game's clips
2) There's not THAT much action going on in them
3) I didn't feel like going back and forth in the video with distractingly different aspect ratios
4) They looked like crud clipped
5) We all know how the game ends, by this point... it's over five years later
I don't think I could have continued the video another five seconds, nevermind do a full-length video (in this style of editing). There just wasn't much more footage. Sure, there's the ending sequence, but like I've explained above, it just wouldn't work out right. Guess it was just a perfect song length!
The title of the video was somewhat difficult to come up with, believe it or not. I went back and forth with Meri on a few ideas; I really wanted some kind of "Street Fighter" gag. The name of the song ended up working for at least one good reason: if you blink, you're going to miss something... so... NOBODY BLINK!
lol lol, har har... whatever... get it out of your system :P
For good measure, I also ripped the announcer voice off of the game's soundtrack and isolated his "Nobody Blink!" line, and threw that over the end credits.
It was a damn fun time working on this video, and I can't wait to get into my next projects.
(side end note: my favorite part of the video is at 21 seconds when the WEAPON gets shot in the face at point-blank range right on the crash ^^;;)
*** EQUIPMENT USED ***
- HP Pavillion (850 mHz PIII, 128 MB RAM)
- PSMPlay .03 (ripping of PSX discs)
- VirtualDub 1.4.10 (filtering of clips)
- Adobe Premiere 5.1 (editing of video)
- CDex (ripping of audio tracks from game soundtrack)
- "Street Fighter Zero 3" Original 2-disc soundtrack (CPCA-1012~3)
- "Final Fantasy VII" (PlayStation 3-disc game)
*** TECHNICAL INFORMATION ***
- 340 MB -- Master AVI encoded 720x480, 29.97 fps, 44 kHz stereo sound, HuffyUV
- 9.16 MB -- MPEG encoded 352x240, 29.97 fps, 2000 kbps 2-pass VBR (300 min, 3000 max), 320 kbps (44 kHz) stereo sound