- Member: Melichan923
- Title: Evil Island
- Premiered: 2012-04-06
- Shutter Island - Movie Trailer Trailer Audio
- Anime Boston 2012 - Editor's Choice Winner! :)
- Anime Next 2012 - Best Trailer/Parody
- Fanime 2k12 - 1st Place Experimental Judge's Choice, and 1st Place Experimental Audience Choice
- Anime Expo 2012 - Random/Fun Finalist
- A-kon 23 - Master's Finalist (Never confirmed as there was never a finalist list posted. If anyone could confirm that this was indeed a finalist please let me know.)
- Animazement - Finalist (Also never confirmed)
(For those that don't like to read lengthy descriptions)
Date Completed: February 23, 2012
Time Spent Editing: Off and on editing since the summer of 2011.
Time Spent Pre-processing and recording: I started recording footage I needed last summer and footage cleanup took a while since the source footage was poor in some clips. It was a slow process, but I didn't stress out as much since I stretched out everything instead of rushing. :P
Programs Used for Editing: Sony Vegas 6.0, Photoshop 6.0
Other Helpful Programs: AOA Audio Extractor, DGAVCIndex, AviSynth, VirtualDubMod, AVSP 2.0.2, Zarx264GUI, dBpoweramp
Spoilers to Resident Evil, Shutter Island, or this AMV trailer may follow.
One night in the summer of 2011 I randomly decided to watch the movie Shutter Island. In short, it really blew me away. I loved it in every shape and form. I saw a few vague similarities between the movie and Resident Evil 4 and so a few hours after finishing it I wondered what the trailer was like. Let me just say the trailer portrays the movie quite differently than what it actually is supposed to be about. After viewing the trailer though my thoughts were already running wild with ideas. Never did I think I'd be creating another AMV trailer so soon after A Walk To Remember but I loved Shutter Island so much and the idea fit so I couldn't refuse it.
It's obvious who was going to be Teddy and who would play most of the characters. For a small amount of time I toggled back and forth between who would be Rachel "the missing prisoner/patient"... either Ada or Ashley. Ashley looked most like Rachel (Teddy's wife), but Ashley made the most logical sense to be the missing prisoner since Leon is of course looking for her in the game.
Recording, Gathering Everything Needed and Pre-processing
A few weeks later after viewing that trailer is when the process began. I had low quality clips stored on an old data DVD and I played through them all. The quality was really bad, and not only that: there wasn't enough of footage that I'd need so I was going to need some gameplay footage as well. The scene I needed the most out of all of them was a closeup clip of the Garrador chained up in the prison cell, but ideally I needed more than just that for gameplay parts. I own the GameCube version of Resident Evil 4, but I haven't the slightest clue on what the most effective ways to get the clips off the the television screen and onto the computer at high enough quality are. I started to do a small bit of research and then promptly ditched that idea. I needed higher quality footage than what that would allow. The decision was quite simple; I just needed to buy the PC version of the game. I ordered it for a good price on Ebay along with a gamepad controller as RE4 on the PC is notoriously known for having horrendous controls.
After the game came in the mail I got to playing and recording. I started recording losslessly with the XFire program and after a day or two of recording I realized that XFire wasn't doing what I needed to performance-wise. A lot of the clips were coming out jumpy or freezing because of the resources needed to run the game fullscreen and to use the recording program together. The various memory leaks and some mods and cheats needed to make my task a bit easier and to take things off screen that shouldn't be there in an AMV (such as the HUD and time countdowns) probably weren't helping the problem.
Thank GOD for those modding communities. I was able to get my footage high quality enough and use various textures and mods made by the people there to increase the in-game footage quality as well. To see a comparison screen shot you can get a small example here: http://tinyurl.com/cvcs6gh. Look at how much the detail on the ground and sky have improved!
Anyway, I ended up using Fraps and it worked well... some of the time. I still had the freezing issue in high motion scenes occasionally and a couple of clips couldn't be recorded losslessly because of it but I was able to finish my task. I took it slowly and decided that I would record everything I'd need and more various times in a few different angles so I wouldn't need to go back and do it over if I missed something. I ended up with over 1,000 clips of in-game footage and it turns out that all-in-all I needed only roughly about 30 clips of in-game footage, haha.
The HD cutscenes themselves still had some of the worst ghosting and moving grain from hell (not even dot crawl) I had ever come across. It was a challenge to tackle them without oversmoothing the footage. In the end I couldn't remove all of the footage problems, but I did the best I could and I'm decently happy with the results.
As for the audio... I searched for a month's time trying to find a HQ Shutter Island trailer for the audio. All of the trailers I was coming across sounded a a tad distorted and like they'd been compressed no less than a dozen times. The worst part of it was that all of the copies I was finding had copious amount of background noise with drowned out vocals/words. At points it almost sounded like someone had their hand on the volume knob and was turning the dialogue or music up and down. Occasionally it was hard to hear the words while the background screams would nearly give you a heart attack. I tried playing around with it in Audacity. I thought some sort of normalization would help correct it but to no avail. The actual DVD and Blu-Ray of the movie didn't even contain the trailer and I could find no information anywhere on any DVDs or Blu-Rays that might include the Shutter Island trailer I needed as an extra. I was almost about to settle with what I had until lo and behold I found a website that linked to 1080p HQ copies of almost every trailer imaginable. The version I now had actually sounded normal! :D I was happy for about fifteen minutes until I tried to extract the audio and found that for some reason, even though it was a well known format nothing wanted to let me rip the audio. A few hours and about five free programs later I found a demo of AOA Audio Extractor from download.com and it let me convert it to lossless wav.
At this point I was able to take out a very tiny bit of the audio track that seemed slightly unfitting for the scene I was going to use at one particular point. I played around with the volume, made 3 audio track layers in Vegas and tried to mimic the background noise that was happening in the snippet I had taken out. I then also took a snippet of the same musical audio track that was already playing to get everything back and blended together. Voila! I was ready to edit. :D
The actual Editing and Video Challenges
Even though I was ready to edit at that point I ended up taking a very long break after actually getting all the clips recorded and audio I needed and edited. I don't think I actually started editing until December or January. The first thing I got done before I even imported clips into my neglected Vegas was the Evil Island title screen. It took a long time to do and I ended up doing it over from scratch about three times. I learned a lot about Photoshop while trying to mimic the Shutter Island logo. I couldn't do a lot of the things I wanted to as easily because the version of Photoshop I use is really outdated. Most brushes or textures I wanted would not import but after reading a good amount of tutorials I finished it. Third time's a charm because it finally came out how I wanted it to. After that was complete I finished all of the other title screens and word screens and it was time to edit. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the first bit of the project went. A lot of the clips I chose fit in how I actually pictured they would. Lipsyncing with live-action type of footage is in some ways more of a challenge and in some ways easier than with regular anime. With anime you generally have 3 mouth positions: Fully open, half open and closed. Masking the lips in anime usually isn't very hard in a normal case. With live action footage of course the lips vary a lot more but at the same time you just know there is no way you can make it 100% perfect so you know there's no need to work yourself into an absolute frenzy trying to get it perfect. There were a few scenes where I had to mask some things or characters out and with live action that can be hard enough, but the grain varying hugely from frame to frame made things harder than I had hoped.
I knew what I was going to use for most of the scenes already, but there was a limited amount of footage, especially of certain characters like Luis. I knew Luis would be a big part of the project but there just weren't many clips of him. I switched clips of him out and back in a few times and eventually was happy with how the scene choices turned out.
Thank you to:
>Aaron/vinylfreak89 - You helped me so much. I sent you a million betas and you looked at every single one. Your advice helped a lot. Thanks for listening to my rants and helping me come up with visual quality solutions for my video and everything else. Thank you!
>Don/ProjectAir - For beta testing and pointing something out I may not have noticed.
>DriftRoot - Offering to beta test even though I didn't have time to send you my video before the AB deadline. Your hard work and the amount of effort you put into your own vids is inspiring.
>Scintilla - For those helpful quality cleanup guides that always help save my sanity during the pre-processing part.
>Those who voted for Evil Island for Editor's Choice at Anime Boston 2012 - It meant tons to me to win Editor's choice, especially among so many amazing videos!
>The Resident Evil 4 modding communities - I couldn't have managed this without all of the fantastic mods, cheats and everything else you all created. You are all so wonderful and talented. Thank you!
> And of course anyone who takes the time to watch my video/rate/leave me an opinion/etc.!
My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MeliChan923
Most Resident Evil 4 Mods etc. I used can be found here: http://z6.invisionfree.com/Resident_Evil_4_PC/index.php?showtopic=573
Local Download - High Quality - Use VLC to view or Google "x264 codec". :)
Program Used: Zarx264GUI 2.0
Codec: x264 (r2181)
Video Resolution: 1280x720
Audio: AAC, 48000Hz, 320kbps, Stereo
If anybody needs something other than mp4 for some reason, I can upload that as well.