- Member: RutKiskasca
- Studio: Kiskasca Productions
- Title: City's on Fire
- Premiered: 2005-03-31
- 3rd Strike City's on Fire
WINNER: Inuyasha Dragon AMV Contest 2005
WINNER: Kunicon Atlanta Best Action 2005
RUNNER UP: AnimeCon 2005, Netherlands
I learned a lot while making this video. I grew a lot while making this video.
And then, Icy Cloud of AquaSky productions...errrr...."improved" on my efforts. You can find her version at http://www.kiskasca.net/files/Kiskasca-DingDingDong.avi
When I first heard this song, I knew I wanted to make an AMV to it. Just like any song I pick for an AMV, I could see it playing in my mind. I began making the edits in my head as I listened to the song over and over. I never do an AMV to a song unless the first time I hear the song, I immediately sense how the video would look. SOngs like this catch my mind. I guess it's like a sculptor that says he sees the shape in the rock. I could see the shape of this video, and I was very excited about it.
I had also just...errr...aquired a copy of Adobe Premier. Actually, I discovered that I already had the registration key for the trial version of Premier that I already had for a year, but had never used. I have made seven videos, counting the Hentai Iron Chef I did with AMVAddiction4000, Farlo, and YouseiFaerie, and the Live action video I did for Khameleon808's Live in '05 competition. (Note: neither of these vids are on www.animemusicvideos.org because they don't belong there, but you can find them on my site, www.kiskasca.net, if you look hard enough.) In about a year of learning to edit, I had spent about five minutes trying out Adobe Premier. I decided that, since I now had a full version of it, I was going to make this video with it.
Well, that shit lasted about a month. I got about 30% done with the video, and even sent a beta to Icy Cloud of AquaSky productions, my all time best buddy and standby beta tester extra-ordinaire. I decided that (brace yourself) I prefer to edit with Adobe Premier. Yes, I am that self-abusive. Actually, I know that Premier is easier to use, but your hands are easier to use for eating...it doesn't mean that I am gonna pick up a filet mingon and gnaw on it like a dog. The interface just isn't precise enough, and the audio scrubbing ability of AE is much more precise. It sounds more like a stream and less like a series of frames. This seems to befuddle my friends on the org, but I tell them that, while editing in After Effects may seem like raking your lawn with a fork, to me editing in Premier seems like performing brain surgery with a butter knife. Not precise enough. Everyone seems to associate After Effects with EFFECTS, but I barely use any. In this video, I just use a few masks, some hue and saturation adjustments, slight brightness and contrast tweaking, and fades. I see a lot more use of effects in videos created in premier than in AE. Just my opinion.
Anyway, I had begun clipping the source for this video, and I had done it all at 24 fps, for use in Premier. When I decided that I wanted to switch over to AE and scrap the whole project, I had to adjust the frame rate to 29.97. I had already resized the Jin Roh and Ghost in the Shell footage, which have some really weird screen sizes for some reason, and had scrapped my plan to use Patlabor for anything more than the opening text (it is THAT ugly off the DVD.) I got about 5% into the AE project, and started having all sorts of problems with my codecs. See, I had started a video for comission, a live action video for the Army, believe it or not, and I had to roll back to an older verison of the AMVapp for it, because AE kept crashing while I was working on it. It was really slow going. Once I finished it, I upgraded to the most current AMVapp, and yes, I did it WHILE WORKING ON THIS VIDEO. I did have to run all my VOBs back through DGMPEGDec to overcome the version conflicts, and I ended up uninstalling ffdshow (what in the HELL that is good for I have yet to find out, other than causing things to crash) but eventually I had a fairly problem free palette of video source to work from.
I ripped all four movies at once for this, and clipped them all at the same time, too. At one point, I had batches of source footage at 24 fps and 29.97 fps, folders full of avs scripts I had written to resize, adjust frame rate, clean and smooth, etc, and of course several beta versions of the video. By the time I got 75% done with the video, I was having to clean house and defrag my HDD every night. I actually was deleting 15-30 Gb of crap off my HDD every day, just keeping space for this monster to breathe.
A little technical commentary on the video. If you get the bumper version, then...well...I pity you for the mental scarring you will suffer. I did up the kiskasca productions bumper on this one in about an hour using photoshop and a NewtypeUSA ad, kind of on a dare while chatting on #AMV on irc. Someone had the foolish idea (maybe it was Pwolfamv, I can't remember) to suggest that I put duck heads on Rei Ayanami. Maybe it was Aqua, I'm not sure....I don't want to blame the wrong person for that travesty of editing. Anyway, I have been waiting for an excuse to use it, and here you have it. The audio is from the ad, and from a radio spot of Donald Duck receiving oral sex...just after he finishes up.
The opening clip of the video is from the opening of Patlabor, the Movie. Gawd, what a horrendous encode that DvD is. It's just downright ugly. I chose it because of the reference to Babylon in the song. I faded the background in from where the HOS virus takes over the terminal in the Shinohara Heavy Industries plant and starts spitting out the word Babel on everything, and superimposed the text from the opening sequence of the movie. Well, the Japanese characters at the bottom just kind of pop up in the middle of the sequence, like an ugly subtitle, so I superimposed two clips of the same screen over each other, adjusted the start point on one so the japanese text was already up, masked the japanese text out of the english frame, and invert masked the japanese text on the japanese frame, and moved the masks off the screen with keyframes so that the end result is the japanese characters scrolling onto the screen at the same pace as the english text, which describes the story of Babylon, and the inability to understand each other's language. Ehh? Ehh? Get it....ok...so, maybe that was too much of a reach on that one. I like it, though.
The rest of the video is pretty self explanatory. I was surprised to find that the busiest looking sections were the easiest to edit. They are mostly just long clips with masks and solid layers over them. I actually edited the drum break without any source video, just syncing the cymbal and snare pulses, and then put clips in on every bass beat that faded before the next beat. It was the fastest section to edit, although I played with the clips a lot after to make it more clear and percussive. I am a drummer, so it was important to me that the open high hat sound have a different visual intensity than the closed high hat sound, and that the eighth note patterns on the high hat be visually distinct. I have found that I enjoy watching that section more if I look in the center of a quadrant of the screen, rather than in the center of the screen or at the whole screen itself. It looks better when viewed with your peripheral vision. Damn, I am getting demanding of my audience, telling them how to watch my videos...I should be happy you are even watching them...of course, if you would also care to OP it....well....
I have really made an attempt in all my videos to sync every little thing in the video with something in the song...you will find that, in every frame of my videos, something matches the beat. It may not be what you expect to sync up, and that may make my video suck, but I like it so *sticking tongue out at you*
I also try not to make it look like a speed up or slow down the footage, although I do that a LOT. I actually cut out dozens of individual frames in some sections of this, and made hundreds of little cuts and splices to apply variable time stretching to certain sections of it. I also did a lot of color sampling and tweaking to nudge the reds around a bit and make clips either flow seamlessly or contrast sharply from one another, depending on the section. This is why I prefer After Effects...I know Premier has a razor tool, but with AE, I can make a frame of video line up with the front, middle, or back of a "sonic event" be it a snare hit, cymbal, bass hit, whatever...much more precisely than with Premier. Of course, your videos may still be much better than mine, but I don't watch yours as much, so who's the smart one now, huh? Well, you still may be, but whatever...I like After Effects, so there.
Seriously, thank you for watching my video, and I would greatly appreciate your opinions.