Brand new to AMV: Software setup help needed

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orchidsandcoffee
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 12:27 pm
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Brand new to AMV: Software setup help needed

Postby orchidsandcoffee » Mon May 23, 2016 12:42 pm

Hey guys,

I'm brand new to the site and was looking at getting into some AMV as a hobbyist. A little about me: I briefly studied film in college so I know some basics of Final Cut Pro but I primarily worked with HD footage from my Canon camera (not animation). I'm also working from a MAC (desktop). I have quite a few external drives so storage is not an issue.

Here are my Q's...

Is Final Cut Pro appropriate for AMVs or is there better editing software out there for editing captured footage in at least 720, 1020, HD?

What is a recommended software for capturing AMV footage (from DVD - I assume just buying the DVD footage would offer the best quality)?

What is the most commonly asked-for or used format of AMV type files when submitted to contests? (mp4? uploaded to Youtube?)

Any cool editing packages or favorite overlays that you like to use? Like I said, I haven't done any editing for a while now so I am unsure of what's out.

On average, from storyboarding to completion, about how long does it take you to create a 1 1/2 minute AMV? (1 month? 6 months? Just gauging my own newb speed level on my to-be-first AMV here)

Any advice is welcome! :D

Jedinovice
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:33 am
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Re: Brand new to AMV: Software setup help needed

Postby Jedinovice » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:26 am

Hi!

I'm brand new to the site and was looking at getting into some AMV as a hobbyist. A little about me: I briefly studied film in college so I know some basics of Final Cut Pro but I primarily worked with HD footage from my Canon camera (not animation). I'm also working from a MAC (desktop). I have quite a few external drives so storage is not an issue.


Fair enough. Trouble is that I use Linux!!! Yes, contrary to popular opinion Linux is very usable, very neat and has cool software - especially for the price! But as a result my answers to your questions will be limited! Bug nobody else has replied and so I figured I would step in.

Here are my Q's...

Is Final Cut Pro appropriate for AMVs or is there better editing software out there for editing captured footage in at least 720, 1020, HD?


As I understand it Final Cut Pro should be more than powerful enough. Depending on how complex a cut is you can even get away with Microsoft Movie Magic! But generally, any multi-track video editor will do as long as it has transitions and some effects.

In regards to editing 720 or 1020 or HD files… that depends more on the CPU/GPU and the sources. Note that it is a bad idea to work from MP4! The MP4 file format is very heavily compressed and takes a lot of CPU/GPU to uncompress using an editor. It's better to translate any sources to something less compressed but quicker to work with. I go with old MPEG myself.

Though… my lovely Linux video editing software Kdenlive has the very powerful proxy video feature where it allows easy creation of a small preview of the video for editing purposes and then renders from the original sources. Very neat, especially for low spec hardware (which I am limited to.)

Also note that AMV don't need to be top, top video quality all the time. I just render to NTSC widescreen. OK, I use very minimal hardware! But most people don't watch AMV"s on top quality hardware anyway. The world has gone small screen smartphone and tablet and away from 50" screen desktops. You can save yourself rendering time by dropping the resolution of the cut. You can always make your final render top quality when you are happy with the result at a lower res.
What is a recommended software for capturing AMV footage (from DVD - I assume just buying the DVD footage would offer the best quality)?


For a Mac? Haven't a clue alas.

What is the most commonly asked-for or used format of AMV type files when submitted to contests? (mp4? uploaded to Youtube?)


Again, I don't have a clue. I suggest you check out the requirements of contests. I never enter them. I don't have the time and I live in a far off Banana Republic unable to fly out to where such competitions are held!
Youtube - I generally find MPEG or MP4 are fine.
Any cool editing packages or favorite overlays that you like to use? Like I said, I haven't done any editing for a while now so I am unsure of what's out.


Well, I, er, use Linux and that's absolutely NOT going to fly with a Mac user! :-)
So, recommending Kdenlive is not going to work here. But in the absence of any other replied to your post I figured I should say something.

But you are right to think about features. Forgetting any particular packages and concentrating o features, I would look for the following in a software package:

Timeline editing mode and NOT storyboard editing.
Multi-track is essential, both audio and video.
Access to lots of transitionals
Ability to read multiple file formats. (My last Windows software - before I jumped to Mac - would ONLY read MP4 properly. It was agony!)
A workflow that suits you. Ease of use is important because there is a LOT of cutting involved in AMV's.
Green screen/masking is very helpful. I used it for the first time in my last AMV to really good effect.
Titling. Not only is it needed for, er, titles, but also for subtitles. Most AMV creators don't use them but I find that overlaying some speech and subtitles can add to an emotional story.

I generally find that special effects are not that important in AMV's.BUt I do end up using the following a lot:

Speed control - speed up and slow down. ESSENTIAL!! This is both for creative effect and just getting a cut to match the music!
Resize/crop and zoom are essential, if only for getting different size sources to match!
Color (de)saturation - very important for boosting colors on occasion but more commonly to shift from black and white to color for a sense of time or transition.
Freeze frame
Flip. Rotation.
Reverse clip. Not used very often but critical when needed.
Affine is great if you can get it.

One feature missing from Kdenlive that I would like and I bet is available for a Mac somewhere is a 'flash to music.' I could really have done with that in days gone by. But I get all updates to Kdenlive for free so I hoping for it to filter down one day!

Pixellation can be useful on occasion.

If you can get an editor that handles all that (And such software can be had for as little as $150 for a Mac I believe… (though I am all free, open source so I can't swear) and you should be laughing. Make sure the workflow is easy for you to handle. Oh, and that the software is reliable and has good backup handling. Imagine my delight when I found a cut had totally corrupted but Kdenlive had a backup of every single save I had made allowing fast restore with minimal grief. Oh yeah!


On average, from storyboarding to completion, about how long does it take you to create a 1 1/2 minute AMV? (1 month? 6 months? Just gauging my own newb speed level on my to-be-first AMV here)


Hmm. How long is a piece of string?
It depends on a mass of factors.

1) Your free time. It takes me months to piece together a 3 minute AMV! But I am having to cut here and there, when I can, in between work and married life. Your free time dictates your throughput.
2) What your sources are like. If your sources are all highly compressed, very high quality videos then the drag on your software will be high slowing creation. (Best translate into a less compressed format at least!)
3) How complex is the AMV? A single source video - just one episode - of linear format to a slow, unchanging melody will probably be very simple. A cut that involves a high speed, changing piece of music with sources spanning 16 different animes and 36 different episodes is going to take an age to compile leave alone edit!
4) How long is the AMV? A cut is going to scale up the longer the music.
5) How much of a perfectionist you are!

Oh, I don't know about the rest but I don't storyboard. But I'm hardly a pro!
Now, just to show off a little… because my workload and coming Anime Club means there is zero chance of me doing any AMV work until next year, I have to show off what I have done! :-)

As it is my last AMV used just about all the above! The following cut of mine included: Color (de)saturation, speed control, overlay, green screen reverse, subtitles, , affine, horizontal flip, zoom… gasp! But most AMVs are not this complex! Yeah, it's not perfect but just ran out of time! But this was done on free Open Source software. Anything for a Mac from $150 should cover your needs I would have thought… but I confess that I have left proprietary software behind these days.



Any advice is welcome!


How about - make sure you have fun? :D

Actually... depending on the effect you want, go for emotion and just visuals!
Video editing on Kdenlive in Mint Linux KDE 17.0
H/W: An ASUS X200 dirt cheap Dual core atom n2840 at 2.16GHz
...and they said it couldn't be done!!! :lol:

Jedinovice
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:33 am
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Re: Brand new to AMV: Software setup help needed

Postby Jedinovice » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:18 pm

...NOT just visuals!

Whoopsie!
Video editing on Kdenlive in Mint Linux KDE 17.0
H/W: An ASUS X200 dirt cheap Dual core atom n2840 at 2.16GHz
...and they said it couldn't be done!!! :lol:

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l33tmeatwad
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Re: Brand new to AMV: Software setup help needed

Postby l33tmeatwad » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:48 am

For software for ripping DVD/Blu-ray you would want MakeMKV (listed in the software list) and you would need AMVpack and PlayOnMac to get that installed to handle footage. I am working on a version of AMVpack with native OSX tools, but it's still a little ways off. As for DVDs, if there is a Blu-ray source (or HD digital source) it will always be better.

As for editing software, FinalCut will work, but I would personally recommend using something else unless you already have a copy. Adobe CC is probably the best software you can get for editing AMVs on the Mac due to After Effects and the ease of switching between programs in the Adobe Suite.
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