Author Topic: General AMV theory help  (Read 1788 times)

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Offline shadoworganoid

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General AMV theory help
« on: August 04, 2012, 10:47:08 am »
Sorry if there is already a topic similar to this.

I've been thinking about AMVs lately and I have come to an interesting thought;

What makes a "good" AMV?

What do I mean by that? Basically its like this, by its simple definition, an AMV is an Anime of choice put to a Japanese song essentially.
However, we all know there is much more to it than just that simple idea.
There are many smaller factors to consider and look out for.
My early AMVs that I've made were mediocre at best. All I had to work with was Windows ME and the default movie editor it came with.

Today, I have a decent computer set up now; Acer Laptop with Windows Vista. My most recent AMV; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ovaV0xUmzY&feature=g-upl
As you can see, the video quality is at least acceptable imo. Majority of the scenes synchronize on some level with the song. (Pace, beat ETC)

But now I am left pondering a few other things;

1. When you start an AMV, how do you go about picking a song? Does the lyrics/message/theme of the song itself have to match the anime you pick to go with it? Basically, what level of relation does the song and anime need to have? (Worded that really poorly)

2. For it to be a "true" AMV, does the song NEED to be Japanese, or can you use an ENG song if it still goes well with the anime? Additionally, if the Japanese song you have in mind also has an ENG version done by the same group, does that count?

3. What are the general unwritten rules or guidelines for AMVs? Is it better to use 1 anime for the AMV, or can you use multiple animes and still end up with good results? Also, does a good AMV jump around and mix lots of random scenes that look cool, or does it "summarize" 1 particular episode or notable scene?

I feel that there are other things I should asking about, but am not sure yet.

OH, how do you make a intro scene?
I see many AMV's that have an intro that basically introduces the AMV and shows the author/maker ETC. How do I make one as well that I can use for all my AMVs without it getting messed up every time I upload it into movie editor? 
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Offline Sui Fong

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Re: General AMV theory help
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 09:07:48 pm »
What makes a "good" AMV?


But now I am left pondering a few other things;

1. When you start an AMV, how do you go about picking a song? Does the lyrics/message/theme of the song itself have to match the anime you pick to go with it? Basically, what level of relation does the song and anime need to have? (Worded that really poorly)

2. For it to be a "true" AMV, does the song NEED to be Japanese, or can you use an ENG song if it still goes well with the anime? Additionally, if the Japanese song you have in mind also has an ENG version done by the same group, does that count?

3. What are the general unwritten rules or guidelines for AMVs? Is it better to use 1 anime for the AMV, or can you use multiple animes and still end up with good results? Also, does a good AMV jump around and mix lots of random scenes that look cool, or does it "summarize" 1 particular episode or notable scene?

I feel that there are other things I should asking about, but am not sure yet.

OH, how do you make a intro scene?
I see many AMV's that have an intro that basically introduces the AMV and shows the author/maker ETC. How do I make one as well that I can use for all my AMVs without it getting messed up every time I upload it into movie editor? 

My channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/emobandgeek88?feature=mhee

So there is no "right" answer to ur questions. Everyone sees an amv in a different light (like paintings they r subject to opinion). Here are my personal answers to ur questions, but I guarantee you will find at least one other editor who has a different opinion.

1. I normally start an AMV cause I already have picked a song. Normally what happens is I'll be randomly doing something and a song will come on (like on the radio or mp3 player), and I'll have an "ah-ha" moment. Like when I heard the song "When I grow up" and thought how HILARIOUS it would be if Soi Fon was singing it.

2. I don't know what the meaning of "true AMV" is. AMV breaks down to Anime Music Video, so in order for it to be "true" it needs to have anime in it (and music!), I don't think it matters if the music is in English or Japanese (though I like some AMVs with German songs, but it's a personal preference cause I like German rock). You just need to find a song that speaks to you.

3. Again, it's personal preference. I like an AMV that tells a story, but that doesn't mean it needs to have just one anime (example: http://youtu.be/dsvQaYwJ04o ).

What it all boils down to is you need to make AMVs for you, and I think that's something every editor can agree on. If you try to make it just for a contest you will never be satisfied with how it turns out.
Also, I dunno what video editor u r using, but having one that runs smoothly always makes making the AMV wayyyy more fun. And I don't do intros (i just put my logo on the bottom of the AMV), so I can't direct u there.
Anywho, I hope this helps. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
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Offline shadoworganoid

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Re: General AMV theory help
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2012, 01:11:33 pm »
What makes a "good" AMV?


But now I am left pondering a few other things;

1. When you start an AMV, how do you go about picking a song? Does the lyrics/message/theme of the song itself have to match the anime you pick to go with it? Basically, what level of relation does the song and anime need to have? (Worded that really poorly)

2. For it to be a "true" AMV, does the song NEED to be Japanese, or can you use an ENG song if it still goes well with the anime? Additionally, if the Japanese song you have in mind also has an ENG version done by the same group, does that count?

3. What are the general unwritten rules or guidelines for AMVs? Is it better to use 1 anime for the AMV, or can you use multiple animes and still end up with good results? Also, does a good AMV jump around and mix lots of random scenes that look cool, or does it "summarize" 1 particular episode or notable scene?

I feel that there are other things I should asking about, but am not sure yet.

OH, how do you make a intro scene?
I see many AMV's that have an intro that basically introduces the AMV and shows the author/maker ETC. How do I make one as well that I can use for all my AMVs without it getting messed up every time I upload it into movie editor? 

My channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/emobandgeek88?feature=mhee

So there is no "right" answer to ur questions. Everyone sees an amv in a different light (like paintings they r subject to opinion). Here are my personal answers to ur questions, but I guarantee you will find at least one other editor who has a different opinion.

1. I normally start an AMV cause I already have picked a song. Normally what happens is I'll be randomly doing something and a song will come on (like on the radio or mp3 player), and I'll have an "ah-ha" moment. Like when I heard the song "When I grow up" and thought how HILARIOUS it would be if Soi Fon was singing it.

2. I don't know what the meaning of "true AMV" is. AMV breaks down to Anime Music Video, so in order for it to be "true" it needs to have anime in it (and music!), I don't think it matters if the music is in English or Japanese (though I like some AMVs with German songs, but it's a personal preference cause I like German rock). You just need to find a song that speaks to you.

3. Again, it's personal preference. I like an AMV that tells a story, but that doesn't mean it needs to have just one anime (example: http://youtu.be/dsvQaYwJ04o ).

What it all boils down to is you need to make AMVs for you, and I think that's something every editor can agree on. If you try to make it just for a contest you will never be satisfied with how it turns out.
Also, I dunno what video editor u r using, but having one that runs smoothly always makes making the AMV wayyyy more fun. And I don't do intros (i just put my logo on the bottom of the AMV), so I can't direct u there.
Anywho, I hope this helps. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.

Oh, thanks for the reply.

Hmm, I guess your right. Movies and video projects are a sub-category of art I suppose. And your right, art is subjective.

But I guess what I was getting at is the idea of better qualities over poor qualities. Regardless of individual opinions, there are still some black and white things (I assume) to watch out for you know?

Like is (insert video here) done with too much action? Not enough? ETC. Is there such thing as "overkill" in an AMV?


In my first post here, I linked one of my most recent AMV's. In YOUR opinion, how would you rate it? Break it down. ETC.

And to answer your question, I only have Windows movie maker. (Vista).
Any better free programs?
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Offline Prinz Eugen

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Re: General AMV theory help
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2012, 09:33:13 pm »
Well - here are some things I've observed:
- One way to make a comedy AMV, or a comedy moment in an AMV is
to set-up one assumption and then break the pattern.

A common structure for jokes has three people:
The first guy sets the pattern.
The second guy expands the pattern, sometimes at a margin of believability,
Then the third guy breaks the pattern in an unexpected way.
You see this set-up with all the jokes that start with "An [X], a [Y] and a [Z]
walk into a bar..." or "The three guys around a campfire..."

"...and the third guy says 'Gimme 40 feet of that fence you got out back..."

Similarly, you can set up an expectation or stereotype in an AMV and then break it with comical results.
Common juxtaposition of opposites include 'Picadiator,' wherein we hear Russel Crowe's gruff voice in the Gladiator trailer set to Pokemon.
The opposite of this might be a big,menacing anime monster or a formidably armed mecha bouncing around to
Tiny' Tim's song 'Tiptoe Through the Tulips.'

« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 11:09:11 am by Prinz Eugen »

Offline Prinz Eugen

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Good Free programs for AMVs
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 11:23:49 am »
YMMV, and other people may have more fun using other stuff, and
I *may* have time to look up links for these later  (or not...)
BUT - if you have to spend ZERO money on video editing tools,

MKVtoolnx - can unpack those pesky MKV files that so many other free programs
have trouble importing. Also removes subtitles at this stage. The GUI is very complicated and
there's no real documentation, because it's free. People who program these freebies generally
like programming and don't like expository prose writing. So after they get a cool gizmo to work, they move on to the next programming puzzler instead of writing good documents or helpful pop-ups for the rest of us who are NOT programmers... This thing works. It may be able to cut snippets of mkvs and even transcode into AVI and maybe there are even people here who know how to do it, but personally I didn't have time and do not now. So just use this for stripping subtitles and move along.

"ANY Converter" Best Windows program I know of for cutting MKVs into time-based snippets (clips) which can come out as large uncompressed AVIs that other programs can handle.

kdenlive - this is a free Linux program which does about everything that Adobe Premiere Elements can do, and even some canned effects like older versions of Sony Vegas. You may need to configure your machine to dual boot, so you get all your mkv snippets into AVIs and then reboot into Linux, work your project in something like Ubuntu, then save your whole project as an uncompressed AVI. Then boot back to Windows and compress using:

AMV Simple which you can get free at amvnews.ru

For audio:

Audacity allows you to edit mp3s, adding fade-ins fade-outs, sinewave tones, noise,
and cleaning up hiss, and also some pitch bending, time stretching, and a few other
effects.


Good Luck!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 01:33:21 pm by Prinz Eugen »

Offline jeffry_fisher

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Re: General AMV theory help
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 02:47:49 pm »
What makes a "good" AMV?

There are as many answers to that question as there are categories of AMV. I guess I would say that it depends on what you want your AMV to do. If you want to be funny, then look up tips on comedy (or start with audio that is already hilarious and find a way to illustrate it). If you want to be thrilling, then look up tips on suspense or action-movie editing.

However, there are a few technical traits that will help almost all AMVs because getting them "right" will avoid distracting from your content. Don't use crappy, low-res video (unless that's the category), don't abuse your favorite effect until even a newbie notices it, don't violate contest rules if you want to enter your AMV for judging...

Structure-wise, it's helpful to set a hook early. Most watchers start at the beginning, and if not "hooked" within ten seconds (maybe less), they'll bail out and go on to something else. No amount of later awesomeness will save you if your audience never sees it. If your audio selection starts slowly, then you might want to chop it. An audience might also postpone judgement somewhat for a "bumper", but that only buys you another 5 or so seconds. When in doubt, cut to the chase. Even adding a little text can work because it engages viewers into reading, and because you can prime your viewers to see what you want them to see in all that follows.

Don't repeat yourself. Just because your music choice repeats its chorus five times down the home stretch doesn't mean you must. If you can tell deliver your message in less, then consider chopping your audio source. Don't use 4:20 to tell a 2:44 joke.

Choose audio that will appeal to your audience. If you want mass appeal, then don't choose something (like death metal) that appeals to a narrow niche while making everyone else feel as if they're being attacked. Your AMV may have a strong impact, but not a positive one. I'm not saying to go to a snooze-fest opposite extreme  (i.e. elevator-music), just don't go way outside others' comfort zones unless you're willing to lose them from your audience.

Quote
by its simple definition, an AMV is an Anime of choice put to a Japanese song

I don't think that the audio needs to be Japanese, just the anime (or pan & scan manga).

Quote
Majority of the scenes synchronize on some level with the song. (Pace, beat ETC)

Synchronization is enjoyable (at least to me), while video-syncopation is uncomfortable. In addition, a human brain has some natural rhythms. Much popular music fits one or more of them (that's one reason that they're popular). Video cuts that match both audio and natural rhythms "feel good".

Quote
1. When you start an AMV, how do you go about picking a song? Does the lyrics/message/theme of the song itself have to match the anime you pick to go with it? Basically, what level of relation does the song and anime need to have?

Besides what I said above, your audio choice must be something that YOU will enjoy hearing 100+ times (because you will). After that, it depends what you're trying to do. If lyrics are crisp (well enunciated), then they can convey a message that you are illustrating. If the lyrics are meaningful but difficult for an unfamiliar listener to parse at full speed, then you may consider adding your own text for key words or phrases (be consistent). Also, when using text (always your own and never left-over fan-subbing), remember that your audience will need time to read it, and some will fatigue if there's too much of it. Like any spice, use it with care. The difference between a cure and a poison is the dosage.

Not all AMVs depend on lyrics. Some use instrumental music to back up mime-quality anime, and others provide their own text around the edges to inject the AMV editor's own meaning into the anime (often to comic effect).

Quote
3. What are the general unwritten rules or guidelines for AMVs? Is it better to use 1 anime for the AMV, or can you use multiple animes and still end up with good results? Also, does a good AMV jump around and mix lots of random scenes that look cool, or does it "summarize" 1 particular episode or notable scene?

Again, the answers depend on what you're trying to do. In general, if you're telling us something about one anime's setting or characters, then it's almost always jarring to see a cut from another anime. However, if you want your characters to interact with an interloper, then it can be good fun (i.e. have a purpose for the adulteration). OTOH, an AMV could be about an anime trope, in which case it would make perfect sense to run a sequence of dozens of different anime, each advancing your illustration.

It's like war or business: Choose your objective and then organize around it. AMVs generally aren't long enough to hare off in multiple directions at once (although some deliver what are really sequential anthologies, sometimes with a shaggy-dog ending hearkening back to the opening).

The views above reflect my own personal viewing tastes, which have been shaped somewhat by comments from AMV editors and fans over the years. You may reject them and perhaps still find an audience.
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