First AMV

March 7th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Anime, Convention, Projects  | Tags: , ,

I took a break from Japanese study on my Sixth Week. Instead, I was working on my Anime Music Video submission for Sakura Con 2009. This video ate up a lot of my time. However, I am not going to go into detail on my submission for this year since It has yet to premiere at the convention. Which will happen in April if it gets approved. Instead, I am going to talk about the video I made for last year.

This video was actually something I turned in as my final project in my Adobe Premiere class (the official class name eludes me right now). We always had fairly lose guidelines for what our final projects could be, so I decided to hit two birds with one stone and make something I could send to Sakura Con for their AMV contest.

I decided to make my AMV revolve around the Kanon 2006 anime. My video source was entirely from the Japanese R2 DVDs that were out at the time. The quality on these Japanese DVDs are amazing, all progressive scan and a great bitrate. This made the resulting video look really nice on the big screen at Sakura Con.

Thumbnailing

When working with a long Anime series, it’s not easy to remember each and every little scene that happens, even if you have seen the show several times. This lead me to create a method to thumbnail the entire show. Well, not the entire show, but a single frame at a given interval, like every 15 seconds. This is good enough to give me an idea about the general scenes in the show at a glance. I even thumbnailed most of my sources for my video submission for this year.

This is not a “how to”, so I do not want to bore everyone with the exact details but I figure it’s worth a brief mention, since I find this to be rather useful when working on a video like an AMV. First off, I use AviSynth for just about any video work I do these days. AviSynth, or AVS is basically a video scripting language that acts like a normal AVI file to your multimedia software, like your video player or video encoder. AVS is very powerful at post processing lossless edits on your video sources. Edits such as resize, trim, crop, and deinterlace. All without the need to create another video file.

I wrote a script that did two things, shrink the video to a proper thumbnail size and add subtitles. A subtitle for the time code and another for the current DVD volume number. Then I toss my script into VirtualDubMod to decimate the frames I don’t want, and to save the entire video as an image sequence. Then I add a little HTML magic and here are what my results look like.

Kanon Thumbnails

It doesn’t capture the entire show perfectly, but it is rather useful when you need a quick glance to find a fitting scene for your video. I hope to get around to building a tool that will automate this entire process one day.

Result

I would like to be able to say that this was a great AMV. It got approved for the contest at the very least. But I think the largest problem with this video, is that you wouldn’t get the fullest enjoyment out of it unless you have seen the anime. So I am not sure if I can recommend you watch this video if you have not seen the show. This is probably common with most AMVs actually. For my latest video, I tried for a more “universal” idea. Which I hope to talk about on a future post.

Either way, enjoy. Oh and BTW, spoiler warning!

AMV Title: Mai Angel
Source Footage: Kanon (2006)
Category: Drama/Romance
Song: Angels
Artist: Within Temptation

Akurasu_-_Mai_Angel.mp4 (30.48 MBs)

(On a side note, I setup a Flash player for my blog. Since Flash can play h264, it should look pretty good. I hope the player works okay.)

If my memory serves me right, this only took two maybe three days total to toss together. Overall, I think it's more then decent for my first complete AMV.

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