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Basic Guide for Recording, Narrating, Editing, and Subtitling

Discussion in 'YouTube Channel' started by Kyrk, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Kyrk

    Kyrk KACAW

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    PO Trainer Name:
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    Hello, this is a basic guide for recording, narrating, editing, and subtitling Pokémon battles, along with telling what you'll need to do so. This is aimed for anyone who wants to help contribute to the Pokemon-Online Youtube channel, but don't know where to start.
    I want to note that some of the recommended software will cost money. However, there are ways you can get these for free with the power of the internet. I unfortunately cannot tell you where to specifically get them or else I'd get in trouble...


    Recording

    This will be separated into two categories: video recording and sound recording.

    Video Recording

    For video recording, you'll be needing screen-capturing software. I recommend Camtasia or Quick Time for Windows and ScreenFlow for Mac. There are others that exist, such as HyperCam, Bandicam and Screenium to name a few, but I prefer the others I've mentioned because of them being able to double as editing software. Windows Movie Maker is usable and does the same two functions, but Camtasia outclasses it. For any of them though, I say this - do NOT use the trial versions; their quality is typically much worse, you have a very limited recording time, and you're usually required to have their watermark on recorded videos.

    Until a new battle replayer is created, if you're going to be recording a Pokémon battle for Pokémon-Online, you'll also need a battle replay file, which will usually be provided to you on the forum. You will usually have to download this .poreplay file through a file-sharing site such as Mediafire or Dropbox.

    In order to open the battle replay to record, you have to open up Pokémon-Online, go to File -> Open Replay, and if you haven't moved the replay you downloaded to PO's Battle Replay folder, search for the .poreplay file you downloaded and select that. A video explaining this can be found here.

    Before recording the replay, make sure you have these settings in Battle Options menu:

    • Animated HP Bar - checked
    • Old Battle Window - unchecked
    • New Battle Window -> Animated logger - checked
    • New Battle Window -> Show weather animation everytime - optionally checked
    • New Battle Window -> 16:9 animated screen - checked

    Also make sure the battle replay is on fast-forward while playing, otherwise the turns will be made based on the actual time by the players, making it very slow.

    If your screen-capturing software allows recording in a specific area, make sure you specifically record the actual 16:9 animated screen of the battle window. If it only records full-screen, it's not too much of a problem since the editor can crop everything else out.[/HIDE]

    Sound Recording

    For sound recording, you'll be needing a microphone and sound-recording software.

    Many laptops and webcams have built-in microphones, but the majority of them have very mediocre quality at best. For recording on your computer, you'll more than likely be using a USB microphone, which are simply microphones that connect to a USB port. These microphones are generally inexpensive compared to other types and are simple to use on any operating system; you can usually just plug your microphone in, possibly change your sound input settings, and you're good to go.

    Although there's an almost endless list of USB microphones that you could use, here's a small list of USB microphones I recommend with their price ranges:

    Rock Band/Guitar Hero microphone - $8-25 (or included in Rock Band games or Guitar Hero: World Tour)
    Despite it coming bundled in a musical video game, these microphones offer a surprisingly good amount of clarity, making them excellent for commentators on a low budget.
    [​IMG]

    Blue Snowball - $50-70
    Professional quality for a low price, this is an excellent microphone that has satisfied most people who purchased it.
    [​IMG]

    Audio-Technica AT2020 - $90-$120
    Another high-quality microphone with simple settings for easy use. Make sure you purchase the USB version of this unless you want to use it for other purposes and also have a USB converter.
    [​IMG]

    Blue Yeti - $100-120
    Arguably the most versatile and highest-quality USB microphone for it's price with a ton of features. Only downside I can really think for this is that it's much larger and more phallic-shaped than the average USB mic.
    [​IMG]

    Blue Icicle - $50-60
    A USB converter for non-USB microphones should you so just happen to already have a professional microphone nearby.
    [​IMG]

    You'll need a microphone stand if your microphone doesn't come with a built-in stand. There are several different types of microphone stands to suit your preference: Straight stands are the standard stands that stand up straight; boom stands are just straight stands with a boom arm attached that allows easier microphone placement for recording; desktop stands are small ones you can put on your computer desk similar to some built-in microphones. You can either buy a cheap one of any of these for around $15-25 or just build your own.

    I also recommend a pop filter for you microphone, which helps get rid of the loud popping sounds of fast-moving air during recorded speech, as well as protects your mic's delicate capsule(s) from getting damaged by your disgusting saliva. You can find cheap ones online for less than $10 or just make your own. Depending on how your mic is built, you could also just simply put a (clean) sock over it, as silly as it may look.

    There are multiple softwares that can record your sound: Audacity is free and usable on any OS that not only records, but also edits sound files. The website Soundcloud has a free webclient sound-recorder that allows other people (such as editors perhaps?) to download your recorded audio files. Garageband for the Mac records and edits audio files as well, although for just capturing audio compared to the other two it's a bit more complex than needed. Many video-editing software also include voice-recording.

    If you're both recording and narrating a video, most screen-capturing and software also include voice-recording, so you may not need to use anything else for sound.[/HIDE][/HIDE]

    Narrating

    There's three things required for narrating: a microphone, sound-recording software, and your voice. I've already explained the former two in the previous section, so I'll talk about your voice and what you should be doing when narrating a Pokémon battle.

    For our videos at least, this is a list of qualities you should at least consider when attempting to narrate:

    • Age - It's preferred that you are at least 15 years-old or until your voice has at least partially matured.
    • English - Our channel is suited towards the English-speaking audience, so if English is not your main language you'll have to make sure you know English to at least a level at which viewers will understand what language you're speaking.
    • Language - Not to be confused with actually speaking the language, but rather rules on language that's considered inappropriate. We wish to try to be age-friendly when it comes to language. It's fine if a swear word slips out every now and then, but not so much if you're cursing more than a sailor who stubbed his toe. Also try avoiding homophobic or racial slurs when narrating.
    • Microphone quality - I've explained it already, but the quality of your microphone may be the difference of clearly hearing a sound commentary and having your ears bleed from the sound of a mixture of strange muffled noises and nails slowly scratching across a chalkboard.
    • Voice clarity - When speaking, you have to make sure you sound like you know what you're saying, so this means without stuttering, shaking, or constantly using filler words such as "umm", "like", etc. If you're nervous, just take a few deep breaths and remember that you're only talking into a microphone.
    • Emotion - If you don't put any emotion into what you're saying, your audience is going to get bored and either stop watching, fall to sleep, or both. This means having tone in your voice and including emphasis on important parts of your narration. You need enough emotion to get their attention, but not so much you come off as terrifying and/or annoying.
    • Entertainment - Sort of an optional extension on emotion, being entertaining keeps your audience having a good time listening. Many people enjoy humorous or unique stuff, so if you know a good way to keep your audience entertained while still being informative without making yourself just look obnoxious, go for it.
    • Pacing - Your ability to narrate throughout the video at a constant, comfortable speed; if you talk too fast the audience won't be able to keep up with you, too slow they'll probably get bored, and if you're both fast and slow multiple times throughout the video everyone is uncomfortable. If the battle replay is too fast or slow for you, or you wish for certain parts of the battle to have different speeds (ex. a 50-turn stall war), you can ask an editor to record and edit the speed of the battle to your liking.
    • Knowledge - You'll need at least some amount of knowledge about competitive Pokemon in order to both inform as well as entertain your audience. This includes at least knowing tiers (or at least the one you're narrating,) most pokemon sets and roles, team playstyles, etc.
    • Information - Pretty much putting your knowledge about competitive Pokemon into good use. Anyone can just read what's going on in a battle, but a good narrator can inform their audience why those players made those specific moves, accurately explaining their thought process, and let them know how important/pointless a certain play was. Also the more information you have, the less likely you'll have to deal with an awkward silence while waiting for the next turn.

    Just like with video recording, in order to narrate a Pokémon-Online battle, you'll need a battle replay file. Go back to the video recording section to see instructions on how to download and open a battle replay file, as well as the battle options selected for it.

    Make sure you have the replay on fast-forward when recording sound or else the narration will be painfully slow. If the replay is going too fast for you to keep up (don't be surprised if it does) you can ask an editor to record and edit the speed of the battle to your liking. You can write a script or brief notes to help you keep up with your battle information-wise, but make sure you avoid having it conflict with your pacing and sounding like you're just reading off of something.

    Prior to narrating the actual battle, it's highly recommended that you include around a 30-90 second team preview that explains both players' teams, how they work, and how the teams match up against one another. You can optionally record the team preview and battle narration in separate sound files, but make sure you remember to send both of them to the person editing your battle.

    When you finish your narration, make sure you upload the .mp3 file of it on Soundcloud or another file-sharing site so the editor can use it for the video. If the people you submit your narration to don't find it of a high enough quality, they'll ask you to do it again along with advise on how to possibly improve upon your next narration should you accept.

    If all of this is too much for you to grasp at once, just remember that you don't have to follow everything listed to a tee; nobody is perfect, especially for their first time. It just takes practice, like many other things.[/HIDE]

    Editing

    This is the job where you put everything together to build the final product of a video. To be honest, it's not as difficult as it sounds (unless you want it to be) since you're just editing a Pokémon video, not a Transformers movie.

    For editing Pokémon videos, you'll be needing the screen-recording video file of a battle, the .mp3 file of a narration, and most importantly a full version of video-editing software.

    Here's a list of video-editing software I recommend using for both Windows and Mac OS's (not all at once mind you):

    • Camtasia - Windows
    • Sony Vegas - Windows
    • iMovie - Mac
    • ScreenFlow - Mac
    • Final Cut - Mac
    • Adobe Premiere - Windows and Mac
    • Quick Time - Mac and Windows

    You'll able to get the narration file from the forum once someone has completed a narration, as well as a video file for a video recording of the battle should you have not done so already.

    Basically the main goal of editing a video is simply to successfully sync the narration with the battle recording to where the narrator is neither ahead nor behind of the battle. This may require you to speed up or slow down parts of the video recording accordingly, but depending on the narrator it shouldn't neccessarily be required.

    Most editing programs have the same core concept in how they work, so I'll try explaining this as well as I can without images. You'll want to start off by creating a new project in your editing software and import your battle video and narration files. This is usually doable by going to File->Import or something related to that; depending on what editing software you have, you can also just drag and drop your files onto your new project's timeline, which is the area where you actually adjust the stuff going on in your video.

    Here are some tips from some other editors:

    We won't be covering any complicated editing stuff such as layouts and whatnot, however if a narrator has included a team preview in his/her narration, it's recommended that you edit in the used pokemon teams to accompany that team preview. The easiest way is to take a screenshot of PO's team preview window having you and a volunteer using what would be your and your opponent's teams. A better (but not too complex) way would be to find images (preferably not fan-art) of the pokemon used and add them onto the video until the battle has begun.

    After you've made sure all of the audio and video stuff is lined up, you just need to add our short POSimulator intro, save the completed video project, share the video file with a file-sharing website and give us the link, and if the staff approve it, you're done!

    A special thanks to Zony and Derwin for helping me with this section.[/HIDE]

    Subtitling

    An extension on editing, subtitling allows textual commentary on videos for people who have hearing difficulties, have the volume on mute, or other reasons that may leave some viewers having no idea what is being spoken. Something optional to add onto that is also to include subtitles of other languages for non-English speakers (Spanish, Italian, Klingon, etc.)

    On Youtube, subtitles are made through the use of caption files edited into the video after it is uploaded. These caption files, most commenly used with .srt, .sbv, or .sub file formats, are manually edited to include what and the timing of what is being said or done in the video. This link gives more information as to how caption files work and examples of how .srt and .sbv files are used. Timestamps synchronize the subtitle text with the video so be mindful of the timing of the subtitle you are writing/editing.

    Fortunately, subtitlers aren't to be concerned with grammar, as the grammar used is dependent on what the narrator says. However, spelling is very crucial; if you are not aware of how to spell certain colloquial terms, please consent this Smogon article.

    A good way to subtitle is to use websites that specialize in text-editing. I recommend using CaptionTube or Youtube Subtitler, as they both allow you to easily time what is being said in the video you're subtitling, then give you a downloaded file of the completed project. You can then upload that file onto a file-sharing site to give to a PO Youtube staff member so they can add it onto the desired video.

    If this interests you, you can sign up for the subtitling team here.[/HIDE]

    That's all I have in this guide for now. I still need to improve on it, but I hope with this, people can help contribute to our Youtube channel (maybe even improve on their own channel as a bonus). If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  2. Croak

    Croak 20/20 hindsight

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    Here's a bit more for the subtitling part:
    [secret]Fortunately, subtitlers aren't to be concerned with grammar however spelling is very crucial.

    If you are not aware of how to spell certain colloquial terms please consent this Smogon article: http://www.smogon.com/bw/articles/bw_pokemon_dictionary

    Timestamps synchronize the subtitle text with the video so be mindful of the timing of the subtitle you are writing/editing.[/secret]