24/7 100% Owls 4eva!


Official Tumblr of Hannah from the Yogscast, plus the occasional Mr Owl.


Ask Mr Owl & Hannah!

When you edit your videos, how much do you edit? I know you cut a lot of stuff and sometimes you add some text to explain things, but besides that, what do you do? [Just interested :)]

Depends on what it is. Things like the dialogue-heavy Walking Dead require a lot more audio level tweaking than Watch Dogs or Assassin’s Creed. Add more points of view and voices, and it gets harder and harder.

More info under the cut if people want to know more about my process! Note that this is how I edit, it doesn’t mean that other Youtubers do it the exact same way.

On a usual video, I’ll do the following:

  • record at least an hour of whatever it is
  • make sure I’ve got the volumes equal to previous videos and that the project settings for video and audio are all correct (e.g. 1080p, disable re-sampling for less blurring on video)
  • identify key points to end videos at and split the footage accordingly (ideally this will be between 15-20 minutes, but some things like Minecraft and The Forest can run shorter if there’s a better point to end at)
  • if it’s the first video in a series, edit down my intro ramble into something coherent, same applies to the outro of a final video in a series
  • cut out any unneeded vocals - e.g. sniffing, ‘um’s and ‘er’s, sentences that I’ve repeated because the first time came out weird, mouth breathing if I’m ill, obnoxious seagulls etc.
  • cut out anything that’s unneeded/boring/fail (e.g. some of the traveling in Watch Dogs, retries at a level, etc)
  • make small adjustments in volume to my audio if I’m too quiet/loud
  • same for in-game audio - certain sounds will benefit from a volume increase (scary noises like whispers), whereas some will need turning down to not blow out your ears (gun shots usually)
  • move audio to a better point if I’m talking over a crucial bit of dialogue, or too slow/fast with my reactions - you didn’t think I was that quick on the comebacks in reality, do you? ;) - this is probably the slowest bit of editing, and can happen multiple times over one video. It can require a few watching attempts to get it right and try to make it as natural as possible for tight fitting conversations
  • blend in the end-slate music to the rest of the audio so it doesn’t just start weirdly and clips through my audio or the game’s
  • make sure the videos and text at the end is correct
  • set to render
  • upload to Youtube
  • await processing
  • schedule

Extra stuff for multiple points of view videos:

  • make sure the right cam switch icons appear at the right times
  • get the audio levels equal between players and different game footage
  • move vocals back and forth to avoid overlapping audio from communicating via Ventrilo and Mumble - this can sometimes mean completely re-organizing an entire conversation if there’s clipping going on, or really slow replies from latency
  • constantly check all footage to make sure nothing is being missed on another person’s camera
  • find good cam switch points with vocals to match, so the transition seems needed and natural over just random switches

Screenshots of Video Edits (Hard v Easy):

Here’s the links to two screenshots of recent projects: Walking Dead #21 v The Forest #4 (WD is out tonight, early access already on yogscast.com, Forest will be out next week probably).

The Walking Dead is one of the only series in which I still manually tweak the volumes. I used to do this for every video - both game audio and mine. Thankfully, we found a plugin to do a lot of the work which will dip the game audio for you whenever it picks up your vocals - I’ve been testing it out for the last six months with mostly success.

However, for some scenes in The Walking Dead you want to hear both myself and the characters in-game equally (usually in moments of terror or action - another example would be Bigby fighting Beast in Wolf), and the only way to do that is to manually edit the in-game audio yourself.

On the Walking Dead screenshot, my audio is the blue line (second from the top), everything else is in-game. You can see two separate moments in which the audio is removed from the top line (the plugin line), and has been brought into a separate plugin-free channel so that I can tweak the volume syllable by syllable if I need to. This is probably the slowest part of editing (alongside censoring, which is probably worse), as it requires multiple listens and tweaks to get it right - even just five minutes worth can probably triple the editing time for that specific video.

These will be high intensity moments when I want you guys to hear everything at once, instead of a semi-muted game audio and my vocals clearly overlaying. The other bit, which is pretty much untouched, will be calmer, dialogue moments when the plugin can do its stuff so long as I get my audio in the right place.

In comparison, you’ll notice that the Forest has very little edits on the top audio line (my vocals), past the intro - but lots on the bottom on (the game sound). Because there’s zero vocals in The Forest, I can put the in-game volume in without the plugin, then let it run at one set level and just tweak sound effects up and down (NPC screams, lightning, combat etc). Minecraft would also work on a similar system - if there’s no-one in the game talking, there’s no need for the plugin. But you guys know how many story-orientated games I do, so can probably guess how helpful the plugin has been!

(Christ, this was a long post in the end, but now you guys know how it works!)

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