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Old 11-11-2007, 02:58 PM   #1
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Guide: Making Your PvP Movie

The following is a guide I wrote for those of you looking to either make your first PvP video, make a better video, or improve your ratings. Although some things may seem debatable, hopefully this will help many of you out there.

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Table of Contents:
1) Pre-Movie Decisions
2) Filming Made Fun
3) Workshop: Editing the footage.
4) Musical Decisions
5) Rendering Your Masterpiece
6) The Secrets of Uploading & Submitting

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Chapter 1: Pre-Movie Decisions

The first thing you need to do before making your pvp movie is make some decisions and do some work. First, take some time, and go view the last few pvp movies that came out for your class. If you are a mage, go view the last 2 or 3 pvp movies that came out. After watching them, read the comments given to those videos. See how people are thinking.

The biggest mistake video creators make when trying to 'impress the audience' is assuming how they are going to think. Most people change their way of thinking on a constant basis as they learn and grow. You need to have their thoughts of the class fresh in your mind, and thats where watching other similar movies comes in. You can also pickup some cool and unique ideas from doing so.

Next, pick out your music. Why so early, we didn't even start filming yet? Believe it not, the music is the soul of a pvp video. It sets the mood, the 'epic feeling' that most people want to get. Does that mean you should go find some epic-game-music? No, again you need to see how people are responding to popular music and what not. So you have two roads you can take. You can either 1) Go with the crowd, pick the popular music a majority of the people listen to and like to hear. OR 2) You can choose your own music, make the movie your own masterpiece with your own types of music.

If you want to go with the crowd, check out a bunch of movies, see what people are using, and DON'T USE THEM!
Wait, what? He just told me....
I know what I told you, Don't Use Them! The top songs used in the world, songs you might hear on the radio or commonly in videos, are overused, and will just get annoying over time if they aren't already. HOWEVER, think of who wrote them. If a band makes a song that is used a lot, lookup the band and listen to other of their songs. You might find one thats just as good and barley ever heard. Those are the songs that will keep the viewers happy.

Now, if you want to go against the top music and maybe find some other music that you might like, things get tricky. Theres a lot of music in the world to choose from, so your going to have to do a lot of listening. Find some music you like, and if you think it works, use it. It's that simple, but it does get complicated too. You need to consider what people might really just go against. Techno and beats that sound like it might have been from a boss fight of another game might work great for a 'pvp, battle, and fighting' movie, but a lot of people don't care much for techno, and will pass off your movie as not-so-good just because of the music. Again, even if your going with music you like, at least think about it before completely choosing it.

So, now you've got a bunch of music you like, set it aside in a folder. Feel free to get 10+ songs. 20 is my recommendation, more if you want. Why? You never know how your movie will evolve as your editing it, and what song might fit more with the scenes than other songs.

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Chapter 2: Filming Made Fun

Okay so, put together a play-list of your favorite music to PvP to, and go PvP. Most of us know, music is what helps us PvP. Wait, didn't know that? Music calms your nerves. Even if it is some heavy rock metal song, it will still calm your nerves. If you enjoy it, you'll be more calm, and more focused. Focused people can concentrate to great lengths, and that will actually help you PvP better. Music is used in therapy because it helps calm down doctor's patients. Music plays in elevators to calm you down and take your mind off long and annoying trips up and down, and it helps to calm people who are afraid of close spaces. Music is in movies because it gets you into the mood of the movie. Listening to music while PvPing will keep you in the mood and keep you focused and in control.

Now your PvPing, filming, and having fun. There is some rules you need to know.

Rule 1) Never Ever Think Twice about recording a fight. If your a horde, and you see another alliance standing anywhere near you, start recording. Dont think twice for any reason. Many people think "oh crap, people will probably think this fight will suck, ill roll him and people will think...." WHO CARES WHAT PEOPLE THINK! This is not the time to impress your audience, nobody is watching except you. Record it anyways. Many times people have nearby friends, guildies, or just other players who are willing to help out the player your attacking. What if you find some low geared newb standing there, and you attack him? Then you kill him and a rogue jumps you right after that. Then a priest comes out and heals the rogue, yet somehow you kill them both! Wouldn't you just kick yourself if you didn't record it because it looked like an easy fight?

Most often than not, a fight is harder and more interesting than it first appears it will be. Record everything, and you'll be happy when you get those crazy hard long fights that you conquer and know you got it all recorded.

Have you ever heard the phrase "Screenshot or it didn't happen." Most people don't want to believe your great without proof, so why not just record everything as you go?

- - - Note - - -
If your computer is a junker that has low HD space and you can only record a little while at a time, then go into your editor (most likely Sony Vegas) and render your footage to take those 500mb - 2GB files and reduce them to very small files. Sure this is going to take longer and be very time consuming, but hey, your the one with the crap computer. Sorry

Rule 2) Don't stop PvPing. Don't take breaks. Don't go out to pvp for 30 minutes then go run an instance. You become more aware of your in-game surroundings and become more alert and understanding of situations in PvP the longer your playing. In a sense, you get better at pvp temporarily the longer your at it. If you pvp for 30 minutes, then take a long break before going back at it, chances are your going to be a little off your game once in a while. PvP for as long as your able to, but change up the settings. Don't try one place or battleground for too long, or you'll actually get tired of it and lose focus.

Rule 3) Don't go all battlegrounds. During peak hours try different zones. Even try out places you might not expect a 70. For example, try /who 70 stranglethorn - if you see 8 level 70 horde there, chances are there will be a similar amount of alliance there (unless your server is really off balance in factions). So head on out there and see what you can find. Changes in scenery not only keep you interested, but it would keep your viewers interested. If your bored, don't you think your audience might get bored too? We all battleground, we all have seen countless players die in them. Too much BG footage in your video will contribute to killing any interest in the movie.

Rule 4) Avoid low level fights. If your 70, fight a 70. Don't go looking for 69 and lowers to gank. ALTHOUGH, everyone once in a great while you might fight a lower level who really, really knows his sh*t. He knows how to play, and he knows how to pvp. On the off chance you got some amazing footage of lets say a level 69 that was an epic fight you won and you want to use it, you'd have to use some fancy editing tricks to hide his level in your video. However, I do recommend against this, but i've seen it done in movies many times before.

So keep at it. Keep fighting, get as much footage as you can. Average pvp movies start with anywhere between 30 minutes and 5 hours of footage before editing even takes place.

The more you have the better off you are. The more variety you have, the better as well. If 50% of your movies take place in Shadowmoon valley, you probably don't have enough variety there.

Good luck not getting pwned!

(Continued Next Post)

Last edited by Vandalist : 11-11-2007 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:00 PM   #2
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Chapter 3: Workshop: Editing the footage.

Ah, now the real work begins. After all that PvPing, you should have some ideas in mind for your movie. There is 3 main views of a movie you should understand before making one. You can use just one, or all three.

1) The Real Deal: Your footage is simple and to the point. You see a whole fight, of every fight from start to end. The music plays, and people see you play for how you really are, and how skilled you really are.

2) Deception Is Key: Your footage is edited a great deal, special effects around every corner. Deception is used in the video using editing tricks to make you appear better than you really are. Works on some viewers, not on all... Some people use this not always to deceive their audience, but to give their movie a more epic feeling. This is only recommended for advanced editing users, and experienced movie creators.

3) A Detailed Picture: The most common of the three, your footage plays out usually in full but not always. Footage can be slowed, stopped, or edited to show off your better moments, so that they over-shine the rest. This might seem deceptive, but its actually not. However, overdoing it might cause the viewer to assume you think their stupid. Use in moderation.

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A good majority of the people who watch your PvP video will have never played your class, and judge you based off past grudges of their own fights and experiences with that class. Someone who really hates warlocks with a passion, might not enjoy a movie where a warlock runs around and kills everything in a few seconds, ganking style. You need to show the audience how good you are without overdoing it.

Example: In one of my past movies, while filming I found an AFK Paladin at shadowmoon valley. I started whacking him with my sword just because I was bored (I'm a mage, so it didnt even phase him). A few moments afterwards, he came back, and we got into it. After about 45 seconds of fighting, he was low, and bubbled, healed to full. My first thoughts were "oh God, this is going to be a long fight..." We kept fighting, he finally got me low. This paladin really knew how to survive. I poped PoM Poly and went invisible. I ran behind a pillar and got some health and mana back before he found me on his flying mount, and kept at it with me. The fight lasted almost 4 Minutes before I killed him, and I was barley alive at 20% health/mana.

A fight like that example is great because it shows "hey, your not just another seriously overpowered ___insert class here___." People want to know your skilled, not over-geared. There IS a difference. Any fight where you win simply because your seriously over-geared in comparison, is one you need to not boast about, not 'show off' often in your video, and make sure it goes by quick. People will see you then as more skilled, not just over-geared and overpowered.

Okay now how does this all come into editing? You need to consider all that while putting your footage together.

Now, where does the music come in? Thats all your decision as your editing. Don't put the music in first than fit the footage to the music. Yet, don't put the footage in first and fit the music to your footage.

Music and footage go hand in hand. You'll find as your working on your footage that a song might fit in perfectly with the way a fight went down, and thats when you cut it in. You don't have to use the full songs either, sometimes using only 70% of a song just to fit in the the footage is best.

Choosing Footage To Use
Your video should go from a Good start, then decent, then great in the middle, then decent, then a great finish.......

.......Got that? Didn't think so, I'll explain;

If you put all of your best footage in the beginning of the video, the viewer will gradually get bored with the movie as the movie goes on. Especially in long videos, using the best footage first will only get people ending your movie early and heading to the page to give you a rating "I got bored, 2.0"

You need to start off great, something to catch your viewers attention, and then do a roller coaster of best and not best. Not all of your footage is your best, stop trying to think it is. Get your absolute best footage, stick some in the front, some in the middle, and some at the end. When your viewer starts to get a bit tired of one way, then suddenly BAM a new great fight, or new great footage, to re-capture their attention. You need surprises around every corner to keep them watching and enjoying the movie. Gradually better or worse isn't how you do that. If you get gradually worse, the viewer gets bored and closes out the movie. If it gets gradually better, than they don't think you were too great in the beginning of the video and don't even wait it out to see the great endings.

So follow these steps to help get you started.

Step 1) Make 4 folders. Call one "Low Rated", Call one "Okay Rated", Call one "Highly Rated", Call one "Dead"

Step 2) Look at your footage, clip by clip. I think you see where I'm going with this. Put your best clips in the folder you called Highly Rated. Put any decent ones in Okay rated, and your worst ones put in low rated. Any clips you recorded where you actually lost the fight, put it in the 'Dead' folder, DON'T DELETE!! Why? You might be able to salvage some bits and pieces of the fights of clips for little cut-scenes. Cut-Scenes are in between fights, or in the opening or ending of a movie, just a quick cut-away of some great shot or cast or something, and then a cut back into your next scene. Its something to experiment with if your interested.

Step 3) You just rated your own footage basically, now this will help sort the footage for your video. Use some footage from your highest rated for the opening of your video. Then keep fitting in your Okay and low rated mixed in together throughout the video. Spread out your highest rated footage throughout the video. Don't bunch it up, don't put all your best clips at one section of the movie or like I said, the viewers will get bored too soon or later on and it will change their opinions.

Read Chapter 4 for more information to help with this process.

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Chapter 4: Musical Decisions

Music is a very important element of the video. If your footage isn't capturing your audience like you hope it would, the music could do that for you. If someone doesn't like the music or it doesn't seem to fit in right with your pvp style, it might confuse or bore your audience. Lets see if I can think of an example.

A priest pvp video... A shadow priest fighting off a rogue and warrior on his own and winning.... to the music of some heavy rock/metal shouting song where the lyrics sound like "ARGH YA DAH MARGH BLARGH YAAAAAAAA!!!!!!" Probably is a bit, erm... too wild rock-star with flaming hair type deal. You might want to tone it down to something with a steady beat...

Music Twisting
Many people do this to make the beat of the music fit in with what's happening with a clip. An example of this would be the ever popular song by Rammstein, Bang Bang (Rammstein - Feuer Frei), where if every time he yelled "BANG BANG" a hunter got off two shots on an enemy... Or on a mage.. Pom pyroblast.... followed by a fire-blast - each being cast on the "Bang Bang" part.

How is this achieved

Of course your shots aren't going to be timed that lucky to go along with a song. This is where you actually add a Speed option to that clip.

Sony Vegas: To add speed options to a clip click on the clip you wish to edit the speed on then...
1) Click "Insert" at the top.
2) Go to "Video Envelopes"
3) Select "Event Velocity"

This has just added a green line through that clip. Thats your velocity line, default set to 100% speed. You can drag the whole line up or down to speed up or slow down a clip, or you can right click on the line, add points, and speed up specific points of the clip only. NOTE: If you do this, you might have to shorten or expand the length of the clip, as speeding it up means the clip ends faster and the length of the clip would just cause it to repeat itself.

You must use this feature carefully though, speeding up a clip too much could ruin the point of the clip or make it go by too fast for your audience to really get to see it for what it is. So see if you can slightly alter the speed of the clip in key points so that it matches the tempo and beat of the music more.

(Continued Next Post)

Last edited by Vandalist : 11-11-2007 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 11-11-2007, 03:00 PM   #3
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Below is an example of something I'm doing in my upcoming video, it fits in with the music I'm using and it lets me add a note to the viewers. I lowered the speed of the clip to 0%. I can now add a quick text to show a Rogue I uncovered while PvPing a paladin. The text appears for a short 2 seconds "Rogue Here" under the rogue while the clip is stopped at 0% speed, the music is at a 'cut out' spot where the tempo has dropped to nearly nothing and a faint drum can be heard... (Although I might not use this song in the movie, i change my songs often as I'm building the video). Anyways, after the two seconds, the clip goes back to 100% speed, the song picks up again just as the rogue has come out, it fits perfectly with very little effort. Opportunity's like this will show up constantly while editing, just keep an eye out for them.

Some songs might not work, some will work better than others. Just remember one very key thing if your going for an entertaining video..... If you get bored watching your video, so will everyone else. Also, you could render up some previews to show some friends to get their opinions on it, or release a trailer to friends to see what they think, but never give them anything close to a finished product, or it will ruin the hype and surprise.

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Chapter 5: Rendering Your Masterpiece

If your on this step, you think your video is finished and the best it can be. Before we even start, take time and go watch it right now, in full. You might have to lower the quality temporarily to view it in Sony Vegas as Vegas will be compacting all the layers instantly as your watching it (you can have it high quality when rendered because your video will have already been compacted and just play it's final footage).

Anyways, go watch it, and if you are completely happy with it, proceed, if not, re-read Chapters 3/4 for more advice...

So, if your happy, check the time on the video. Most viewers have an attention span of about 15 to 25 minutes for pvp videos. If your movie exceeds 25 minutes, its either got to be one of the most spectacular things in the world, or your going to have to go back and shorten it. Take out some of your less great clips. Try to keep it above 12 minutes minimum, but do not, ever, go over that 25 minute limit unless you really think that you have got something so amazing nobody could get bored with it on any number of bad days.

If your time frame is good, and your all set. Set all the preview settings to Max and all of your rendering and sound settings to Max. Now, before you render, you better make sure your in for the long haul. If you've done this before, you know the best time to start the render is maybe right before you go to sleep, or before you go to work or something... Because the rendering process, on any program, takes a lot of resources.. Your computer's system will attempt to use as much resources as it's allowed to make the rendering process faster, however it will always let up on memory if your trying to do something. Browsing the web, reading e-mail, anything you try to do after the rendering starts is going to go Much Much slower, the worse your computer is, the slower you'll go. Although you can still do many things, it's recommended you leave your computer alone and let the program have as much resources as it can gather up to render your video quickly and efficiently. DO NOT play WoW, any program as powerful as WoW or any full screen game or program for that matter, could easily use too much resources and if your system doesn't crash, it could very easily become unstable and corrupt your rendering, leaving your finished product useless...

Let it render, go watch a movie... or two.. or ten....

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Chapter 6: The Secrets of Uploading & Submitting

Before you submit your movie for the world to see, you need to make sure a few things are in order, especially if your submitting it at warcraftmovies.com

1) Make sure your rendered movie was rendered correctly. Watch the finished product, if all looks in order, close it out, right click on the file and go to Properties. Look at it's file size. PvP Movies can go between 100 and 350 MB depending on your rendering settings and quality, and if your music was compressed properly. Anything over 400, you might want to get extra help to make sure your rendering right, because I know I sure wouldn't want to watch a movie that was that big unless it really cought my attention.

2) Make sure you have your movie image made. Photoshop is great for this, but you can use anything really. If you want to get a screenshot of a piece of footage from your movie, your going to have to capture it from your sony vegas, as it renders the video as an image on the preview box. You'll find it most difficult on some systems to screenshot movies from a realplayer or windows media player or such things like it.

3) Start uploading the video. You want a bare minimum of One Main-Stream Direct Download, and one Live-Stream Site. A Direct Download is a link to download the file itself. Filefront is good for this. A Live-Stream site could be like YouTube or GoogleVideo, where you can watch the video live on a page without having to download it. Filefront also has a live stream if you upload your movie as a "video" instead of a file. For a listing on sites that are recommended for movie uploading, go here: http://www.mmorpgforum.net/showthread.php?t=336

4) IMPORTANT TRICK: Okay, now you need to think of what day in the week it is. Yea I'm not kidding. A video's success can very well depend on the time it is released. You didn't see the last Saw 4 movie released in a Monday night at 3am did you? Not many people would have seen it then. You don't want to submit your movie on say a Wednesday afternoon, and have it coming out on a Thursday early morning.. Who would see it? Not many people. There is two good times to submit. Friday night (Saturday Morning if your a premium user, you'll get approved faster), so that it hits the page on the weekend. The weekend is when most people aren't working, or at school, and are not just on wow, but watching wow videos too. You'll get a great many more views during this time. The other best time is on Monday afternoon (Monday Night if your premium)... Tuesday is maintenance day for WoW. This means 10+ Million wow players have nothing to do until that afternoon. You can only imagine the amount of traffic that bombards the wow fan websites, forums, and movie sites during that time. Having your movie show up on the front page during the time WoW is down will guarantee it a lot of views.

5) Once you have two or more working links, and your timing is right... submit the video. Make sure your description is accurate, as well as the Time and File size of the video. Round the time of your video. If your video is 13 minutes 30 seconds, round it up to 14 Minutes. If it's 13 min 29 sec, round down to 13 min. Add your upload links to the page and make sure everything is in order, then press Submit.

6) You'll now be on a page to upload your image and your movie. Upload the image first, it takes only seconds. Then upload your movie asap. Make sure it gets uploaded, check it frequently to make sure you didn't accidently get "Timed Out" (Meaning your upload connection was cut for many number of reasons, if it happens, re-upload it right away.)

7) Once uploaded, your done.. PHEW! Take a break my friend, and great job.

In a little while the full staff of Blizzard will see it, see how amazing you are, and award you a 600% speed flying epic Onyxia mount for your incredible efforts!

Okay so I lied obviously... but hey.... at least your video is up.

I'll leave you with something I've recently learned myself. There will always be two types of people out there who will rate your video low. No matter how great your video is, no matter how much work you put into it, some people just won't like it. You can't impress everyone. The other type of people are the real critics, who think if your not taking on 8 enemies with no gear on and no talents spent, then your not good. Ignore them, those are the people who suck so badly at PvP, they are left only with mocking the abilities of others to make themselves feel better about what they can't do.
But no matter what you get rated, read the comments, read every single one. Ignore the people I described above, and learn from the rest. Some people will give you advice, some will QQ, others will go on and on to start an argument. When you see those high ratings where people say "Great job I loved it" and things like that, those are what you need to appreciate. If you can make one person happy from your video, just one, you did your job.

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This guide was written to help others who are going through the experiences I've recently had to go through. I almost quit making movies because of some pretty nasty critics out there... But then again, do you think directors in Hollywood quit directing movies when some crazy people say their movies suck? Its the people who enjoy your movie, that make the movie worth it.


Last edited by Vandalist : 11-13-2007 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:52 PM   #4
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Lengthy and quite informative. Great guide. Hope future video authors/creators read this before the make a pvp vid.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:34 AM   #5
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Very nice guide! We will create a news post about it this week
Founder and Lead Admin
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:01 PM   #6
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Newsworthy indeed, great guide Vandalist, I'll be making my own pvp movie based on this!
Mod it
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gedan View Post
Newsworthy indeed, great guide Vandalist, I'll be making my own pvp movie based on this!
That I wanna see

edit: And ofc totally whooping guide Great job Vandalist!
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:01 PM   #8
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This sums up pretty much all of the basic steps I take when making a new movie. I even learned a few new tips from it. Very nice article
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:39 AM   #9
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Great job and thanks for all those tips.
I am working on a video and this will help me alot =D

Btw, May you plz tell me how to add the wcm.com animation
we always see on video? I'd like to have it to but I got no clue on
how to do it

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Old 12-07-2007, 03:55 PM   #10
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Awesome. All i need now is to figure out what i should use to Edit, and how to get it.

By the way, if anyone can recommend a program better then Fraps, and that has no annoying window as Gamecam, please tell me

My current editing program is Windows Media Player, and i want a more advanced. I also need a better recording, since the last video i sent in to Warcraft Movies was not approved because it had bad quality.

But all in all, this learned me a lot Very usefull. Thanks a lot for taking the time to make this
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