Dark_Sage edit: I won’t be doing the timing reviews. Revy-chan will. Note the author of this post. Okay, onto the content.
Timing is a simple job. It’s taking the text given to you by the translator (usually either in .txt or .srt form) and then attaching them at appropriate times with dialogue. All though it is essentially a simple task, there are still people who manage to fuck it up beyond all understanding. I’m not the best timer in the world, but I do carry a fairly high standard when I do my timing. There is something that needs to be said beforehand however, and that is that a lot of timing comes down to experience and personal feeling. What I mean by this is whether you should snap text to key-frames, how long your lead-ins and lead-outs should be, differ on a personal basis. I’ll explain what I feel is best as well as why; and that will be the how I review groups on their timing. Aside from this however, scene bleeds are just a big EPIC FAIL and any groups that leave scene bleeds in are idiots. They’re not hard to spot, and it if passes the timer (it happens, even with me) and however many rounds of QC you do (should be more than 1) I will judge you even more harshly than adding a 500ms lead-in/lead-out for key-frame snapping. Especially if your scene bleed is more than 1 frame early or extended.
Key-frame: A key-frame is the start and end of a smooth animation. That is, points after one block of animation surrounded by key-frames are generally a transition in scenes. Some tend to be less subtle (ie. screen pans upwards) while some tend to be entire changes.
Lead-in: The amount of time added to show the subtitles before audio is actually heard. Most people will add a lead-in of anywhere between 100-200ms. Adding no lead-in is just herp derp stupid.
Lead-out: Same as a lead-in except it’s on the opposite end. Time added onto the end of subtitles so that they linger on. Lead-outs are generally much longer than lead-ins and are usually anywhere between 200-400ms. As with lead-ins, having no lead-outs is just herp derp.
Scene-bleeds: Ah, scene-bleeds. These are the worst things that you can leave in as a timer. Essentially, scene-bleeds are where timers fail and make subtitles appear too early, not early enough, end too early or not end early enough when near key-frames. I think it’s best to use some visual examples to explain this.
In the above example, the line ended too late and bled onto the next scene.
In this example, the line came on too early and bled in from the previous scene. This one actually would’ve been fine if a fade-in was added to fit in with the effect on the television.
Line-linking: This is essentially linking lines that are within close proximity to each other to eliminate the “blinking” of subs going on and off the screen. This can link into scene-bleeds in the sense that a line is close enough to the start of a new key-frame but the timer doesn’t snap to the key-frame and the sub “flashes” onto the screen after a scene change.
Aside from scene-bleeds being a big NO, my usual lead-ins are 140ms, while lead-outs are 300ms. I will link to key-frames with lead-in of up to 250ms and lead-outs of up to 400ms. I personally feel anything longer than that just feels really awkward, especially excessively long lead-ins. Sometimes I might end lines earlier if they’re too far from the ending key-frame to make it not blink off the screen, then have a scene change. These numbers are just for reference though. I do sometimes add longer lead-ins and lead-outs if I feel it works with the scene.
How The Reviews Will Work
There are pretty much only 2 sections when it comes to reviewing the timing of a show. They are:
- Scene bleeds
Under scene bleeds, I will note down and snapshot each scene bleed and how many frames behind/extended they are. As for flow, that will cover how well lines link together (no blinking subs), lead-ins and lead-outs near key-frames and whether they were excessively long or too short. Please note, I will judge MUCH MUCH harsher on scene bleeds as I stated above. Having more than 2 scene bleeds, especially if they are over 2 frames in length will pretty much take you down into a B grade zone. This is a new feature so there may very well be some hiccups along the way, but hopefully I will reach Sage-kun’s level of criticism quickly.
Forgot to mention that the timing reviews will be added as an ADDENDUM to D_S’s reviews. I’ll be starting with Ozma and adding them to the bottom of D_S reviews when done. So do check back for timing reviews. THEY WON’T BE A SEPARATE POST. I will update the categories as needed once the review has been added.