The jpXsg Tutorial

April 4, 2010

You want to make your own jpXsg video and help contribute to Animate Zero? Well read on and get some insight on how these nuggets of joy are produced.

What you will need:

Audio Editing:

Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

LAME MP3 plug in for Audacity:  http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/faq?s=install&item=lame-mp3

Video Editing:

Windows Movie Maker, pre-installed on most copies of Windows.

The Cartoon Planet Video Packs:

Cartoon Planet Video Pack

Cartoon Planet Expansion Pack 1

Cartoon Planet Expansion Pack 2

*Optional* Basic graphics editing:

Adobe Photoshop/The Gimp/MS Paint, etc

Step One, Finding the right clip.

Head on over to http://www.joystiq.com/category/podcasts and download the show you would like to use. Right click, [MP3] Download the MP3 directly, and save the file to your hard drive. It would be wise to create a new folder to store the files to your project. I’m calling mine Dark Triforce.

Once you have the MP3, listen to it and find the clip you want to use. Write down the start point of the clip, then open the MP3 in Audacity.

Click timeline to about where your clip starts. Use the magnifier with the + to zoom in on the segment. Listen until you found the starting point, then click on the point where you want to start.

Then go to Edit>Select…>Start to Cursor

Then click on the scissor icon to delete the first part of the podcast. Listen to the clip until you find the end you want to use. Click where you want it to end, then go to Edit>Select…>Cursor to End. Click the scissor again to trim off the last part of the show. Now you have your jpXsg audio clip! Go to File> Export to MP3 and save it in your project folder.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT YOUR CLIP

When looking and editing your clip you always want to keep you audience in mind. Is it funny enough? Is it short and to the point? Are there any moments when it drags too much? You don’t want a clip that will not entertain, so keep these points in mind.

I believe that the best clips are under 3 minutes. I can’t stress that enough. 5 minutes is really pushing it, but can be done. Keep it SHORT! Don’t be afraid to trim the clip. For example, the There’s My Steed clip had to be cut down, so I cut Justin’s explanation about what the game was. It’s great info to have in a podcast, but in a funny You Tube clip its too much. CUT TO THE CHASE!

Also the best clips are ones with a lot of back and forth with the hosts. Try to avoid ones with too much talking from one host. If you do have a segment with a longer dialog, break it up visually with cuts to the other hosts listening or a random image.

Do another listen to your clip and this time write down key words, things you can get pictures of for your clip. For the Dark Triforce I wrote down:

Who’s Justin McElroy

Garbage Pail Kids

Thousands of People

Real Nice

Totally Excellent

Dookie

Paul Anderson

Zelda

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

Wario

and Wink

Go to Google, type in a key word, and look for the most random picture you can find. One that would shock the viewer. Remember, comedy is a surprise, if it wasn’t a surprise, it wouldn’t be funny. Once you found your image, save it to your project folder. Note: don’t think you have to use all your images in the video, just get more than enough. Less is more in the actual clip.

Now that we have our clip, time to fire up Windows Movie Maker.

Side note, why do I use WMM? Its simple and fast because it lacks features that other programs have. Since we are just making cheesy cartoons it works for us. Anyway if you have a better program to do these in, chances are you don’t need this tutorial. I’ve used other editing programs for jpXsg, but I never have been able to find anything I liked better for these kinds of videos.

Now with WMM open, click on the icon with a folder called Collections.

In a separate Windows Explorer window, navigate to the folder where you extracted the Cartoon Planet clips. Copy all of them and drag them over to the left hand column Collections menu in WMM.

Now you have Clips to work with, yay!

Go to the top of your collections column, right click Collections, and make a new folder and name it after your project folder (again, mines called Dark Triforce). Click on your project collection, and drag all the media you stored in the project folder (the Mp3 clip and pictures from google images) into the center column.

Time to get to work!

Drag your MP3 to the timeline below. If you don’t see a timeline, click Show Timeline. Click the Zoom icon (the one with the + magnifier) a few times until it zooms all the way. Listen to the first part of the clip. Who’s talking? For me its Justin/Brak. So pause it, go to collections and click on a Brak clip.

Now drag the clip you want to use to the timeline. Using the arrows on the right and left you can trim the clip to however long you want it to be on screen. RULE OF THUMB: Don’t let any one clip run for more than 5 seconds. You don’t want to bore the viewer. Mix it up with a different angle (Go to Collections and find a different clip, drag to timeline) or with a still of another host listening.

Adding a still from Google is done the exact same way, just open up your project collection from the left hand column and select and drag your jpg to the timeline. You can adjust the length with the arrows just like the animated clips.

Before we go on, SAVE YOUR PROJECT. WMM crashes a lot, so try to save often.

Ok, things should start making sense now. Really, its just a matter of listening to the clip a little, pause, find a video clip, drag and drop to time line and trim. Now lets touch on lip syncing.

To lip sync, you need to use the jpg stills found in the Cartoon Planet packs. These are stills of the characters mouths closed. Unfortunately these jpgs usually don’t transfer to the Collections column when we initially set it up. Open up the Cartoon Planet Pack directory in Windows Explorer and select the jpg you need and drag it in to WMM. Whenever there is silence in the file, drag these stills to the time line and trim to cover the duration of the silence. This is best illustrated in the graphic below:

If you don’t have a still you can make them by viewing the clip (double click the clip’s icon) and using the camera icon on the lower right hand corner, you can take a screenshot and save it.

Once you have put in all your clips, go to File>Save Movie File>My computer, Save your movie for playback on you computer>Enter a name, choose your directory>Hit next until its done! Hurray you made a jpXsg, now upload to YouTube and tell me so I can post it here.

If you any questions, comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them, have fun!

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2 Responses to “The jpXsg Tutorial”


  1. […] You can find the handy guide over at the JPXSG blog, or here! […]

  2. Sam Says:

    I’ve just created my first clip thanks to you! I don’t know your email to send you the clip but I have it uploaded to youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8rrf4NOZpU

    Let me know if there’s anything I need to do to get the clip on THIS site, I couldn’t find a link or anything.

    Thanks again and Enjoy!


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