Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

MindCandy: What’s taking so damn long?

Posted by Trixter on May 24, 2011


Work on MindCandy 3 continues, and I wouldn’t be posting something if the end wasn’t firmly in sight.  After three years, it is 99% finished and the end really is in sight.  Here’s the status:

  • All the demos, intros, NVScene footage, production notes, and easter eggs are completely finished and through production.  (And the blu-ray footage looks absolutely stunning.)
  • All the group commentary is in, except for the very last one which I hope will come through because it’s pretty important in my opinion, but I’m not going to wait until MekkaSymposiumBreakpointRevision 2018 to get it.  (edit: we got it!)
  • Our cover is done, another masterpiece from fthr.  Our booklet is 95% done.
  • I dusted the cobwebs off my Cinema 4D knowledge and put together an intro animation for the disc.  (Just a 15-second abstract thing, mind you, but it’s better than being dumped unceremoniously into the main menu without so much as a how-do-you-do.)  I also did some background drone and foley for it — shocking, I know!  Don’t be too impressed; I used loops.
  • The blu-ray is finished authoring, which was an arduous process because Adobe Encore is so damn buggy.  Phoenix did some great menus given the limitations we had to work with.  I had to start over from scratch a few times, and even then there are some bugs which will just have to stay in.

If things are looking so rosy, why are there still about 8 weeks left before you can hold this masterpiece in your hands?  One word:

Subtitles.

At my most maximum speed, typing between 90-100 wpm with a clear understanding of what is being said, it takes at best 4x realtime to subtitle what people are saying on the commentary.  Because there is a mixture of accents and varying degrees of being able to speak English, this can take as much as 10x realtime.  And you can only do about an hour of it before your hands start to cramp up.  So let’s do some math:  If it takes, say, 7x realtime on average to subtitle, and we have 4 hours to subtitle (main feature+intro featurette+production notes), it would take one person about 28 solid hours to complete the subtitling.  I have about 90 minutes a day to do subtitling, from my train ride back home from work where I can get a good seat and fall into a groove, to free time during evenings.  Still, that means the soonest I can get done is about 18 days (2.5 weeks!) from now.

Luckily, I have some weekend time too, and other members of the group are taking chunks, so hopefully we’ll be done in less than 2 weeks.

I hate subtitling.  I really, really hate it, especially since you are creating subtitles for something that should never be watched without audio in the first place (these are demos for goodness sakes!).  But because we have an international audience, and that audience may not understand English all that well, we are going through this ordeal for you, the customer.  All praise attention to detail!  All hail the customer!

I haven’t thought about who is going to do the translation of the subtitles, which is unfortunately going to extend time even further.  Maybe we’ll only offer English subtitles.  I really don’t want to delay MindCandy 3 beyond Assembly — I want it to be ready by Assembly.  Which is also the reason I’m not going to subtitle the additional TEN HOURS of NVScene 2008 footage, even though it is hard to understand sometimes.  I’m sorry, but really, do you want MindCandy 3 to be delayed until the end of the year for subtitling?

Enjoy a frame from the opening anim:

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3 Responses to “MindCandy: What’s taking so damn long?”

  1. Chris said

    Jim,

    If you know anyone who is a court clerk they could likely transcribe it fairly quickly for a nominal fee. They usually use a cassette deck with a foot pedal to start/stop/cue the recording (this speeds the process quite a bit). There exists USB foot pedals and transcribing software (the higher end ones do steno, but you likely don’t need it for this), but it tends to be buggy based on personal experience. Dump the audio to cassette (how low tech, but it works) and find a clerk!

  2. maz said

    Jim, I offered to do the german subtitles translation, if you’re ready to stand my questions again … :)

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