keeper of the Flame
Not sure if this is the right forum, so if not, could a mod move/delete as applicable? I have set the link below also in the self-promotion thread re my upcoming release "Beryl", but since many here helped with the cover art, I thought it would be interesting to get opinions about my book trailer and how it transitioned. The link for utube is below, and/or a better quality version is on my site at www.SwordOfShakespeare.com.
(I'd like to have the clip show up here in thread, but am not sure this is permissible or possible. If so, let me know the procedure and I'll make it so anyone interested in giving me feedback doesn't have to leave AW)
Opinions as to how effective the trailer is? I took many of the suggestions for the cover and applied them to the clip. I can still tweak (it never seems done, actually), but I need some objective eyes.
Again, hope it's okay to post the link here.
Sorry, you won't be able to have the playable video posted in thread; it will have to just be a link.
So if Rhubix comes in here, our resident animator, I'm sure she'll have some things to say.
Originally Posted by BrokenSword
The images you're using for the video are nice. Obviously I think that because I liked the cover. The way I see it, your ideas are so big for this trailer that it's keeping you from really using the tools you have in the best possibile way.
It seems as if you've taken on something very ambitious, which I respect. But you should simplify it if you aren't willing to go the distance and put the work in to make it professional. Trailers are marketing tool and potential readers will not give you the benefit of the doubt.
There are some more obvious problems that will immediately turn off the viewer. You can't only animate the sky and not the rest of the environment like the water. Tweening the sea monster across the screen also has a bad over all affect and neuters the tone of the scene into something comical. You at least need to learn to rig and puppet the image through a believable swim cycle, but I really do feel like less would be more on this big guy if you want a dramatic effect.
For me, the best part of the video is your text on black near in the end. If you focus more on teasing the viewer with smaller visual details through cuts or creative angles on your images mixed with a lot less information, you're going to get a much better result.
My last point before I bail on you, you really can't use a Florence and the Machine song to promote your novel. It's blatant copyright infringement for commercial purposes, and you could get pretty seriously sued for that.
keeper of the Flame
thanks for letting me know, Alleycat; wasn't sure since this is the first time I've tried utube.
thanks for taking a look. I know already about the song; utube will allow me (already have the email) to keep it up; they just attach ads--that's how payback works re this, apparently. I'll see what I can do to add my own soundtrack.
I hear you re everything else; I did wonder how it would look to others. And I DID animate the water, but Bryce didn't give me the best result. If it weren't so slow rendering, I'd continue but that's a project for another day; too much already done with all the graphic stuff. A month from now, the vid will be history and binned.
I did attempt to make the sea monster 'swim'; didn't like the results and defaulted to what you saw. I can at least make another attempt there. It's crude, I know, but I'm still learnin' and tryin'.
I appreciate your candid feedback and will apply it to more mockups (if time permits for this novel), especially for future projects. Takes more time just to have all the tweaks ripple back correctly, I'm finding.
I'm glad you like the cover, at least, and appreciate your help with it.
Btw, went looking at other trailers; do you have any suggestions for trailers by which you were particularly impressed?
Last edited by BrokenSword; 11-28-2012 at 12:34 PM.
Reason: another question
Always compare your work to professional work. I think the The Outlander series has some good book trailers, and the graphics are fairly basic to learn to do in After Effects. The one thing it has going for it that would be pricey to pull off is the professional voice over.
I have to agree with Gale. Plus the video is a bit long.
You can find free music too. New Grounds and other places allow it. (New Grounds usually with credit, check though and always ask on a commercial venture.) You also need to credit the people who made the song in at least the comments or the video *until* you get permission for a new one, then also credit the musicians... otherwise it also looks like plagiarism, and then the fine gets steeper... (Because You Tube will allow it, doesn't mean you should not credit the musicians. I'm for interart respect...)
To do it well, you need to understand how images communicate *without* text. Which *might* be out of your league... and would take more than the two tutorial threads at the top. That'll help you narrow down the time frame. If you want to give it a shot, here are a basic list for ads I know...
Note: The rules in functional design (i.e. not just for art enjoyment but to get a call to action) tend to run differently and also tend to be much more strict.
- Less than 30 seconds (Hulu ads can give you actual time frames. The breaks usualy are for 45 seconds, running 3 commercials) Outlander was 15 seconds.
- Visual communicates more than words. Tip off with colors (which evoke mood), scenery, and choose images around the theme.
- Words there are are spoken. (Notice the ads are obnoxious because there are people speaking the words on the screen? Yeah. That's double enforcement.)
- Show the book itself as a packaged item.
- Don't double down on your name. Put it in the ad once, then show it on the complete cover at the end.
- The words used should be your pitch. (20 words or less, Query Hell can help.)
- Any words on the screen should not be more than 3-4. (Which is also a website rule) This is with the exception of your book which is visually showing your medium. The human mind can hold 3-4 objects at a time, which is why worldwide most phone numbers are grouped into denominations of 3 or 4 numbers. And most silent films, if you ever watched one had words maxing at around 7 words or less... often communicating with 1 word between frames of 7 words.
- Oh and the silent ads make up for being silent with a whole lot more movement.
I do website design and ads and websites tend to overlap a lot, since you need to catch the user with the elements of design and function with a website often in less than 10 seconds (these days 5 seconds or less), which is far more cruel than an ad. People will not wait.
Last edited by Rachel Udin; 11-28-2012 at 09:28 PM.