Author Topic: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)  (Read 9654 times)

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Offline mamochan

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How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« on: November 14, 2008, 09:26:30 pm »
Only answer this if you are a fansubber. Otherwise, please don't bother.

My debut was back in 2002. A friend had told me about this group called live-evil. They were in need of a raw provider. Back then I was collecting raws by the dozen. So I decided to accept this offer and found my way into live-evil's IRC channel.  Turns out they already had a raw provider. What a waste of time :)
Instead, they needed an editor for the anime called "Magical Fairy Persia". I accepted the role as editor.
During the years, I've helped other groups for distro (anime-fansubs / anime-kissaten), but nothing major.

So how about the rest of you fansubbers? I want to hear your story :)
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Offline bastard-sama

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2008, 10:19:44 pm »
why do you keep making these questions mamo????????????????????????????????AA?A?F?SDSAFSA!@#%!@^
:D
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Offline YaoiBoy

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 04:14:14 am »
Yes, I believe there is a thread on this already ^_~
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Offline mamochan

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 04:26:42 am »
Stop ruining my fun yaoiboy :/
DVD Backlog: Galaxy Angel (all of them), GITS: SAC, Juuni Kokki, Last Exile, Master Keaton, Rurouni Kenshin TV, Saber Marionette J, Saber Marionette J Again, Saber Marionette J to X, Slayers (The), Slayers Next, Slayers Try.

Offline BlackChair

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 05:52:03 am »
Yes, I believe there is a thread on this already ^_~

Where is it?  I couldn't find it.

Anyway, in my case I was hanging around with some guys from the local anime club who happened to be subbing Future Boy Conan.  We were doing it from LD source, running it through a nice (though composite) genlock to a JVC HR-S3800U (IIRC) S-VHS editing deck.  The year was 1993 -- if you've seen Future Boy Conan subbed in English (even the recent digisub releases from Pazu), it was probably our scripts.

Unfortunately, a hard drive crash claimed the final edit versions before they were released.  Yes, there really was only one copy.  Networking (especially a LAN in the home) was not common back then.  Floppies were, but we were idiots.  After the crash, we hooked the Amiga up to the Linux box in the house via a null modem and got them connected using SLIP.  After that, the files were sent via FTP to the Linux box where revisions were kept in RCS.  And we made copies, too.

But the damage was done.  By that time there was nobody in the group that wanted to go back and re-edit and re-time the affected episodes.  So if you thought the scripts were kind of crappy, you were right.  They were a far cry from what we had at one time.

I (as were all the others) were editor/timers.  Back then there were only two jobs: translating and not translating, so nobody really bothered with "job titles".  For the record, the guy who wanted the subs done (somewhat well-known comic book publisher) supplied the LDs and paid for the translations.  So we didn't have a translator... or at least not one that could be consulted when a question arose.  This wasn't a huge problem, as nobody spoke Japanese enough to notice any problems.  :o I started taking Japanese in January 1994, and that's why there might be romanized versions of the OP lyrics on some of the later eps.  (I can't remember if those were lost as well, or if we never timed them and put them in, or if they did make it in and I just forgot.  I didn't actually feel like watching it again at all until probably 2003 or 2004.)

Now excuse me while I put my teeth in.

You new-fangled fansubbers with your computers and your Intarwebs and your video COdecs and your big 2 GIGABYTE hard disks really have it easy!  Back in my day the timing was the hardest part!

What you did was you played the source through, and you'd hit the space bar to bring a title up and take it down.  Some groups (like Arctic Animation) stopped there; the result was usually watchable, but was not what anyone would consider "good".  Once you had the rough timing, you'd make a timing tape which is just like what it sounds -- a tape with both script lines and time code laid down.  Then you'd play the tape and figure out which lines were late or early.  When you found one, you'd rewind the tape and rewatch to try to spot what time it should come on.  And rewind and rewatch, and rewind and rewatch, and ...

OBTW, the timing of the output always depended on starting the script playing at the proper sync point.  So if you screw up a little making your timing tape, you need to screw up in the same way when making the final copies or the timing will be all shifted.  (Actually, it was tunable on the fly but was still a PITA.)

So if you care about the quality of the output, you can see that you'll be watching a given ep many, many times in tiny 20 second increments.  The VCR transports were slow.  In short, timing could be a tedious and painful.  (As an aside, I also once spent an hour or two getting the title flash in episode one of Moldiver to match color changes in the script.  Similar to the wipe in <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUn-5JxRFgM">this clip</a>.  Yes, it was just like primitive karaoke styling.  And it took forever.)

And because we cared about things like correct starting times, scene bleeds, and stuff like that, timing was very, very painful.  So painful that after it was done, nobody wanted to watch it, let alone do it some more.

There was no video timing -- capture was feasible but expensive in terms of both hardware to do the capture and hard drive space to store it.  There was no audio compression, and the hard drives just weren't large enough to fit an entire 30-minute episode uncompressed.  (Okay, at some point we did get disks large enough, but what fansubber do you know is going to spend over $1,000 just to have enough space to do one 30-minute show at a time?  I didn't know any.)

There...old man mode disengaged.

Things are definitely better now.  ;D In 2002 I stopped by an anime club meeting to drop something off with someone and saw a fansub episode (actually just the OP) of Azumanga Daioh.  I couldn't believe it!  And I was just watching the credits...  It wasn't until I saw some of Hare Guu at A-Kon a year or two later that I started thinking about fansubbing again.  And of course it wasn't until 2008 that I actually started doing it again.

But in the meantime I learned me up some Japanese, so now I don't have to do timing.  I am still watching parts of the episodes in little 5 second chunks over and over again, but that's kind of the exception instead of the rule now.

Was that long enough?  I can never tell...

Offline tenkenX6

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 09:15:41 am »
Wow, you've been around the fansub scene for a long time, BlackChair!  :o I know you haven't been active that entire time span, but still. I bet you've seen the many evolutions of fansubbing.
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Offline BlackChair

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 04:16:11 pm »
I bet you've seen the many evolutions of fansubbing.

Nope... I missed them all.  Seriously -- the only one I was around for was the switch from TurboTitler to JACOsub, and that was kind of a non-event because other than having a better font it had basically no effect on the output.  I didn't watch any anime at all between 1996-1999, and was totally out of the fansub scene (not even watching) from until 2002 sometime. So I missed web-based tape distribution as well as the analog to digital shift.

Anyway, does the Xvid to H.264 transition count?  ;D  I don't think so... everyone's still going through that.

Offline bastard-sama

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2008, 01:51:22 am »
i have been around since the divx3.11->xvid :D
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Offline mamochan

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2008, 02:03:48 am »
I was around when vivo / real audio / mpeg were popular.  Pre divx :)
DVD Backlog: Galaxy Angel (all of them), GITS: SAC, Juuni Kokki, Last Exile, Master Keaton, Rurouni Kenshin TV, Saber Marionette J, Saber Marionette J Again, Saber Marionette J to X, Slayers (The), Slayers Next, Slayers Try.

Offline tenkenX6

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2008, 08:23:46 am »
Nope... I missed them all.  Seriously -- the only one I was around for was the switch from TurboTitler to JACOsub, and that was kind of a non-event because other than having a better font it had basically no effect on the output.  I didn't watch any anime at all between 1996-1999, and was totally out of the fansub scene (not even watching) from until 2002 sometime. So I missed web-based tape distribution as well as the analog to digital shift.

Ah, I see. Did you just kind of get burnt out on fansubbing and anime for that time period?
 

So, you've been fansubbing for a total of like 2 or 3 years, roughly(give or take some months or so)?
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Offline BlackChair

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2008, 12:54:24 pm »
Ah, I see. Did you just kind of get burnt out on fansubbing and anime for that time period?
 

So, you've been fansubbing for a total of like 2 or 3 years, roughly(give or take some months or so)?

Nah, in 1996 I met the woman I'd end up marrying, and she wasn't into it at all.  She came to our anime club a few times to wait for me to finish my stuff up, and found the fans very offputting.  So I just kind of fell out of it.  It's not like she made me stop; I just started having other things to do.  So no burnout, except on that one show.  She's been otakunized now, so everything's cool.   ;D

As for the length of time, that's probably about right.  Maybe a little more than that -- I forgot that I also did some script cleanups and LD remasters for the Patlabor movies and Mononoke Hime in 1996-1997.  So I guess I was still doing it, just not talking to anyone else about it.  Those were mostly for personal use anyway... there was no distribution to anyone I didn't actually know.

Offline tenkenX6

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 08:53:34 am »
I see. That's cool she's into anime now.  ;D

Hmm....the Patlabor movies and Mononoke Hime. Those movies bring back memories.  *gets a hint of nostalgia*  :D
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Offline YaoiBoy

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2008, 07:19:33 am »
Where is it?  I couldn't find it.

http://forum.live-evil.org/index.php/topic,1160.msg13714.html#msg13714

I think that sums it up! ^_^ My fan-subbing career started when I got impatient waiting for my favorite show to be released.
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Offline tenkenX6

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2008, 11:29:35 am »
Hmm....well, I guess I will post my very brief beginnings of my fansubbing experience.

It all started back in June or July of 2006. A few people I knew online asked me if I could help out their friends, who happened to be members of the fansub group Animehaven, with a bit of translating. I figured "why not", so I agreed. It was very minor work, like helping translate lines in songs and other little translation tasks. I think I helped them on and off for a few months. It was pretty much a VERY minor freelance type of deal. After the stuff was done, I went on my way. A few months passed and one of my friends, who asked me to help out Animehaven, told me he wanted to start his own fansub group. It all sounded interesting and he asked me if I wanted to be the group's translator. I agreed to join on as translator after some minor discussions. So, starting in January of 2007, we started subbing the show Hidamari Sketch. I honestly tried to like the series but it was too bland for me. On top of that, the show had a lot of pretty difficult cultural references and jokes/puns to translate, so I slowly started to get burnt out fast. Around April of the same year, I got promoted to one of the assistant manager positions at work, so I started working MORE. Plus, I was about at the end of the line for translating a show that I now loathed. So, with all due respects, I told them my situation and quit my short lived position as translator for the group. This was my first REAL experience fansubbing, so it left a bad taste in my mouth and decided to dropout of the fansubbing scene for the time being. Yeah, I know this all sounds rushed and ridiculous,  but it was really a nerve wrecking experince for me.  :P Anyways, I was away from fansubbing for nearly a year until I was once again tempted to get back into it all again. That was March of this year. I read Tofu's interview at Anime News Network's website and was honestly fascinated and wanted to talk to Tofu and check out the group he fansubbed for. After e-mailing him and joining the IRC channel, I joined up as a translation checker. It has now been over 8 months since that day and things have gone well for me with L-E. I would like to thank all of the L-E members for helping me out, being kind, and giving me a chance. I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for all of you.  ;D

Well, that sums up my uninteresting story.  :D
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 11:36:38 am by tenkenX6 »
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Offline Sindobook

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Re: How did you get into fansubbing? (Fansubbers only)
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2008, 08:33:35 pm »
positions at work, so I started working MORE. Plus, I was about at the end of the line for translating a show that I now loathed. So, with all due respects, I told them my situation and quit my short lived position as translator for the group. This was my first REAL
I'm always much more assertive than that... pick something you like, especially if you're the translator, and they'll fall into line or you'll find a new group that will.