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Mardi, 01 Novembre 2011 21:24

Create the Ultimate Fanboy Homage: The Supercut

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From Wired How-To Wiki

Do you want to make your own supercut? YYYEEEAAAAHHH. [ Screenshot via YouTube]

Everyone loves a supercut — and we’re obviously not talking about the haircut. A “supercut” refers to a video remix, often a “fast-paced video montage that assembles dozens or hundreds of short clips on a common theme,” according to supercut pro Andy Baio, who coined the term and just launched the new website to keep track of them all.

If you’re a closet fanboy/fangirl and want to make your own homage, here’s how to do it.

Pick an awesome topic

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve probably had a topic in mind after hours of obsessing over your favorite cult film or TV show, or frustrated by a tired cliche from an obnoxious celeb.

Locate the source material

There are two main types of supercuts: the ones that are comprehensive (like editing every single "d'oh" from a season of the Simpsons) or the ones that are a sampling (like all the movie cliche ones). Depending on the medium of your topic, you’ll want to look for source material where you’re viewing the subject. Here’s a breakdown of the different media supercuts are compiled from, according to estimates from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk:

Capture the moments

Here comes the tricky part: In order to create the mash-ups, you’ll need raw video footage. There are a few different routes you can go to obtain it of varying legality. Be aware that if you don’t want your precious work to end up for naught due to a takedown notice from YouTube, you should try the legal routes first.

Download from YouTube/Vimeo

Streaming video websites like YouTube and Vimeo use a kind of flash video encoding called FLV format, which is easily extracted from the site’s source code if you have the right tools. Popular websites like KeepVid and ListenToYouTube allow a user to simply input a video URL from their video streaming site of choice, queue an HTML download, and have it saved to their hard drive within minutes.

For power users, we recommend trying youtube-dl, a powerful commandline script that will download nearly any video URL you throw at it, including videos from Vimeo, YouTube, and Google Video.

There is also an amalgam of web browser plug-ins and desktop applications that enable robust video capture; for a list of additional solutions, check out our Wiki article on saving YouTube videos to your hard drive.

Screen and audio capture

If you’re looking to record bits of footage from an online video player, there are several screen and audio capture services you can use. This will also spare you from having to import massive full-movie files into your video editing program. You’ll just want to be sure your service can provide a movie file in a format accepted by your video editing program, typically a .mov file. A few we recommend are:

Camtasia - for Windows and Mac. Pretty pricey for the full version but comes with a 30-day trial.

Fraps - Windows only but “can capture audio and video up to 2560 x 1600 with custom frame rates from 1 to 120 frames per second,” according to their website.

recordMyDesktop - An open-source application that can be found in the base repositories of most debian-based Linux distros or from their website. Note that if you want to use the program with a front end, you’ll have to also install the gtk-recordMyDesktop package from the site or repository.

Rip a DVD

If you have a physical DVD of what you want to clip from, there are a few different tools out there to get past the protections in place. From the How-To Wiki, here are user-created guides on how to Copy  a DVD and Rip_a_DVD_to_Your_iPhone_or_iPod_Touch, though we couldn’t tell you what to do with the files once you got them to one of the later devices.

Also, Lifehacker has put together a handy guide of the top 5 reader-recommended DVD-ripping tools.

Mash them up

Pick your editor

Once you have the raw files of your source material, it’s time to break out the video editor. Industry standards for Mac operating systems are Final Cut/Final Cut Pro, but most Macs typically come with a baked-in version of iMovie, which will also do the trick.

For Windows users, Windows Movie Makeris the common go-to, and the Microsoft website features a handy guide on how to use it.

Linux users have access to the free Avidemux, a simple video editor that supports several cutting, encoding and editing options, and is supported by its own Wiki.

Cut your clips

With the video files containing your clips on your hard drive, import each into your video editor. Then, clip the sections you want and re-save the smaller files. If your files are coming from multiple sources, be sure to have a good keyword-based or numerical labeling system so you don’t lose track of your files.

Line them up

Open a new “project” and paste all of your mini clips into it. Most video editors will allow you to click and drag the clips around the workspace until you get a lineup you like. If you’re making a supercut where chronology is important, as is the case with The Evolution of Nicholas Cage’s Hair, be sure to include a chronological indicator in your file labeling system.

Finalize and upload

Once you have all your clips in order, add any smoothing transitions or text screens you want to include. Then, finalize and upload! has a handy widget on the navigation bar that allows you to add your supercut to the collection, forever solidifying it in internet history (or at least until an uptight production company finds it and makes a stink).


Epic soundtrack

Some supercuts run to the back beat of some kind of epic musical selection. Your video editing program should allow you to run a music track through the video. A couple of things you may want to keep in mind for the optimal musical combination:

  • Lower the volume of the musical track if there’s dialogue in the video clip, and raise it back to a standard level when there’s not.
  • Keep transitions on the natural beat of the music, with video clips transitioning on the logical measure breaks.

Article by Arikia Millikan and Jack Donovan,

This page was last modified 00:05, 2 November 2011 by amyzimmerman. Based on work by howto_admin.


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