Multimedia localization doesn’t have to be an onerous chore as long as you keep a few key steps in mind. Much of the busywork involved in localization or editing involves adjusting cues and making everything sync properly.
Paying attention to this before you get started and ensuring that everything’s where it should be can save you a lot of time and headaches when all’s said and done.
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When it comes to your multimedia projects, regardless of your end goal, keeping your files neat and tidy is an important first step. Additionally, keeping your original files separated from your project files is worth paying attention to.
This ensures that you won’t accidentally save over or delete them as you progress. Keeping project files ordered and separated in relevant folders and/or sub-folders means that you can refer to them when needed with minimal hassle. Organizing files also allows you to quickly redo any work that isn’t quite up to par by keeping clutter to a minimum and making important files easy to find.
Another point that you should always keep in mind when dealing with translation is making sure you can easily extract and incorporate it after you complete your translation. This will cut down on time and will makes your job much easier in the long run. Many editors opt to use XML, since it’s a format that makes these tasks relatively painless compared to others.
When using animations in your videos you should keep in mind that avoiding language-specific animations is always your best bet. This avoids confusing viewers, especially after the original translation has been completed.
Let’s say, for example, that an English-based video is being adapted for French speakers. If you include animations or images that include English text then it can break the immersion for your French viewers. Including images or animations that use a specific language, therefore, is counterproductive in many ways and should be avoided if possible.
When using images, try not to use any bitmap images and opt for vectors instead. Vector images are able to be scaled up or down without any loss in quality, making them amazingly useful a lot of the time. If your video needs to be scaled up so it can be shown on a theater-sized screen, using vector images will keep your work from becoming overly blurry or pixelated. While not applicable for every project, getting into the habit of using vector images will make you life infinitely easier when these issues do arise.
When you translate audio it’s very hard to maintain the same timing throughout your video. Some languages are more verbose than others and will take longer to narrate or display on-screen. Making sure that your audio cues adjust to suit your timing dynamically is relatively straightforward and will make you look like an absolute pro.
Another useful point to keep in mind is that adding timing cues in the original script to be translated will take your dubbing to new heights and also make it easier for you to get your timing down properly. When you add timing cues you can cut studio production time down significantly and also make reintegration of your localized audio a much more streamlined process.
While this should go without saying, it is a step that is overlooked much more than it should be. Writing your script out ahead of time makes it easier to see any problem areas that were lost in translation and also lets you review your work before you get down to recording.
This relates to the idea in wood-working that you should always measure twice and cut once. When you write your script ahead of time your recording will go smoothly and you’ll have less errors to edit out further on down the road.