So, now we’re getting caught up with HeartCatch, and we’re… slightly less held back, shall we say, in terms of our ability to release PC5, we’re about ready to start thundering away at it again. We know we had kind of a shaky start but we think we can probably get a couple of eps out a month. Which means we’ll probably get about an ep out a month. But sarcasm aside, where we go from here is a big issue.
With T-N, it was pretty much expected to start again from ep 1, and the original Arienai versions of 1-20 were very hard to come across at the time we started the project. Now, with things in a slightly different position and those episodes more readily available, we figure it might be a good idea to do things PCSS style and get the ball rolling from episode 21, giving people new content whilst going back and doing the old episodes in-between. Sort of in an 8-21-9-22-10-23 pattern, etc.
We’re also more free to determine our own release format. Continue doing mp4s, or go for softsubbed mkv? mp4 obviously has nice hardware compatibility and that hardsub ease-of-use, but at the same time going mkv allows us to be more open with our scripts (something we’ve been dying to do – and we’ll be releasing our HeartCatch scripts for 1-24 pretty soon after we get 24 out) and also make use of ordered chapters to reduce filesizes while providing the same quality – with the disadvantage of being slightly more unwieldy and unintuitive to the less technologically-inclined watcher.
Well, we’d like to get your feedback. Feel free to respond to either this post or the one on the Precure LiveJournal. After the jump, I’ll explain some of the choices in more detail so you can make an informed judgement.
HD or SD?
The first thing to point out is – Precure 5, I hate to break it to you, isn’t really animated in HD. Sort of.
We ran some tests using the HD transport streams of the show, downsampling them to SD resolutions and then upscaling them – this is a process that allows you to see what detail is ‘exclusive’ to the HD and would be lost in a downscale. The answer is, umm… not much. Background objects were occasionally drawn in 720p, but the vast majority of the show is in 480p. As such, while there exist HD raws we could use, using them would essentially be a waste of bitrate – a large increase in filesize for detail that pretty much only exists on things you’ll never pay attention to. Sure, it might be a very nice 720p windowframe, but I don’t think, in the grand scheme of things, it’s really HD-worthy. As such, we have no intentions to do an HD version of Precure 5.
As pointed out before, episodes 1-20 of the show have been subbed by the very competent team at Arienai. If great minds think alike, then, well, we made the same silly mistake on episode 3. XD But in seriousness, the situation with being able to acquire those episodes is a lot better now, and we’re in less of a position where we’re tied to linearity.
As such, it’d be nice to get new content out, as PC5 is at this point the show most direly in need of subbing, IMO. So, while we’ve started work on ep 8, in future I think the majority of you would probably rather we started subbing the new episodes than the old ones. I know it’s kind of a bummer to people who like to watch things in a linear order, but the nice thing is that you can do if you just defect and watch those nice Arienai subs. But much as PCSS went back and redid the already subbed Splash Star eps, it’s our intention to ensure the entirity of PC5 gets that nice [Aesir] tag at some point. I’d like to go back and look over eps 1-7 at some point to bring them up to 480p, but that’s something we can do at our convenience over due time.
The question is, would you guys prefer we worked linearly or jumped ahead to get new episodes done? I think I can guess the majority of the responses to this one. XD
Okay, the less important one – what format would you prefer we released in? I personally have a massive hardon for hardsubs I can fling onto my 360 and watch, so I’d like us to do a hardsub mp4, but the convenience of mkv is pretty immense. Whilst certain things would be hardsubbed (effects and karaoke, basically) you’d be able to turn off the subs if you wanted, and any mistakes we might make could be easily fixed without needing to re-encode and redistribute – no more DAT FRUMIXes. Unless you want them!
There are other cool things we can do with mkv like segment linking and ordered chapters, but these are kind of insane and we don’t necessarily want to commit to doing them. In addition, people could demux the scripts and use them if they wanted to do their own hardsubs, or use the HD raws ~if you really want your HD windowframes~ and that kind of thing. You’re not quite so locked in to the one-size-fits-all approach with hardsubbing – if you don’t like things, they can be fixed. Honorifics? If you don’t like them, they can be gone. Foreign language subtitle tracks? We could add those, sure. All part of the fun.
That said, it would reduce compatibility with media devices – you’d have to do your own encodes to mp4/avi. Or we might do them anyway – I might whip up mp4 encodes just for myself anyway and then make them publically available. It’s really up to you guys – and that’s what this is all about. :)
Let us know what you want us to do, and we will try to deliver. <3 I’ll crosspost this to the LJ to get responses there too, so I trust you guys not to post on both sides and try to skew things, mmkay? ;o