Audio & Video Localization
As a full-service voice-over, graphics, multimedia, and video production studio, JBI Studios has had the opportunities to assist a variety of clients on complex localization projects. We custom built our services to fit best the unique requirements of our clients’ projects. Our commitment to excellence, consistent high quality, and customer service has allowed us to maintain strong relationships with our global clients. The following case studies are just a few detailed examples of how JBI Studios is the ideal partner in our clients’ localization efforts.
Off-screen Voice-over for Sound Blaster & Backyard Studios
High-quality, cost-effective solution for marketing spot in 10 languages
Nick Erickson, a Director/Producer in Los Angeles, contacted us for help with a multilingual voice-over project.
He and his Executive Producer Ian Trueb, along with Producer Ricardo Granados, had just finished a high-end web promo with pro gamer Mike Ross, for Sound Blaster's flagship product line, the EVO Series gaming headsets.
Now SoundBlaster wanted to take the video around the world, and Ian and Nick needed high-quality voice-over (and subtitles) in ten languages, ranging from Japanese to Turkish to German. Specifically, Ian – who would edit the final foreign-language versions – was looking for voice talents who had the energy and professionalism of the original production, and, of course, who were native speakers of their respective languages.
Enter JBI Studios, the project had a few complexities:
1. Wide-ranging language set
Ten languages overall, including:
Fortunately, JBI works regularly in these languages, and we have a large pool of talent in each one. We were able to send Nick and Ian pre-existing voice talent samples matching their description, and they cast talents in each language who matched the English-language narrator, but were also culturally-appropriate.
2. Sync to video
The final voice needed to synchronize perfectly with the video, just like the one in the English.
Backyard Studios' translators provided expertly timed scripts, so that our professional talents only had to modulate their speed slightly to match the sync of the English. Likewise, the talents at JBI watched the video before recording, to make sure that they maintained a pace consistent with the English video's. Ian was able to cut the final recordings into the videos seamlessly, and then mix each version taking into account the nuances of each language.
3. Additional on-screen voice-over for Mike Ross (at 15 seconds)
Several options were discussed, including UN-style. In the end, Ian, Nick and Sounb Blaster picked subtitles as the best option for covering Mike Ross' line.
Aside from being a cost-effective option, subtitles allowed Sound Blaster's audience – many of them gaming fans and experts who would recognize Mr. Ross – to hear his voice. Also, because a third voice wasn't added, Ian was able to keep the flow of the on-screen audio, which he'd already timed perfectly.
Matching the quality of the English-language original
During the recordings, the native-speaker language directors were tasked with matching the quality of the English as much as possible, while recording voice-over that was polished, professional, perfectly-timed, and of course, accurate and culturally-appropriate. No small feat, given the varied range of the languages and the high quality of the English-language video.
However, JBI's Project Manager oversaw the recordings and communicated Nick's direction and voice description to the talents, directors and QA reviewers, to produce a suite a videos that is consistent as well as optimized for the individual locales.
The final videos
Finally, we present the videos. You can watch all the videos on the JBI Studios Youtube channel.
Or, watch a super-cut highlighting nine of the ten languages (we couldn't fit them all):
JBI Studios provides voice-over services in 50+ languages for various industries, from e-Learning audio to lip-sync dubbing to video games.
Voice-Over with Facial Motion Capture for e-Learning
Cost-effective solution for e-Learning animation
JBI Studios was approached by Rob Coker, the Multimedia Project Manager for the Americas at CEB, a leading talent management company. JBI records voice-over work for them on a regular basis, but now his Multimedia & Interactive Technologies team needed a cost-effective solution to produce large amounts of animated content.
Animation is becoming more common in the talent management space, as a powerful way to engage candidates, employees, and users. However, it can also be labor-intensive – animators have to “draw” all of the avatars’ facial movements, coordinating their eyes, nose, and lips.
Enter facial motion capture. It’s already being used by film productions (for example, Gollum from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), and the costs have come down dramatically in the last couple of years. Rob and his manager, Mike Fetzer, wanted to see if facial motion capture could shorten their timelines and cut down costs.
At Rob’s behest, JBI Studios interfaced with a local provider to use their facial motion capture camera – a solid (but light-weight) helmet, rigged to position a pin-sized camera in front of a voice talent’s face, with an LED light to evenly illuminate their visage. The cables from the camera run down to a utility belt that holds the camera controls, battery, and converter boxes.
The video capture setup was complex, even for a full-service voice-over, dubbing and multimedia studio like JBI. However, because the studio already specializes in video production, we had most of the field monitors, in-booth reference screens, and myriad video cables required. More importantly, our ProTools HD was accelerated for HD as well as analog video capture. With a few equipment upgrades, the studio was up-and-running in an hour.
The recording booth looked like a security console, with multiple video streams capturing the talents’ every facial tick. After a while, though, the talents forgot about the “face-cam,” though every once in while we’d hear a clink on the microphone from a direct hit from the helmet frame. Other than that, the session ran smoothly.
The exported videos (with cleaned, high-quality audio) went off to an animation studio in the UK, to be converted into high-quality animations for CEB -- all with reduced costs, a shorter turn-around, and accurate facial mapping.
To learn more about facial motion capture, and how it can improve your e-Learning, training, gaming, or other animation-based products, contact JBI Studios.