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  #1  
Old 2006-08-15, 16:25
TamaNeko TamaNeko is offline
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Default "Fansub" translations for Japanese video games?

I have this idea that I've been thinking for a while. Be warned, as it's a long rant, but I hope that some of you guys here, especially the ones who've worked with translations, can give reasonable replies. :D

There are hundreds of games from Japan that never make it to the U.S, some for good reason because they suck, but there are always those rare gems like certain games based on an anime and PC dating sims/visual novels that are great. Even if you did get a hold of these games and have a modded system, you couldn't really enjoy these games without understanding Japanese.

And so after watching too much anime with closed captioning on TV, I came up with this idea to make these games more accessible to everyone else. The best way I can explain my idea is through this pic here.



Video from any console is processed by a PC, where the software then processes the video and loads up a translated script of the game's text. Like closed-captioning, it will superimpose the translated text on the video at the right moment and output it to a TV or PC monitor.

With the already existing anime fansub community, they could work on just making the translated scripts, without any need to learn how to hack into the game, like with existing translated SNES roms and PC dating sims and visual novels.

There is also one example I've seen of something similar to this already available. The Quickcam Orbit, a webcam, has this neat feature that can recognize your face and superimpose a cartoon face instead, with the lips moving when you speak as well. You can see it in action here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXKupR1ibUk

So, with the right equipment and skills, can this somehow work?
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  #2  
Old 2006-08-15, 16:39
AstCd2 AstCd2 is offline
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It's an interesting idea, but:

1. I'm not sure this 'visual-recognition-and-closed-caption-imposing' software exists at the moment.

2. If someone were to write one, it'd have to work at an acceptable speed (bearing in mind that in something text-heavy, you'd need to be doing a lot of recognising-and-captioning). You'd also have to teach the program to reliably respond to every conceivable situation where a line is presented.

3. It wouldn't work too well for something like a visual novel (in the old sense of the word), where the text is presented over the pictures themselves.
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  #3  
Old 2006-08-15, 17:35
Carl Carl is offline
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The computer programming skills required to achieve such a feat is significantly higher than just hacking the game normally.
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  #4  
Old 2006-08-15, 18:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl
The computer programming skills required to achieve such a feat is significantly higher than just hacking the game normally.
But just think of the possibilities! A potential academic paper published in a computer vision journal, complete with eroge pictures!
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  #5  
Old 2006-08-15, 19:13
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I would modify the method by possibly using overlays instead. It would take a hell of a lot longer having to make every text window in Photoshop or whatever but it would be the only feasible method of "fansubbing" videos of visual novels. =/ It'd be much easier just ripping the script and re-inserting into the game.

-Rai
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  #6  
Old 2006-08-16, 00:42
Carl Carl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agilis
But just think of the possibilities! A potential academic paper published in a computer vision journal, complete with eroge pictures!
It'd be worth it just for that :3
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  #7  
Old 2006-08-17, 20:45
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It's a good idea, but somehow I foresee 20 years of babelfish before it's useful at all.
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  #8  
Old 2006-08-18, 01:22
zalas zalas is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agilis
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl
The computer programming skills required to achieve such a feat is significantly higher than just hacking the game normally.
But just think of the possibilities! A potential academic paper published in a computer vision journal, complete with eroge pictures!
Be very afraid that I almost took you seriously... (I work in a computer graphics lab)
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  #9  
Old 2006-08-18, 02:22
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Haeleth Haeleth is offline
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I don't see why it shouldn't be taken seriously. There may be easier approaches in many cases, but that doesn't stop this being an interesting problem; there are non-eroge-related use cases for all the stages (subtitle recognition, subtitle removal), after all.

I can easily see a perfectly valid research project along these lines, though it would, as Talbain notes, probably have to be coupled with machine translation. :/
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  #10  
Old 2006-08-18, 04:09
Mihara Mihara is offline
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Local fansub retranslators (extensive knowledge of Japanese is quite rare here, but people make do with second-degree translations corrected with limited Japanese knowledge - translating English fansubs into Russian and tweaking them to fit what they can hear and recognise to fit the translation better) use a program (I think it's available in English, but I'd be hard pressed to remember where I got it, poke me later about it if interested) which does faster than realtime OCR of subtitles in video stream. Quite a bit faster, actually. Unfortunately it does not work on anything other than video files, but I suppose it's very much possible to do this in real time to a video stream from an external source.
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  #11  
Old 2006-08-18, 14:21
zalas zalas is offline