Author Topic: Riff Submission Excel files  (Read 2397 times)

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Offline thesciphishow

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Riff Submission Excel files
« on: August 09, 2008, 02:31:35 AM »
Hi everybody,

I noticed people like to accept riffs in an excel file format. Seems like a good idea to me. And I noticed the Quip Trax guys like to use SSA subtitles for actually recording their riffs.

Seeing as I am working on my own riff at the moment, does anybody have pointers to good standard sorts of excel files for making riffs in ? And are you any good at making up those sorts of forms in excel for selecting different values and things like that ?

I ask because I _really suck_ at that sort of thing in excel. I don't really know how to use it.

However, I do know how to program in python and I am pretty good at the whole "read a csv and convert to something else" task, and the SSA format is straightforward enough to understand and write. So would anybody be up for helping me with the excel end of the task ? I can do the CSV to SSA end of the task easily enough.

Jason


Offline Chaos

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 06:38:26 AM »
Well, I'm the one who originally designed the Excel template for writing scripts. It's pretty straightforward, and as far as I'm concerned you're welcome to use it for your own purposes. I know a couple of the other fan groups do. You can find it on our website under "Join the Mob."

As far as what happens with those scripts on the backend to compile them together and turn it into a performance script, that is completely proprietary and I don't share my code with others (not even Chris - I'd be out of a job if he could do what I can! ;)). I'm sure you could go through the scripts and compile them by hand with the jokes you want to use, we just don't do it that way ourselves because designing an automatic process makes it much easier on the performers, and let's them focus on what's important (finding and writing the best jokes, and performing them when the time comes).
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Offline Tripe

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 07:24:00 AM »
I also have a link to the Riff Raff Theater submission form in the index :)


Offline thesciphishow

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2008, 04:25:13 PM »
Well, I'm the one who originally designed the Excel template for writing scripts. It's pretty straightforward, and as far as I'm concerned you're welcome to use it for your own purposes. I know a couple of the other fan groups do. You can find it on our website under "Join the Mob."
Thanks. Although to make it do what I need, it would need to be modified a bit. But still, it is likely to be a good place to start :) Thanks.

Quote
As far as what happens with those scripts on the backend to compile them together and turn it into a performance script, that is completely proprietary and I don't share my code with others (not even Chris - I'd be out of a job if he could do what I can! ;)). I'm sure you could go through the scripts and compile them by hand with the jokes you want to use, we just don't do it that way ourselves because designing an automatic process makes it much easier on the performers, and let's them focus on what's important (finding and writing the best jokes, and performing them when the time comes).
Oh I agree with you. I figured it would be good to be able to automatically take a script file like that and turn it into a set of colour coded SSA subtitles to make the actual performance easy. The SSA format apparently even has a karaoke feature in it.

Do you already do something like that ? If so, then cool, if not, would you be interested in a partnership to do something like that ? As I said, I can do the CSV to SSA part of the work easily enough :)

Jason


Offline Chaos

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2008, 07:15:54 PM »
Right now, the only thing we do with the DVD is add a timestamp to it, for both writing and performing... it helps keep the performers on queue. We don't put the lines up on screen because 1) we do the show live, and 2) I personally think it's a bit silly. I know that some groups do this, but it's just not for us. I could do, but we don't right now.

We do use a color coded script though, so the performers know at a glance which lines are theirs.
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Offline Asbestos Bill

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2008, 09:10:21 PM »
Your users would either a riff-maker who wants to accept Excel-made riff submissions and turn them into an SSA file or a riff-submitter who knows Sub Station but not Excel. I don't know how many people fit those descriptions...  I think we and RoninFox are the only ones that use SSA. to produce...and I'm not sure about RoninFox.


Offline thesciphishow

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2008, 01:24:14 AM »
I intend to use it to produce as well, so i'll also be a customer ;)

I was mainly looking to see if others would be interested in such an item..

Jason


Offline RoninFox

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2008, 01:38:16 AM »
Your users would either a riff-maker who wants to accept Excel-made riff submissions and turn them into an SSA file or a riff-submitter who knows Sub Station but not Excel. I don't know how many people fit those descriptions...  I think we and RoninFox are the only ones that use SSA. to produce...and I'm not sure about RoninFox.

I've used SSA for the two Nightmare riffs and I've gotten to like it.  So far it means I type my riffs directly into SSA and have to retype riffs from anyone else submitting to it, but its a small price to pay for how well suited the program is to the recording process.
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Offline thesciphishow

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2008, 03:40:58 PM »
Hi Ronin,

Does this mean you would be interested in something that let you go from CSV to SSA directly ?

Seeing as you can export from excel into CSV easily enough.

Jason


Offline RoninFox

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2008, 03:46:27 PM »
It would definitely be a useful time saver.
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Offline Chaos

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2008, 09:18:15 PM »
I may be ignorant on this, as I don't work extensively with SSA, but isn't SSA ultimately a plain text format? i.e. if you open it in notepad instead of your subtitle or authoring program, you can still read it properly?

If that's the case, there's no need to even go from standard Excel format to CSV and then convert that to SSA... you can just write a script in Excel to directly save a file in plain text that would be named .ssa, or display the text on your screen in the Excel window that you could copy and paste into Notepad and save as .ssa. All you'd have to do is make a looping script in Excel to duplicate whatever format the .ssa text is in.

That's what I did for the .srt files. It took me less than 5 minutes to figure out how to get Excel to match the formatting of a standard .srt file...
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Offline thesciphishow

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2008, 12:17:34 AM »
It depends what you mean by "plain text format". It is just a big ASCII encoded file, but I wouldn't want to be trying to edit one by hand.

Jason


Offline Asbestos Bill

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2008, 07:56:59 AM »
It is a plain text format.


Offline Chaos

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Re: Riff Submission Excel files
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2008, 10:11:39 AM »
In that case, if someone wants to send me an example .ssa file I can probably whip up a fairly simple script to convert the standard Riff Raff Theater template Excel file into an .ssa subtitle file. i.e., you put your whole script into the Excel template, push a button, and it generates a subtitle file.

I can't promise it will happen soon, because I'm very busy, but I'm going to be rewriting our backend script files in the next month or so anyway, and I'm willing to bet that Chris would at least be willing to TRY having the script on screen for recording sessions (I'm picturing him doing the snoopy dance of joy right now).
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