Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NatCapVidMo Day 16: Out of Sight (With Audio Description!)

I've placed my usual embedded video with captions by Universal Subtitles above, but if you watch it, you'll notice that the only dialogue is the name "Gogo", and other than that the captions are just sound effects. Out of Sight is a beautiful short animation by Ya-Ting Yu, Ya-Hsuan Yeh, and Ling Chung, three students at the National Taiwan University of the Arts. I decided that since the captioning job was such an easy one, I should try my hand at audio description.

My audio described version can be found here. You can also paste the URL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQXD6jkv4hQ) into EasyTube, an accessible YouTube interface that allows for keyboard navigation. I've seen a few audio described videos and have read some guidelines on audio description, but this is my first time actually attempting it, so I'd be grateful for any feedback from blind or low-vision people who give it a listen. It was really fun to do, and even though I've now seen this video probably a dozen times, I'm still not sick of it. Bravo to the Taiwan University Team! For more information on the video, go to their website here.

Edited to Add: I've attached a transcript of the audio description below.


Animated footprints of a dog.

The rest of the dog is gradually sketched in, then filled with color.

The legs and feet of a little girl, Chico, holding the dog's leash and walking.

The words "out of sight" painted on a white fence.

The legs and feet of a man walking past the fence.

A sunny day. The little girl is walking her dog and smiling.

The man approaches from behind and snatches her purse.

Her dog chases after the thief, dragging Chico along.

She slams into a tall fence and the dog breaks free, running through a ragged opening in the boards.

She feels a draft coming from the opening.

She bends down and feels around the edges of the opening.

She crawls through it into a pitch dark, cave-like space.

She gropes around and finds a small twig.

A drop of water briefly illuminates the darkness as it falls into a small puddle.

She waves the twig and the window of a house emerges out of the darkness.

The twig has transformed into a magic wand with a star on the end.

She taps her head with the wand her colorful clothes transform into a black dress with a witch's hat.

She runs her fingers along the hat and smiles at her transformation.

She traces the wall with her wand, heading toward a small patch of light in the distance.

She collides with a tree and falls down.

The darkness is gone and she is in front of a blue house with yellow shutters.

She continues to walk, waving her magic wand in front of her.

Her wand taps against a metal rod with a pleasant chime.

She smiles and runs her wand along the row of metal rods, which become a metal fence as she passes by.

Birds fly up and out of view as a plain brick wall is revealed.

She pauses and taps her wand against the wall, then sniffs the air.

The blank wall becomes a bakery window with pies, cakes, and a swinging sign reading "bread".

The bakery door opens. A woman walks out and past Chico, carrying a bag filled with bread.

Chico continues walking, tapping her wand against the wall.

She sniffs again, and a woman walking past sprouts large pink flower petals that encircle her face.

As Chico inhales deeply, she begins to cough.

She's encircled by a cloud of smoke from a passing man with a pipe.

She passes an alleyway.

A beige, vaguely spherical shape is rolling around on a garbage can.

The shape jumps to the ground, rolls towards her, and transforms into a kitten.

The kitten rubs happily against Chico, who smiles.

The kitten hears Gogo's bark in the distance and runs away.

As the walks, houses and shops spring into being when she taps them with her wand.

A stork drills a manhole in the road with its beak.

A church springs up, with a bell ringing in its steeple.

Cars that look like fish swim by in shallow water, smoking pipes.

A fish bus picks up several strange, animal-headed passengers, then moves on.

Chico looks up.

A giant whale blimp with 10 rippling fins floats benignly over the city.

Chico cups her ears and enjoys the sound of the whale blimp.

Gogo runs up to Chico carrying her purse in his mouth.

She drops the magic wand and it transforms back into a twig.

She hugs Gogo and feels the purse carefully before realizing what it is.

She smiles happily and picks up Gogo's leash.

They walk off together along the bright and colorful city street.

The camera pans upward to show the contrail of a passenger jet moving through the sky.

Credits. Still sketch of the dog barking at the thief up in a tree.

Another sketch of a man coming out of the bakery while Chico's dog navigates the opening door.

A sketch of Chico squishing Gogo's face and grinning while he wags his tail.


  1. I just now discovered this A.D. video.GREAT for English Learners!!!! I am moving back to Taiwan and will be using this video in my classes. Here is an example of my using my own Audio Description for the 1st scene of Mulan, with the kids doing TPR. I am forwarding Out of Sight to AD pioneer--Joel Snyder. Perhaps you already know him? Cheers from Kevin Gaudette

  2. I'm elaborating a didactic activity related to this short animation.
    Is it okay if I use your video and transcript as a reference? I'll give you all the necessary credits!

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