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Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant

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Herb Sevush
Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 26, 2016 at 8:41:22 pm

Ladies and gentlemen - this should not be so hard. Broadcast productions need credits which need specialized formatting which is made essential by the fact that they grow ever longer as producer's hand out credits like candy to a five year old and they always need to be corrected, at the last minute, and then once the show is sent out they need to be corrected again at least twice, if your lucky. And computers were built to take the drudgery out of repetitive tasks, like reformatting a five page long credit file because someone spelled the assistant to the assistant publicist's name wrong and oh yeah can we add the name of the payroll accountant's dog, because, well, she's so darn cute.

Well this shouldn't be so hard in a time of 4K, HDR, VR and magnetic timelines - but I'll be darned, it still is.

The requirement for a decent credit roll creator is that it has to be able to "know" the difference between the elements of a credit roll - Job title, Crew Names, Thank You's, Special Names, Special titles and the spacing between them - So that when some idiot says "can you change all the Crew Names to all caps, make the special names Blue and make the spacing between lines a little bigger - it should take you about 10 key strokes to do this, even if the credits have a thousand lines. You should be able to format in single column, with different fonts for Job Names and Crew Names, you should be able to handle double columns and you should be able to actually mix the two and go back and forth as necessary. Oh yeah and handle graphics for unions and corporate logos.

I don't need any fancy twirling animation here, I just need to handle the basic credit roll options - start, stop, feathered edge. The software has to be able to import from an .rtf file so the producer can pre-format the file in Word and get it spell checked. I'll want to add any special formatting at this stage so i can take advantage of things like "search and replace" to quickly automate this process.

I'm working with Ppro right now but don't mention it's pathetic CG or creating the tittles in Photoshop and then doing the roll in AE - that's fine if you have a 20 line credit roll but it is absurd with anything like typical broadcast credits. Graffiti stinks for credits, all the FX factory stuff is crap, I've been using a freebee called Manifesto but it can't handle double column, nor can almost anything else I can find.

The one piece of software that I know that does this properly is from a little company called CHV that made a credit roll in it's text plug-in for FCP Legend. It has a horrible GUI but it works, however it doesn't work with PPro. But it does work with Motion, but since I'm on "El-Capitan" my old Motion won't open so now I'm buying the new version just so I can buy the new version of CHV Text that I need to run with it - look it's not the money, both programs are dirt cheep - I'm willing to pay 5 times more for an elegant solution to this eternal problem, but nobody wants my money.

Time for a drink.

Have a good weekend one and all.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Noah Kadner
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 26, 2016 at 9:32:18 pm

Perhaps you should check out-

https://endcrawl.com

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Herb Sevush
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 26, 2016 at 9:37:48 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Perhaps you should check out-

https://endcrawl.com"


I know about this site - I'm guessing t's for features and probably a little expensive for our show, but I'm keeping it in mind. I shouldn't need a third party to handle this - I'm about to use some 10 year old software which, once I load it, will probably work fine.

I'm just surprised my choices are so limited for something so essential and easy for a computer to do.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 26, 2016 at 9:34:27 pm

Funny you should bring this up as I just ran into a twisted credit knot recently myself.

I was working on a small doc and after about a month hiatus from it I got together with the producers to do some notes that we just hadn't had the time to do before some screenings. One of the changes was to the credits (just removing a couple of names) and I'm like, "No problem, that should just take a second".

So I go to the end credit roll and it's an MOV. "Oh, that's right, I exported a QT from AE."

So I go to AE, click around a bit and quickly realize that the credit roll is just a single TIFF in my comp. "Oh, that's right, I made the TIFF in Photoshop, but animated it in AE."

So I go to Photoshop. I see my credits but I still get edit any of the text. "Oh, that's right. These are just TIFF 'cards' of the credits that I pieced together into one big TIFF."

The actual credits, the editable files, were created in Keynote by one of the producers.

So I open up the Keynote file, find the 'card' with names that need to be removed, remove the names, export that single card as a TIFF, bring it into PS, replace the old TIFF with the new TIFF, export out a new TIFF of the whole credit roll, bring it in AE for animation, export out a new QT, bring the new QT into PPro and.... DONE!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the type of convoluted, yet successful, workflow you end up with when under the gun.

Time for that drink now.


-Andrew


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Gregor Queck
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 26, 2016 at 10:13:30 pm

Lol:)

. . .


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Oliver Peters
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 12:06:23 am

[Herb Sevush] "but don't mention it's pathetic CG or creating the tittles in Photoshop and then doing the roll in AE - that's fine if you have a 20 line credit roll but it is absurd with anything like typical broadcast credits"

Why? I've used Photoshop numerous times for shows and features and I find it by far the easiest of all the methods. Most of the plug-ins simply bog down with lengthy credits. In Photoshop, simply build each block as a layer. Make one long document and then it's just two keyframes to animate the roll in AE or PPro.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Herb Sevush
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 2:11:14 am

[Oliver Peters] "Why? I've used Photoshop numerous times for shows and features and I find it by far the easiest of all the methods."

How easy is it for you to show the producer the difference between single and double column layouts when using Photoshop, or change the color of all the job titles without affecting the color of the names, or switch between All Caps and Uppers & Lowers for cast names only?

I get these kind of requests all the time and they should be simple to do, even on 1000 line credits. My current project has about 300 lines of credits for a :30 roll. It goes by too fast for a single column layout, which is what we normally use. I want to show the producer what it would look like in "feature" style double columns, with break outs for single columns in certain areas. I find it absurd that in this day and age I have to spend hours on something that should be near instantaneous, once you've entered the text data.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 3:58:31 am

My thoughts exactly.

I used to do credits using the Photoshop-AE method twenty years ago. So recently I offered to do end credits for a full length feature thinking, how hard can it be. There must be a software or plug-in I can buy and pronto. Since I had access to an Avid I thought I'd try NewBlue Titler Pro that's free with an Avid subscription. The demo videos show it all as possible and in real time.
But for a feature film scroll with hundreds of lines, I kept getting a beach-ball for every change. Even a small typo fix gave a beach ball for a few minutes at a time.

So, I went back to the Photoshop-AE method.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 11:34:32 am

[Herb Sevush] "I have to spend hours on something that should be near instantaneous,"

How are you billing? By the hour? ;-)

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 1:30:04 pm

[Herb Sevush] "How easy is it for you to show the producer the difference between single and double column layouts when using Photoshop, or change the color of all the job titles without affecting the color of the names, or switch between All Caps and Uppers & Lowers for cast names only?"

I understand your dilemma. In my case, though, usually those design choices are figured out ahead of time. Typically we look at existing styles and pick one to copy. Maybe temp a few blocks first to make sure we are going in the right direction. Then commit.

Features and TV shows typically have set styles that everyone follows, including which credits go at the head and which go at the end. Often I'm given the blocks already figured out in a Word doc, so more often than not, there's a lot of cutting and pasting. Honestly I have a much harder time getting the producer to wrangle all the correct names (gee, isn't that part of their job?) than it is to decide on style.

The best results are with those producers who like static credits instead of a roll. I found that Motion was a good tool to build that style of credits. Just a bunch of single cards.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Herb Sevush
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 1:44:20 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I understand your dilemma. In my case, though, usually those design choices are figured out ahead of time. Typically we look at existing styles and pick one to copy"

That's generally been my situation as well, but the reason for my rant coming now is that I have an old show with a new producer and new cast and the credits have grown exponentially while the time to display has shrunk. A credit roll is a very simple database and should be handled that way - and once the data is gathered (the hard part) and entered (the tedious part) it should be child's play to display it any way you want. The Photoshop-AE method is basically the same way things have been done since the turn of the century - and I'm talking the 20th century - and I'm just amazed that nobody wants to do this right.

The reason your still going PH-AE is not that it's the ideal, merely that it works, in comparison with all the other options.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Oliver Peters
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 2:22:00 pm

[Herb Sevush] "The reason your still going PH-AE is not that it's the ideal, merely that it works, in comparison with all the other options."

That's absolutely true. What I have generally found is that all the various template driven methods are just that - templates. When you try to vary the format, they fall short. Thus the fallback. Not to mention that performance with Ph/AE blows away any and all plug-ins and built-in text tools.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 5:40:21 pm
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Aug 27, 2016 at 5:40:50 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I found that Motion was a good tool to build that style of credits. Just a bunch of single cards."

Motion will in fact also do all of the above for a scrolling credits as well. Even add drop zones for graphics that scroll along with the text for populating in FCP later if you need them, change tabs, formatting, speed, color, all inline of course and in realtime, with or without flicker reduction, make the text 3D :-P… etc. etc. etc.

But… oh well.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 6:00:17 am

If you have CC I'm wondering if InDesign would be interesting to try for building a credit roll.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Misha Aranyshev
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Sep 1, 2016 at 2:16:41 am

Yes. InDesign has styles so "can you change all the Crew Names to all caps, make the special names Blue and make the spacing between lines a little bigger" should be possible with some twiddling of styles. The only problem is the initial setup of a document's vertical size.


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Warren Eig
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 27, 2016 at 6:02:22 pm

If you know AE and Illustrator, this is all you need for credits. Illustrator is one of the best text handlers out there. And it continuously rasterizes in the AE comp.

I make a very long document in Illustrator using an HD or 2K or 4K template for width. I set up all the type/text for the credits in a Word doc with the spacing in the center (left right center column justified) as is the norm.

Illustrator can import and place a word doc. I then adjust fonts, size etc. in Illustrator.

Now I bring the Illustrator file into AE, animate to my hearts content and voila! And if there are changes, I just use the edit original command in AE, make the changes in Illustrator and Ta Da! This is for the credit roll.

I do the same thing for static and single card titles.

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


email: info@babyboompictures.com
website: http://www.BabyBoomPictures.com



For Camera Accessories - Monitors and Batteries
website: http://www.EigRig.com



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Scott Witthaus
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 28, 2016 at 12:55:59 pm

Is it just me (and I don't have to do credits for commercial and short form marketing work) that feels it's kind of crazy to have to use 3 different software packages to do credits? Or is that normal for long-form, even in Avid world?

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Herb Sevush
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 28, 2016 at 2:14:59 pm

[Scott Witthaus] "Is it just me ... that feels it's kind of crazy to have to use 3 different software packages to do credits?"

It's not just you and that was the point of my rant. This should not be that hard and yet it is.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Mark Suszko
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 28, 2016 at 8:29:39 pm

I used to sometimes use some teleprompter software to create credit rolls, and it was wicked smooth and fast to do.


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nick ring
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Sep 2, 2016 at 6:50:16 pm

sub-rant: Telepromoter software is the bane of my existence. Is there Mac-based teleprompter software that you actually like?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Sep 2, 2016 at 10:31:03 pm

Back in the day it was Prompt Dog and prompt puppy, but I haven't looked at the newest stuff in a while.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Sep 3, 2016 at 8:07:47 am

[nick ring] "Is there Mac-based teleprompter software that you actually like?"

I use "Telepromt+ 3" for iPhone, iPad and Watch. Brilliantly perfect solution. For me.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Bob Woodhead
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Sep 5, 2016 at 12:44:30 pm

[nick ring] "sub-rant: Telepromoter software is the bane of my existence. Is there Mac-based teleprompter software that you actually like?"

On the Mac, ProPrompter. Smooth as buttah when scrolling. My biggest beef with prompting apps is smooth speed changes. I don't want any bumps to distract the talent from the words, as usually my talent... isn't... they're C-suite execs. Then there are some apps that can't even scroll smoothly - those just go right in the trash. Note: ProPrompter released version 5 some time back, and it was a horrible update to the supremely excellent, stick-a-fork-in-it done version 4.0.3. So I simply stick with 4.0.3. No idea if the devs "fixed" 5.x/6.x, as I'm totally happy w/ 4.0.3, so keep that in mind when testing/buying. They'll send you 4.0.3 if needed (that's what I insisted, lol).

On iOS, the app to use is iQue. This is our new go-to, as the screen is a glass-mirrored iPad, controlled remotely via iPhone. The key here is to use dual-screen output from the iPad; the Ipad screen for the talent, and Lightning->HDMI to an external monitor (TVLogic, SmallHD, etc) for operator view. Otherwise the operator needs to stand almost shoulder to shoulder with talent in order to see the screen. Awkward. iQue remote control is smooth and pretty fast to navigate (of course not as fast as a laptop). Editing text... meh... maybe better if you controlled with another iPad instead of an iPhone.

I feel your pain on prompter software, I'm pretty demanding on it, and the stuff above should make your headache go away.

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
CMX-Quantel-Avid-Premiere-FCPX-AFX-Crayola
"What a long strange trip it's been...."


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Brett Sherman
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Sep 6, 2016 at 8:16:36 pm

Script-Q works for us. Not terribly sophisticated, but works.

--------------------------
Brett Sherman
One Man Band (If it's video related I'll do it!)
I work for an institution that probably does not want to be associated with my babblings here.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 29, 2016 at 5:54:53 am

I concur. I use Illustrator every time and have for 15 years. I just ask for a left justified text file from the producers and paste that into Illustrator. The first step is to set up 2 tabs for your centerline and then format using fonts of choice. Even plopping in things like the Red logo, SAG logo etc is super easy. Then I just kick out a .png if going to FCPX or Premiere or import the file into AE like you said - set 2 keyframes and done.

The only issue I have is if whoever does the credit list decides to "help" out by trying to format in Word or whatever. Bad move and all the formatting has to be stripped out before I align everything.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Brett Sherman
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 29, 2016 at 11:40:14 pm

Whenever I need some sort of automation I check AEscripts.com

Here is one for credits:
http://aescripts.com/credits-are-due/

--------------------------
Brett Sherman
One Man Band (If it's video related I'll do it!)
I work for an institution that probably does not want to be associated with my babblings here.


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Robin S. Kurz
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 30, 2016 at 7:57:20 am
Last Edited By Robin S. Kurz on Aug 30, 2016 at 9:22:06 am

[Lance Bachelder] "The only issue I have is if whoever does the credit list decides to "help" out by trying to format in Word or whatever. Bad move and all the formatting has to be stripped out before I align everything."

Something I also don't have to watch for with Motion either btw. Quite the opposite in fact. If it's coming from elsewhere I actually tell whoever is doing it to give it to me pre-formatted the exact way they imagine it. I simply copy/paste and everything from font to formatting is retained. I normally just have to scale up the font size. Done. Probably saves me two to three (with some clients presumably even more) correction cycles!

And if you don't want (or don't know how) to fiddle in the aforementioned drop zones for optionally adding graphics yourself, there's always "RT Text Scroll" from Ripple in their "Tools II" plugin.

(At 2:10)






- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


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Herb Sevush
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Aug 30, 2016 at 10:52:23 pm

As always, it's interesting to see what other editors are interested in and what they need. I can now see why there is such a dearth of sophisticated Credit Roll software - nobody seems to want it but me.

Many here talk about building a graphic in Photoshop, AE or Motion and then using basic keyframe animation. This works perfectly as long as you don't mind manually changing the color on 300 separate lines of Role Names when your client decides that he wants the roles to be in yellow and the names to be in white - yes, that's better, but can you make the yellow a little more orange, that's nice but can we make the names larger and change the roles to all caps - I just showed it to the Exec and we would like to see it in double columns, except for the Producer credits at the end, which we want centered but bigger - I just spoke to the AP and can you have the double columns be centered instead of flush and can we go back to all white ...?

It might just be my Karma, but clients who send me formatted credit text usually want changes once they see it as a roll, often because there are too many credits and not enough time and once they see the strobing, or the motion blur to prevent the strobing, all the original formatting goes out the window.

I've looked at both AE scripts and Ripple tools and neither works for me - so I've gone back to CHV text tool which I can use as a Motion plug-in. It's UI must be over 10 years old and it isn't quite as flexible as I would like but it comes close - 9 different layouts that can be intermixed, each layout assigned by adding an embedded code in your text document that allows you to differentiate the different parts of your credits so that you can change the "roles" without affecting the "names." It can handle up to 9 logos in the roll. Using word to do global search and replace based on looking for carriage returns makes locating and embedding the various codes much faster than anything you can do in AE, Photoshop, or Motion. Once the codes are embedded it's child's play in a Word doc to change them around, and even easier to alter font, color and positioning within Motion.

I guess it's back to the future.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Tangier Clarke
Re: Credits are the bane of my existence - OT rant
on Sep 23, 2016 at 9:39:55 pm

A trick I created years ago from the headache of doing credit scrolls yet making sure that several people (producers and editors) have access to the credits file on a shared network drive or server:

  • Create a Text Edit document in custom HD size and length as needed.
  • Type credits in with the size font you want, formatting and all. Editors, producers, or anyone else can contribute which is great because the non-editing staff that have credits information will not have FCP X or Motion
  • Export the document as PDF (or PDF-X)
  • Import the document into FCP X (or Motion if you prefer)
  • Apply an invert filter to make the white background black and black text white
  • Apply 0.2 Gaussian blur (if needed)
  • Create your start and end scroll keyframes


Done

Duplicate text edit file for next project. Remove credits, change doc length. What nice is the original credits stay in a basic text document format that many computer apps can open, various people can access and is not walled off by Motion and or FCP X.


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