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Concepts for involved title sequences

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Danielle MasekConcepts for involved title sequences
by on Nov 4, 2011 at 8:02:53 pm

I know this is probably a common reference, but I was looking at horror titles, and for instance--for the beloved Seven, I'm wondering how K. Cooper came up w/the little intricacies in between and over the various footage. I even have the storyboard, which shows basically the story he's telling with John Doe, but nothing about the grittiness and how it would be applied and where. I can't even begin to know how to storyboard so many intricacies.

So as you're coming up with a concept, story, and mood--or even if you already KNOW these things, how do you know which types of effects to apply? I'm not necessarily asking a tech-related question, more of a creative vision question. Like for instance..."ok, here I want text to jump and blur 5 times, then overlap this text in the Screen color mode," etc... And that would take up maybe 15 frames. Still 29.5 seconds to go.....!

Do you really know that in advance or just by playing around? I have an idea of a look I want but being new (well, I've used AE in 2003-2005) I don't know all the design elements that can be used to get my ideas across. I feel like I need to study more closely (eg frame by frame) what the artist did and why it fits. I've looked at many examples and interviews.

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Concepts for involved title sequences
by on Nov 5, 2011 at 8:37:25 am

I think it is different from one person to another- some folks have a more mathematical approach, planning things in advance to the frame, others are more intuitive and just "feel" things ans they go. In the end it comes down to your experience. There are quite a few things that I know exactly how to do them because I have done quite a few projects where I used that particular technique. Other things come from experimenting a lot.
In your situation I would say take it step by step. Start small, do a few tests, see how you can use the tools to translate on the screen the images in your head. Look for tutorials- just browse the cow, aetuts plus or videocopilot and look at anything that sparks your interest. Many times ideas will come by watching something apparently unrelated to what you want to achieve.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Danielle MasekRe: Concepts for involved title sequences
by on Nov 5, 2011 at 10:12:57 pm

Usually I end up picturing what I want (from what I know) in my head and storyboarding the general effect in words. The mood I'm after is dark, mysterious, subtle, psychological horror, a bit off/grainy but not too much. Like the hopeless feeling one gets when seeing the intro to Lost Highway, but not that look necessarily.
I've storyboarded out my main frames (18), amazingly, so I'm after trying to get the effects/mood I want onto the computer. Its a 30 second intro sequence.
I'm going to look at what you suggested. Also, what I have in my head involves some jumpy text doubling, in/out of focus text (maybe only a few letters), vignette like effect closing in on text, all the way to blacking it out, some flashing images--some grainy, some blurry silhouettes.
I'm hoping this isn't too hard. We get very little time on this. Any insight or other ideas, I'm open to.

**I look down at where you're standing
Flock of sheep all on display
With all your lies piled up around you
I can take it all away**

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Concepts for involved title sequences
by on Nov 6, 2011 at 8:39:55 pm

Two quick suggestions:
Try some of the preset animations that AE comes with. You may find that combining two or three you can get some fast and neat text animations.
The other suggestion is to animate without too much concern for timing, then precompose the animation and apply Time Remmaping on that, setting key frames at the major events in your animation. Then you can slide them around and tweak the timing at will, without loosing the quality.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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