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"Call the Midwife" opening credits - how can I create something similar?

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Sean Bailey
"Call the Midwife" opening credits - how can I create something similar?
on Sep 5, 2013 at 8:18:18 pm

Hello! I've found Creative Cow to be incredibly helpful, but this is my first post.

I am working on a project in After Effects CS6, and I've been asked to build something similar to the opening credits for "Call the Midwife", linked below:







In particular, I've been asked to use handwritten text (scanned in & currently saved as .png files with alpha channels) to transition to the next picture in the sequence. There are two pictures total I'll be using. So, the order will be:

Handwritten text, piled-text transition to first picture, piled-text transition to final picture.

I haven't been able to wrap my brain around a simple way to pull off the text transitions. Can anyone offer their thoughts or insight into how to recreate these credits? Also, would it be better to use a text layer in After Effects, rather than scanned-in handwriting?


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Jason Jantzen
Re: "Call the Midwife" opening credits - how can I create something similar?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 2:24:45 pm

I think the way I'd go about it would be the scanned text approach. I'd take each image that I need to transition to and arrange my scanned text in After Effects over the image in the shapes of the darkest parts of the image since that appears to be where the text fades to. Separate the various scanned type layers in z space while you arrange the text layers. Then it looks like you just fade the opacity up randomly until all your scanned text is fully opaque. About the point where the text starts to get really dark and fill the screen you'd fade in your first image. Then to transition to the next image it looks like you need to adjust the position of various scanned text layers to match the dark areas of the next image.

It's a pretty basic approach, nothing too complex. Focus on scanned text layers distribured in z space to match the dark areas of each image you're transitioning to. You'll naturally have motion with the text layers after the first image, so you'd need to give the first batch of text a movement to keep that look consistent.

Hope this helps!

Oh, and I learned yesterday that when you scan your stuff in Acrobat using the grayscale setting, it will create a PDF with just the darks on the page and make a transparent image automatically for you. That might save a lot of time scanning in the text.

Jason Jantzen
vimeo.com/jasonj


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Sean Bailey
Re: "Call the Midwife" opening credits - how can I create something similar?
on Sep 8, 2013 at 8:19:27 pm

Thank you, Jason! I haven't made significant progress on the project yet, but it seems like your advice is taking me in the right direction.


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John Cuevas
Re: "Call the Midwife" opening credits - how can I create something similar?
on Sep 8, 2013 at 12:16:04 pm

there was a little discussion of it in this thread: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/1038164

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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