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Ideas for making kinetic subtitles

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Kathryn Price
Ideas for making kinetic subtitles
on Dec 15, 2015 at 4:12:48 am

I am producing a video that uses interviews of several people from various African countries, and the client has decided that some of them need to be subtitled. Instead of slapping on a generic subtitle at the bottom of the screen, I want to stylize the text in some way...I have been searching online all night for ideas on kinetic typography/motion typography/kinetic subtitles/various other combinations of those words, but I haven't found anything that really combines live action video with typography graphics like I am imagining. I don't necessarily need the words to move, but I want them to appear in a way that is more visually compelling than typical subtitles. I also have an extremely tight deadline for this, so that's why I'm not resorting to an entire kinetic typography piece. I don't have the time for that, plus the client wants to use actual footage. Any suggestions? Ideas? Inspirations? I am editing on Avid, but I'm using After Effects for all my graphics. I would just like to see some examples of similar ideas that might help trigger my own idea. I've browsed VideoHive, Vimeo, all sorts of "Top Kinetic Typography Videos" articles, but nothing has really combined "talking head" interviews with typography. Any direction is greatly appreciated!

KP


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Ideas for making kinetic subtitles
on Dec 15, 2015 at 4:53:12 am

[Kathryn Price] " I've browsed VideoHive, Vimeo, all sorts of "Top Kinetic Typography Videos" articles, but nothing has really combined "talking head" interviews with typography. "

That's because subtitles should be easily readable. I think using kinetic typography for subtitles isn't ideal.


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Ideas for making kinetic subtitles
on Dec 15, 2015 at 2:24:52 pm

You want something relatively subtle, as like Tero says, the main thing is that you can read the text, you don't want it to either be difficult to read nor too fancy so as to take all the attention from the talking head. Also, it is probably better to do something repetitive both for ease of production as well as to keep it non-distracting. Perhaps a (subtle) lens flare wipe when the text changes is enough.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Ideas for making kinetic subtitles
on Dec 15, 2015 at 5:40:04 pm

Here's another vote for practicality over aesthetics when making subtitles. You can use a somewhat-fancier typeface, but that's as far as you should probably go.

It's an issue where you have to keep the viewer in mind. What do you want the viewer to be doing -- paying attention to the animated subtitles while ignoring the picture beneath, or reading the text quickly to pay more attention to the picture?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Ideas for making kinetic subtitles
on Dec 15, 2015 at 6:01:40 pm

Having worked in broadcast for many years (back to the 1 inch tape days), I tend to agree with Dave and Tero, although I do believe that there's room for animation of the carrier (the boxes and bars which go under the text).

I recently worked on getting the graphics department for a broadcast station set up, and the carriers did some pretty complex animations in (it has to happen quick, usually less than a second). The text, however, since it's data/information, just did simple dissolves in (about a quarter of a second, almost a soft cut) in the order of their stacking, top to bottom.

I think that's about as fancy as you want lower thirds to get. Take a look at some of the bigger broadcast and cable news organizations to see how the big guys do it. You'll find that the carrier moves can be quite complex (many of those are programmed moves in Ross or Viz), while the text moves are kept simple.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Kathryn Price
Re: Ideas for making kinetic subtitles
on Dec 15, 2015 at 7:49:59 pm

Yeah, I am not excited about having to do this, but it is per the client's request, so I'm trying to find a subtle way to make them happy while not jeopardizing the aesthetics of the piece. Trying to avoid having to roto the talking heads because, frankly, we don't have time. But it may come to that because I don't want the words taking over the frame. Thanks for the feedback! I agree, subtle is best. I think slight motion/animation will at least make it more fluid, not so harsh...like, maybe having words/phrases wipe on individually...


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