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lowerthirds animation

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Robert Moixlowerthirds animation
by on Sep 1, 2009 at 9:56:58 am


I edit mountain bike videos and I need to generate some kind of animated lowerthird in order to put the rider's name as well as the final riders classification.

I'm looking for this type of effect:

I have basic knowledge of after effects but this effect seems rather complex. I would like to do an AE composition immitating that effect. Do you think it is possible? Any ideas on how to begin?

Any ideas or tips will be welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: lowerthirds animation
by on Sep 1, 2009 at 1:17:55 pm

Hi Robert -

While the art of creating animated lower thirds may seem like a complicated process, it's simply a matter of creating a looping animation, and then designing the still pieces that it fits within.

As to loops, if you have an animated image you want to loop, you need to create what's called a dissolve loop - the image doesn't really loop seamlessly, so you split it in the middle, swap it end for end (so the end of the animation then loops), then put a dissolve between the parts that don't loop (where the cut is).

I generally design my lower third elements in Photoshop, then bring it all together in AE. Bear in mind title and action safe, and whether your comp is HD or SD. If you look at something such as the lower thirds on the ABC Nightly News, notice as you switch your tv between cropped and full HD views, that they've designed for both SD and HD; the main body of the text falls in the SD view, while the design ramps off into the HD space. I'm sure this will change as more and more sets become HD, but they're covering their bases with the current design.

I couldn't navigate to the site you mentioned above, but the above information will get you there. When I'm ready to go with my design,
I output it as a Quicktime Animation with Alpha Channel (Millions of Colors plus). This gives me a file that can then be used in post, or in most any playback server. It will loop as long as needed. I usually output my lower third loops blank, and send along a reference still with the type layout I want, so the CG Ops can get it right. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia

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