Ian F. Hunt

Cinematographer and Filmmaker

By

Post Production Techniques – Motion Graphics – Phantom Film Titles

Motion Graphics


Thursday 14th April 2011 – updated 19/04/2011

How did I make it

Using the information I had gathered from experimentation and previous projects I split the runtime of the title sequence down into manageable clip lengths or scenes. This was my first use of cameras in After Effects and Motion Graphics and so I decided that at the point when the camera passes through the background image this would end the scene, so the time that the camera takes to run between the backgrounds dictated the scene length and vice-versa.

I decided that each scene would be of similar length but with room for adjustment to allow for the Text Titles to appear sequentially, roughly this worked out to be  between 8 to 12 seconds.

Storyboards & After Effects/Premiere Screen Shots

Motion Graphics using After Effects

This was my first project using After Effects in particular using cameras, lighting and 3D Layers.

3D Layers adds the extra dimension Z which creates depth to the scene, so as well as motion from left to right and up and down there’s also in and out, this was how I was going to make the title sequence. The camera would start at the zero point and then go into the scene towards the background layer which I set at 3000px or more depending on how many text titles I was going to insert into each scene or how many characters. The maximum setting I used was 8000px for one scene.

As well as using cameras I also moved characters by keying in positions animating them across and towards the camera. I did try using the Auto-Orientation settings in Layers to automatically orientate the moving characters to always face the camera as it passed them but this did not give the effect I was looking for. I like the way that when the camera passes the characters you can see that they are cut-outs only 2D.

I used the Orbital camera tool to control the cameras movement through the scene and to make sure that the camera entered and exited each scene in the right location I also keyed in movement into the background to line up doors and windows to align with the cameras position.

The opening sequence where the gate to the city raises turned out to be more involved than I first thought – I ended up making this from 3 layers, the 1st one being the actual doorway , the 2nd the gate and the 3rd the courtyard inside the gate.

In one scene I felt the need to use a Lighting effect so that the character enters the scene in silhouette and moves into the light which then follows the characters movements through the scene.

In the final scene the chandeliers Anchor point was moved to a position in the centre of the Opera House ceiling setting the point from which the chandelier pivots from side to side.

I added Brightness and Contrast adjustment so that I could individually adjust these setting for each element of the title. Again I was considering making them all appear the same as the background but later changed my mind, making the characters brighter or darker based on how they appeared on screen.

Finally I went back to the design and removed the sky I had originally designed using Fractal Noise/Clouds and replaced this with an image of a nights sky full of stars and another layer showing a full moon. I then added a rose effect to the Moon using Fractal Noise and a Tritone colour effect to make the Moon appear to be blood red with storms raging across it’s surface. I felt this effect would add to the narrative adding something menacing to the visuals.

Soundtrack

I tried several classical music tracks with the title sequence and most worked but no seemed particularly menacing which I felt was vital to the overall feel of the sequence. Fortunately one of the copyright free CDs from the library offered up an excellent ghostly soundtrack which suited the sequence ideally.

I was tempted to added maniacal laughter to the Phantom appearance on scene but I removed it as it added little to the sequence and in fact I felt ruined it.

Image Gallery

By

Post Production Techniques – ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Horror Film Titles Research

Horror Film Titles


Tuesday 12th April 2011

Hammer Horror Titles

Who can forget those Horror Film Titles, the Blood Red titles on the old Hammer Horror films. There was no other choice than to do something similar with the titles to the ‘Phantom of the Opera’. I did not want them to be exactly the same but definitely red and in that stylised font that suggests dripping blood and instantly recognised as Horror Film Titles.

[youtube.com/watch?v=WBGrqNlEPWQ]
Hammer House of Horror

I found this clip of a trailer for Dracula – watch for the titles in the middle. I also thought that it might be a good idea to use an effect to simulate dripping blood and I found several After Effects examples of doing this in particular one using ‘Time Displacement’ where the titles could be made to seemingly drip downwards. I decided not to do this in the end as to be honest I felt it looked un-professional.

Scene backgrounds and characters – Horror Film Titles

The images for the scenes I used for my sequence came from a variety of sources both from the Internet and from photographs that I scanned into Photoshop for manipulation. Adding Filter Effects and removing backgrounds etc.

The Phantom of the Opera 1925 – Horror Film Titles

[youtube.com/watch?v=rAodg8t9IJg]

This is the original film that I based my film title sequence on. As I’ve mentioned previously I was not aware of this film I had thought the only video I’d find would be footage from the stage adaptions. As you can see the only effect in this film was the de-focused opening titles the rest are just static text overlays.

By

Post Production techniques – The Taking of Pelham 123 Film Title Sequence

Post Production Techniques – Film Title Design


Tuesday 12th April 2011

[youtube.com/watch?v=phTRE1ayJxs]

Re-working the design – Post Production Techniques

This is the final version of this title sequence. In regard to my previous Blog entries I mentioned that having a meeting with Phil I would look at colour choices for my title sequence. I moved my design away form my original choice of primary colours and redesigned the sequence with a darker look using Tertiary colours ie in this case Yellow-Orange and Red-Orange in the main.

I also re-worked some of the graphics particularly the Train at the beginning which I drew in Photoshop using basic shapes (removing the shadows form the original design at Jason’s suggestion).  I’ve added in the sequence of the man firing the gun and re-worked the text changing and adding animation to interact with the trains moving across the screen.

This was my first real project using After Effects and after a very steep learning curve I gradually got to grips with the basics and started to become more comfortable with using this application.

However I initially made the mistake of trying to do the whole sequence in After Effects until I realise it was best to break down the title sequence into manageable clips which I could then edit in Premiere Pro.

Before I could finalise my design I decided to think more about the backgrounds, it would have been easy to select a contrasting solid background colour possibly Black but I decide to look more into the Background effects within After Effects and came across a couple of choices which I liked particularly as they contrasted well with the moving text helping to make the text stand out from the background and be more readable. In the end I settled on using ‘Orb’ which I then modified by using the 4-Colour Gradient settings.

Soundtrack changes – Post Production Techniques

In my original design I looked at using some of my own GarageBand tracks but although these would work I decided that I wanted to look at alternatives. Following on from an Audio tutorial with Phil I came across a CD or copyright free music on which I found an excellent track that I immediately felt would work well with my title sequence. It sounded very similar to Pixars ‘Incredibles’ title music and this worked well with the movement on the screen and so I decided to adopt this rather than continue with the GarageBand track.

Final Edit and Upload to YouTube

In the past I’ve always used the QuickTime option when encoding movie clips for uploading to YouTube but I’ve since learnt that H.264 (MP4) is one of the preferred formats for uploading onto YouTube – it also has the benefit of creating a smaller file size without a immediately noticeable loss in quality. This combination means that uploading to YouTube is much quicker and video processing times are cut.

Another thing I have noticed is that motion graphic videos seem to run smoother if you avoid Progressive and pick Upper or Lower options when encoding your video.

The default AAC format for audio seems to work as well as any other option when choosing to encode audio with you video setting set to H.264.

Conclusions

I enjoyed making this Film Title sequence especially as it gave me the opportunity to really get to grips with After Effects. I’m happy with the final result in fact it exceeds my initial expectations of what I could produce which again I attribute to my increasing ability to be able to work with After Effects and Post Production Techniques.

My initial choices of colour at the beginning of the Project were too bright and conflicting and looking at these choices again I can see that the new colours work so much better with each other. In future projects I plan to do more research into colour choices, make use of Colour Wheels and the sites that I have come across suggesting colour palette’s primarily for web design but also of use in video and in this case title designs.

I also found that the FONT choice was very important to the look of the design and I took time to get this right even down to varying the height of individual characters to create a more randomised effect and in some cases to mould the characters around the images.

Finally and as I’ve mentioned in previous Blogs I’ve decided to continue with another film title design in the time remaining allocated to this module so that I can utilise many of the Tutorials we have had in After Effects since beginning this project, I am currently working on a film title sequence for ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ film released in 1925.

By

HDR Video – Researching HDR

[youtube.com/watch?v=9EDrfNDGlko]

I also found a very useful article on Macworld which goes into how to create a Time lapse HDR Video using a DSLR and stills bracketing. Bracketing is when the camera takes a picture and then automatically takes another over and under exposed. Using software these images are combined into one giving a true HDR effect.

http://www.macworld.com/article/157197/2011/02/hdr.html

Ian’s website:

By

Short Form Video – Project Conclusion

Short Form Video

Students Short Form Video Project.

Our 2 minute edit:-


Personal 2 Minute Edit


I chose Black & White for my edit mainly for personal preferences – I like the look, but this also solves some of the problems encountered with varying lighting conditions. For example the first days filming was on a bright sunny day and the second days filming was sunny with clouds. We could have graded the film in post production but the plugins for Adobes Premiere were not available at the time.

Short Form Video – How did we get to this point?


Firstly it involved considerably more work than initially anticipated, particularly in the pre-production stages, that is planning and organisational stages of the production that are vital to any film project and should be completed before any filming begins.

Homeless Person Cycle - Wordly Goods

Homeless Persons Cycle – Worldly Goods

The first task as was to generate an overall concept for the group video,  unfortunately our individual ideas were discarded for a variety of reasons and so the group eventually came up with a group concept with the idea of videoing a day in the life of a Homeless Person.

Tony Chance our visiting Lecturer for this unit introduced us to the concept of using a mood wall, which helped us to not only come up with this idea but also initiated the thought processes that the film would work well as a dream sequence. For example we could show the Homeless Person remembering his best day while sleeping on a park bench. In the Homeless Person Best Day we would attempt to show in the video a lucky day for a Homeless Person.

Conceptually a Homeless Person idea of what is a good day for them should differ from what other people would consider to be good day. So we made sure that these good things were appropriate to the character, for example we looked at and discarded the idea of the Homeless Person winning the Lottery as this seemed unlikely and too obvious.

A list of Good things:-

  • Finding a packet of cigarettes
  • A better coat
  • Sharing a drink with his Homeless Person friends (Dropped from the final video – cast reasons)
  • Finding and enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a newspaper
  • A quiet moment feeding the birds
  • Finding a pair of glasses and enjoying a joke watching TV in a shop window
  • Enjoying a sit on the beach watching the Sun go down (Dropped as the final sequence had to fit in with a cycles wheel)

Preparation and job assignments


Unfortunately for this short form video I seemed destined from day one to be cast in the role of the Homeless Person, while initially I was hoping to be the Producer.

Michael was always going to be and was the Director and was also cast as the man on the bench drinking coffee, Alexsandra wanted to be the Assistant Director/Producer, Lee was Camera, Editor and appeared as the man on telephone, with finally Euan also on Camera and who also appeared in the film as the bucket carrier. For student filmmakers and micro or zero budget filmmakers everyone doubled or even trebled up on job roles and/or appearing in the film as main character or in lesser roles in the film.

As the short form video production commenced it seemed as if everyone (no surprise for student filmmakers) wanted to be the Director including myself and so during videoing everyone had an idea of how each scene should be set and shot. Although at times this could be very confusing it was also very creative with many of our best ideas coming from these creative discussions.

Preparation for this short form video was the key for the success of this project, for example we needed to make me look like a Homeless Person and so I sourced costume which was made even more appropriate thanks to Lee efforts with Brown Sauce, Flour and Tea/Coffee stains. Michael organised a make-up artist to do my Homeless Person make-up (Thanks to Mark). Alexsandra produced the broken glasses for the shop scene. We sourced the loan of a cycle from a fellow student thanks to Georgie and this was dressed with a variety of old cans, bottles bags of old clothes all tied onto the bike with string.

We were fortunate in that our shot lists would mainly be be in the same order as our Storyboards which negated the need to film out of sequence.

With the filming locations already identified (See previous Blog entries) we set dates for filming and arranged for the booking of the equipment we needed for the 2 days of Filming.

Filming – Day One


My first task of the day was to have the Homeless Person make-up applied.

Homeless Person on a Bench

Homeless Person on a Bench

We then loaded the cars with all the filming equipment, costume and props and then set off to our arranged meeting point in Bournemouth’s town centre car park. Euan would meet us there as he was riding the cycle we would be using in the filming as there was no room in the cars for it and all the equipment.

I got changed into costume and then the group set off to the first location which provided  our first problem of the day as it was unavailable to us. (See previous blog entries for details).

If I had to summarise Day Ones filming it would have to be a day of difficulties. We did achieve everything we had planned but obstacles had to be overcome, scenes needed modification to suit conditions and of course we couldn’t control every aspect particularly those involving members of the public and so we had to work around these as best we could. We also discovered that the camera had a fault and that we would have to switch from filming on Tape to using the digital backs. But on a very positive note when I got home that evening and captured the footage onto my PC I saw that we had some really excellent footage and we as a team had a much better understanding on how we as a Group worked together and what our individual strengths were.

Apart from one incident where I chased the Director up the road (He got away from me) as a Team we worked well together.

Day Two


Disney's Lady & the Tramp

Disney’s Lady & the Tramp

With a pre-arranged meeting point day two should have got off to an early start but we were delayed slightly by some team members arriving late and the need for another make-up session. But we soon got filming under-way and it seemed to go more smoothly than the previous days shooting mainly because we had a better understanding of how we all worked together and the alternative locations were already in place.

In summarising Day Two I’d say it went much more smoothly, everyone had a role they were comfortable with and the filming went much more to plan. At the end of the day we returned to University and dropped of the equipment with the feeling of a job well done.

Editing


I’ve completed a number of edits now (See previous Blogs), several that included the Green Screen footage which we decided to drop from the final video. A four screen montage with different start points so that all the main scenes in the film could be shown in their entirety but still stay within the 2 minute constraint. But in the end the edit that works best for me is the version above, particularly in conjunction with the music I’ve chosen.

We shot some extra footage for cutaways ie. The bird and daffodil sequences, utilising these in the edit to assist in moving from the end of one scene to the next. My idea and the most important additional footage for me was the final sequence of the £20 note caught in the spokes of the wheel as this solved the problem of ending the film on a shot of the bikes wheel. All our other ideas for this ending involved the bike falling over, the Homeless Person dying and his hand dropping in front of the wheel etc. none of which appealed or indeed made sense.

The editing process was completed using Premier Pro CS5. I used no effects or dissolves just straight cuts although I did scale a clip or 2 to fill the frame and vary the shot as after the shoot I realised most of our sequences were similar mid shots, although as planned and storyboarded but in retrospect we could have filmed more close ups.

Effects


Homeless Person with his Dog

Homeless Person with his Dog

I’ve downloaded a number of effects plug-ins which I intended to use in particular to (Red Giant – Mojo) colourise the video and make it more film like but I have not used these as of yet as they add a red cross across the final video as they are trial versions. I understand these effects are available to us in the editing suite and so I will look again at this in future projects.

Preparation

Extracted from out Teams Facebook Group where the Team swapped ideas notes, and organised Filming locations etc.

Please see lists below, without these item we CANNOT film. Therefore, please put your name next to items you have sourced & intend to supply. If there is anything I have missed please add it to the relevant list ASAP!

Prop List


  • Bicycle – IAN ( Georgie’s bike)
  • “Old” Homeless Person Clothes – IAN
  • Cardboard Boxes (flat)
  • Bags of junk (cans,paper etc) Euan (at Uni)
  • Packet of cigarettes – LEE
  • Lighter – LEE
  • Bucket – LEE
  • Sponge – LEE
  • Scarf (to dry himself) + Towel – IAN
  • “New” Coat – IAN
  • Packet of Crisps -Euan
  • Newspaper – LEE
  • Paper Cup (for coffee) – IAN
  • Watch/Mobile Phone (for time) – LEE
  • Broken Glasses – IAN
  • “Lady and the Tramp” DVD – LEE

Accessories / Sundries list


  • Camera – IAN
  • Tripod – IAN
  • DV Tapes – LEE & IAN
  • Make-up – MIKE
  • Make-up artist – MIKE
  • String
  • Change for Parking Meter – WE ALL NEED TO CONTRIBUTE THIS!!! (This didn’t happen me and Lee paid for parking)
  • Mouth Wash – IAN
  • Towel – IAN
  • Wet Wipes – IAN
  • Flip Camera (for “making-of”) – IAN

Original Cast Job Allocation List and Script


  • Michael Moore – Director & Co Editor
  • Alexsandra Leontjeva – 1st Assistant Director
  • Lee Tucker – Camera & Editor
  • Euan McQuisten – Camera & Cast?
  • Ian Hunt – Cast, Producer & Lighting

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Script so far (not finalised – add your ideas) [no zombies Euan]


Scene one

The Homeless

The Homeless

Opening shot of the Bus Stop in close up to tie in with Group 1’s final shot.

Zoom out and track to show the Bench as the :-

Homeless Person (Coughing) pushing bike enters scene from the left and parks bike alongside the Bench.

Homeless Person sits down and immediately falls asleep. Head resting on right hand.

Scene two

Dream sequence begins with a passer bye giving the Homeless Person a cup of coffee.

The Homeless Person pushing his bike finds some money which he uses to buy something to eat/drink from a street vendor.

He carries on and finds a or is given a better coat.

The birds start to sing

The Homeless Person finds a good spot on the beach sits down and warms himself in the sun and falls asleep.

As the Homeless Person eyes close his arm drops.

Scene three

Cut from dream sequence back to reality

The Homeless Person arm drops exactly in the same way as it did in the beach sequence.

A passer bye drops a coin into the Homeless Person lap

Tracking shot of the passer bye ending on the bikes wheel – zoom in to a close up of the bikes wheel.

Shot Lists


Main Shot List (1)

  1. Bus Stop (close up)
  2. Homeless Person wheels bike past bus stop (wide shot)
  3. Man standing at top of the stairs throws cigarette packet (wide shot)
  4. Cigarette packet drops in front of Homeless Person and wakes him up (mid shot)
  5. Homeless Person opens cigarette packet (close up)
  6. Homeless Person removes a cigarette and lights it  – change angle (close up)
  7. Homeless Person stands and takes puff on the cigarette (mid shot)
  8. Man carries bucket to the front of the car (wide shot)
  9. Homeless Person takes sponge from bucket and begins to wash (mid shot)
  10. Homeless Person wheels bike towards rubbish bins (wide shot)
  11. Homeless Person opens bin (mid shot)
  12. From inside bin Tramp opens bin (close up)
  13. Homeless Person removes bag from bin (wide shot)
  14. Homeless Person picks up crisp packet (close up)
  15. Homeless Person changes coat (mid shot)
  16. Man reading paper on bench (wide shot)
  17. Wrist watch (close up)
  18. Paper and coffee cup on bench (close up)
  19. Homeless Person approaches bench and sits down (wide shot)
  20. Homeless Person drinks coffee (wide shot)
  21. Homeless Person picks up paper (close up)
  22. Homeless Person wheels bike towards aviary and sits down (wide shot)
  23. Homeless Person feeding birds – change angle (mid shot)
  24. Homeless Person wheels bike to shop window (wide shot)
  25. Homeless Person picks up spectacles (close up)
  26. Homeless Person puts on glasses (mid shot)
  27. Homeless Person viewed through window (mid shot)
  28. TV picture showing Lady & the Tramp (close up)
  29. Homeless Person walks away from shop window (mid shot)

Extras and new ending – shot list (2)


  1. Rear view as Homeless Person walks towards Bus Stop (mid shot)
  2. Crisp packet drops to ground and picked up (close up)
  3. Flowers blowing in the wind (close up)
  4. £20 note stuck in bikes wheel spokes (close up)
  5. Homeless Person pulls £20 note from the wheels spokes (close up)

Cutaways additional shots etc. – shot list (3)


  1. Birds in the aviary (mid and close ups)
  2. Pavilion and fountain areas (mid and close ups)
  3. Bournemouth Lower Gardens – Plants and waterways (mids and close ups)

Storyboards


My own storyboards were as you can see basic but thanks to Lee and his Storyboards which we used to work from during the shoot. Of course these storyboards also changed as the filming progressed and ideas for new scenes developed, but we did as a group stay true to these as much as possible.

My Attempt at the Storyboards

My Attempt at the Storyboards

Final Thoughts


I really was not expecting everything to go smoothly on a Team Project I have far too much experience working on Projects to know that things can and will go wrong. A good team is one which can overcome these problems and put the time and effort into completing the project, also most importantly doing a good job, I can honestly say that we had such a team working on this project.

Each member of the group pitched their ideas to the other members of the group and to the Short Form Video Unit visiting Lecturer, Tony Chance. Although we all had good ideas as a group we were unable to pick one from the five pitched to take forward as the Short Form Video project. Therefore the final project was not from one persons idea but developed from a number of production meetings and of course became a compromise of all our ideas, which by definition rarely satisfies anyone but once decided upon the Team worked together to bring this project to fruition. Of course the original projects concept changed as the filming progressed and even when we thought we had completed we still decided to film more footage and in fact completely changed the final scene, which I personally thinks works really well.

I do also personally think that the 2 minute limit does not sit well with this film, which I feel needs a more relaxed pace, but on the whole I am very happy with the final result. One caveat though, I think the final film would be much improved by removing the majority of the sound effects with the one exception of the bird song, but again this is a personal opinion.

We had a lot of fun making this film and I think this comes down in some respects to the amount of pre production planning and the filming schedule we had in place. We had allotted sufficient time to film, which also allowed for problems to be identified and re-solved. This also gave us time for re-shoots, for exploring alternative edits and ideas.

Word count 2717

5 Minute Edit


[youtube.com/watch?v=0CX2AoHiWWk]

By

Short Form Video – Web Landing Page

From a photograph taken with my Canon EOS 60D I used Photoshop and it’s HDR effect plugin to create the image. To this I added a mix of 2 Grunge type backgrounds and some text to create a background for a Web Landing Page.

In my next post I’ll describe how to create the HTML page and then embed the YouTube video so that the Video can be played on the Film Trailer styled page rather than just providing a link to the video on YouTube.

Tramp Film - Trailer and Web Landing Page mockup

Tramp Film – Trailer and Web Landing Page mockup

By

Short Form Video – Student Filmmakers the Montage Edit Green Screen

Wednesday 16th March 2011

Tramps Best Day – 2nd Edit

Following Tuesdays filming of the Tramp character sitting on the bench dozing against a Blue Screen (instead of the usual green screen) thoughts turned to how we as a group of student filmmakers were going to edit the 5 minute film sequence down to a sequence just 2 minutes long.

I wondered if it could be possible to include the entire 5 minute sequence by using split screen and dividing the footage up. By giving each partition a different start time in this way we could include the green screen, that is the green screen footage as well as the all the live footage and keep the sequence to be just 2 minutes long but all of the scenes would be on screen.

The only way to test this would be to do an edit and see how it would look. The result is below and to be honest I do not think it works but let me know what you think.
[youtube.com/watch?v=bMv-FPqH2p8]

Tramps Best Day – Test Edit 2

Tramps best Day – 3rd edit

This is my latest edit of the Tramp footage this time I’ve set myself the target of a total duration of 2 minutes and the sequence must start with an image of the Bus Stop and must end with a close up of a bikes wheel and include the green screen footage even though we were to discard this in the final edit.

Due to the benefit of having already captured my footage and previous editing attempts it was relatively simple to identify what to include and exclude from the video. In the end I removed the Aviary scene and most of the footage showing the Tramps character pushing the bike from scene to scene. By doing this I had achieved an edit of 1 minute 50 seconds which meant I could go back and look at some of the clips and see if if by adding some footage back would improve the overall composition or assist in the narrative.

Although the final video fits the brief I have to conclude that I prefer the split screen or montage of the 2nd edit.
[youtube.com/watch?v=nj8RgBmlQHc]

Tramps Best Day – 2 minute edit

My suggestion for the final sequence.

I think it would improve the final result if we considered the following:-

  1. Drop the Green Screen sequence of the Tramp day dreaming on the bench – it just does not add anything to the video.
  2. Use the Montage/Split Screen design but with a couple of changes:-
  3. First change start the video with a full screen image of the Bus Stop and then scale this down and push it into the top left region of the screen.
  4. 2nd change End the video with a full screen image of the bikes wheel by scaling up the image from the bottom right region of the screen.
  5. So the top left image runs from the start for 2 minutes and say the bottom right starts 2 minutes from the end.
  6. The other 2 regions on the screen should start from a different scene.
  7. Overall the whole footage should be shown somewhere be it in region 1,2,3 or 4.
  8. Use the soundtrack from the Montage edit – it works really well.
[youtube.com/watch?v=h8USgQIDO0g]
4 Screen Montage with Bus Stop and Wheel ending added

What do I think? well it works but it needs some finishing touches for example the scaling of the Bus Stop opening needs to be speeded up. The actual screen divides are too regular and would be improved my making none of the videos the same size. The final sequence of the cycle wheel needs to be re-shot as a new sequence with the final image showing the wheel completely and directly facing the camera full framed.

Of course these are my thoughts and the final edit will come down to what the group decides and of course the director should have the final say. Although in the real world it’s usually the Producers decision usually after test screenings in front of an invited audience.

By

Post Production Techniques – Film Title Design Part 1 Completed

Film Title Design


Wednesday 16th March 2011

Phantom of the Opera – Part 1 – Film Title Design

Referring to my previous blogs I was deciding whether to go ahead with the film title design for a additional Film Title Sequence. Influenced by the Moulin Rouge film title design I looked at attempting something along similar lines. I also remembered the Phantom of the Opera Theatre Productions had a similar theme and so I researched the YouTube for films with this title expecting to find either video of the theatre productions or the recent film by the same name, however instead I came across a 1925 film starring Lon Chaney.

I decided to use this 1925 film as the basis for a new title sequence using the techniques I’d acquired when making the Pelham 123 film titles and the titles I’ve previously identified as Paris Titles (See previous Blog entries)

[youtube.com/watch?v=n4HjjdCT7-M]
Phantom Film Titles Part 1 – Film Title Design

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three – Part 1

After a meeting with Phil I agreed to look at alternative colour schemes for this Film Title sequence as my earlier versions used some very bright primary colours which were really too strong.

In the end I decided rather than use a static solid colour for the background I would use something more dynamic and at the same time I took the opportunity to go through the whole sequence changing colours making them darker and avoid primary colours but still staying true to the characterisations in the film etc.

I also changed the main Train sequence designing my own in Photoshop keeping the design as minimal as possible (Saul Bass style).

Finally I added an adjustment filter to bring the colours down another level whilst at the same time giving the whole sequence a continuous Brightness/Contrast level.

[youtube.com/watch?v=vgooP4Tk2iY]
The Taking of Pelham 123 – Part 1

I looked at the Film Posters designed by Saul Bass and some of his own Film Title sequences for inspiration for the design of the Pelham 123 titles.

By

Short Form Video – 1st Video Editing, Rushes The Dailies

Video Editing

Tramps Best Day – 1st rough edit

[youtube.com/watch?v=ER8lvkYyIjk]

After an initial false start when one of our locations was unavailable to us on the day of filming our group worked hard to identify a substitute location in order for filming to commence. Fortunately we found one relatively close by and so filming could beging. Cast as the Tramp I was certainly not short of advice, instruction and direction as we filmed each scene in turn.

We worked from Lee’s storyboards which we tried to reproduce as closely as possible. After two days and surprisingly hard work we completed the planned  filming.

Video Editing

As custodian of the footage on Flash Drive, I set about producing a rough 1st video edit. I used Adobe Premier Pro CS5 for editing the video sequences together, I then added a copyright free soundtrack and uploaded the video to YouTube for the Group to view and disseminate. Each member of the team could then make suggestions for improvement and to ready the video for additional editing and to reduce the video run time down to the required 2 minutes.

After viewing the 1st edit we realised that we would need to go out and film some extra footage mainly closeups and cutaways.

By

Post Production Techniques – Alternate Title Sequence using AE

Wednesday 2nd March 2011
[youtube.com/watch?v=znDwBhaXnhw]

Paris Titles – experimenting with AE Cameras

Alternate Title Design

We recently had a tutorial with Jason looking at AE Cameras and Lighting and so I thought I would experiment with Cameras to see what I could do as an alternative title sequence.

Inspired by my previous use of using images taken from Google’s Street View and then adding effects to these captured images in Photoshop, I set about capturing new images from Paris Streets.

Once I had a collection of images I removed the backgrounds and used the Filter ‘Graphic Pen’ to give a sketch look to the images.

These images I saved as .PSD files which I then imported into After Effects. I decided on the sequence that the images were to appear and loaded them into the workspace in this order. I then made each Layer 3D and set the Z-axis for each so that there was a gap between each of them (Which I varied at a later stage).

I then created a New Camera and using a mixture of XYZ axis I moved the camera through the layers exposing each as the camera passed through into a new scene.

I added a few visual effects such as ‘Clouds’ and a copyright free music track to finish the short sequence off.

I’m very happy with the final result although I’d probably want to smooth out some of the camera movements, target the door openings better and remove some of the background that I missed earlier.

Updated and with Additional Characters

[youtube.com/watch?v=_7w_MwjB6F4]
Video with some characters added

I’ve spent some time cleaning up the images removing the backgrounds that I’d missed previously.

I’ve also added some characters to the scenes keying in some movements so that they move across in front of the camera as the camera moves into the next scene.

I set each character as a 3D Layer and positioned them using the Z-axis settings mid point between the background layers.

I also added an end title but this could be anything should I decide to extend the project for the full 2 minutes duration set in the brief.

I think this works really well and with the right images combined with a Film Title idea this would make an excellent alternative to what I have already designed.

%d bloggers like this: