Chapter 14. Creating Titles, Static and Animated

In this chapter

Creating Static Titles
Animating a Title in After Effects
Creating Scrolling or Crawling Titles in Final Cut Pro
Adding Still Images to Your Titles

There’s an episode of The Brady Bunch where the kids make a short film reenacting the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth Rock. To create the title and credits, they draw on sheets of paper in Magic Marker and then hold each sheet in front of the camera. I saw the episode when I was in perhaps first or second grade and remember thinking the technique was very inventive—why use simple unadorned text when you can draw? As the years have gone by, my aesthetic approach has matured, at least to a certain extent. I no longer think of Bobby and Jan as cinematic innovators, but I still believe that going beyond simple white text on a black background (the default option of many title creation programs) can really benefit your work.

Good titles and credits tell the audience that you care about every detail in your film. A well-designed title sequence engages your audience the moment it appears on screen, and it allows you to set the tone for your viewer’s experience. Today’s digital editing systems offer fantastic title creation tools, and when you combine them with image-editing programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop, they offer tremendous possibilities to you as a filmmaker. Whether you’re making a straightforward documentary or the next Star Wars (which has what may easily be ...

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