Freeze Frame Titles

The look where a shot is freeze framed and graphics build around a cut-out element isn’t new, but surprisingly this was a first for me. One of the challenges in this example was that some of the shots worked well with text, while others were less than ideal. With this type of project, if you aren’t choosing the shots for graphical treatment yourself, it’s best to work with the editor and recommend shots that work with the graphics. If that’s not possible then change the graphic style or “make” shots work, as you’ll see with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice highlights the importance of shot selection. With this shot, given the length of the film title, there is almost nowhere for it to sit comfortably without covering the talent and be out of the title safe viewing area.

If you haven’t been involved in shot selection, it pays to examine all of the shots requiring graphics before finalising the look, just in case you start with a look that works well on one or two shots but is unworkable on the rest.

A properly considered and storyboarded project wouldn’t have this issue but most of the work I do is no longer than a few days, making storyboards a luxury.  In this case only 4 of the 10 shots were troublesome so I decided to go ahead with a look where the subject remained in it’s original position, rather than repositioning once frozen.

The tools for the project included Adobe After Effects, Maxon Cinema 4D, GenArts Sapphire and Magic Bullet Mojo and Key Correct.

Discuss
  1. Tulaga
    Reply

    Nice work man! Good on ya mate!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Tulaga.

  2. Troy Pickford
    Reply

    Hi John, I just discovered your site and i’m very impressed with your work and the level of detail you provide in your descriptions is great for many of us trying to learn AE.

    It’s great that i can just turn to channel 138 to check out your work too. 🙂

    This may have been answered somewhere else on the site (haven’t had a chance to check it all out yet), do you render your comp’s in 1080p so they can be screened on the HD channels as well?

    Cheers,
    Troy.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Troy,
      Great to have you here. I work in Standard Definition. Best wishes, John.

  3. Grischa Theissen
    Reply

    Hi John!
    Just wondering: looking at the “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” it looks a bit out of title safe at the side but also towards the bottom.
    What title safe area are you guys using at foxtel. 16:9 or 4:3 and how accurate are you working with this rules?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hey Grischa, great question. I push just out of title-safe these days. 4×3 safe is becoming less and less important but Foxtel hasn’t give us the go ahead to completely ignore it yet. The ABC has been ignoring if for years! Best, John.

      • Grischa Theissen
        Reply

        Thanks for the reply.
        Same here. For Nickelodeon we push the boundaries of 4×3 title up to action but don’t really go to 16×9 title.

  4. Alex
    Reply

    Interesting post! I just recently ran into the same problem of preselected shots with too much variation for a consistent looking talent freeze and had to settle for quite a boring solution. Additionally I wasn’t allowed to position the text myself (cause the font wasn’t yet decided on) and they put text partly across the faces later (arrrgh) which looked really weird. Wish people would talk more, this could have looked really cool instead… Your half tone style looks neat by the way!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Alex, sounds like you were very limited with that project. I’m actually doing another spot for February so will look to have every shot suitable for graphic placement this time! Best, John.

  5. Telli
    Reply

    It’s a very good looking layout. The color palette for each one was based on the original grading? Was the color look kept on mind during the selection of shots?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hey Telli, Thanks, I sampled a colour from the original shot and enhanced it. There was no consideration of colour during the editing.

  6. Tobias J
    Reply

    Thanks John!
    Great stuff as always.
    curious how the halftone works out in a sd broadcast.

  7. Adeolu
    Reply

    great analysis nick, i love it. How do i add 3d animation to a video. do i import d video into c4d?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Adeolu, thanks (I’m not Nick by the way) 🙂 If you want to use your video as a guide you can import it into C4D and place it onto a plane behind your text.

  8. wetspiz
    Reply

    very nice work!!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks wetspiz.

  9. Thanu
    Reply

    Cool Tip thnx JD

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Glad you found it useful Thanu.

  10. Adeolu
    Reply

    thanks John(not Nick lol), i will try out that tip, i assume when i click the play button, the imported video should play automatically. Thnx again

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Adelou, it won’t play automatically, you need to set it up that way.

  11. NB
    Reply

    Thanks john.
    Did you make the pop art look in photoshop or in AE? if AE how?

    Thank you
    NB

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi NB, that look was created using GenArts effects in After Effects. Best, John.

  12. jose
    Reply

    Hi john, well…very, very nice like usual. You are the master of motion graphics no doubt.
    I ´m sory but i need to sak you something. I ´m locking for one of those boxing breakdown or tutorial, i ´m not sure, that you used a fire of action essencials pack. Can you tell where is it?

    Thank you for teaching us so much.
    I ´m sory for my english.

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>