Mini Breakdowns 2


For Crazy Heart the supplied key art was portrait and cropped at the sides, rendering it useless for a landscape packshot. However, the high contrast colour grade used in the key art was striking, so I replicated in that in Photoshop, using a more suitable, ungraded still.


The final packshot includes the graded shot and a stock image of timber sourced from DarkNews. The timber echos the weathered and worn nature of the lead character and compliments the high contrast grade. A Fast Blur adjustment layer, adds depth-of-field over the right shoulder, and Red Giant Software Key Correct Light Wrap and Edge Blur help integrate the talent. Key Correct is not only for preparing shots for cleaner keys, but also for creating cleaner, more believable composites of pre-matted imagery.

The timber is also used for the text and background in the super. The font is Clarendon.

World’s Greatest Dad was simple and fun. The text was laid out in 3D in After Effects, with a single letter dropping forward, reflecting the “damaged” nature of the son and the less-than-perfect relationship with his father.

I keyframed the rotation and position of the letters manually. Each letter was tweaked slightly to ensure they weren’t identical. A simple Shape Layer gradient for a floor and reflection on the text using  Video Copilot Reflect works well to give it depth. The font is Bebas Neue.

Gentlemen Broncos could have been a forgettable project but the inclusion of a few expressions really added some personality to the type animation. Gareth and I worked to together using a combination of keyframes and expressions to give the letters a natural, organic feel as they dropped into place. The bounce was created using the Decaying Bounce expression available at Motion Graphics Xchange. The strings are actually the Beam effect, linked via an expression to the Anchor Point of each letter. The font was cut from key art, so please leave a comment if you can identify it.

The Hurt Locker is a good example of taking a concept from a tutorial, in this case Andrew Kramer’s Animating a Still tutorial, and making it your own. Here team member Gareth used techniques from the tutorial to animate a key art image from the film, giving what might have been a dull flat image, depth and dimension. The font is Helvetica Neue 93 Black Extended.

The super features Video Copilot’s Action Essentials 2 dust and heat displacement created using FX Factory Heat.

  1. Jansen

    Good stuff and thank you. This is how I learn about various motion graphics tools.

  2. Darren

    keep up the good work John, it’s great to see how many tools you use that are at your disposal, like anything there are always many ways to skin a cat….poor little things.

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Darren, it’s fun to work on many short project that give me a chance to try a range of tools. Cheers, John.

  3. illd

    great work – thanks for sharing the detail of the production. Btw, I am having issues watching those movies – they are really long loading. I never had this problem before on your side…

    • John Dickinson

      Brett and I discussed this too Hussin. Thanks for your input. Best wishes, John.

  4. Kurtis Thomas

    I love how natural the text looked in the Gentleman Broncos spot when it dropped in. The extra decay touch really makes a difference!

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Kurtis. It would have been easy to have it just drop in stiffly, but a little work can give a far more pleasing result! Best, John.

  5. Phillip

    love it, defiantly can appreciate the quality for short turn around projects.

    • John Dickinson

      Thanks Phillip, it’s definitely something that you get better at the more you do. The key for me is to keep the quality high and that’s where a good supply of stock, presets, expressions and other tools that allow me to work quickly are critical. Best, John.

  6. Vikash Verma

    I am so excited to be back……. :) Thx for making ur feel gr8 again…

  7. Allah bir

    AFTER EFFECT bilmiyorum ama denicem saol john dickinson adam ol …

    Akıllı ol…

    thank you!!! …..

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