Suburban Boredom At It’s Finest

Such a clever Type in Motion piece and one of the more advanced ones that I’ve looked at. I’ve talked a lot about getting basic principles to work before jumping into more advanced forms of type in motion. I just love this video because it’s complicated and IT WORKS. There are tones of different typefaces, but they all have a purpose and effects although many are used for a REASON. They typefaces all mimic big box stores and familiar brand names, which is perfect for the subject matter because it’s about a couple who just go to live this boring suburban life. Letting consumerism and commercialism take over and playing off pop culture keeps the very busy video familiar and easy to follow. The viewer recognizes half the images already so we’re not processing new information. It just makes things much more interesting by using the same typefaces as the brands that he’s singing about in the music.

Adding in backgrounds can also be a BIG challenge especially working with so many styles of type and textures as you have in this video. Again, he’s done it in a very clever way. As well, he uses the background to create secondary imagery and animations turning the type on it’s own into other things such as a freeway sign rather than just free standing type. (0:09)

The Camera angles and motions are all very intuitive and work well with the beat of the music and the timing of the lyrics. Not easy to achieve. (0:06)

Two of my favourite sequences are at (0:13) and (0:21) simply because they are intuitive and the camera works at the right speed with the music to still be able to follow along. As well as the cropping and angles work really well.

The best part of the video in my opinion is the chorus, just because the animation and the type all work really well together with the timing of the music. Also the background, with the details of the coffee stain on the paper as if the husband was working away in the garage is just such a great detail. I think it’s also great that he repeats the sequence because there is a lot going on and it really let’s you appreciate all the interesting things that are happening in his video.

I just love it, possible my most favourite Type Video yet!

Shop Vac

Shop Vac

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Inglourious Basterds Kinetic Typography

Another one of my favourite Kinetic Typography Videos. I really love the aesthetic of this video. It suites the subject matter. I also love the style of illustration, type and colour palet, all these elements are superb in this video. The illustration is used sparingly, and it’s placed only in sequences that enhance the type.

One of the strongest elements of this video is the timing to the sound. It is right on key with the type and animation movement. The camera angles are also done exceptionally well in 3D space(0:16) and the camera movements including the panning make the story stronger. It’s not overkill however, things are only placed in 3D space and in motion if it makes sense with the story line.

I also love the extreme cropping of the typography, it’s commanding like the speech and it really is done just the right amount.I like that the designer is not afraid to push the boundaries of the screen (0:38). After all the subject matter is all about pushing boundaries and doing something incredibly fearless and unconventional. There are parts that the type moves fairly fast because of the pace of the speech, so without sound, it may be difficult, but with the sound, you can follow it quite well.

The planes is also something that I haven’t noticed as much in other kinetic type videos, but this one does some really interesting things with the maps and playing on depth of field using planes in his animation window. It really effective for giving the illusion that the viewer is moving with the troops through the story on their journey. It’s really brilliant (0:42).

Inglorious Basterds Kinetic Typography

Inglorious Basterds Kinetic Typography

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Dark Knight Kinetic Typography

Another interesting video from my kinetic type adventure journey. Again this video does not have a lot going on, similar to the simplistic IKEA video style that I blogged about earlier. However, starting out, I think that’s a good thing. I really want to drill down on learning good basic type in motion (kinetic type) skills; timing, kerning, leading, movement, legibility. Effects can be great but first I want to make sure the foundation is solid before I go effect crazy.

The Dark Knight Kinetic Type video does some things that I like really well. First, they don’t overkill the effects, when effects are used it makes sense with the story and what the actors are actually saying. The effects aren’t thrown in for effects sake. The transition between Dynamite, Gun Powder and Gasoline (starting at 0:07) is so simple yet intelligent use of an effect. The way the first two words transition with the dynamite effect just makes sense, simple yet incredibly effective. They designer just leads the eye through the speech very naturally.

The transitions using effects, where there are pauses in speech are done particularly well, also especially (0:16). Also check out the line at (0:29) again, simple yet super effective. I think this designer has taken some lessons from Saul Bass in simplicity. Enjoy!

Dark Knight Kinetic Typography

Dark Knight Kinetic Typography

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Simple Kinetic Type for a Newbie

Starting out with simply type sometimes can be a lot harder than if you have images to work with. They say a blank canvas is a designers worst nightmare…but last week it was my blank After Effects screen! But after some deep breaths and some chocolate, I went to YouTube for inspiration (good old YouTube) and I found this video by Peter Varadi called IKEA. It was his first Kinetic Type project as well, and I think because he kept to basics, it was a success. It worked with the music, timing was good and he played with certain words but just kept it simple for his first try.

It’s really just type and colours, but it was a really great reference for me starting out. I look at some much more complicated videos which I’ll talk about for other reasons because they were AMAZING, but I wanted to start here, because getting back to basics, really helps the task to be less daunting.

I found that by concentrating on simple letterforms and colour really helped me to start my project and bring out the main elements even just picking a typeface that works well with my subject. Then once you get comfortable with the key elements, you can turn to more advanced layouts and movements. If you don’t have the basics down, the entire project can become a bit of a disaster because there’s just too much choice out there!

So thanks Peter Varadi,for helping me to keep calm, carry on…and to focus on first things first. Enjoy the video!

IKEA by Peter Varadi

IKEA by Peter Varadi

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A Simple Lesson From Saul

I can’t have a blog that heavily focuses on motion graphics and kinetic type without paying tribute to arguably one of the best motion graphic and film designers of all time Saul Bass. Saul’s early film titles were major markers of modernity. He was one of the key designers that brought Abstract Expressionism to the forefront and to such a wide audience because it was done through films. The thing that is so striking about Saul’s work is that it is wonderfully simplistic yet extremely innovative. Even non designers and film makers of later generations are familiar with his movie titles. His work proves that the only form of TRUE sustainable design is well thought out, long-lasting design.

To take a brief overview of a few of Saul’s major titles, allows us to see why he was a “god.” It’s a reminder, and example to show that with all the great technology out there, great creation comes back to basics. Technology should only be used to assist in a design, it shouldn’t ever lead it. I’m only going to quickly discuss my favourite, but I’ve included other images for your viewing pleasure.

Anatomy of a Murder
The title sequence is one of Saul’s most simple and most successful. It seems almost too effortless between the integration of text, image and sound. Again, it comes back to simplistic strong ideas. They symbol for the film forms and falls apart in synchronization with the music, while the bold white credits over the black fragments add another layer of contrast. Saul used the music, a contemporary jazz score, that had a staccato and fragmented style and paired it with fragmented body parts which was obviously a fitting compliment to the movie subject.

In the title, the various pieces of the segmented figure form quickly into a total configuration and then after, the arms, legs, head, body and hands pop on and off with the various credits. The sequence ends with a pair of hands wich appear quickly, jump forward and obliterate the screen to black.

Hopefully you will recognize the other titles pictured below and if not…you should check them out!

Anatomy of Murder Saul Bass

Anatomy of Murder Saul Bass

Anatomy of Murder SAUL BASS

Advise & Consent SAUL BASS

Advise & Consent SAUL BASS

Bonjour Tristesse SAUL BASS

Bonjour Tristesse SAUL BASS

The Man With The Golden Arm SAUL BASS

The Man With The Golden Arm SAUL BASS

The Frank Sinatra Show SAUL BASS

The Frank Sinatra Show SAUL BASS

Now that’s Infotainment!

As you can probably tell by now, I am really interested in online video and motion graphics. I find it such a great way to educate people. It takes the best of entertainment: television and film and marries that with education and really cool new technologies and effects. I find it so fascinating and creative all at once.

One of the first ever motion graphic videos I was introduced to during my graphic design education was the story of stuff. I still think the video did such a great job of taking a very complex subject and laying it out for people step by step. Some may think it’s preachy, but I find it not too much so. I think that it does a great job of showing people from extraction through to sale, use and disposal, how ALLLLL the STUFF in our lives affects communities here and abroad. Because this topic is controversial and it also makes us question our own ethics, people don’t like to discuss it. However, this video has been watch over 2 million times on YouTube alone. So people must be listening…

The Story of Stuff Project

The Story of Stuff Project

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Interactive History

When you think about WWII, you think of long war film documentaries by Time Life and long war novels. The creative agency Secret Location, made a much more interactive way for people to understand the history of WWII. By combining, video, photographics and motion graphics, they were able to re create an online documentary that follows the Allied journey from the D-Day invasion of Normandy to the siege of Berlin.

The site is an extension to the documentary series, D-Day to Victory. The site features interviews of surviving Allied WWII veterans. Users can browse through biographies, artifacts and share their memories of war. Younger users can live through that time through the reenactments and testimonials of the veterans.

D-Day To Victory Interactive Website

D-Day To Victory Interactive Website

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