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

Simple Yet Effective

One thing that I’ve learned about motion graphics and online animated videos in general, is that you don’t have to be an award winning artists or a master illustrator to make engaging entertaining online media. Some of the best messages and videos out there are that way because there was a clear message and a very simplistic style attached to that message to get the point across. Sometimes the simplest videos can be the most funny, thought provoking or easy on the brain. Here is one of my favourites online animated video series that are done with super simple illustrations. They are very effective without all the bells and whistles of special effects and complicated layouts and visuals. The funny narration also helps, but I think the style that goes with the funny stories is also what gives them their character.

Hope they make you laugh!

Fun simple animation of the adventures of male bonding.

Fun simple animation of the adventures of male bonding.

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