Best Techniques for Creating Unique Title Sequences

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Title sequences, whether of movies, events or TV programmes, have a story of their own. In this article we will explain the techniques which came into play when creating some great titles.

A good title sequence is a great tool for a director to share a short story, making use of the environment already established by the movie. This encourages them to come up with some really great work using their creative techniques and abstract ideas. Here we are analyzing the techniques and concepts of some quite popular pieces of modern times.

Casino Royale – Daniel Kleinman

This was designed with the aim of creating a new setting for the new bond. Introduction of Daniel Craig as the franchise’s new direction brought along many changes. A point came when too much dependence was seen on the conventions of past. Although they really appreciated the earlier works by Saul Bass and their feel of motion design, but with a contemporary and modern look.

Another reason which made this title sequence different from the earlier ones was the absence of Bond Girls, as all the attention was on displaying his masculinity. 2D styled graphics were used in 3D environment, while motion capture technology was used for creating some character scenes.

Sherlock Holmes – Danny Yount/Prologue

This one took inspiration from headlines of vintage newspapers, ink  drawings and linotype printing. The technique used was of freeze framing shots, where illustrations were introduced in layers gradually using different effects of ink bleeding.

What actually stood out about this title was its animation and keen attention to detailing, like the illustration style used on currency by taking reference for the actual film.

OFFF Barcelona 2011 Main Titles – Post Panic

The title sequence saw a new light with the coming of festivals. It also gave a better brief and more creative control to the directors. One thing which is loved by all the creative minded is the view of future. This was done incredibly well by Post Panic, while staying within a budget. This shows the heights of success you can achieve if you actually do something with passion.

Canon 5Ds were used to shot everything, while CG elements were brought in use for tracking and compositing the footage. Cinematography and editing further gave it a documentary feel, while the final piece in a way emerged as a short film.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Danny Yount

Homage is paid to Saul Bass through plenty of title sequences, in various ways. This is a fine example of adding a modern touch to his work. Taking inspiration from the detective illustrations of 1960s, Danny Yount used a palette of white, red and black, along with graphics in vector style.

A feeling full of suspense was created, which is commonly present in every good crime thriller.

Enter the Void – Tom Kan

This is better viewed and experienced rather than being told about. In this, plenty of typographic designs were created by Tom Kan while taking inspiration from movie posters. These were presented in a fast animation, with a soundtrack of LFO playing in the background. This can be easily compared to a car accident, which you know is bad but you cannot help to take a second look at it. Another thing worth appreciating about the sequence is the relaxed and slow pace of the film’s first scene.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Blur

The film focuses on conveying the dream of Lisbeth who is a hacker and is stuck in a bad dream while visualizing her subconscious. Everything is verystylised in the entire sequence, due to the presence of black inspired palette, as well as rim lighting.

A mix of various 3D software, such as 3DS Max, RealFlow and Vray were used for creating CG. Every thing is top class and shows the ambition behind production work.

Se7en – Kyle Cooper

Close up shots of live actions are used for offering an insight of what the protagonist of the film thinks while showing nothing more than their hands which are creating scrapbooks. Hand rendered typography is used, while an unpredictable and erratic feel is given to the pace by using glitchy film editing style. The inspirations for this were many, including motion design, hand made and film. For many people in the field of visual culture this sequence has become a high benchmark.

Great Expectations – NicBenns/Momoco

It is not easy to come up a prestigious title like this for some title sequence. It is clear that they have adopted the best approach by using an abstract and minimal concept. The evolution of lead characters was very beautifully signified with the birth and death of a butterfly. CG was used for creating the butterfly, while adding graphics and texture gave it a highly unique style.

Iron Man – Danny Yount/Kyle Cooper

This title sequence is a clear example of how simplicity can be beautiful. It involves Iron man suit depicted in technical designs, by using renders of CG wireframe style and neon colours. You will surely like this.

 Quantum of Solace РMK12

As the lead characters were motivated from the concept of absence of water, that is why the setting for this sequence was a desert. Relating to the earlier franchise, Casino Royale, it depicts solitude as the state in which Bond is currently in, however, a female figure is also introduced at the same time.

Daniel Craig along with girls was shot in live action, while compositing it later in a desert environment created by CG. Particular plugins and Form by Trapcode were brought in use for creating things like sand, as well as particle trail effect. In terms of technique and concept, new benchmarks were created by MK12.

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