Creative Motion Graphic Titling For Film, Video, & the Web

Book Review: Creative Motion Graphic Titling For Film, Video, & the Web

Have you ever marvelled at the opening title sequence of a film? Perhaps the now classic title sequence to the movie Se7en comes to mind? One of my particular favorites is the title sequence for Quantam of Solace. But, whatever the genre of film, the purpose of the title sequence is, of course, to introduce the audience to what they are about to see, setting the proper tone and mood. And, just what is it that makes a title sequence work as intended? This and so much more is answered in the book, Creative Motion Graphic Titling For Film, Video, & the Web.

I, myself, have more recently developed a keen interest in motion graphics and the programs that have become industry standard for this type of work, mainly Adobe's After Effects. So, when I found out about the book Creative Motion Graphic Titling, I had to give it a look. Easily one of the best books I've read thus far, Creative Motion Graphic Titling is very informative and, quite simply, a fantastic read.

Even if you do not have an interest in title design, as digital artists there is alot that can be gained from this particular book. In fact, I found this book to be quite unique, not only by its very topic, but in what it contains in support of the topic. This book is part history lesson: exploring the beginnings of typography and title design, and further, the psychology of type and color. This book is also packed with tutorials, which I'll explain in a moment. The rest of the information in this book is in the form of case studies and interviews with professionals in the industry, providing a more solid understanding of title design, and further, how to connect your work with your intended audience. History, tutorials, and real-world know-how. A wonderful combination for a book, indeed.

The tutorials in Creative Motion Graphic Titling are outstanding and show very plainly how to create effects based on many popular title sequences many know from film and television. Some examples of this are tutorials on creating a Sopranos-style wipe, the Dawn of the Dead blood-splatter type, the raining characters type in The Matrix, and creating the classic look of the sequence used in the movie Se7en. The tutorials are shown in Adobe After Effects and Apple Motion, but there are also some words on working with type in Flash, Photoshop, and Illustrator, and also on creating your own fonts. However, regardless of what programs you have in your arsenal, you are sure to learn a great deal, or perhaps even get inspired to look into other programs.

Here is a look at the chapters in Creative Motion Graphic Titling, so you have an idea of how the book is organized:

  • Title Sequences - Function with Form
  • A Brief History of Title Sequences
  • The Essentials of Typography and Time
  • Lights, Color, and Clarity - Preparing Your Titles
  • Importing Text and Other Files Into After Effects
  • Title Sequences in Production - The Camera and the Edit
  • Sound in Movie Titles
  • Essential Techniques
  • Famous Movie Title Techniques
  • Completing the Creative Process

There is a DVD that accompanies this book, which includes sample clips and project files to accompany the tutorials. There are also 3 select chapters on titling, collected from other Focal Press books as an added bonus.

The authors of Creative Motion Graphic Titling, Bill Byrne and Yael Braha, are professionals in their own right, and do a wondeful job of authoring this book. Bill Byrne is a Professor of design and animation at the Art Institute of Austin, Texas, and is also a multimedia artist and editor for film and television. Yael Braha is the Director of Motion Graphics Design Program at Ex'pression College for Digital Arts, where she teaches Title Design, Advertising, and Music Video classes.

Creative Motion Graphic Titling introduces readers to the function and form of title design, while also explaining what works, what doesn't, what to shoot for and what to avoid. In a nutshell, Creative Motion Graphic Titling is not only a great learning aid, but also a fantastic reference you'll want to have on your bookshelf. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Creative Motion Graphic Titling, whether you have an interest in title design or not. There is just so much great information in the pages within that can be applied in many areas of digital art. And honestly, I can guarantee that you will be paying a lot more attention to the opening titles of any movie you watch after reading this book.

Price: $49.95 (USD)

My sincere thanks to Focal Press for providing a review copy of Creative Motion Graphic Titling For Film, Video, & the Web. The quality and selection of books at Focal Press is outstanding and I encourage anyone to check out their website for more info on this and other titles.

Be sure to also check out other book reviews right here on Renderosity:

For those interested in Title Design, be sure to also have a look at the great site artofthetitle.com.


Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
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