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#1 Jari Hakli

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:53 AM

Hello!

I find it very beatiful these old movie titles they did in the good ol´ days. How are they done?

I´m thinking mainly on titles on the MOVING picture. Did they hold up some transparant material where they designed/wrote the title or? If that´s the case you should see when they insert and remove it.

As I see it there are two kinds. One where the title is done/designed on paper and then filmed. Then the other where the title is on the screen while the movie rolls.

Then there are surely other ways also.

Do you guys have any more info on this matter?

Examples:

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Edited by Jari Hakli, 16 August 2009 - 10:56 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:51 AM

This is basic hold-out matte optical printer compositing -- you make an interpositive of the background plate (because it's usually shot on negative stock) and also an interpositive of the artwork titles against black (because they are also shot on negative stock)... and you have to create negative and positive hold-out mattes so that you can print the foreground titles over the background plate with no transparency.

So you need one hi-con hold-out matte with the black letters on a clear piece of film and another with clear letters on a black piece of film.

You load the positive background element into the optical printer with the clear film w/ black letters bipacked in front of that and you rephotograph that onto an internegative but do not develop it. Now you have the background exposed onto a new negative but no exposure where the black letters blocked the light. You rewind the negative and now you load the positive title artwork into the printer with the second hold-out matte with a black background and clear letters in front (or if the artwork was created with a black background, you can skip this hold-out matte since the black areas won't expose onto the new negative -- unless you want a drop shadow.)

You now re-expose the internegative with the title artwork, which exposes the letters into the held-out black lettered area on the background element, then you develop this negative which now has titles over the background.

One thing to mention is that often the hold-out matte bi-packed in front of the background element to create the black unexposed lettered areas includes extra area besides the letters to create the "drop shadow" effect, the black edge on one side of the letters. Imagine artwork with the black letters sort of doubled-over each other put offset and shifted so that when you expose the positive letters over that black hole, you have a black shadow effect on one edge of the letters. This is most obvious in the "Old Yeller" and "The Tall T" examples but even the "Traffic" titles are using a hold-out matte, just without a drop shadow effect.

"The End" example though looks like a straight "burn-in" -- i.e. the letters are white so just expose over the background and don't need a hold-out matte, though that usually helps still because burning in white lettering without a hold-out matte and drop-shadow often makes them look a bit weak and undramatic. You notice that the white letters do not really pop-out from the background but almost blend in because of the lack of a drop-shadow and hold-out matte. They look more like white subtitles.

"Reckless" is just photographed artwork, unless the titles appear and change in front of the same background.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:10 PM

http://www.geocities...omp_effect.html
http://homepage.mac....irsts_comp.html
http://davidstipes.c.../comment-page-1
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Drop_shadow
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#4 Jari Hakli

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:41 PM

http://www.geocities...omp_effect.html
http://homepage.mac....irsts_comp.html
http://davidstipes.c.../comment-page-1
http://en.wikipedia....iki/Drop_shadow


Thanks David!!

What a huge work with all the matte layers to get these effects! I am looking into After Effects right now and this is exactly what the program does without having to make covering matted footage. so this gave me an insight also in more detail how that program works. It is same as with Photoshop also doing mask layers. Masking out what you don´t want and replacing. What a wonderful idea and trick. And the results are good.

I read about the star Wars production, how they had hundreds of these "Travelling mattes" to create the special effects. What a work!

Man, the possibilities are endless with this technique. You can create whatever your imagination have in store.
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#5 Mark Dunn

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:31 PM

Think about '2001', then- no travelling mattes, all hand-drawn frame-by-frame, each element exposed separately on the same roll, no compositing.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:41 AM

Think about '2001', then- no travelling mattes, all hand-drawn frame-by-frame, each element exposed separately on the same roll, no compositing.


Not entirely true, there was some compositing using YCM's, but there was also a lot of in-camera double-exposures and also simple Oxberry still photo animation.
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#7 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:39 PM

"Reckless" is just photographed artwork, unless the titles appear and change in front of the same background.


Usually in those type of titles the background stays the same while the title cards change.

Stills I've seen show the titles painted on glass or 3 dimensional letters glued on glass and placed on an easal in front of the backgound.

Horror and mystery films would sometimes have "spooky" transitions between the title cards;
things like ripple dissolves or the letters melting away.
Those would have to composited on an optical printer.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Technodolly

Visual Products

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

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