Video intro experiment - Part 1

I've had this idea in my head for a while to make an intro sequence for my production company or simply a moniker that plays before a video clip.


The idea I had was a single camera lens in the middle of the screen and we push into it while at the same time we see images and sounds appear within the lens. While some fancy smasncy fx appears around the whole thing. As the camera pulls in and gets towards the of end the track, it will zoom quickly into the lens and into black.

Well I finally got off my lazy ass and decided to give this thing a try.

I started off by getting a couple of card board boxes from the parking lot floor of my building. There's a huge bin down there, where tenants can toss empty cardboard boxes. I kinda imagined the whole thing would be done on some sort of black canvas and background of some type.

I started off by spray painting the cardboard box black and got most of the until I ran out of paint....I gotta stop tagging Catholic Churches...

I then took a black wood canvas that I had from before and set up a stage on my kitchen counter. From here I started setting up my slider. I don't have the best slider in the world. It was about $120 bucks from eBay. It's OK, but I find that it's not as stable as one might want. So there's a bit of wobble with in it that I'm going to hopefully get rid of in After Effects. I mounted it on a camera tripod and then later on in the night I decided it needed a light stand on both ends for more stability.

The "fun" part was mounting the camera on the slider itself. It took a bit of figuring out because I was using the head of another old tripod to have some sort of extended handle.

From there I set up a single LED light source to illuminate the scene. It was set to about half it's strength and I put some diffusion on it so that the light wasn't harsh. As you can also see in the pictures, it's very close to the subject. When the sun went down I turned off all the house lights and set the mood.

Finally, with everything secured and position I started the sliding. I decided to shoot this sequence in 4K as this resolution would allow me to get away with a lot of punching in and manipulation of the image without noticeable up scaling. Plus it will be really novel to have this thing in that kind of resolution.

After it was all set and done I did what I think was about 20 takes. I had to retry a lot times because of shaky hands of mine or my shaky slider. I really wanted to get a smooth push in without any noticeable wobble or steps. But who knows maybe it might look good with it.

I don't have the fastest computer yet so playing back 4k clips on my laptop isn't much of an option. So when I was done I converted the clips to 720p for me to review them and then chose which takes I would use. In the end I chose about 6 that seemed reasonable to me.

Now, it's on to the fun part of throwing this bad boy into After Effects and making all the magic happen. This is where things will get interesting and a lot of experimenting is going to happen. I'll keep you all posted on my progress as things are about to get exciting.

Video intro experiment - Part 1