Bulding a slate

Posted by jwilliam 
Bulding a slate
April 05, 2008 03:31PM
Is there an easy way to build the title graphics for a slate that match up to a pre-built background?

I'm building an output sequence, and the client wants to use a specific backplate. Short of creating a separate title for each element of the slate and building it as individual layers, is there a better way?

AVID's title tool lets you work over a background to place individual elements in the frame, but the FCP text generator & Boris 3D don't seem to have the same functionality. Or do they?

Re: Bulding a slate
April 05, 2008 03:38PM
Just stack the different elements you need on top of each other in the sequence, or pre-built it in a sequence of its own, background plate on V1, color matte on V2, frames on V3, some text on V4, more text on V5, whatever.
Re: Bulding a slate
April 05, 2008 03:43PM
That's what I was doing... was hoping there was a more elegant, one-layer method, but stacking and nesting will work.


Re: Bulding a slate
April 05, 2008 04:04PM

The only difference between AVID's title tool and Boris is that with Avid you can "see" the background underneath as you type. With Boris you don't see it while composing. Other than that, it's exactly the same.

You don't need a separate layer for each "element". We create slates all day long. They're one layer of text over a background. That's it. Is that not "elegant" enough?

Re: Bulding a slate
April 06, 2008 12:55AM
You could always make the slate in Photoshop if you want to see the background while you type.

Just another way.

Wes Plate
Automatic Duck, Inc.
Re: Bulding a slate
April 06, 2008 12:30PM
Motion is another. And you can even program cool flying graphics
Re: Bulding a slate
April 06, 2008 08:49PM
I don't know...I always thought multiple layers stacked on top of each other was pretty darn elegant. You have all the control that way. I like doing this kind of stuff in After Effects & bring in elements from different programs. I did slates for the Golf Channel's Creative Services department & TGC Productions (GC in-house Production Company) where I used a motion background plate I created in AE with elements from their "On-Air" network look, I also brought in a 3D spinning number countdown & 3D department logos all with animated light sheens & HDRI reflections from Cinema 4D. I kept the info area open so when brought into FCP, the Text Generator can be easily applied to this single rendered slate plate & rendering would be minimal.

...then again...I have also been asked to put white Helvetica text over a black bkgd for client layoffs. I hate crap like that - I like the fancy stuff. I consider a nice slate equal to a business card. It represents the studio, IMHO. Take some time & do it up sexy.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: Bulding a slate
April 07, 2008 12:46AM
Hey Mark - In this case, being able to "see" the background video would have been helpful. This client has a wacky slate layout, with information scattered all over the frame... Getting the right info to line up in the right place was a real goat rodeo to do in one pass!

I wound up with 12 video layers on the slate for a spot that had only two layers of video.

Motion would have been a great solution for this, Strypes. I've got a bunch more of these to lay back to tape in the upcoming weeks, and I think I can build a motion template that will cover the bases. Thanks for that idea, can't believe I didn't think of that in the first place!
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