Two years following its
first expansion pack debut, LiveTypeCentral reenters the fray
with the release of three new collections of design elements,
canned animations, text treatments, objects, textures, and templates
2 of LiveType The company's LiveType Expansion Packs consist
of individual DVDs packed with hundreds of design elements of
every shape, size, and effect. Pricing is $299.00 for the complete
three DVD set, or $149.00 for single expansion packs. The design
elements are diverse, versatile, and professionally authored.
The expansion packs require version 2
of LiveType. Each set consists of various effects, objects, textures,
templates, and a series of LiveFonts. All design elements are
standard definition, although many objects, and LiveFonts scale
well to various high definition project settings. LiveType Central
offers a series of HD backdrops complete with matching static
thirds and animated mattes at its companion 12inchdesign
company web site. These backdrops are also available in single
and multiple pack versions.
As stated earlier, many elements can
be scaled to high definition proportions to produce content for
DVCProHD, and HDV projects for video or DVD. Not all scale as
well as others, but when scaled the result can be impressive,
if not a little bit, whimsical.
However, this is just a bonus capability
of the packs. The design elements, templates, and other items
are authored for use in standard definition. As such, they incorporate
seamlessly with the stock Apple elements included with LiveType
There isn't enough space in this review
to detail each of the supplied elements. However, the company's
web site provides previews of each of the components. Note that
the Flash 8 player browser plug-in is required to view the previews.
Dozens of static and animated or motion
elements are provided. Most elements are markedly different than
the stock LiveType library. Categories run the full spectrum
from earth rotations and flares to clocks, gears, circles, pointers,
stars, pulses, animated shapes, lightning, swooshes, spins, and
more. There is even an animated thoughtbubble, and over 30 examples
of animated technical rings.
Included as well are some very elegant 3d appearing earth rotations,
and at least one zoom rotation.
Pack 1 is representative of what is contained
in the various packs. It consists of 30 text effects, 125 objects,
30 textures, 35 templates and 10 LiveFonts. Installation consists
of mounting the DVD, and using the supplied installer. Once downloaded
to your local volume, use the LiveType preferences pane to link
to the design elements. The install is a hefty 11.65 gigabytes
for all three DVDs.
The packs include lower thirds, animated
titling, text effects, static and animated mattes and shapes,
and a series of very dramatic transitions. Included as well are
a set of animated "years" that fly in and out of the
stage that include dates up to 2012. Three distinctive animations
for each year are provided; again, a testimony to how detailed
these sets are.
There are twirly lines, animated mattes,
flares, flowing colored fabrics similar in appearance to DVD
SP themes, lines, grow bars, pulses, a distinctive flag animation,
fabrics, paper, dozens of borders, and a very charming wipe on
of a chalk board. The animated textures are diverse and colorful.
If you have the time, and the poetic license, there are endless
varieties of effects that can be produced with these design elements.
Each DVD pack included about thirty text
animations, and 35 to 40 templates in NTSC SD format. Some templates
have corresponding design elements that mesh well, and others
are as simple as reflections.
As with any set of canned animations
and elements, eventual output is limited only by the user's creative
capabilities and artistic license. These packages are excellent
start points, and in many cases, can be used as is, or amended
with LiveType's various controls. Again, the price point of these
packages is excellent.
Copyright ©2006 David
A. Saraceno is a motion graphics
artist located in Spokane, Washington. He has written for DV
Magazine, AV Video, MacHome Journal, and several state and national
legal technology magazines. David also moderates several forums