Part of any published work, whether linear or interactive, is the incorporation of titles and credits acknowledging those that have played a part in its realisation. The following is a guide to the list of credits typical for a student production:
The Work's Title:
Like naming a child, your work will carry the name you choose for it for the rest of its life. A work's title can often be a most useful hook which allows the audience greater access to content that might otherwise be obscure. It can put the images, sounds and events that follow into some sort of context.
The title of a work usually appears at the beginning of the short animated films and videos typically made at AIM. Sometimes it may be preceded by a few shots which establish the story's setting. For interactive works, the title may be an integral part of an idle screen designed to attract attention. In may even be appropriate to animate the typography.
Your own credit should feature prominently. It may appear at the beginning or at the end of the film or as the user quits an interactive work. Don't be modest. Any of the following forms are appropriate:
||Written, Directed and Animated by...
An Interactive Work by
A film by...
Concept and Animation
An Interactive Mystery by...
An Animation by...
An Interactive Animation (Game) by...
Designed, Animated and Authored by...
Animation and Programming
Written and Designed by...
Gameplay and Environment by...
Students retain creative and authorship rights over their work for such things as character design, story, programming, concept, artwork, music score etc, for use in future projects.
Like any other Producer, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology holds the mechanical copyright of all curriculum productions. This enables RMIT to freely publish and distribute the work produced within the course for promotional purposes without reference back to the individuals whose various talents and contributions were responsible for its realisation - the writer, director, actors, programmer, musicians etc - as temporal audio/visual works are invariably collaborative by nature.
We suggest therefore that you share the above credit with one acknowledging your own rights at the very end of your work. Something like:
Concept, Design & Story
© YOUR NAME 2011
© RMIT University 2011
Produced at the Centre for
ANIMATION & INTERACTIVE MEDIA
School of Media and Communication
All rights reserved
For short works, credits, including talent, usually appear at the end of an animation rather than at the beginning. A typical running order for credits is:
||Character voices or on-screen talent
Sound / Sound Design
Each of the above people have usually made a major contribution to the production and deserve their own separate credit screen.
A 'thanks to' or 'special thanks' list may include:
||Technical or creative assistance
Assistance from fellow students, family, friends, partners
Assistance from staff
Organisations that have given you special favours or deals
Please ensure that all those that have assisted in your production in any capacity are appropriately credited. It is always embarrassing to discover that you have forgotten to thank somebody. Double check the spelling of people's names as mistakes are expensive to rectify.
Titles and credits may be highly creative in terms of design, appearance and presentation method, but should always be legible. For works ending up on video, compose the graphics to allow for a 20% cut off around the outside of the image area and keep in mind that small sized fonts can appear blurred on television and be difficult to read because, unlike your crisp computer screen, it is a low-resolution format. It is not a good idea to cram too many names onto the screen at any one time. No more than four to six is a good rule of thumb. A vertical 'crawl' credit sequence makes sense for a feature film where lots of names have to be acknowledged, but usually takes more screen time when the production is of a short duration with a small credit list.
Never have too much text on screen at once or use lines that are too long and spaghetti-like.
The mood and style of your work can influence the presentation method you chose for title and credit sequences. A short punchy credit sequence using the pop-on pop-off technique and minimum reading time, looks great if the rest of the film is fast-paced. Use 6-8 blank frames between each credit.
For a lyrical period piece, slow fading or dissolving credits might better match the mood of the film. A shorter fade in, 8-12 frames, followed by longer fade out, 16-24 frames, works well. A long lingering fade out on the final credit also feels good. These effects can be achieved in programs such as FinalCut Pro, iMovie, Premiere and AfterEffects.
Titles and credits can also be arranged to appear over an image background that relates to the film which might help establish or retain its atmosphere. Sometimes you can compose a shot so as to leave an area of the screen clear of visual clutter where the credits can play out – a puppet animation for example.
Credits can be read surprisingly quickly. A common timing mistake is to leave credits on screen too long. 3 seconds is usually more than enough time to read a title. A single credit that includes a person's name and their the production role can register quite well in only 36 frames. Even after the image is taken away, the brain can still be processing the words that were on screen. Staff can help you with timing credits.
Style and Formatting:
Hand drawn lettering looks great, but if you wish to use the fonts found on Mac computers, consider varying letter weights or use a contrast in letter size, style or font, to emphasise the name of the person you wish to credit rather than their role in your production. Some ideas:
and Directed by
A film by
Alice Neata Alignment
music and sound effects:
Left of Centre