Friday, December 11, 2009

Lower Thirds

Doing a lot of documentary work -graphics, animation, editorial -means we've had to deal with "lower thirds" more than any sane would care to.

Wednesday I spent most of the day dealing with this on three projects.

One was a one-day job.

Elliot Cowan did the design on this. I just knocked out the versions (right/left, different names).

That's not actually the Health Secretary.

That was fairly straightforward.  News broadcast, tight deadline.

The lower thirds for The Buddha are more complicated.

First we're designing and drawing the lettering.  There are about a dozen total.

The bigger issue is the "cut off".

The film is produced in High Definition, 16x9.  The above layout fits the safeties.

The distributors want the titling to ALSO fit within NTSC 4:3 title safety since some broadcast affiliates might just "center crop" instead of letterboxing.  Needless to say... "ugh" (on so many levels).

Here's the difference:

The white is the full HD broadcast.  The light pink is full NTSC raster, medium pink is "action" safety, dark pink is title safety.

So when the lower third is placed into NTSC title safety, this is what we get (and keep in mind, this is the most visually pleasing example).

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