Film School: Title Sequences

Saul Bass | Anatomy of a Murder (1959) Saul Bass | Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

A collection of Movie and TV show title sequences featuring Animation and Motion Design.

Saul Bass

The innovator of the title sequence used a playful approach to type and motion to establish the mood, and suggest the themes, of the film.

Bass’ influence can be seen in the title sequences of films released over more than half a century since – some, such as Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can (2003) even paying direct homage:

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) designed by Igina Lardani:

The Handmade Aesthetic

Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
Created by: Shynola

Spiderman: Homecoming (2016) end titles combine hand-painted elements with limited animation and motion design techniques:

Lettering

Warning: the next video contains flashing / strobe effects:

Movie: Stranger Than Fiction (2007), which is discussed in our look at motion tracking and text.
Created by: MK12

TV Show Titles

Over the last few years, lavishly-designed title sequences have become more common in TV series – including photo- and vector diagram-based motion design:

The Last Kingdom‘s titles retain the aesthetic of a moving storyboard, or animatic:

Stylised Live Action

Some examples which incorporate live action footage into a 2D / motion design aesthetic:

Check out the extensive archive of title sequences at Art of the Title.

After Effects Type Tutorials

Handmade effects are always more unique and personal – but sometimes, quick tricks are handy, or can be act as the foundation for more customized motion design. Here are two short tutorials from SonduckFilm with a bunch of techniques (specific to After Effects):