Incorporating graphics into your video can either be a great idea or a terrible one, depending on exactly how you use them. For example, you (almost) always need lower thirds, but you hardly ever need to make jump cuts from one still image to another; lower thirds feel like a natural part of a video while stills (can) stick out like a sore thumb.
Graphics like lower thirds and logos are often necessary to a video, and blend with the overall feel of the video when they’re done right, but pictures are much more difficult to incorporate seamlessly. When you place a lower third over an interview, people simply read the name as the person on screen is talking and don’t really think much else of it. However, when someone is talking about something and you cut to a picture that just sits there people are going to think, “What just happened?” “Did the video freeze?” “Well this doesn’t look very good…” The reason for this is because of how drastically different pictures look versus video, and the contrast that is created when you use both of them together. If you need to use pictures (maybe you didn’t get enough broll), that’s OK, just make sure to use the Ken Burns Effect or something along those lines to help them blend in as much as possible. We did a lot of this for Revel:
As for lower thirds, there is a right and wrong way to do these as well! You don’t want to just slap some standard text on an interview clip; this will also stand out like a sore thumb. Often what I like to do is somehow include pieces of the logo, the client’s colors or fonts, etc., into lower thirds that I create. You want to make lower thirds that fit with the overall branding of whatever you’re working on so they don’t draw attention away from whatever is happening in the video but rather add a nice, visual touch of information.
With simple graphics like lower thirds, logos and pictures, it usually just takes a quick glance to determine whether or not they fit well with the rest of your video. The fun part comes when you decide to incorporate much more complicated graphics into your video, for example the newspaper animation we created for a video we did for LEAP:
Sometimes you just need a good graphic to bring a little more life to a longer video!
The main takeaway here is that incorporating graphics into your video can be a great addition, but you need to be careful with how you use them. When graphics are used in a way that flows with the rest of the video they add a lot of value but, when they are simply tossed into the mix without much thought, they can also take away a lot of value. Balance is the key!
Need a video? A cool new design? Have a video but want to add some graphics? We can help! Visit www.michigancreative.com or fill out the form below for more information.
– Alli Myers