Make Lower Thirds and Bugs for Corporate Videos

John introduces us to tips from our DVD series, with a look at style, types making effective lower thirds and bugs; including good Style and animation techniques..

Video Transcript

Welcome to this segment where we’re going to talk about identifier graphics. Two types specifically, the lower thirds graphics, which you saw here just a moment ago - in fact, let’s bring it back. That right there – and bugs. These are traditionally logos that are used on corporate type videos. But first, let’s look at the lower thirds graphic. We’ll go through some of the dos and don'ts and actually how to put one together. So enough of this, let’s actually do it.
Let’s start by talking about what lower thirds are and why use them. Well, what are these kind of a no brainer, lower thirds graphics go on the lower third of a screen. It’s just a simple place to put any kind of identifier or graphic that doesn’t get in the way of any activity. Now, they can be static. They can be animated. They can be simple. They can be very complex. They can be tasteful. They can be very tasteless. We’ll talk about how to make a real nice simple design her in just a moment.
Now what are they good for? Well, any time you see somebody talking on television, such as myself, you’ll want to see some sort of identifier – what their name is, maybe a tile, what they do. Other good examples are news, you’ll see this identifying interviewees frequently. Of course the anchors are identified. Even sports programs you’ll see will have identifiers of what teams are there, of course, the score. Another good example is animal shows will frequently have little factoids down there on the lower thirds. So a lot of good reasons to use lower thirds graphics.
We’re going to be looking at an interview we did recently with John James. He is our local historian, and during this interview he talks for a while, but he never says his name, so we are going to type it in here. But before we do, I’m going to take a look at the background or actually what’s underneath John’s lower third area, and I’m going to create a box that really separates the background.
So I’m going to create a dark blue box here, and then I’m going to type in John’s name in white text with a little bit of dark outline. Then the box itself kind of sits there. It looks one dimensional, so I’m going to create a drop shadow and apply a little bit of transparency so that you can see through that drop shadow. And then finally, we get to animate the whole piece. We can either fade it in, fly it in, flip it in. We can do anything that we want with this identifier practically, but we’re going to be simple and just do a simple fade. And let’s take a look at what it looks like.
[Preview of video clip]
Now a bug is just a very discreet logo from a company or some other identifier that’s usually in the lower right hand corner, and the level of opacity can be anywhere from 50 percent to almost invisible. It can almost be subliminal. Just flip around the channels and you’ll see Fox, CBS, ABC, most of them use them nowadays, and they’re up there pretty much the whole time.
Now we’re going to design one that’s fairly simple and straightforward in just a moment, but before we get into the detail, why would you use one? Well some people use them for copyright protection, but primarily they’re just a good way to identify a corporate identity or your own company if you’re a video production company.
All right, let’s go ahead and create this bug. As you can see we’ve got one right here and I’ve, and we’ve played with the opacity level and I’m going to find something that looks good. Now I’m going to shrink it in size and position it in the lower right hand corner, and size is a relative thing. You just want it to be as big as you need it to be. I mean you don’t want it to interfere with some of the activity going on.
Now I can actually animate how it comes on. I can either fly it on at its existing opacity, or I can actually animate the opacity itself. In other words I can bring it on at 100 percent and then reduce it back to say 20 percent.
Now you can see here we have adjusted its size and we’ve already kind of tested it to make sure that it’s appropriate in color and contrast. We’ve adjusted its position and we’ve done some simple animation to bring it in and fly it off. So let’s take a look and see what it looks like.
So there you have it, we’ve talked about two important types of identifier graphics – the lower thirds, which are great for talking heads, and the bug, which is great for logos. So if you haven’t tried either one of these in your videos, give them a shot. You’ll find they make your videos much more professional.
[End of Audio]