Friday, October 25, 2013

Motion Graphics in Sherlock on BBC

So a couple weeks ago I shared the Sherlock opening titles, and I realized that I also wanted to do a post on the motion graphics in the show, because I think that they are some of the smartest I've seen on TV. It's hard to find video of this on youtube, above is a reel from the studio in the UK that makes them, however. What is amazing to me is both their simplicity and their effect. The graphics studio has said that their primary effort and inspiration in their designs is trying to get the viewer into the mind of Sherlock Holmes. Keep in mind that in this rendition of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a neurotic, crazed, aloof genius. So the motion graphics in this show display this kind of "stream of consciousness to them" that is really cool. In one of the first ones (The second video on the website), you can see Sherlock sorting through what this writing on the floor of a woman who died means. He rotates through possible options, choosing one but then disregarding it, which is shown by the dictionary term for "Rache" (the word on the ground) being shattered. He then looks on the ground and cycles through letters, coming to the conclusion that what the victim was trying to say was "Rachel".

The show also really smartly handles texts in the show. For me, it has been a problem of shows in the past few years being able to integrate texting, because the visuality to it is only on the phone itself. Some shows do close ups on the phone to show what is going on, but Sherlock, in my opinion, does it better. The graphics studio has the text floating next to the person writing it, and while it might seem to be distracting or too not real for this type of show, it really works in this case

Overall I highly recommend watching Sherlock's graphics for an example of understated, modern style of motion graphics on TV.

Some more examples from the show:

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