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Friday, May 21, 2010

Creating the Star Wars text-crawl effect



Maxim “magazine” (whatever that is) recently did a feature on the 30th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back for their May issue. The article included some cool pictures like this one, which shows how they created the text-crawl effect for the opening sequence.

Nowadays, anyone with a computer and an Asian friend can easily create a text-crawl, but back in the day, they had to use these things called “lens effects,” an exhausting process which involved first writing the text on papyrus (note: NOT the Avatar font) using ink made of crushed-up dung beetles, then lashing together a team of donkeys to take your scrolls (which weighed up to 400 pounds) to the village print maker, who would then lay out the text in movable type, and once it was finished, fire it in his kiln. After that, the text had to be photographed on a collodion, which required it to stand perfectly still often for days at a time to allow the daguerrotypes time to clot, which was difficult as it was the 70s, and everyone was high on cocaine back then. If you look closely, you can see that the photographer is wearing an onion around his belt, which was the style at the time.

Star-Wars-Text-Crawl Empire-Strikes-Back-Wookie-Vs-Skywalker EmpireStrikes-HarrisonFord

[via /Film, more pictures here]

BY: Vince Mancini