Intro video design patterns

Intro video design patterns are abstract concepts for intro videos that work.

They are abstract because they can be implemented in an unlimited number of ways, using any technique. And they work because they have proven to work in numerous intros.

The goal of the patterns is not to kill creativity by over-analysing and categorizing, but to help designers making their intro videos more effective.

1) Fly in, fly out

BEGINNING the title is animated into view
MIDDLE the title pauses for a moment or moves very slowly, allowing the viewer to read the message
END the title animates out of view

Realize that any technique can be used to animate the title into/out of view: title position, camera position, rotation, size, transparency, spacing,...


2) Pit stop

BEGINNING the title is animated
MIDDLE the animation pauses for a moment or moves very slowly, allowing the viewer to read the message
END the animation continues where it left off

The difference between the Fly in, fly out pattern is that the animation continues where it left off. In the Fly in fly out pattern it can be a totally different animation.

Example


3) Fly by

A title slowly animates at constant speed, allowing the viewer to comfortably read the message.

In contrast to the Fly in, fly out and Pit stop patterns, there are no beginning, middle and end parts. The most famous example is the Star Wars scroller.

Example


4) Constructor, destructor

BEGINNING the title is contructed letter by letter, word by word or text by text.
MIDDLE the title is fully constructed, allowing the viewer to read the message
END the title is destructed

The difference with the Fly in, fly out pattern out is that the title is not animated as a whole.

Example


5) Quick glances, close look

BEGINNING 1 a quick shot, not long or slow enough to comfortably read the message
BEGINNING 2 a quick shot, not long or slow enough to comfortably read the message
MIDDLE a long shot, slow enough to comfortably read the message
END the title animates out of view

Example


6) Static

A clear title stands still while exciting things happen in the background.


Intro video anti-patterns

Intro video anti-patterns are common mistakes made in intro video design.

1) Spinning logo

The Spinning logo anti-pattern is a title that does nothing but rotating. It is a good way to show-off the nice font, the amazing textures and the spectacular effects, but it is not an intro. To fix this, add a beginning, a middle and an end.


2) Boring beginning

The purpose of the intro is to draw attention. To make sure the viewer continues watching, to raise expectations.

Do not make your viewers click away before the main video even has started.


3) Premature ending

An intro that ends before the viewer had time to read the message.

This error is easy to make because after playing, the editor continues to show the last frame. In real life however, the intro is immediately followed by the main video. Never forget this!


4) Drunken style

An intro that wanders around aimlessly. Make sure your intro makes sense. Tell a story: add a beginning, a middle and an end.


5) Sudden death

An intro that ends at a random, unexpected moment. Add an end or use better timing.


6) Pushy

An intro that continues to zoom in on the very same text. After the viewer has read the message, there's no need to continue pushing it. Keep it short.

Notice that bad timing can turn the Quick glances, close look pattern into this anti-pattern.