If you are like me, the first time I heard that someone was using an After Effects template to create a video opener, I thought it was either “cheating” or lazy. But in reality, there is no shame in using a template.
Templates can be a great resource if you want a complex or detailed look in a short amount of time. Instead of spending a week playing around in After Effects, you can spend half of a day editing a template, inserting your content, and making your video look as good as a week’s worth of work. This is particularly useful in crunch time situations or for projects that need to be done last-minute.
Recently, I was asked to create a video opener for the ARC Conference (a church-planting event). It needed to be generic for many different types of ministry schools, relate to students, and it had a really tight deadline. So, I went template-searching and finally found this. I really liked the overall film look and inserting my own video content was pretty easy.
So after a couple of hours of searching through b-roll that I had already accumulated, I had a pretty good looking opener, but it still needed some work. So, I cut up a song that I liked and ironically enough the transitions in the opener almost lined up perfectly with the song (don’t you love when that happens). After re-timing some sections and adding a couple of light leaks, I had an opener.
Now, don’t let this be an excuse to use templates all the time. Stay creative! But when it comes down to it, templates are a great tool to use when crunch time comes, or if you want a polished look in a short amount of time.