When Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and Ninendo 3DS was announced, many people were excited! What excited me most was the way the characters were introduced!

Isn’t that amazing?!

When the game was announced, I looked into figuring out how to recreate this cause I was in love with the direction! The first one I created (which sadly no longer exists) was created using the incident between Solange Knowles and her brother-in-law Jay-Z. It said “Solange Rocks A Fella”.

Anyway, I finally found the time to create a tutorial for anyone interested in creating their own!

Programs needed:
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Photoshop

Video tutorial!

STEP ONE- Film yourself!

Film yourself doing an action scene! It can be anything! Either something epic or something goofy! Just do the dog gone thing! When you do your pose, hold it for 1-2 seconds! Make sure when you finish filming, you know what the dimensions were! Trust me when I say this is VERY important! I was at 1280×720.

STEP TWO- Go to Premiere Pro (first take)

Import the clip into Premiere Pro. From there, look at the preview video on the left and mark the frame you want to export. Push the “export frame” button or Ctrl + Shift + E (on Windows). MAKE SURE YOUR FRAME IS NOT BLURRY!

SAVE AND LEAVE PREMIERE PRO OPEN AND OPEN PHOTOSHOP!

STEP 3: PHOTOSHOP

Before you open Photoshop, make you have the font DynaFont DFP. If you do not have this, download it here!

It looks like this:

When you create a new canvas, MAKE THE DIMENSIONS THE SAME AS IT WAS WHEN YOU FILMED!

We want to make a background color based on the theme of your subject.

Make a gradient background with the edges being dark (or not, it’s up to you). Use the soft brush method to make this MUCH EASIER.

Type in the name of subject using DynaFont DFP. Click the warp text tool button and select any style for now (I used arc). Change the horizontal dimensions to -25 if your text is on the left. If it’s on the right, make it 25. For the smaller text, do the exact same thing but make it smaller.

On the subject name, we’re going to add some effects.

Double click on the text and look for gradient scale. Choose the black and white and make it 50% opacity.

Look for stroke. Adjust it to your liking. Then add a drop shadow. Make the opacity 100%. The drop shadow angle should be 45 degrees on the left; 145 degrees if the text is on the right. Adjust the distance to your preference; 100% spread, and add a small amount of size.

Inner shadow: Blend to normal; color to white; 100% opacity; angle -90; 0 Choke; Size 0; give it distance to make it white around the text (picture).

Right click and copy layer style on subject name and paste it to the subtext (“gets wicked” is for Bayonetta).

Look for color overlay and select ANY color for the phrase text.

Add the custom ink brush! There should be two available. If you want to make your own, click here for the template.

Make sure it’s slanted along with the text so it does not look out of place. Give it a drop shadow, blend mode ‘multiply’; 50% opacity, Angle 90, and give it some distance. Give it size to make it blurry.

Import your frame (or drag and drop it).

Use the quick selection tool on your subject. Use refine edge to make sure your subject is clean. Use these settings to give it a CLEAN look:

Radius: 20.8 (actually, this can be adjusted accordingly)

Smooth: 0

Feather: 3.4

Contrast 100

Shift Edge: -11

If you see red on the subject, cancel the “refine edge” and be sure to select that missed area and try again.

Delete the entire background but keep your subject. Move your subject opposite of where the words and graphics are.

Position the character any way you want to. Add a drop shadow and make sure it’s going towards the text. Give it some size so it’s blurry.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO CREATE A BACKGROUND, DO NOT CREATE ONE! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A WHITE BACKGROUND AT LEAST BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE USING AFTER EFFECTS MUCH EASIER!!

ALSO, DO NOT CLOSE PHOTOSHOP! KEEP THIS OPEN IN CASE YOU NOTICE A MISTAKE IN AFTER EFFECTS. YOU CAN FIX IT IN PHOTOSHOP AND IT THE CORRECTION WILL BE SHOWN IN AE!

STEP 4: After effects

Open After Effects, and go to where it says “project“:

Right click > Import > File

Look for the Photoshop file you just worked on. Click on it and import it as a composition.

Bring it in as an editable layer style.

Click okay and you will see your project in the workspace like this:

Now this is where the REAL fun begins! The project might get a little more complicated here if you do not have a basic knowledge of After Effects. If it’s too much, I can make your project for you!

Make a white solid.

Right click in the workspace > new > solid > change color to “white” and make it the top layer.

Click on the down arrow > Transform > Opacity

On frame 0, click on they stopwatch to make a keyframe. Make this keyframe 100%. Move forward 3 frames and change the opacity to 0%. Select the keyframes and press F9 (or right click > Keyframe assistant > Easy Ease). Click the eyeball on the left to make this invisible for now.

Next, we want to animate the name, the sub-text below the name (which says “edits videos!), the smash ink 1 (or 2) and our model. Click on the 3D and motion blur boxes next to them!

First, we’re going to animate the name. 

Click on the down arrow where your name is.

Down arrow > Transform 

Where it says “position”, put a keyframe on frame 0. Use the X axis to get the name out of the frame. Make sure it’s going TOWARDS you.

Go to frame 7 and place the name back where it was at.

Go to 9:11 in the video to see how this works if you do not understand.

We’re going to do the same for the subtext. Start on frame 0, and end on frame 7! 

For the ink, go to frame 1. Use the X axis to move it to the left (or right depending on which you used) of the frame. Move it to frame 3 and animate it in. 

For the name and subtext, we’re going to make a keyframe on FRAME 8. After that keyframe, go to the 8 second mark and play around with the z axis. This keyframe is set so that it does not go all over the place when you do the next part. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO DO! Move it towards you just a hair (at no more than -50 to -60). You want to do this so the graphics are animated.

The model! Place a keyframe on frame 0. Go to the 8 second mark and move the z axis no more than -50 to -60.

IF NONE OF THIS MADE SENSE, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REFER TO THE VIDEO STARTING AT 7:30!

ONCE EVERYTHING HAS BEEN ANIMATED, IT’S TIME TO RENDER!!!

To render, click on the time line and do this:

CTRL + M > click where it says Lossless > change video output channels to RGB + Alpha > Audio Output off (do this ONLY if you did not add the audio file) and click OK

 

On output to, save it to wherever you want to.

Then press the button that says RENDER!

Are we finished?! Of course not! Now the easy part comes! Placing it all together!

Go back to Premiere Pro! Go to your workspace. If you didn’t move anything, you should be in good shape. If you did move the cursor, shame on you!

Cut the place where you made your frame and move it to the side. Import (or drag and drop) your After Effects file into the workspace. Drag the project onto your workspace and double check to see how it looks. What happens after the animation is up to you.

Welp, I hope this project was fun for you. I enjoyed making this (after keeping it locked in my mind for TWO YEARS) so I hope you all appreciate this labor of love!

If you still had a hard time with this, fret not. Leave a comment below and I will help out as best I can. If it doesn’t work out, you can commission me to make it for you.

Peace and love and i’ll see you all next time!