Have you gotten so caught up with the rest of your film that you’ve left precious little time to put together a title credit sequence?
Great titles set the mood for the film that follows—yet not every indie moviemaker has a Saul Bass they can call, or can afford the many hours needed to create custom title effects from scratch.
Here’s where customizable templates come in. Sure, they’re not original works of art, but they’re polished and surprisingly affordable. Look at online resources like VideoHive, a website that sells stock footage, motion graphics and After Effects templates that assist with video production. VideoHive files have drag-and-drop functionality, often with no external plugins required, and rates are as low as $1 and averaging around $20. With more than 330,000 files available on VideoHive’s marketplace, you might get lost in the sea of options—but we’ve sorted through their themed templates and picked out 20 that might be useful to you. (You can preview each template by clicking the link to its page.) Many work for a quick opener or credit reel; others offer effects that could come in handy at any stage in your film.
1. Minimal Titles ($14)
Containing 30 animated titles, this template is ideal for the prolific filmmaker who understands that less is more, but also seeks a streamlined aesthetic through all of their work. No plugins are required, so customization and instant titles are a breeze.
2. Flat Graphics Opener ($22)
The movement in this bold and sophisticated typeface is perfect for introducing an ensemble cast—like in Ocean’s Eleven, for example, or a Tarantino movie.
3. Classic Frame Opener ($22)
If you’re looking to accent what’s in your frame in a simple manner, this template’s rectangle frame-within-a-frame animation might be a solution. It’s also highly adjustable—change the size, transparency and color of any element, or just drop in text and images.
4. Instant Lower Thirds ($12)
These sleek, flat lower-thirds graphics (30 of them in all) add polish to opening credits, character names or locales. The word-processor-reminiscent animation makes it a template firmly suited to 21st-century settings.
5. Kinetic Typography Pack ($22)
This versatile title pack of 100 kinetic typography options, with typeface aesthetics ranging from dramatic to bright and charming, is a great resource to draw from in a pinch.
6. Glitch Distortion Titles ($14)
This pack is a modern take on glitch effects, creating a subtle distortion effect. The nine titles in this pack add a touch of digital drama, in the gritty vein of The Bourne Identity.
7. Geometric Distortion Opener ($22)
Glitch distortion, abstract geometric shapes and a hardened grey-scale aesthetic make for a technology-themed opener, perfect for a dystopian sci-fi title.
8. Urban Grit Showreel ($17)
With frenetic energy matched with glitch effects, lens dirt and modern aesthetics, this versatile pack is vibrant and edgy. Use the template for titles that are as manic as the city this example portrays.
9. Graphic Typography Opener ($22)
This dynamic opener with funky, stylish typography and playful animated graphics would feel perfect in an action flick (a la Mission Impossible, perhaps—or Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Fast-paced and upbeat, the sequence hums with energy.
10. Light Leaks Dreamscape Opener ($22)
This opener uses 3-D blur, impressionistic transforms, colorful light leaks and lens dirt to create a moody, dream-like effect, with highly saturated colors. As in the example, it might be a good option to showcase wide landscapes.
11. Turning Pages Logo Reveal ($17)
This logo pack, which features a flipping-pages effect, includes two different aesthetics. Build suspense with the comic book-style opener (think the Marvel Studios logo), or capture a fun, upbeat vibe with the “love” option. Both are engaging and easy to use.
12. Kaleidoscope Effects ($22)
This After Effects template makes a title sequence into a kaleidoscope. Adjustable glass settings like “blur,” “chromatic aberration” and “pollution” contribute to the hypnotic, psychedelic feel, while the central figure placement seems to recall the classic barrel-of-a-gun James Bond title image.
13. Upbeat Transitions Pack ($14)
This transitions pack uses clean graphics with bold geometric wipes to create a crisp visual effect. Drag and drop your video, image or logo and change the colors with a click. The package includes transitional sounds to complement the visuals.
14. Burn to be Gold ($17)
In this particle effects treatment, a stream of mist enters from the left and explodes with a glittery burst into the full title in the middle of the frame. There are six preset themes—action, space, epic, adventure, fantasy and vintage—to choose from.
15. Automated Character Rigging ($48)
Character animation in After Effects is challenging. This rigged animation mockup template automates the process for you. Design a character in Photoshop, or choose one of eight included characters; character set-up (i.e. functions like “hand rotation” and “pelvis controller”) takes five to 10 minutes. The package includes video tutorials.
16. Particle Effects Builder ($53)
Trying to add a fantastical element to your film? This tool—useful not just for title sequences, but as a cool effect elsewhere in a film—creates fire, dust, smoke, sparkle, flames or glass particle effects that shoot out of objects (images, text or video) in a weirdly mesmerizing way.
17. Parallax Opener ($22)
This template features parallax effects, as well as lens dirt, light leaks and film scratches to add a feeling of depth. Its modular structure means users can play around with the duration of the sequence according to their needs. Like most of these template picks, it’s easy to customize and requires no plugins.
18. Simple Logo Reveal ($12)
Use this logo reveal with dancing graphics and stylized light flares for your pre-title company introduction bumper. There’s a short (seven-second) version and a slightly longer (10-second) one to choose from.
19. Animated Lower Thirds ($14)
Enhance title credit typography with this subtle and stylish lower thirds pack, containing 24 animated designs and easy color controls.
20. Modern Opener With a Softer Touch ($22)
This opener is screen-ready with frosted glass and light leak effects. With smooth slide animation and a serene feel, this opener comes with calm piano music, and might suit films that require a gentler, more reflective note—like a romantic drama. MM
For more After Effects templates and other project files, visit VideoHive.