9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2016 9:09 PM by Roei Tzoref

    Stranger Things Intro?


      I don't know if any of you are familiar with the Netflix Series "Stranger Things" but I'm fascinated with their intro. It's eerily accurate to what 80's intro would look like. Can anyone tell me if they know how this was done?


      Here's a clip of the intro:

      NETFLIX: Stranger Things - Intro / Opening Credits - YouTube

        • 1. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Animating the text can be done with text animators and per-character 3D and adding a comp camera.


          The color effects can be done in dozens of ways. I threw this together in a couple of minutes using a screenshot as an example. Pay close attention to the settings and the effects used on all layers. If you have a fair amount of experience with AE then you should be able to get something that you like using these techniques. With some tweaking I could get very close to the same look.

          Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 11.03.06 PM.png

          There are many ways to get this kind of look. This was just my first pass.

          That open has several shots where various parts of the text are moving in different ways. I would make each of those shots a separate comp and then render them and edit the sequence in Premiere Pro rather than trying to do everything in a single AE comp. You'll go nuts.

          2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
            Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

            actually this title sequence may seem at first glance like an easy thing to pull off in Ae but if we look who is behind this, we discover that it is one of the lead if not the most famous studios that does this type of work - Title Sequences Netflix Stranger Things Main Title | Imaginary Forces and as you can tell by the credit list: not a one's man job in Ae in 30 minutes time. this design has fine details both in precision of movement and texture and color. more information here: Stranger Things - Fonts In Use



            I believe this was not done in Ae but in the design process I am guessing in Photoshop - the texture could be a result of brushes with textures, or a texture placed on top of the letters with some sort of blending mode to blend it together. anyways - this was carefully executed to get an organic, book cover feel, kind of Dithering appearance that gives it a retro feel to the letters.(just for fun)



            was probably set in the design App through some color adjustment layers. a good workflow would be to set the letters as a gray-scale colors from black to white and keep the flexibility in adjustment layers that will change the colors by tone remapping. Photoshop has Gradient Map, After Effects has Colorama. unfortunately Ps Gradiant Map is not supported in Ae, so would have to replicate the process through Colorama. but I do believe this was first achieved in the design App before any Animation or Compositing was done, and later replicated.



            has a great deal of impact on the overall look. a quick internet search found this:

            ITC Benguiat® - Desktop font « MyFonts



            these were probably done in the Animation/Compositing stage = there many ways to create Glows in Ae. with 3rd party plugins you will get the result fast and rich effect. just look for after effects glow plugin (or not) and you will see what's possible. setting an adjustment layer with fast blur and on top of it CC Composite effects set to "screen" or "in front" and dimming opacity - can get a cool bloomy effect as well.



            could be done with a plugin called "Shine" by Trapcode (though there are ways to pull this off without it)



            can be done with either a plugin or setting a wiggle expression to opacity of a color adjustment (like exposure).


            Depth of field

            can be done using  2D effect called "Camera Lens Blur" and get wonderfull blurs and mask the parts you don't want to blur out.



            there are two types of movement here : 1. the letters themselves 2. the scene as a whole.

            1. the letter themselves - I believe this was NOT done with after effects text animators, because you can clearly see that the text has texture as it moves. seeing that there is no 3D artist in the credits, I believe this was done in a 2d Compositing App.  as the credits entail, the compositing was done in FLAME which is a very expensive compositing workstation and in my opinion an overkill for a motion graphics project such as this (though this could be just so the studio could charge more money - I heard that too) so anyways - This could be done in AE with perfection. one other thing if you notice at the end - the letter Shapes change their vector information as they move close together - suggesting there is vector information in there that's being manipulated - you can convert Text to Shapes and be able to change the letters shapes paths.


            2. the scene as whole - this could be pulled off by adding a camera to easily control the movement of all the layers together.


            Editing the Sequence

            you can edit the whole thing in the compositing app keeping the compositions shots in different Pre-comps. this is very short segment and flexibility in the movement between the cuts is key. so you can either do the whole thing in Ae or work through Dynamic link to premiere to preserve the flexibility required. I wouldn't bother with Dynamic linking or Premiere with such a few cuts and I would prefer to keep flexibility in Ae and change camera moves and Cuts at the same time if the cut is not working for me.


            a few last words:

            if you want to Really pull this off and not create a cheap copy, you going to have to do the research and not be bound by After Effects alone but give the design process the amount of time and detail it needs.

            2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
              ruan felipel13351170

              Thanks dude!

              • 4. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
                Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                You're welcome, Buddy.

                • 5. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
                  Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                  for those who are interested, the mighty John Dickinson just wrote a post about this title sequence, giving a few references. check it out: http://motionworks.net/stranger-things/

                  • 6. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
                    Companioncube64 Level 1

                    Thank you so much for all the awesome replies. Wow!


                    One last thing: Can you explain to me how to achieve a subtle dust and grain effect? I know film grain is easy but I'm talking about the random "white specks" that appear sometimes.

                    • 7. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
                      Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                      I am not exactly sure what do mean. do you have a reference? - photo or video at certain time code so we could give you exact suggestions?


                      if you are talking dust particles there are plugins that can achieve a pretty convincing effect (particular for example) and there's always live footage that is shot on black and superimposed on the video with some blending mode - for example here: Lens Flares / Abstract | FX Elements and here https://lensdistortions.com/video/shimmer/?v=88588bacf0da

                      • 8. Re: Stranger Things Intro?

                        Wanted to add a little more info. The Creative Director of Imaginary Forces did an interview with Art of The Title where they went over some of the design process and called out some of the plug-ins by name.

                        Stranger Things (2016) — Art of the Title

                        They did some of it in Cinema4D, but most of it was done in After Effects.

                        • 9. Re: Stranger Things Intro?
                          Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                          Thank you for sharing.