top of page

Pages from a Lost Diary - Title Sequence

Concept, Design, Look Dev, Animation, Rendering, Compositing

Personal Project - Title Sequence Design

About the project

I made this project as part of an assignment during my diploma course.


A retired cop has to revisit an old unsolved case and his past when a young journalist approaches him.The cop has a bit amnesia and has forgotten a lot of stuff in his past. Pages from a lost diary serve also as a metaphor where the cop has to regain his lost memory of past events.


Story board

1. Since the whole movie is set in a police world I wanted to start the sequence that signifies it.

2. The retired cop has a garden and there is a special flower in his garden that he values the most. The flower has a special connection to something in his past. And I wanted this image to represent him.

3. The journalist favourite tool, her camera.

4. The old friend and the loved one both come in the flashback segments of the movie so I thought using the old records shelf to represent them.

5. The cop gets a phone call every day and he talks to him like an old friend. Except for the guy on the other end is our villain. Which of course is revealed only towards the end.

6. A crucial point of the movie in which our heroine gets kidnapped. She loses her glasses, which falls to the ground and breaks.

7. Another important point towards the end in which the heroine escapes through the woods.

8. Finally finishing it off with the diary, which holds the key to the plot of the movie.


Look dev

I started by testing out if I could pull this off. I tried it with a very basic scene. I was okay with the results I got, so I decided to move forward with this style.


Fixing the type was also important to me. I tried a lot of styles and finally choose to use a slanted serif font. Serif was chosen as a lot of the movie has to do with the past so I wanted to convey the oldness. And a slanted version was chosen as I need something that is closer to a handwritten style since the background is going to be diary pages. But I refrained from using a script font cause it felt too similar to the writings in the pages shown in the background. So a Serif italics seems like the best option. 


After finalising the look, I staged all the scene. Before animating it, I created a quick animatic to get a better idea about the timings and how the final piece will look like. After creating the animatic I realised that I need to make some compositional changes to some of the scenes as well.

Brush strokers

I created this brush texture gif in photoshop to get the feeling that each frame is being drawn. This texture gif was used with the sketch and toon shader in Cinema4d.
And get a live brushstroke effect I recorded the screen while making brush strokes and used it as an overlay.

Deciding on the FPS

After rendering one scene I tried with different fps to see which one was looking apt. And I found that 8fps was giving me something close to a hand-drawn kinda feel.

Final Look

After rendering one scene I tried with different fps to see which one was looking apt. And I found that 8fps was giving me something close to a hand-drawn kinda feel.


I really like the hand-painted look. I was really inspired by the title design style used in 'Jessica Johns' title sequence.
I wanted the whole title sequence to look as if  the incidents are painted in the pages of a diary.
Since I'm not good at 2d art and paintings I had to find another method to achieve a similar look. I came across a talk by Liron Ashkenaz-Eldar on Maxon conference where she explained a method to create the brushstroke style effect. And it was very similar to what  looking for.

As I was developing I also drew inspiration from Sherlock Holmes title sequence and Trance title sequence

bottom of page