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Make "CSI Miami"© like generic with Pinnacle or Avid Studio

edited on 15th June 2012

bijoux fantaisie


It is of course the fantasy of any video enthusiast. Realise an opening such as that of the TV series "CSI Miami" © is the real challenge...

When I started to have a little experience in montage theme development, I have launched this project... and I  quickly resigned, due to the complexity of this task, after having only programmed the 2 first sequences. It was during the summer 2010!

And then, the virus came back to me, and as I am not of the kind to accept to fail, I decided to overcome all the difficulties and  achieve this series !

Everythings will arrive if you wait enough , this new tutorial will explain you how to do effortless

Note : CSI Miami is Copyright © CBS Television Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Television all rights reserved. CSI Miami, his characters and photos are the property of CBS Television Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

Accordingly, the use of this series is  limited to  production of movies intended for use in the family circle.

Learn how to realize CSI Miami trailer

CSI Miami opening sequence into details

The full generic lasts 55 seconds, but the animated part lasts only 38 seconds. However, each sequence lasts in general not more than one second. As a consequence, there is not less than 33 different sequences to make this montage, each one with different animations.

There are blured bands, some vertical or horizontal band which duplicate the background image, and the name of the actors appearing letter by letter by replacing the symbols of various equations. All these different objects must be programed one by one to get the desired effect...

Even with all my skills, each sequence of one second requires about 1 hour of work to get achievement,... but I did it!

The most attentive will notice that I have tried (without really do this) to remain faithful to  original animations, this makes that the 33 sequences are all different from each other

let's go to the realisation of your generic.

Download the montage theme series and the sound track

Firstly, you will have obviously to download 20cents CSI Miami montage theme series that I have developed...

I advise you to use the auto install method (yellow button). Indeed, in this case, when installing the theme series, you will find with Pinnacle Studio a new sound effect topic named "CSI Miami" where you will find the soundtrack to add to make the effect completely consistent with the original!

My Advice : If you want to create an additional sound effects library within Pinnacle Studio, feel free to read again  this old tutorial !

Une nouvelle rubrique d'effets sonores pour Pinnacle Studio

Preparing the different sequences needed to realise this generic

The original generic is splitted in several sequences with the main characters interspersed by scenes showing the city or detailing some of the technologies used by our heros in Miami...

  • It begins with the presentation of David Caruso in action on his hovercraft, then in his lab and finally in intervention. there is 9 sequences, including 2 transitions, one in the binocular, the other showing the city of Miami where stand the action of this famous TV series.

CSI Miami scene 1 CSI Miami scene 2 CSI Miami scene 3
CSI Miami scene 4 CSI Miami scene 5 CSI Miami scene 6
CSI Miami scene 7 CSI Miami scene 8 CSI Miami scene 9

  • Then, there is a transition plan showing a technological sequence, but that can show anything else...

CSI Miami scene 10

  • Come then 3 scenes with Emily Procter during an investigation.

CSI Miami scene 11 CSI Miami scene 12 CSI Miami scene 13

  • followed by a new transition plan showing a fingerprint on a bank note.

CSI Miami scene 14

  • Same for the 3rd character played by Adam Rodriguez in an aquatic position !

CSI Miami scene 15 CSI Miami scene 16 CSI Miami scene 17

  • 2 views on the city are making the transition to the next character...

CSI Miami scene 18 CSI Miami scene 19

  • ... Jonathan Togo, has only 2 sequences ...

CSI Miami scene 20 CSI Miami scene 21

  • 4 intermediate scenes to set the atmosphere of the series...

CSI Miami scene 22 CSI Miami scene 23 CSI Miami scene 24
CSI Miami scene 25

  • ... before presenting  Rex Linn and Eva Larue who are entitled to a single plan each!

CSI Miami scene 26 CSI Miami scene 27

  • 5 atmospheres plans end the generic, the title of the series covering the last 2 scenes
CSI Miami scene 28 CSI Miami scene 29 CSI Miami scene 30
CSI Miami scene 31 CSI Miami scene 32

  • Finally, a final plan to display the names of the directors and producers.

CSI Miami scene 33

To summarize, to make a generic looking like "CSI: Miami", you will need :

  • 7 scenes with the main character
  • 3 scenes with a second character
  • 3 scenes with a third character
  • 2 scenes with a fourth character
  • 1 scene with a fifth character
  • 1 scene with a sixth and final character.
  • 7 scenes of transition showing the scene "of the crime" or simply landscapes where the action stands
  • 8 scenes of transition showing different details

Of course, this generic can apply to any type of subject as we will see in my small demonstration at the end of this tutorial...

... then make your own montage

Well, after theory, let's go to some exercice ...

  • Select montage theme of series 20cents CSI Miami
  • Then start by dragging the first 6 themes of this series on the timeline in the order where they are placed in the library
  • Then select the soundtrack in your topic of sound effects (Album/sound effects menu then CSI Miami with Pinnacle Studio)

Now you must simply fill each drop zone with the different scenes you have prepared just before!

Theme CSI Miami part 1:

  • Drop zone 1: character 1
  • Drop zone 2: character 1
  • Drop zone 3: details (ishaped in the binnocular mask)
  • Drop zone 4: character 1
  • Drop zone 5: character 1
  • Drop zone 6: landscape

Theme CSI Miami part 2:

  • Drop zone 1: character 1
  • Drop zone 2: character 1
  • Drop zone 3: character 1
  • Drop zone 4: details
  • Drop zone 5: character 2
  • Drop zone 6: character 2

Theme CSI Miami part 3:

  • Drop zone 1: character 2
  • Drop zone 2: details
  • Drop zone 3: character 3
  • Drop zone 4: character 3
  • Drop zone 5: character 3
  • Drop zone 6: landscape

Theme CSI Miami part 4:

  • Drop zone 1: landscape
  • Drop zone 2: character 4
  • Drop zone 3: character 4
  • Drop zone 4: landscape
  • Drop zone 5: details
  • Drop zone 6: details

Theme CSI Miami part 5:

  • Drop zone 1: details (inserted in the optical microscope)
  • Drop zone 2: character 5
  • Drop zone 3: character 6
  • Drop zone 4: landscape
  • Drop zone 5: details
  • Drop zone 6: details

Theme CSI Miami part 6:

  • Drop zone 1: landscape (the final title appears superimposed)
  • Drop zone 2: landscape

You will then have to set the names of characters on the overlay track. This is the purpose of the 7th theme of this series. You can use it for the 4 main characters.

Just put it at respectively 6 sec, 10.5 sec, 15.5 sec and 21.8 seconds from the beginning of the animation.

Here's what will look like your timeline once these operations completed!
Générique des Experts Miami avec Pinnacle ou Avid Studio

Let's see the result

I told you that this CSI Miami generic could be used for many different topics. To demonstrate it, I took fun with the testing film  delivered by Pinnacle Studio  with it's 12th version (Fun Vacation !)...
The film lasts only a minute and fifteen seconds, while the generic is 38 seconds long, so, i have to select carefullly my sequences !
However, this film was done by professionals and it is composed of about 30 different plans, this will be enougth for this small exercise.

Firstly, I cut the film in as many sequence there are different plans, and then I sorted then according to their nature as listed above (per character : the little girl, her brother, parents, the make-up artist, then the differnet landscapes :  the park,  family walking, and finally : some typical details such as the pirates flag ...)
Then, I followed the storyborad detailed in the previous paragraph to place these sequences in the different drop zones (and to finish, I must confess that I have used what was left...)

The main character is the little girl, she is present on the largest number of plans, her brother is the second character, while parents are seconds roles. The make-up artist made the figuration, and unfortunately, I was lacking for a 6th character, so I had to improvise!

The decor of the Thematic Park is used for landscape scenes and different details. You will notice how the  pirates flag found its place in the binnocular shape

You will agree that the result is quite impressive according to the  time needed to implement these montage themes (I am not talk of time to develop them which is a little higher )

Many people criticize the number of tracks available in Pinnacle Studio, but montage theme function allows to exceed this limit more than favourably.

Notice: this mountage needs a lot of computing resources , so I strongly advise you to create your generic in a dedicated project, and then to incorporate the rendering in your final project.

Personally, and despite some default that can be found in Pinnacle Studio, I consider that the power provided by this feature of montage themes make it a very powerful tool. It is a pity that Avid/Pinnacle doesn't make a  better use of a such gems. May be for a next release ?

bijoux fantaisie

Any comment about this page ?

Written by
25 messages

Titre Du MessageSunday 17 June 2012 23:24:55

This Theme with its easy to follow Tutorial is absolutely " BRILLIANT " !!


Written by
1 messages

Csi Miami - Great JobFriday 22 June 2012 06:56:37

I think you have put many hours and a lot of labor into this CSI Miami montage theme. I for one say. "THANKS!!"

Still Learning,

Written by
1 messages

Titre Du MessageWednesday 1 August 2012 10:12:30

OH My Goodness. I have been trying to do something like this using ProDad plug ins and been making a mess of it. This looks too easy. Thank-you Thank-you, THANK-YOU

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Go ahead, you will enjoy, and it's very nice !.

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