How can I add better titles to my video project without spending lots of time and money?
October 6, 2011 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Is there some kind of template or wizard software that I can use to quickly add professional-looking titles to a WMV video?

My company has some webinar recordings up on our website. I've been asked to do some simple editing to make them look more professional, and one thing I've been asked to do is add a nice title or splash screen to the beginning. This is not something I've done before.

The video I'm editing is WMV format, and I'm using Pinnacle VideoSpin to do the editing. The program has some very simple built-in titles and transitions, and it allows me to use a static image as a title. I also have Windows Movie Maker on my machine (a Windows XP desktop). But although these tools are adequate, I don't feel that they produce results that seem sufficiently professional.

What I'd like is to add some kind of animated high quality title screen at the beginning of my video. Something conceptually similar to the first 5 seconds of this video or the first 3 seconds of this one (I haven't watched these videos all the way through, I just picked a couple random videos from search results). I know I can't get something that custom without a professional's help, but I'm hoping there's some kind of template or wizard or similar software somewhere that I can drop my company's logo, a line of text, and a couple color choices into, and it'll spit out a WMV that I can splice into my webinar video using VideoSpin. My Google searches haven't turned up anything so far, just tutorials for After Effects, which I don't have (and don't have time to learn right now).

Does anyone know how I can get some simple titles/intros for my video? They don't have to be super-elaborate, but I need something more impressive than the simple slide/fade/twirl type text-overlay options afforded to me by Windows Movie Maker and the Pinnacle presets. Of course, free is best, but I could probably get my boss to agree to spend $50 or so on a piece of software if I had to.

Thanks Mefites.
posted by Vorteks to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What you are talking about are motion graphics. These are separate from titles, conceptually, although there can be (and often are) combinations. That is, motion graphics sometimes include titles but not always.

You can buy pre-built motion graphics from companies like Digital Juice. Just beware that once you start down that path, you will be hooked worse than a crack addict.
posted by trinity8-director at 12:11 PM on October 6, 2011

Response by poster: @trinity8-director - I've looked at Digital Juice's site, but it looks like most of their products are way out of my price range. Also they are often made to work with specific products that I don't have (After Effects, etc). I'm not sure I can use this....

I don't necessarily need something quite that elaborate. The examples I gave had lots of motion graphics, but I'd settle for something simpler, as long as it didn't look amateurish and allowed me to use our company logo somehow. I did come across BluffTitler in my searches, which is about $50 USD. Unfortunately when I downloaded the demo I wasn't able to get it to work properly (images imported into the program keep showing up as empty gray boxes).

Does anyone have any further suggestions?
posted by Vorteks at 1:37 PM on October 6, 2011

Best answer: It would be very easy to create that kind of stuff using Flash, exporting it as a video file, and then mixing it with the rest of your program using Windows Movie Maker.

WMM is free (if you have the right version of Windows) and Flash costs several hundred dollars. But once you have it and are comfortable with it, you're set forever.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:10 PM on October 6, 2011

I just checked and it isn't quite that simple; you can't export a video file. You can export individual frames as image files, however, and then sequence them using WMM.

And this tool will convert an SWF into a video file.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:16 PM on October 6, 2011

Response by poster: @Chocolate Pickle - Thanks. That's what I ended up doing. Of course, Flash is also way out of my budget, but I already had a copy of Flash. I was able to export an AVI directly from Flash. It's under File->Export->Expore Movie (in Flash CS3).
posted by Vorteks at 7:03 AM on October 7, 2011

Best answer: BTW, in case anybody else comes across this question later, I did eventually get BluffTitler to work, it turns out I was trying to import a CMYK-encoded file into the program and it didn't like it. Other image files worked fine though. BluffTitler also met my basic needs, and was relatively inexpensive. So that would have been another good option. I liked what I came up with in Flash better though.
posted by Vorteks at 7:05 AM on October 7, 2011

I use "export movie" but I'm used to using it to export SWF files. I had forgotten that in the file popup you could select other output formats, including AVI.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:43 AM on October 7, 2011

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