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iMovie 6 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Chapter 7. Titles, Captions, and Credits

Text superimposed over footage is incredibly common in the film and video worlds. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single movie, TV show, or commercial that doesn’t have titles, captions, or credits. In fact, the absence of superimposed text helps identify most camcorder videos as amateur efforts.

In iMovie, the term title refers to any kind of text: credits, titles, subtitles, copyright notices, and so on. You use them almost exactly the way you use the transitions or effects described in Chapter 6: by choosing a text-animation style from a list, adjusting its duration using a slider, dragging it into your Movie Track, and waiting while iMovie renders the effect.

But you don’t need to be nearly as economical in your use of titles as you are with transitions. Transitional effects and visual effects interfere with something that stands perfectly well on its own—the footage. Transitions and special effects that aren’t purposeful and important to the film may well annoy or distract your audience. When you superimpose text, on the other hand, the audience is much more likely to accept your intrusion. You’re introducing this new element for its benefit, to convey information you couldn’t transmit otherwise.

Moreover, as you’ll soon see, most of iMovie’s text effects are far more focused in purpose than its transition and effect selections, so you’ll have little trouble choosing the optimum text effect for a particular editing situation. For example, ...

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