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Premiere Elements 8: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover

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Chapter 9. Add Titles

You work hard to make your movies look good, but if you really want to give them a professional polish, don’t stop after you edit your last frame. Consider adding titles.

You might think of titles as simply beginning and end credits, but they’re useful in the middle of your movie, too. Think of all the times you’ve read “Six Years Earlier” or “Meanwhile, back at Alamogordo…” News shows and documentaries identify interviewees with banners at the bottom of the screen. And then, of course, there’s Stephen Colbert’s nightly segment “The Word,” where titles mock him throughout his presentation.

This chapter covers titles from opening frame to closing credits. It starts off with guidelines for good titles, then explains how you can use predesigned title templates that come with Premiere. You’ll learn how to tweak those templates for your own nefarious purposes and how to create your own custom titles. You’ll even learn how to create a “crawl,” the line of text that runs across the bottom of the screen during newscasts.

The Rules of Good Titles

The first rule of titles is: Use titles to tell your audience something they wouldn’t know by just watching your movie. The second rule is: Titles need to be readable if you’re going to accomplish the first rule.

What makes titles unreadable? Bad design decisions, like:

  • Type that’s too small.

  • Type that gets lost on a busy background.

  • Poor type/background color choices.

  • Text that doesn’t stay on the screen long enough.

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