Titling with Pinnacle Studio

A simple title

To start creating a title, simply click the "T" icon at the left hand side of the media window and your captured media clips will be replaced by a selection of exciting looking preset title screens (don't worry - you can always switch back to your video clips by clicking the camcorder icon at the top). Select any of these to see how they look in the monitor.

The important thing to remember is that all these titles can be completely customised so you don't need to be too selective in the one you pick as the starting point for your title. To choose one, simply drag it to the timeline, and then double click to start editing it.

Change the text

The first job is obviously to change the text - unless the title of your movie is "your text here" that is...

Simply click on the text, delete what's there, and add your own - just as you would in a word processor. Keep your on-screen text to a minimum. Just a few words on the screen at a time is plenty. Even movie subtitles never have more than a couple of lines of text at a time.

Add some style

Down the right hand side of the screen are a selection of type styles - just select some text and then click a style to alter the colour and shape of your text. You can also use the controls at the top right to change the size, alignment and typeface.

You can apply different styles, colours, sizes and fonts to different lines, words or even letters just by selecting them and changing the settings.

Most professional title screens limit themselves to a couple of different styles on a page - perhaps one style for the programme's title and another smaller, simpler style for the programme maker's credit.

Or Do it yourself

If you want to get really creative, chose the "custom" tab at the top right to bring up a whole panel of controls allowing you to create your own title style.

Custom titles allow you to set up separate colour, size and blurring for the text's face, edge and shadow. Face describes the main body of the text, edge is its border, and shadow is the drop shadow or glow behind it.

You can give text a single plain colour, a fade between up to four colours, or you can make the text transparent. You can give it a thick or thin outline in any colour and you can change its shadow's colour, opacity and focus to produce drop shadows and coloured glows.

These controls along with the size and font tools allow you to build up very individual text styles.

Lay out the text

To make Studio's titling even more flexible, you can click on the edge of your text box and drag it around to position it anywhere on the screen. You can even tilt it by dragging on the yellow dot at the top of the text box.

If you want to, you can now add more text just by selecting the text tool at the bottom of the screen, then clicking elsewhere to create a new text box. You can have as many boxes containing as many different text items as you want.

When you've finished, just click OK, and your new title will be added to the timeline ready to use. You can even use the Save option from the file menu (when the title editor is open) to save the title so that you can quickly re-use the same layout in a later project. Just click My Titles from the dropdown list at the top of the media window to recover your saved titles.

In Part 2, we'll take a look superimposing your text over live video as well as adding graphics and animations.

*Offer valid until 30th September 2008