Curvaceous Titles

Perhaps ProShow’s captions will grow up someday and we’ll be able to fit them to curves, but in the meantime, we can do it on our own. For instance:


The trick is to use an image as a template that can guide you in letter placement. In the above illustration, it was an oval shape that was deleted when no longer needed.

Add your shape to a slide, and then add the letters in your title, each letter being an entire caption. Thus, if your title is “JAMAICA,” then caption 1 will be ‘J’, caption 2 will be ‘A’, caption 3 will be ‘M’, and so on.

Once all the captions for all the letters have been created, move them into position one letter caption at a time.

For fine adjustments, hold the Control key while using the arrow keys to nudge the letters into place.

Use rotation to get the correct angle.

If the title will be there when the slide transitions in and out, make sure you place a check next to “Included in slide transition effect” for each and every letter.

Another possibility is for the letters to show up in rapid succession. In the keyframe editor, placing the first keyframe of the 1st letter at the point when the title is to start coming in. Then place the first keyframe of the 2nd letter .2 seconds after that. Continue in this way, adding .2 seconds for each successive letter. It will look like this in the editor:

keyframe editor

Below is a simple heart that was to remain in the slide. Perhaps a different font would have looked better, but at least it shows letters shaped using two curves.


You can use curves as simple or as complicated as you like, from a basic circle to a very wavy line, but reserve this technique for short titles. The more letters there are, the more tedious it can become!


Create a Crossword Title

Paging through a magazine, I saw a title that looked like a crossword puzzle, and I wondered how easy it would be to create the effect in Producer. Well, once I designed it 10 different ways, it wasn’t too difficult! The result is slide style that works as a template for building your own crossword title slide. You start out with this:


Then go to this:

Crossword Step 2

And end up with this:

Crossword Step 3

What you’re seeing in the images isn’t what you’ll get. Those words are only placeholders, and the positioning for the vertical and horizontal columns is your choice.

How it will look: The empty squares transition in, then the vertical word, and finally the horizontal one. Add a transition of your choice following the slide, and you’re done.

At first, I thought I could explain on the blog how to do it all on your own, but it involved way too much babbling, and so instead you have style and instructions to download.

ABSOLUTELY VITAL! Before you do anything, you must install the included font. It’s “Orator Std.otf,” a monospaced font with equal spacing around each letter. Without this, you can’t get the even spacing required for a crossword.

Here’s the download: Crossword Title

Create a Ransom Note Title in ProShow

We make a lot of very unserious shows, and each of those shows needs a suitable title slide. Here’s how to create a title reminiscent of a ransom note where each letter is cut from a magazine and glued down.

For this tutorial, I chose the word “FAMILY” as if I were doing a show about my family. For learning purposes, pretend that this is what you’re doing, too. You can go back later, changing, adding, or deleting letters to create your own title.

You’ll need a selection of patterns, but if you have none, feel free to take advantage of a Ransom Package that includes 10 fill patterns plus an example slide style.

Step #1: Choose a fat font like Arial Black and turn on caps lock.
Step #2: Set the font color to white so it’s easy to see.
Step #3: Type an ‘F’ with the size set to 96.
Step #4: Turn on “Outline,” setting it to white.
Step #5: Move the ‘F’ to the left on the screen
Step #6: Type ‘AMILY’, each letter as a separate caption, moving each up and toward the left so the entire word appears on one line:

Plain Text

Step #7: Doing it one letter at a time, turn on “Use Texture on Caption” and select “Image,” browsing for your own patterns or those you downloaded. Here’s an example of the result:

Finished Lettering

Step #8: Resize the letters, making some larger and some smaller.
Step #9:  For a few or even all the letters, use “Character Rotate” to give them the look of being pasted crooked.
Step #10: Nudge the letters closer or farther apart until you like how it looks. Here’s mine:

Finished Title

When doing your own title from scratch, use just one or two short words so the title is easy to read.

Ideas: You can bring in the title one letter at a time, having each letter pop onto screen. You can also pan the letters in from different parts of the screen. If you enjoy playing with modifiers, you can make a letter wiggle and jiggle, which is what you’ll find in the style in the downloadable package. (Instructions are given for removing the modifier.)

Go ahead! Hold your audience for ransom!

The Title: Why, Not What

Has anyone with a camera and a garden not done a flower show? We choose our best photos of our best flowers, but when going back to work on the intro, the air goes out of our tires. We end up calling it “The Garden” or “Flowers.” Shortness is a component of a good title, but it’s not what makes a great title. A great title answers a question you ask yourself: “Why?”

Why did you plant the garden? Because flowers “Decorate the World”? Because you see them as “Tiny Miracles”? Are flowers your “Friends”? There could be any number of answers to why you planted the garden or why you love flowers, and by answering that question, answering why, you’re likely to come up with a title that guides viewers through your show with a theme that they apply to all the pretty pictures, giving them more interest, more life.

Without necessarily settling on the exact title until the end, if you keep “why” in mind while building any kind of show, your hand will be guided in the choice and order of photos and in special effects.

Great titles explain “why.” The “what” part is for the rest of the show to deal with.

Published in: on February 26, 2015 at 9:30 am  Comments Off on The Title: Why, Not What  
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