Create 3d Video Titles

Making 3-D video titles can be broken down into creating the 3-D text that forms the tiles, and graphically merging that text with an existing video.

Making 3-D video titles can be broken down into two main phases: creating the 3-D video text that forms the tiles, and compositing (i.e., graphically merging) that text using software that creates video. You can perform both of these operations with free (open source) software. The first phase, creating the 3-D titles, involves creating and animating a text object in a 3-D modeling (i.e., CAD) program. The second phase involves splicing the title animation into the movie to contain the titles. Making 3-D video titles yields a potentially more interesting movie, resulting from the simulated visual depth of the title’s text.

Instructions

1. Open a 3-D modeling program and click its “Create” menu, then click the “Text” menu item.

2. Click in a viewport (i.e., drawing window) to place the text object. In the pane displaying the parameters for the object, type the text you want for the title. For example, type “Wonder Productions presents a film by J. F. Sebastian.”

3. Click the “Transform” menu’s “Move” tool, then drag the 3-D text to the left of the “Perspective” viewport.

4. Create a keyframe (a snapshot of the animated sequence containing your title) by clicking the “Animation” menu’s “Create keyframe” item.

5. Drag the animation time slider below the main drawing window 72 frames to the right. This action positions the current movie frame pointer three seconds ahead of the animation’s start frame.

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6. Move the text, using step 3’s instructions, to the right of the “Perspective” viewport. Make another keyframe to complete the animation.

7. Preview the animated title by clicking the “Animation” menu’s “Preview” item. The 3-D text will scroll across the screen.

8. Click the “Render” menu’s “Render animation” item to produce a realistically shaded animated sequence from your moving text.

9. Click the “Animation” menu’s “Export” function to initiate saving the sequence. Type a file name for the sequence and select a common output format, such as “AVI” or “MPEG.”

10. Press the “Start” key, then type “Windows Movie Maker,” followed by pressing “Enter.” You’ll import and composite the animated titles you just created, using Windows Movie Maker.

11. Open any existing movie project by pressing “Control-O,” followed by the file name of the project.

12. Click the left pane’s “Import” link, then navigate to and double-click the animated file you completed in step 9.

13. Drag the icon representing your title animation to the position in the bottom pane’s “Timeline” where you want the title to appear. For example, your home movie may have a seam between two frames at “0:00 5:00,” which refers to five seconds into the movie. You may drag the icon for your title animation to this seam to make the titles play five seconds after the movie starts.

14. Preview the movie with its new titles by pressing the play button (“>”) in the pane at screen right.

15. Publish the movie by clicking the “Publish” item under the “File” menu. Follow the instructions that appear to complete the final video with the composited 3-D titles.

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