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Making better intro titles in Movie Maker 2.0
Last updated 6-12-03

There are many ways to make an introductory movie title within Movie Maker 2 … and in fact, the program has a series of title animations just for this function. Some of these animations are quite good … fades, fly-ins, outline effects, they all look professional.

The only problem with the introductory titles in Movie Maker is that you have little choice in backgrounds. All the title animations let you choose a background color, but that’s it.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to spice up your introductory title clip:

  1. Use a picture as a background
    You can import a picture or background image into your project, lay it down at the beginning of your movie, and create an introductory title on top of this picture. This can give a nice effect, and really spices things up. You might also want to place a fade transition between this title background clip and the next video clip in your movie.

    You can find appropriate background images online … just run a google search on desktop backgrounds or PowerPoint backgrounds.

  2. Use a looping video as a background
    Along the same lines, you don’t have to use picture as your background. You can actually download looping video backgrounds off the internet and use these as a backdrop to your title animation. You can download some of these video backgrounds from MainConcept … after unzipping them, simply import the video into your collections and drop it onto the timeline. If the video doesn’t last long enough, you can copy it and place multiple copies end-to-end. Finally, place your animation on TOP of this looping video.

  3. Create a title picture
    Another option is to not use any title animations at all … but to create a title picture to place at the beginning of your movie. You can create a title picture within any photo editing program like Photoshop (Photoshop elements is cheaper) or Paintshop Pro. If you don’t want to buy new software, you can try editing a background image inside of MS Paint, but you’ll find it difficult to add text using this Windows program.

    I use this method the most for my videos … usually I’ll take a snapshot from my movie and find a fancy textured background online. Then I’ll combine these within Photoshop and add a text title. Finally, I’ll import this picture back into MovieMaker to use as a title.

As you can see, there are many methods for improving your introductory titles. I usually don’t go to this trouble for end credit titles though, as the end credits built into MovieMaker are quite acceptable.

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Go right ahead! You can even copy and use the pictures. We only ask that you include the following sentence (and link) at the bottom of the article:
You can find more useful home-video "tips and tricks" like this one at www.mightycoach.com - they even have an online-video course that teaches you to edit video on your home computer!

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