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Customise titles in iMovie

Give your iMovie titles a truly personalise touch with this OS X tutorial

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Post-production assets such as titles and captions help make a collection of clips look more like a finished film. Before the existence of non-linear editing packages such as iMovie, film makers would have to print out their titles on paper, film them on camera and use a vision mixer to key the text over the video footage. To make the titles move you’d need to zoom in on them with your camera. Thanks to iMovie’s Titles browser you can add clean crisp animated titles in a click. The Titles browser contains a collection of different looks that should suit a variety of genres, but you can use the Adjust panel’s Title Settings tools to customise attributes such as colour and font to make the titles match your clips more effectively. Here’s how.

Find even more expert tutorials in the latest issue of iCreate.

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1 Preview and add

Go to the Content Library. Click on the Titles browser. Scrub across each title to preview its look and movement. Double-click to add a title to the Timeline. We’ve chosen Expand.

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2 Change font and size

Double-click the text to make it editable. Type in a new font size for the text. Select the text and type in a new title. Select a word and change its font. Click I to italicise the selected word.

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3 Outline and colour

Select a word. Click the O icon to add an outline and give the word more impact. This also helps the word stand out from a busy background. Click the colour swatch and choose a colour.

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4 Apply and play

Click the tick to apply the title style (or you can reset it with the adjacent icon). Play back the sequence to see the customised captions. Double-click the title bar to keep adjusting text.

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5 Copy and customise

Once you’ve set up custom colours and fonts, click on the title bar and choose Edit>Copy. Use Edit>Paste to add a new bar and change the content while keeping a consistent look.

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6 Use a background

You can plunder iMovie’s collection of assets in the Maps & Backgrounds browser to help create a slick-looking title. The backgrounds in the first row (such as Underwater) include animation.

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7 Pick a theme

To access more animated titles, click Create> Movie. You’ll be presented with loads of themes that contain a range of animated title styles. These Themes add extra titles to the browser.

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8 Auto titles

When you add a clip to the project’s Timeline an opening title is placed at the start automatically. To manually add titles, click on the title bar and hit Backspace. Click Turn Off Automatic Content.

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9 Manual titles

To add your new theme’s titles manually, click the Titles browser. You’ll now see three new titles at the top. Drag and drop these where you like and customise their content.

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