Izzy Video 021 – Working with Text


I’ve had several requests via feedback and email, asking me to do a tutorial on using text in videos. A lot of people find it challenging because it’s difficult to make text look good on a television screen. Hopefully this podcast will help. Final Cut Pro comes with some versatile text tools, but sometimes it is best not to use them all.

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  1. says

    Great tips on the white text and dark drop-shadow, that does look much better.

    I use Bluff Titler for creating text, and 90% of what it can do is way too tacky, but the other 10% is really cool, like creating the “Star Wars” intro-text effect and such.

    I like your keeping it simple approach, works for your podcasts!

  2. says

    I like the advice, Izzy, especially the suggestion to avoid thin lines. In judging thick vs thin typography, I would add this advice: consider all the resolutions you’re going to use to distribute your production. If you’re going to distribute at QVGA, 320×240, then you need even thicker fonts to ensure legibility than if you’re going to distribute only on DVD or only at VGA, 640×480. Case in point: this video called Momnotmom. Note the text that appears at the end of the video; I can only make out about half the words because of the thinness of the type.

  3. says

    I plan on purchasing my first camcorder today (a low end 3CCD) and hopefully the videos that are recorded will suck less because of you.

    Seriously, thanks for all the great info.

  4. says

    Actually, solid red is a bad idea for much of anything. It doesn’t show up well on a TV, and certain video codecs have a terrible time making it look good, MPEG-2 and H.264 included. Actually, H.264 (at least at the iPod settings) handles it quite terribly.

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