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Creative Titling With Premiere Pro

Creative Titling With Premiere Pro
A Creative COW Book Review

Timothy Kurkoski reviews: Creative Titling With Premiere Pro


Timothy Kurkoski Timothy Kurkoski
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

©2004 Timothy Kurkoski and Creativecow.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
Premiere COW leader, Timothy Kurkoski takes a look at
Creative Titling With Premiere Pro by Ed Gaskell and published by CMP Books.



Click herre to order Creative Titling with Premiere ProMany video editors probably underestimate the impact that well-designed titles can have on their productions. That's why there's a need for a book like "Creative Titling With Premiere Pro", a manual that explores how to create dynamic graphics in Premiere Pro that complement a video or film project. Unfortunately the book is hampered by inconsistent layout and poorly structured sentences that are often hard to comprehend. While the topics covered are good lessons to learn, there's an overall lack of polish that makes them difficult to digest.

The preface and first chapter discuss the hows and whys of titles, illustrated with images from well-known films. This is the most useful part of the book, and anyone looking to make their titles more effective would benefit from reading it. The different types of titles, choosing an appropriate moniker for the work, and the role of audio are all covered in the preface. Chapter One, "The Art of Title Design", delves more deeply into creating a title style that will effectively communicate the theme of the production to the audience. Consideration is given to how layout, timing, transitions, and fonts affect the readability of a title.

The second chapter of the book details the tools available in Premiere Pro's Title Designer. It covers much the same ground as the manual and help files for the program, but here it is fleshed out with more practical advice.

Chapter two is also where the book's layout starts to break down. Much of the book's content are pages of screenshots with descriptive text. The graphics are often presented in a grid, but the numbering order may switch from horizontal to vertical on different pages. When irregular layouts are used, the placement of the screenshots is seemingly random, and paragraphs get divided and shifted into unexpected places. The inconsistency is distracting to the reader, and it got to the point where I had to double-check the ordering on every page before reading it.

Layout problems aside, the middle chapters plunge into demonstrating different titling techniques. There are many useful tricks here, but the walkthroughs don't often stray from simply telling how the author created the title at hand. There is little practical advice for exploring different features on your own to create a unique feel. The reliance on reproducing specific effects also emphasizes the fact that while most of these images are in motion, the printed page can only deliver a static image. A CD with tutorial files and finished examples would go miles towards making the tutorials more effective.

Comprehension of what the author is trying to express is one of this book's biggest drawbacks. The text could have used extensive editing, especially for the confusing and vague descriptions in the tutorials. Because the author revisits and refines several different titles through the book, some sections trail off without resolution, and many sections don't state a clear objectives to begin with. In the last two chapters, which cover using Photoshop and working with audio, the author's style seems more refined and this is not as much of a problem.

This book is an admirable attempt at detailing how to make your titles better, but as a whole it falls short. Besides technical problems with the text and layout, there is a lack of clear direction. The example titles seem to be more about creating eye candy than teaching how to use the tools to their greatest benefit. The book also lacks advice for some of the more practical aspects of titling like creating subtitles or title rolls for long cast lists. While those topics may not fit the "creative" part of the book's title, they would round out its usability a lot.



Cow Rating: 2 Cows

Anyone who wants to learn more about what an effective title is made of should spend some time with this book. Outside of that, this book will find more use on top of a coffee table than in your reference library.


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