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And now for something completely different: Prismo Graphic's India Titler Pro 1.0.6, a video-effects program for creating animated titles, combines a unique user interface with a huge library of canned effects that make it easy to create everything from glittering text toletters that march onto the screen. Although it has a few rough edges, serious video producers should give India Titler Pro a close look.
Most video-effects and motion-graphics programs borrow from the Adobe After Effects interface, which allows great precision but can be time-consuming and difficult to learn.
India Titler Pro discards the After Effects method in favor of a single Canvas window. To design a title, you create tracks, each of which can contain a line of text, an imported graphic, or a background texture. You then animate tracks by assigning to them one or more of the hundreds of effects that accompany India Titler Pro. Finally, you export the finished title as a QuickTime movie.
India Titler Pro's extensive library of effects and fonts sets it apart from other effects packages. India Titler Pro includes 27 CD-ROMs containing effects, background textures, and animated fonts. It also provides thumbnail previews of each effect--when you choose one that isn't installed, the program instructs you to insert the appropriate CD.
The program can animate text in every imaginable way--letters can bounce, slide, spray, or wiggle into place. There are also animated textures that make great backgrounds, fades and zooms that you can apply to text or graphics, and numerous glitter effects that wash across text. Some of the effects belong in late-night used-car commercials, but others are downright beautiful and wouldn't be out of place on a network news show. You can customize each effect, and India Titler Pro even has a simple scripting language, called EffectScript, for creating new effects.
Users create text in PostScript and TrueType fonts or in India Titler Pro's unique animated fonts, which are called DVFonts. The program includes 72 DVFonts; the selection ranges from gimmicky to gorgeous. In the Walk font, letters literally stroll into position. In Jitters, they tremble. In Clay, human hands quickly sculpt letters out of clay. And as you can with effects, you can create your own DVFonts, though the process is somewhat more complex.
Designers on tight budgets can opt for the $349 India Titler, which has only 21 DVFonts and none of the supplemental CDs. For copy protection, both versions use a USB hardware key, which can inconvenience users.
For all its innovations, India Titler Pro isn't perfect. You can't switch out of the program when it's rendering, for example; nor can you use your keyboard's arrow keys to nudge text. It would be nice to see floating palettes for controlling text and effects settings, and snap-to grids for precise alignment. Prismo Graphics says it plans to add these features in a future Mac OS Xnative version.
Macworld's Buying Advice
India Titler Pro is a new program, and it leaves room for improvement. But even in its first incarnation, this groundbreaking application makes short work of creating great-looking animated titles. Boris Graffiti provides more-precise controls and 3-D support, but India Titler is far faster and a better choice for folks who need excellent results quickly.Inside India: The word tropical marches into place, while heat appears as an animated flame and an animated texture radiates in the background.