I'm interested in making a first play for my videos. More specifically, a production company logo that would do trick things on the screen (move around, glitter, explode...etc). Since I'm totally new to this, where do you suggest I start? Programs? Advice?
As always, thanks a million!
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Since you have XP, you can use Movie Maker(comes with the OS). It has movie title and credits settings. My capture card came with Ulead Moviestudio 6, and that has some similar features. What I did was capture a black background from one of my laserdiscs and I use that as my base, then I overlay text, symbols, etc, over the black background.
I then encode it the MPEG-2, then author that intro with the rest of my videos.
Not very elegant, but cheap, and if you're not looking to do a whole lot, then it's a cheap, workable solution.
if you are familiar with Flash, there's a program called Swish that's like a lite version of Flash - it's about $50 (as opposed to several hundred for Flash), it's pretty flexable, and it will output .avi files directly.
it's optimized for text and logo-style graphics and effects, and has a lot of pre-built scripts for moving text around.
I've been working off and on all day on an intro movie for a dvd I just put together, and I did it in Sonic Foundry's Vegas 4. Very flexable, not a super-dense learning curve, and it's really optimized to get results fast - it's a decent editor and a pretty good compositor (for overlaying text & graphics and effects).
It took me longer to select the footage I wanted to use and cut it out (with Virtualdub) than it did to arrange it all in Vegas - I just dragged my clips to the timeline, and moved them around until I had them the way I wanted. It's nice because it doesn't have to render all your cuts and transitions before you preview them - you can preview in realtime.
as for advice... try to have at least a rough idea of what you want on paper before you start, save often while you're working on it, and the more organized your media files are, the faster and easier it'll be to get it done.
I tried out Swish and it's pretty snazzy....It's a bit limited, but I came up with a simple moving logo/converted to Xvid/added Subs/ converted to MPG2....
Is there something a little more advanced?
well, there's Flash and Director, both from Macromedia, but they are quite a bit more expensive, and the learning curve is much steeper IMO.
I'm not super familiar with 3D programs, but if you can get your head around them you can produce some nice stuff... you might check out Blender, it was commercial code that went out of business, and the userbase bought the rights to the code, so it's freeware now.
I've seen some gallery stuff where people have used it to create credits, animated logos and special effects.
You can also do some pretty good effect in Adobe premiere, using a combination of titles, stills and short avi clips you can get some interesting stuff. If you want even more fancy effects than the next step up in Adobes range is After effects, the learning curve is very steep though!
if you start going the Premiere / AfterEffects route, you should really check out Vegas Video... I used to struggle with Premiere & AE, and while they are awesome products, the learning curve (at least in the last versions... haven't tried P6.5 or AE5 yet) was pretty steep, so for me it was hard to get anything productive done.
By contrast, even though Vegas is more limited for compositing than AE, the learning curve is much easier, and it's much quicker to get good results.. and the fact that you can preview your work without rendering is sweet...
your mileage may vary...
I use Premier with Photoshop and Illustrator to do what you are describing. Flash fits in occasionally when we need an animation. The tools aren't cheap but are well supported and powerful enough to get the job done if you are serious about the work.
I use Ulead Cool 3D studio to do this, works great. Particularly with text. Very easy for 3D stuff.Terje A. Bergesen
I did mine in 3D Studio Max at school, and it's not very easy. Attached is a picture of the end of the video. I'm still working on the background and lighting, and it's going to be something like the 20th Century thing. It's taking me ages to finish it.