How to create templates

What is a template?

A template is a show that can be reused by changing the text(s) and/or the picture(s).

The challenge is to design effects that look good no matter which texts and pictures are used. A good template can save you a lot of time because you do not have to worry about the visual details when updating the content. This is especially important when using dynamic content.

This page gives tips and tricks for creating BluffTitler templates.

10 tips to make your intro video templates more effective

1) Tell a story

Every story needs a beginning, a middle and an end. This is true, even for something as short as an intro video.

This can be as simple as: the text flies in, holds for a second and flies out.

The purpose of the beginning is to draw attention: to make sure the viewer continues watching. The purpose of the middle is to communicate the message. And the purpose of the end is to prepare the viewer for the end or the next part of your video.

Be creative with all the effects BluffTitler has to offer, but always make sure your intro does not start and end at a random point. It has to make sense.


2) Moods

Remember that stories have moods. For example happy, sad, excited, serious or fun.

In titling, you set the mood by adjusting the speed of your elements, choosing appropriate colours, lighting, fonts and graphic elements.


3) Keep it short

Always remember that a title is only a title.

The duration of the title depends on the duration of the total video. A 3 minute intro is perfectly okay for a 3 hour full featured Hollywood production, but for a YouTube or social media post, 3 to 10 seconds is usually sufficient.


4) Staging

A template is successful if it communicates the intended message and mood.

The dynamic text and/or picture is the focal point. Direct the viewer's attention to this. The purpose of everything else is to support this message. Avoiding unnecessary detail.


5) Legibility & readability

Looking good is not good enough. Make sure your characters (legibility) and texts (readability) are clearly visible and recognizable. At least at one significant moment during the show. Make sure that this moment is long enough or frequent enough for the viewer to comfortably perceive the message.

But don't overdo it. You can do 2 or more fast zooms/pans on the same text. But doing 2 slow zooms/pans on the very same text will bore the viewer.

You can use abstract expressionist effects in the background, but make sure the message is communicated by using clear written texts in the foreground. Never sacrifice your text messages in the service of fancy graphics and camera movements.


6) Semantics

Instead of using meaningless or very specific texts it is better to use texts like:
YOUR NAME HERE
YOUR TITLE GOES HERE
Your subtitle goes here
Your Awesome Slogan Goes Here
WWW.YOURWEBSITE.COM

For outros you can use texts like:
Thanks for watching!
Be sure to comment, like and subscribe
Don't forget to like, comment and subscribe
Also check out my facebook page at facebook.com/yourfacebookpage
Check out our website at www.yourwebsite.com
Follow me on twitter.com/yourtwittername

This tells the template user which texts are editable and how they can be used. Also, keep in mind that when you capitalize texts, it suggests to the user that it is a good idea for him or her to do so as well. Use capitalization in a meaningful way to help the user decide what works best in the template.

Pictures can say:
YOUR LOGO
YOUR PHOTO
YOUR LOGO/PHOTO


7) Aim for the largest audience

Every company has a name, a slogan and a website. If your template features those 3 texts, it can be used by all companies:
1 YOUR NAME HERE
2 Your Awesome Slogan Goes Here
3 WWW.YOURWEBSITE.COM

As a 4th element you could add a logo. A transparent square picture works best as a placeholder.


8) Don't make it too dynamic

Editing texts can feel like work if there are too many.

For a specific project it can be necessary to have 10 dynamic texts, but for general templates it is best to limit yourself to 2 or 3 texts.


9) Use long texts

Short big texts can be a good way to show off your amazing textures and effects, but most template users are looking for templates with longer texts.

Make sure your templates look good with titles between 5 and 15 characters and subtitles with 20 to 30 characters. This cannot be overstated. If your title only has 5 character spaces, your template will not be useful to most users.


10) Test your titles

After working for an hour or longer on the same title, it's impossible to have a fresh look at it.

Take breaks regularly and show your work to your colleagues, friends and family.


5 BluffTitler techniques that make your templates handle any text and picture

1) Set the max text width

The text layer features a Bounds (boundaries) property. The bounds can be made visible by pressing <F2>. With the 1st slider of this property you can set the maximum width of the text. If the text is wider, it is automatically squeezed to make it fit.

This way you prevent texts from falling off the screen or penetrating other elements.


2) Set the max text height

With the 2nd slider of the Bounds property you can set the maximum height. BluffTitler automatically adds soft returns to fill the space.

This way the template user does not have to enter hard returns.


3) Set the max image width and height

The size of the picture layer does not depend on the resolution of the picture. Every picture layer is scaled to the same height. The width depends on the aspect ratio.

Just like the text layer, the picture layer features a Bounds property. With this property you can set the size of the rectangle.

This way you prevent pictures from falling off the screen or penetrating other elements.


4) Use the right alignment

You can right align a text by adding spaces at the beginning of each line. A much better way is to use the Right composition mode.


5) Set the circle radius

When using one of the circle text compositions (1st dropdown below the textbox), the radius depends on the Font size property, the Spacing property and the number of characters.

An easy trick to make the circle bigger is to add spaces at the end of the text. A much better way however is to use the Bounds property to set the radius. This way the radius is independent of the text.


4 effects that make a good show, but a bad template

1) Circular logo

Some texts offer unique possibilities. For example, "AMSTERDAM" starts and ends with "AM". This observation can be used to create a nice circular logo. This effect however loses its edge when the text is changed. For this reason it is not a very good template.


2) Target O

Letting the camera fly through the opening of the O (the "counter" or "aperture") or letting a ball fly through this opening is a very nice effect. But what if you change the text and an X is standing at that position?

This effect produces a good show... and a bad template.


3) Text on text

Writing a text on another text is a very nice effect. But what if you change the big "L" in this example into a "T"?

This effect produces a good show... and a bad template.


4) Tech demo

A tech demo is a show that demonstrates a particular technique, for example reflectionmapping. A good tech demo looks spectacular, but rarely makes a good template.

The purpose of a template is not to show the world your 3D skills. Imagine yourself in the position of the template user and try to understand his needs.


Filename conventions

DON'TDO

Do not use spaces
Flare Blue.jpgFlareBlue.jpg

Use English names
Blauw.jpgBlue.jpg

Do not use exotic characters
Limit yourself to A-Z,a-z,0-9:
Título.jpgTitle.jpg

Group similar textures by using the same naming system
Flarered.jpg
greenflare.jpg
flare_Blue.png
Flare_Red.jpg
Flare_Green.jpg
Flare_Blue.jpg

When using numbers, add 0 if 10 or more are used
Flare8.jpg
Flare9.jpg
Flare10.jpg
Flare08.jpg
Flare09.jpg
Flare10.jpg

Use descriptive names
34632.jpgRedFlare.jpg

Do not use texts like test, experiment, attempt, try, lab,...
Test23.jpgCloud.jpg

If it is a reflectionmap, add the string ReflectionMap
black.jpgReflectionMap_Black.jpg
See the full list of all the effect/filename associations BluffTitler uses

Do not use the same file twice using another name
FlareRed54a.jpg
FlareRed67b.jpg
FlareRed.jpg

Add your initials
For files that are copyrighted by you, use your initials as a prefix:
RedFlare.jpgMDO_RedFlare.jpg