Character Generator Buyer's Guide

TITLES. They are often the first thing your audience sees, and they can influence a viewer’s opinion of the quality of your production before they see a single frame of your camera footage. Jagged, blocky titles may not match the quality of your pristine DV footage, and can cause the audience to think of your video as amateurish, even if your camerawork and editing are excellent.

There are infinite ways to create titles for your production. The easiest and least expensive way is to use markers, crayons, colored chalk, letter transfers, lipstick, macaroni, alphabet soup, refrigerator magnets, or anything else that can be used to spell-out words, then point your camcorder at your homemade title. If the simpler methods of titling just won’t do, and you’re looking to take it to the next level, this titlers buyer’s guide will introduce you to some of the other options available.

Titlers fall into two broad categories: stand-alone and computer-based varieties. Stand-alone titlers are character generators that operate independent of a computer. They are often used with linear editing systems and live, multi-camera productions. Computer-based editors are software packages (sometimes including hardware as well) that work on your computer. Some are designed for use with nonlinear editing software, others allow you to create titles for direct export to tape.

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