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Clarence Larson

 Posted: Jul 08, 2005 - 14:47    Link to Thread

First of all, like LE itself, BT needs a good performing computer to work well on. For top quality stuff to import into LE, first make sure "Best Quality" is checked under "Settings" on the Menu Bar. I'd suggest changing the resolution to DV standard 720X480 by selecting DVD NTSC from the drop-down menu you can access from ctrl-R or the menu command or the tool icon. Otherwise, you'll get a black border in LE.

Last night I tried exporting our old friend Example1.BT, the Flying Text title. File>Export as Movie, and choose Uncompressed. Now while this is rendering, you will see flashes and choppiness in the display, since rendering is not in real time. And when you try to play the resulting AVI file in Windows Media, unless you have a dual-dual, you will see stuttering, because this is more than it can handle. However if you go to half-resolution from the original 500X375 (250X187) it should play fine in Windows Media Player, albeit in a small window.

But when I imported it into LE, it did just fine. If you want to further experiment with Example1.BT, select the picture layer and delete the layer. Change the Ambient Color to 0,255,0 (click the All Keys box) and then export it as Uncompressed with Alpha. When you play the result in WMP you will see the green background, but when you import it into LE the alpha channel works and you get an "invisible" background. So you can overlay the dynamic title over another video track for a great looking effect.

Clarence Larson

 Posted: Jul 06, 2005 - 11:37      

I downloaded the version of potrace for Windows, unzipped the folder and put potrace.exe in the C:\Windows directory. I set up a special directory C:\conv for the .bmp and .eps files. I dragged Start>All Programs>Accessories>MSDOS Prompt to the desktop and then to the taskbar at the bottom to create a fast launch icon. Make sure the .bmp you want to convert is in the specified directory (conv in my case). Hit the MSDOS Prompt icon and you will get a black window with white letters. You'll see:

C:\(Your current directory)>

Type after that: potrace -c -q C:\conv\graphic.bmp

The response is near instantaneous, and graphic.eps will end up in the same directory. Type exit to leave MSDOS. On the BluffTitler menu bar click on Layers, and then on the drop-down menu, select Add EPS Layer. Navigate in the brouse window and open graphic.eps. There is no Add EPS tool icon so you have to go to the menu.

Incidentally, the README and other capital letter files that come with the zipped download can be read from the MSDOS command line using:

>type README | more

Maybe Notepad can read them too, I don't know.

I hate to close with a "downer," but I'm afraid I have to. As far as I can tell, BluffTitler doesn't support the Bold set of your standard TruType fonts. Well I tried a "workaround" by making a .bmp of my text then importing the .eps conversion into BT. I'm working on a video for a preschool and I tried to import

Del Rey Christian
Children's Center

done in Times New Roman Bold. I got an error message:

This EPS file is too detailed for
BluffTitler to handle correctly.

Now I could import each line individually and combine them in BT, but I must say I'm disappointed by their weakness here when everything else seems so strong and powerful. The preschool does have a logo featuring the silhouettes of a sheep with her lamb and about 6 birds flying in the sky, all in a box, The vector form of the logo has 1127 nodes, while the rejected preschool text converted to curves has only 813 nodes, so in this measure at least, is less complicated than the logo. But BT did accept the EPS logo! Go figure!
Clarence Larson

 Posted: Jul 04, 2005 - 16:06   
Okay, I'm going to make one final attempt to convince any LE forum readers who haven't gotten aboard the BT express yet:

1. Get free download here. This will have a black "DEMO" watermark which disappears after you pay the $38+ to register. The download self-installs painlessly.

2. Run the program (existing users can follow along at this point). There will be a sample show (that's what they are called) loaded into the viewer. However, go to the menu bar at the top and hit "File," then "Open Show." From the list window that is displayed, select "Example1.BT," then click on the Open box.

3. Find the box in the control panel below the viewer that says 'Layer5: Text "Flying Text"' and then click on the Play triangle just below it. Watch the 5 second show.

4. Now hit F5 on your keyboard. You will temporarily go full screen, see the show, and then back to normal screen.

5. Spot 3 horizontal sliders center left and see "Position" in a box just above them. Click on the down arrow at the right end of the box. From the drop-down menu, select the second item, "Rotation."

6. Click on the time slider (lower right-hand corner) and drag it to the left until the time readout above the beginning of the Timeline reads about 3.000. "Flying Text" should fill the screen.

7. Click on the Maximize square top right on the viewer. You'll get a full-screen display. Grab the title bar of the control panel with the mouse and pull it down until just a little shows, so you get an unobstructed view of the display.

8. Now for the really awesome part. Position your cursor near the center of the screen and left-click drag it left and right, then up and down, then with a circular motion. Now right-click up and down. Switch back and forth between left- and right-click drags when the text is left at an odd angle. This is impressive realtime stuff!

9. When you finally tire of this, click on the Restore double squares upper right-hand corner, and drag up the control panel again.

10. VERY IMPORTANT! When you close Bluff Titler, or open up another show, you will get the following notice:

"The show has changed. Do you want to save the changes?"

Be sure to select "No."

Now I don't want to hear any complaints about these instructions not being detailed enough!