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Review: Killer Titles

December, 2003


Review - Killer Titles
Intelligent Assistance for LiveType and Calligraphy
OS X through Panther
Uses 340 megs of hard drive space.
Regular Price $75
By Intelligent Assistance

Available for purchase in the lafcpug Store


Review by Ken Stone


Okay, so what is "Killer Titles"?. Good question. It is, of course, a tutorial for LiveType and for Calligraphy, both of which ship with FCP 4. But the way that this product works is unique to products produced by Intelligent Assistance. It is a split personality tutorial and functions in several different ways depending upon your needs. Killer Titles is like a digital encyclopedia, all content is indexed, linked and searchable. In addition it contains 40 tutorials with five hours of tutorial movies. Killer Titles installs onto your computer (340 megs) where it is ready to be called up at a moments notice. It can be left open, it's palette floats above your application while you work, so it is always in view and can also be minimized. For Power Book users on the road having Killer Titles loaded on your Mac is invaluable.

Launching Killer Titles you will be presented with a Table of Contents page with the major Chapters listed, (shown below). Clicking on a Chapter opens a page that lists all the lessons that relate to the subject, (shown below). The first Chapter, 'Tutorials' is a bit different than the other Chapters in that it presents the material in a linear fashion. From start to finish you learn how to create a special effect like 'Lower Third' with unique backgrounds or 'Filling Text with Textures'. The remaining Chapters are based on 'Techniques and Tasks' which provide instruction at your point of need. In addition, at the top of every window is a 'Ask' box, which allows you to type in a subject or question. You will be presented with a list of 'How2s' that pertain to your request.

Shown below is the 'Glow on Type on' movie. As you can see there is a pane below the movie that lists additional 'How2s' that lead you to additional tutorials. When you are done with the tutorial there is a last section, a summary that gives a quick summation of the lesson.

In the Compositing and Design chapter, in the 'Scale and Position' lesson, below, we are presented with two different approaches. Techniques, which describes a work flow to produce the desired outcome, and most can be viewed as a movies. And Tasks, which provide the actual step by step instructions.

Tasks can be view in two formats, as textual instructions with links to additional information and as a tutorial movies which walk you through the actual process. Shown below, is the Task 'How2' Import and Position a still image" tutorial movie.

Navigating Killer Titles might seem complex at first but move around in it a bit and you'll find that it is quite simple and quick. Opening up Sections on the main page displays the various lessons contained in each section. Click again and you are at the lesson. You can move forward or back with ease or jump to a new lesson. The quality of the video and audio for the movie tutorials is excellent. You can pause a movie to apply what you have learned to your project before moving ahead and there is a slider control that allows you to move forward or back to any part of the lesson. This ability to replay parts of a lesson is very helpful.

For me, quitting Killer Type produces a 'unexpectedly quit' error message and clicking the back button sometimes takes me back two levels, but these are minor issues. LiveType is a very powerful application and there is much to learn. Killer Titles does an excellent job in teaching you how to use LiveType. Start by viewing the tutorials one by one to get a feel for the program and it's workflow, do the exercises. Once you have worked through the tutorials and have moved off to your own projects you will find that using the "Ask" feature takes you directly to the lessons that you need. Reading 'Techniques' will give you an understand of the workflow and what you need to accomplish. Then, moving to 'Tasks', you will be provided with step by step instructions and tutorial movies.

You can check out some of the tutorial movies at Killer Titles and see a list and breakdown of the 40 supplied tutorials. Killer Titles also Includes 50 new LiveType Effects and a bonus seminar on improving titles as well as a 'Jargon Buster', a Glossary of the terminology of the terms used with LiveType. Like other products from Intelligent Assistance there is a 'update button' where Killer Titles will go on line to look for updates, additional movies and content that will be added over time.

'Killer Titles', does indeed, teach you how to make Killer Titles.



Available for purchase in the lafcpug Store

Review copyright © 2003

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