Cut videos and add effects using Lightworks

Creating the Opening Credits

Next up are the opening credits or title. For these, you need to access the effects selection. You'll find text objects in the Video section under Titles and Video | Lower Thirds. The software provides simple titles, which can, however, move through the image to some extent. Lower Thirds contains typical information that shows messages within a video.

As with the blur effect used previously, you can drag the selected title effect (e.g., the Roll effect) onto the video clip over which you want to display the text. As before, you can edit the content of the effect in the corresponding editor window.

The text slides onto the image from the bottom to the top, so you can enter multiple lines of text. You can also determine the font type, select Bold or Italic, and specify the Size and Opacity of the font. You can even animate both the size and opacity of the font. This process is relatively simple: Just put the playback cursor where you want to insert a keyframe – that is, a point at which an animation is activated.

Now find the controller whose values you want to animate. This value is Opacity in the example. You'll find a small button to activate between the name and the controller. As soon as you move the slider, the software will place a keyframe with the specified value at the point the cursor is resting.

These markings are at the bottom in the Effects editor. There, you have the option to edit them or even save them as a template for future videos. This can be quite handy for the opening credits if you plan to produce similar projects.

The text effect has other parameters that also animate the software to a large extent. For example, you'll find color settings under Face, which you can also control using keyframes. Position provides more precise settings for positions and intervals. Shadow and Outline determine the appearance of each letter (Figure 5).

Figure 5: The program lets you animate many effects. An editor opens as soon as you activate the effect and lets you control elements such as position, opacity, and color.

The color effects are not perhaps crucial for practical use. However, the progress controller, which you'll find under Position, saves you from having to split the opening credits into several suitable pieces.

A title doesn't usually start at exactly the same time as the film. In Lightworks, you can use the Position | Progress function for a delayed start. Just place the cursor in the position at which the software should incorporate the title.

Then, you can activate the button for the keyframes and drag the progress controller to 100 percent. You should also place a keyframe with 100 percent in the position where the title should end. Then, add a keyframe with 0 percent at both the beginning and the end of the clip.

Cutting Scenes

Next up is the process of inserting additional clips into the project. You have two options for dealing with film material: If the material already consists of lots of little clips, and you want to use all of them, just drag them into the editor window. For a more complex arrangement, first create the number of required video and audio tracks. Right-clicking will take you to the context menu with the command Add Tracks.

However, the simple method for stringing clips together is usually the one to use when dealing with the software for the first time. To begin, open the next video in the clip editor by double-clicking it from the Content Manager. Under the video, you'll find various controls and buttons for placing in and out markers. You can use them to define the start and end of the section you want to add to the film.

You now have two options to integrate the selected part: The button with the downward arrow inserts the selection at the point where the cursor is and overwrites the existing material until the clip comes to an end. The button with the outward arrow inserts the selection in the same place, but this moves the existing material backwards.

Dissolving

You can create a transition in the same way as the effects you made use of for the opening credits. Just open up the Effects palette (which is the button at the bottom right of the timeline window). You'll find a handful of transition effects in the Video | Mixes section. Lightworks tries to show a preview of the transition in the effect selection, although this isn't always particularly useful.

Now drag the desired effect into the interface between two clips (Figure 6). As before, you have the option to configure the effect in the editor – sometimes with multiple parameters, depending on the type. Transitions make it possible to animate most options.

Figure 6: To create a transition between two clips, drag the selected effect from the palette onto the interface between the clips.

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