Well I was off to in-law family function, and I figured I would be board, so I decided to visualize my entry for Pen & Paper Portal‘s Knights of the Old Republic contest. The contest ended Friday night, but I was inspired to make an opening crawl for a campaign starter.
I knew the location would be off grid, so I spent about ten minutes opening webpages and downloading resources that would come in handy in the creation of the crawl. If you are asking, “What in the hell is a crawl?”, it is the intro that begins the Star Wars movies starting with the cyan “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” followed by the Star Wars title, the episode title (which I left out because of the 100 word limit) and ending with the scrolling preface text that vanishes into the middle of the screen.
If you have Windows XP with at least SP2, then you probably have this often overlooked application called Movie Maker. I figured it was the MS Paint of the video editing world, and it almost is. Movie Make has a decent amount of features and you can use it to edit some simple but clean movies. I actually have the Adobe Master Collection on my desktop pc, so it is not even close in performance to After Effects or Premiere (or Final Cut Pro for the Mac peeps). Yet, you can still get a lot done with it.
Here is all you need to make your own:
- “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”
Color- R:75 G: 213 B: 238
Font: Franklin Gothic Book (included in Windows)
Animation: Fade in, Fade out
- “STAR WARS”
Color- R:229 G: 177 B: 58
Animation: Zoom Out (not perfect, but works)
- Main Body
Color- R:229 G: 177 B: 58
Animation: Scroll, Perspective
Star Wars Title Theme midi
Convert to mp3 here
One of the main keys is timing. I used this YouTube of the open crawl to “eyeball” the timing for both visual effects and audio. I used the “Make titles or credits” link under “2. Edit Movie” column in Movie Make three times. I also used the “Import audio or music” under “1. Capture Video” once (after I had converted the midi).
I have three separate title overlays, remember to drag them into the title overlay section of the timeline after they are created. Double click on them to edit the font, color, and animations. Then I added the sound and moved it (not stretched it) until it started where I wanted it to, and then I messed with timing of the title and the body text until things started and stopped where they should.
It is obviously less than perfect, but I think it looks pretty damn good for not even spending ten minutes on the actual creation, and not ever even opening Movie Maker before, ever! So if any enterprising GMs running a Star Wars game would like to create crawls for their campaigns, I’ve given you the tools, run with it.