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Recreate the Star Wars opening crawl!

Recreate the Star Wars opening crawl!

Every now and then, they happen – iconic film moments which burn themselves indelibly into your memory and will forever be connected to a very certain special feeling. The opening to Star Wars most definitely belongs on this list. The intense opening music from John Williams, the large Star Wars logo, which appears in the middle of the screen and then gradually disappears into the vastness of the universe. Meanwhile, the signature yellow text pulls us from our seats in the room and pushes us into the world of the Jedis. Is anyone really surprised, that worldwide people of all ages connect special feelings with this scene? Especially since every new Star Wars film – as divergent and controversial as they may be in their staging and techniques – uncompromisingly has held true to this signature style.

In honor of Star Wars Day (based on the phonetic similarity of “May the 4th” and the common saying “May the force be with you”), we’d like to show you how you can liven up your own videos with a pinch of that “Star Wars feeling” today. We’ll explain how to use Movie Edit Pro to create your own Star Wars opening crawl!

 

The story begins with the first line

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

What would a Star Wars film be without this famous sky(walker)-blue line on a black background (likewise the backdrop of outer space)?

First, choose a standard title object from the media pool. To do this, go to “Title > “Templates” > “Own” and drag and drop the standard title into the timeline or click on the download arrow to add the title to your project.

Select default title for opening crawl

Now, it should appear in the timeline of your project, where you can drag it to the desired area. Double-click on the title from the timeline and the title editor will open.

Next, enter the text in the title window’s text field. Then, you can make further changes to the title, e.g. to change the font, size, and/or add effects. We chose the traditional light(saber)-blue from Star Wars with Arial, which is a modest font and has similarities to the films’ fonts.

To center the title in the video, you can use the two buttons under the text field in the title editor. You can also manually place the title in the preview window by selecting and moving it with your mouse.

Title editor opening crawl

So that your title doesn’t suddenly pop into (or disappear from) the scene, you should now fade it in and out by using your mouse to adjust the outer object markers of the title object slightly to the center of the object (shown above in the timeline as the outer lines in the yellow window).

A moving logo

Now comes the big moment. The main title (in the films, the striking Star Wars logo) should appear largely in the frame. Then it should become smaller and smaller as it fades into the distance. Add either a title or a picture object, e.g., a logo in PNG-format, to the timeline.

The logo should fill up the screen just like in the film. Adjust its size, as necessary. Go to the tab “Effects” > “View/Animation” > “Size/Position” and select the object in the timeline. A frame will now appear around the logo in the preview window. Using the orange frame markers, you can resize the object as desired. Alternatively, you can enter values for the desired size in the effects editor.

Adjust size position opening crawl

Next, you need to create an animation, so that the logo will disappear in the distance. For this, we’ll use Keyframes. These make it possible to animate picture and video objects by assigning particular frame positions to certain time markers. In this case, we’ll be dealing with a very simple animation, so that we only need to assign two Keyframes.

The first will be set directly at the beginning of the picture object. Be sure that the red position marker in the timeline is placed at the beginning of the picture object and that the object is selected. Then, set the first Keyframe (by pressing the small diamond with the plus sign) in the effect editor. A hash-symbol will appear under this area. Expand the menu/tab under “Image size/position” and you’ll see that certain values like height and width, as well as the position in the video are connected with a time marker in the video.

Next, go the end of the picture object in the timeline and adjust its size and position in the preview window, so that it transforms to a small size in the middle of the frame and set another Keyframe. Play the video now to visually check that the logo becomes smaller and smaller and eventually disappears completely.

Keyframe animation EN opening crawl

Up, up, and away

We’re only missing the typical “Star Wars crawl” now, so we need yellow text to move from the bottom of the screen and summarize of the film’s setting in a prologue. Theoretically, you could animate this yourself using a standard title and Keyframes again. Fortunately, Movie Edit Pro offers a title template which is suited perfectly for exactly this purpose.

how to make an opening crawl

Go to the tab “Title” and select “Templates” > “Move” and select the template “From bottom to top (center)”. Simply drag and drop this in your timeline. Then, enter your text in the title editor, switch the text color to the typical C3P0-gold and select a font (we chose Arial again). Next, set the text block to centered (instead of left aligned). Play the video now and the text should move straight from bottom to top.

To have the text roll away into the distance of space, adjust the rotation, so that the text moves away from the imaginary camera. Choose “Effects” > “Video effects” > “View/Animation” > “Rotation/Mirror” to the right of the preview window and select the title object.

Here, you’ll find the various options to rotate and tilt the text to the front and back, as well as sideways. Adjust the position of the Y-axis by moving the grey marker along the circle until you have achieved the desired tilt.

Rotate title opening crawl

Depending on the amount of text you have in your crawl, you can now select the speed of the crawl by adjusting the length of your title object. Simply adjust the size of this object in the timeline.

Last, move the text crawl in the timeline such that it appears in the picture while the logo is disappearing so that the two text objects temporally overlap.

Your Star Wars intro is now finished, which you can now set to the perfect music and enhance with further effects. We wish you loads of fun experimenting!

Author

Deborah has worked at MAGIX since 2005. During her studies in Communication and Film Sciences, she freelanced as copy editor of texts and video tutorials for the MAGIX products. Since 2012 she works in Product Marketing and she is takes care of the Webvideos and Educational department.

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