BluffTitler 11.0, First Take: Video titler application for Windows

BluffTitler 11.0, First Take: Video titler application for Windows

Summary: BluffTitler bridges the gap between the limited special effects available in titler utilities often bundled with video NLEs and the functionality in high-end applications like Adobe After Effects.

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TOPICS: Software, Reviews
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BluffTitler-WhatsNew

BluffTitler from Outerspace Software is a standalone video titles application for Windows. The new features added to the recently released version 11.0 include; a bitmap tracer, stroked text, stereo rendering, new pixel styles, improved bitmap fonts, contour drawing and a post render command-line option. BluffTitler is available in two versions, Easy and Pro.

Most video NLE (Non Linear Editing) applications include a basic titler utility offering basic effects such as simple text animation, text shading and outlining. The creation of more complex titles usually requires the use of a special effects application, like Adobe After Effects or the open-source Blender animation program. These special effects applications, although very powerful, have a steep learning curve and BluffTitler provides an easier way to produce titles with sophisticated special effects.

In use

BluffTitler appears as two floating windows; a viewing window, which displays the title video, and a control panel window containing the tools used to construct the title.

Bluff-Viewer
The BluffTitler viewer window. Image: Outerspace Software

The application menu options are selected from the top menu bar in the viewer window, while the tools to construct a title are all organised in the separate floating control panel.

Bluff-Control
The BluffTitler control panel. Image: Outerspace Software

Like most graphic design applications, BluffTitler uses layers to organise and separate the elements in a title design. The tools in the control panel operate on whichever layer is selected in the layer drop-down bar. There are nineteen layers (in the Pro version), with each layer pre-assigned to a particular function, such as a text layer, a camera layer and so on.

Title text is entered into the text box on the left end of the control panel and the controls in the left half, to the right side and below the text box, are all text controls. The controls in the right half of the control panel are layer select and title animation controls. A row of button icons across the top of the control panel are layer-function-specific, the available buttons appearing and disappearing depending on which layer is selected.

BixPack title templates

Outerspace Software also offers a shortcut to complex titles with a choice of twelve templates packs or BixPacks. BixPack 1 to 12 are described as: Virtual studios; Ornaments; Home videos; Lights camera action; Sports; Shine and glow; Glitz and glam; Dust dirt and destruction; Emotions; Splines in space; Party; and Lists. Each BixPack is available for download for £23.75 (inc. VAT). Order two or more BixPacks and you get a 20 percent discount on each additional pack.

BixPack-Splines
A screen capture from BixPack 10, Splines in Space. Image: Outerspace Software

Installation

BluffTitler depends on the latest version of DirectX being present in order to function correctly, so the Outerspace website advises that you check the version (9.25.1476) and if necessary download and run the DirectX 9 update. The BluffTitler install itself is only 9MB, so download and installation should be fast and simple. Installing without purchasing the application allows BluffTitler to be run in demonstration mode.

Requirements & specifications

BluffTitler runs on Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP (32-bit or 64-bit) running on a PC with an Intel Pentium-compatible CPU with at least 1GB of RAM and the latest version of DirectX 9. It requires a graphics card with 3D acceleration, and at least 1GB video memory (VRAM) is advised for full HD rendering. Cards that support shader version 3.0 or higher can take advantage of advanced effects, such as bump mapping and cube mapping.

BluffTitler can export title video at up to 1,920 by 1,080 resolution. A comprehensive user guide is available on the Outerspace website.

Conclusion

BluffTitler does require some practice and study of the user guide to get the best from it, but does not present as steep a learning curve as animation applications like Blender. Some experience of other graphic design applications will certainly help, since BluffTitler uses similar methods. With restraint it's capable of producing some very impressive-looking video titles.

BluffTitler is available in Easy and Pro versions (the Pro version offers the largest number of layers and layer properties). A single-user Easy license costs £29.69 while a single-user Pro licence is £49.92 (inc. VAT).

Topics: Software, Reviews

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