airport text

1.0 11 May 2004

iMovie title plug-in.


Developer website: cf/x

airport text is free title plug-in for iMovie done the way thy should have been. on the surface, it re-creates the old text panels in airports and train stations that have arrays of flip-over letters (like the old alarm clocks).

however, this plug-in is also a show-case to show off our plug-in expertise. in addition to the controls every title plug-in offers, this plug-in provides

  • position title directly on frame with mouse
  • preview title in NTSC DV size
  • live preview (including fade-in and out)
  • any text color
  • any shadow color
  • switch shadow on/off
  • graphically set font size (not via a stupid slider) on-screen
  • fade-in
  • fade-out
  • fades can be limited to half/time only
  • force mono-space for all fonts
caveat emptor:
we are not very impressed with the way Apple has implemented the user interface for titles. it’s very buggy, and we may opt to remove or change some or all of above features.

the biggest problem we (still) have with this plug-in is that it shows iMovie's shortcomings rather prominently (which is a shame, really, since iMovie is an incredibly cool program). iMovie's user interface for titles is not well thought-out, and haphazardly programmed. we feel lucky that it works at all, and many inconsistencies (e.g. you must click on a control after changing the text, or the plug-in won't be passed the new text) are definitely something we can't control.

this plug-in is a proof-of-concept. it proves that we can create working title plug-ins and that our core code base for this effect type works. however, we are not sure that we like the user interface Apple has forced upon title plug-ins. we take exception especially to the highly un-intuitive way titles are applied to a clip, and the way text is passed to a plug-in. furthermore, there are features that we yet don’t understand, and that clearly should work differently if it was implemented as documented in the API documentation (e.g. size slider, speed slider).

and we really don’t like the way the user is forced to allot time for a title. we prefer the way effects work: apply the effect to a clip, and let the plug-in calculate everything, including duration.

therefore, we might opt to convert the title plug-ins back to normal effect plug-ins in the future.


Mac OS X 10.2 or later, iMovie 3.


Current Version (1.x)


Version Downloads
Multimedia Design / Video
11 May 2004
OS X / PPC 32