Video Titling: Title your own videos
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Steve Harris, of Carshalton, Surrey, has come up with this alarmingly simple yet astonishingly clever system. His rather spiffing project allows you to add titles to videos rather like the dialogue frames in those old silent movies. Instead of having to hold up a tatty bit of cardboard in front of the camera, you can use your CPC to port the text - even graphics - directly onto video tape.

The possibilities are endless. Family videos are probably the most likely candidate for titling. That boring video of your sister's wedding, for example, could be livened up no end with a liberal scattering of captions and a brief run-down on exactly what your sister did get up to during that funny weekend in Tunbridge Wells with the MD last August.

And the use of video techniques is increasing in many areas - sales presentations and training courses are using the new technology more and more. Professional effects like the fades should slicken up any production.

The home movie-maker will benefit, too. Imagine the extra veneer of professionalism that'll come from a whole list of credits at the start of each of your creative efforts! Imagine the thrill buzzing through your audience as a screen comes up listing all 137 interesting sights you recorded for posterity during your seven-day stay in Benidorm...

How does it work?

Well, for the complete technical run-down, who better to do the explaining than Steve himself...?

The CPC range of computers has a standard video output. Connection to the monitor is provided by way of a 6-pin DIN connector, which permits the following signals to travel from


Steve Harris's lead and software give a professional-looking finish to a video, but the mixing of media needn't stop there. Genlock is the next stage up, a system that allows you to mix a video signal and computer output and display them simultaneously. This would allow you to subtitle your videos, mix text and graphics, even display pictures of your friends in computer-generated landscapes!

It works by substituting one colour on your CPC with the video image. For Instance, you could have the image showing through* the black parts on the computer's display. Special effects In television are often generated in a similar way.

Unfortunately, It is unlikely that Genlock will ever appear on the CPC. The price of such a system would put it out of reach of all but the most determined hobbyist.


To title your videos, first you need some screens to display. These must be in mode 2, and can be drawn with Stop Press, or any art package that allows the use of this mode. They must be named 001.SCN, 002.SCN etc. The higher the number, the further they'll be in the sequence.

The listing then does the business. Run It and the program will prompt you for the following:

Enter start delay in seconds: (This is the time delay before the sequence runs.) Enter finish delay in seconds: (This is the time after the sequence runs.) Enter number of display scrns; (This is the number of screens to display.)

The program will then ask you for the delay between each screen:

Delay (1): Delay (2) etc

You will then be asked what effects you would like to be used.

Fade-in Y/N: (Answer Y if you want to start the sequence by fading in.) Fade-out Y/N: (Answer Y if you want to end the sequence by fading out.) Clear screen fade out YN: (Answer Y if the screen is to be cleared before fading out.)

Finally, the computer will want to know what effects to use. There are three choices, but the fade swap is the most professional.


(1) Venetian blind

(2) Fade swap

(3) Straight swap

The program will then launch into the sequence, subject to the delay selected. So you should start the video recording as soon as you select the effect. When the sequence is complete, the program will wait with a blank screen. You should now stop the video recording. Press the space bar and the message will appear, and the program will return to BASIC input mode.


★ PUBLISHER: Amstrad Action
★ YEAR: 1990
★ AUTHOR: Steve Harris


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L'alinéa 8 de l'article L122-5 du Code de la propriété intellectuelle explique que « Lorsque l'œuvre a été divulguée, l'auteur ne peut interdire la reproduction d'une œuvre et sa représentation effectuées à des fins de conservation ou destinées à préserver les conditions de sa consultation à des fins de recherche ou détudes privées par des particuliers, dans les locaux de l'établissement et sur des terminaux dédiés par des bibliothèques accessibles au public, par des musées ou par des services d'archives, sous réserve que ceux-ci ne recherchent aucun avantage économique ou commercial ». Pas de problème donc pour nous!

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.