One of the things I’ve really been enjoying about running a load of Star Wars RPG games recently is that I’ve been making intro crawls for each of the episodes and putting them on my Youtube channel, if you don’t know what an intro crawl is then it’s the bit at the start of a Star Wars film where the text scrolls up the screen and gives you some background on the film, normally being followed by a space battle or scene of a planet or similar.
Still not sure what I mean? Well have no fear you can the intro crawls from the first six Star Wars movies by clicking here.
When it came to creating mine I used my own video editing software Corel Pro Video Studio to make a template that I could create an intro crawl with since this gave me maximum control over it, and I’ve tweaked/corrected bits of the template, improving it as I go along. Before I used the template though I made use of an online intro crawl creator.
Troy Spence recently mentioned crawl creation in the Tides of Change facebook group and it got me thinking about which of these creators would be the most useful so I decided to test them out using text for a crawl that I had already made.
Here is the link to the video I made using my own software: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRCdoiAUpQU
StarWordz.com Intro Crawl Creator
An easy to use creator, you enter the text in the boxes and click on Create StarWordz, you then get the crawl, I like the fact that you have a lot of control over what text to use and that you can send people the URL for the crawl so they can look it however I did find that if the total text was beyond a certain length it would fade out before you had chance to read it.You can see the crawl I made using this by clicking here.
Bruno Orlandi’s Crawl Creator
Again very easy to use, it also allows you to not only change the “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….” text but also the “Star Wars” text that appears on the screen. Entering your text is as simple as typing in a box on-screen and then clicking Play to create the crawl, you can also copy the URL of the resulting video to send this to people.
This crawl creator also faded out before all of the (fairly long) text I put it had been displayed, although it was a lot nearer to the end than the StarWordz creator, it wouldn’t have been difficult to trim the text to fit.
When the crawls have finished on this creator the camera pans down to a view of the Deathstar, I don’t think you can alter this at all. You can see the crawl I made with this creator by clicking here.
Edit 2nd February 2017: According to Bruno Orlandi–the programmer behind this crawl creator–since February 2016 you have been able to download crawls made with his creator. Thanks for clue-ing me in Bruno 🙂
Starwars.com Crawl Creator
This crawl creator has a very similar layout to Bruno Orlandi’s version and is simple to use, you just type the text into different boxes, however, it doesn’t allow you to change the initial “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….” or “Star Wars” text. This was the only crawl creator that did not fade out before the full text was displayed, although I think it sped up the scrolling to fit the text into the same amount of time, so it might be difficult to read with really massive wodges of text.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to save or share the results from this crawl creator without using screen saving software, although it is handy that the creator shows you what the text will look like on-screen as you type it (see screenshot above).
Unfortunately, none of the crawl creators above allow you to save your resulting crawl as a video file or anything similar, however if you were running an RPG on a Google Hangout then you could always screenshare the result and record it that way (although that wouldn’t add the theme music), otherwise you will need to rely on screen recording software to capture the crawl.
All of them are pretty easy to use and produce reasonable results, if you don’t have a massive amount of text that you require to be turned into a crawl but what maximum control over the text then I would suggest using Bruno Orlandi’s crawl creator, if you have longer text to display then I would suggest going for the StarWars.com creator.
If anyone has any other crawl creators that they think are great then please send me a link 🙂