Distortion FX on the cheap

One thing that I have done in the past is to create special effects in iMovie, then use them in other projects. Along with the current version of iMovie I have a copy from before Apple dumbed it down to parity with the iOS version. This includes some old cinematic effects, such as a ripple distortion.

Example: use iMovie to create some basic text - white on a black background, using a font that you intend to use with your Hype project, and at a high resolution, keeping the proportions to include all elements of the distortion. Create the ripple distortion and output it as an uncompressed QuickTime movie.

Import it into a Photoshop document with a transparent background and retain it as an image sequence. Use each frame as a mask to apply a final color to a corresponding transparent frame. Once all are done, create a group (click the folder button and drag them in. Now duplicate the folder and merge its contents, leaving the original folder intact. Select all, then hold down the command button while hitting the right and then left arrow. This will select and isolate the image elements from the transparent background, revealing the maximum with and height of the combined frames. Use the image menu to crop the image to the selection. You no longer need the flattened image, so get rid of it. Now you can output the frames as a movie with an alpha channel or as a series of PNGs with a transparent background. These can be imported into a timeline in Hype and animated on cue.

This will work with photos and other bitmapped elements.