Good design matters. Elevate the quality of your Sportscode video pre­sen­ta­tions with starter templates for custom image slides.

A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them. Steve Jobs, Businessweek, 25 May 1998

Beneath the surface of those famous words from Steve Jobs lies the reason good design matters.

Jobs’ persona was defined largely by his bullish innovation, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to dismiss the quote as an arrogant stab at the consumer market, which was perfectly happy with boomboxes and Walkmans, not knowing they’d be delivered the iPod just three years later.

Good design matters, because it causes its audience to sit up and take notice. Of course, it’s a double-edged sword. Once an audience has been exposed to carefully crafted design, they’ll expect it time and time again.

The roles of performance analyst and video coordinator require many skills, including coaching knowledge, advanced skills with analysis software and hardware, but not least among them, presenting video to coaching staffs and players. An analyst’s thoughtful design and visual aids can help capture their team’s attention.

In this article, which is part of the Sportscode Building Blocks series, I’ll detail the steps to create well-designed and easily reproducible graphical title slides for Sportscode’s movie organizer and sorter tools, with a piece of software that’s a part of the Mac’s core operating system: Apple Keynote.

And in the spirit of reproducibility, I’ll offer you several templates to use as starter material.

Title Slides for Movie Organizer and Sorter

Sportscode offers users the ability to use the movie organizer (available with Sportscode Pro and Elite) and sorter (Elite only) windows as presentation tools to organize and play back video with a number of customized options, including the ability to arrange video in a custom order and include title slide images to divide sections of a presentation.

Movie organizer window with custom title slides.

Title Slide Variations

Analysts commonly use title slides as dividers between different segments during video presentations. Some common segments include:

  • Play types (set pieces, key plays, play calls, etc.)

  • Individual player clips

  • Opponent player scouting

Depending on what kinds of information needs to be presented with the title slide, it’s important to consider the intended audience and information presented in the design process.

Design with a Purpose

A common mistake made in designing any kind of graphic--documents, presentation slides, even Photoshopped images--is not considering the key objective: relaying information. That often leaves designed materials with a “busy” or cluttered look, and detracts from the visibility of the key information being communicated.

Here’s my best advice:

  • Keep it simple.
    There are many ways to approach the layout of a title slide, but in the end, the content of the key information should guide your design choices.

  • Consider the situation.
    A playlist of corner kicks and free kicks can be introduced with very limited information, maybe a single header, while a playlist of opponent player clips might be better served by listing key points directly on the title slide (see images below).

  • Choose wisely.
    While the font, size and color of your text is important, it’s equally important to consider the types of images, backgrounds, and colors that accompany the text in order to deliver the key information most effectively.

Left: a basic play category slide has limited information, and looks great presented on an image background. Right: plain dark backgrounds make slides with more text easier to read.

Get Started

Check Video Dimensions

There’s one crucial step to take before even opening Keynote: your title slide dimensions need to match the video dimensions exactly. Otherwise, the title slide will be distorted and that’ll ruin your careful design work. With the video open in Sportscode, click Analysis in the navigation menu bar and select Movie characteristics. Your video dimensions are listed as Source image (see below).

Set Up the Slide Format

Note: If you’d rather use Microsoft Powerpoint instead to create title slides, most of the steps will have a similar equivalent. Check out these movie organizer and sorter tips for Powerpoint users.

  1. After you’ve checked the video dimensions, open Keynote.

  2. Create a new presentation in Wide format.

  3. In the Document editing tab, click Slide Size and choose Custom Slide Size (see below).

Be sure the slide size matches the video size in Sportscode.

Choose a Background Color or Image

Decide whether your key information would be more readable on a colored background or image.

  • For Color: click the Format editing tab and choose Color Fill under the Background drop-down. Select a color.

  • For an Image: drag and drop an image onto the slide from your computer. Resize the image until it fills the slide (to resize and maintain aspect ratio, hold Shift while resizing). It’s okay to overlap the edges of the slide, any overlap will be cut off from the exported slide.

Add Text

  • Click the Text button to add a text box, either for a header or for detailed text.

  • Choose a font, font size and color. It’s a good practice use use at least 80-point font for headers and 30-point for detailed text. Make sure the color contrasts well with the background color or image for readability.

Creating text boxes in Keynote with the Text tool.

Add Graphics and Images

Adding carefully chosen graphics, images or logos can brighten up a slide’s visual interest.

  • Images and Logos: drag and drop the file into the slide. Resize as needed, holding the Shift key to maintain aspect ratio.

  • Shapes: click the Shape tool and drag in any shape you’d like to add to the slide. Edit the shape’s attributes using the Format and Document editing tabs.

  • To change an object’s layer level (whether images, text or shapes are shown on top or underneath other objects on the page), right-click an object and click Bring to Front or Send to Back.

Logo layered on top of Keynote-generated shapes and color background.
Create and rotate shapes in Keynote to add visual interest.

Export Your Slide for Use with Sportscode

Once your slide design is finished, it’s time to export your slide from Keynote and import it into your Sportscode movie organizer or sorter window.

  1. Click File > Export To > Images. Choose which slides to export and click Next.

  2. The exported image(s) will be in a folder with the same name as your Keynote document. Open the image you’d like to import into your Sportscode movie organizer or sorter window. The file should open in Preview on the Mac.

  3. Select the entire image (Command + A) then copy the image (Command + C).

  4. In Sportscode, open the movie organizer or sorter window where you’d like to add the image, and click New picture. Click the empty picture slide and paste the image (Command + V).

  5. Repeat Step 4 for each slide you’d like to add, and drag the picture rows into your desired order.
Import your new titles slides into a Sportscode movie organizer or sorter window.


Get started with these basic editable templates, including:

  • Basic Heading Slide
  • Basic Player Slide
  • Detailed Player Slide


Get Started

If you don't yet have Sportscode Pro or Elite, but would like to use movie organizer or sorter windows to prepare video presentations to your team, contact our staff.

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