Get Started Creating 2D and 3D Animated Titles with NewBlue Titler Pro

Get Started Fast with Media Composer 7

The following is a guest contribution from NewBlueFX VP of Products, Travis White. With more than 15 years in video and 3D applications experience, Travis has developed more than 30 professional video editing plug-ins for NewBlueFX. Before crossing over to product development, he worked as a Hollywood editor.

Hello, this is Travis White with NewBlue, and I’m here to show you NewBlue Titler Pro Basics inside Avid Media Composer. Be sure to scroll down to see both Parts 2 and 3 in this post. If you’d like to try for yourself anything you see in this tutorial, download both Avid’s free 30-day fully-functioning Media Composer trial and our 14-day Titler Pro trial. Let’s get started with Part 1.

Now, as you know, you have had for some time a title tool in Avid Media Composer called the Avid Title Tool. What we’re going to do here is we’re going to look at some basics of the kinds of things that you have been achieving in that Avid Title Tool, and then we’re going to go beyond so you can understand how you can create 2D, 3D, animated titles inside your own timeline of Avid Media Composer.

But first things first, how do you apply Titler Pro? Well, let’s go up to the Effect Palette and find it here in the Effect Palette. And of course you would drag and drop it to a clip on your timeline. One thing that I like to do is find an edit point and use the tool in Media Composer Add Edit. And this will do a slice on a track, and I can go ahead and apply the effect right there. And now I have the default text of Titler Pro coming up.

So what I want to do is obviously go to the Effect Editor, and there’s one control in the Effect Editor and that’s “Launch the User Interface of NewBlue Titler Pro.”

So I’ll give you a bit of a survey about what our user interface is about. Right here you have your workspace in which we’ll be doing the majority of our work. Over here on the left you have a control panel for your objects orientation. Under Style will be how your characters look. Under Effects and Transitions, we’ll get in another tutorial, and finally in the Library is where you can find a number of presets. But we’re going to start from scratch in this case.

Down here on the timeline we have a timeline of ten seconds because that’s the duration of the slice on my Media Composer timeline. This blue bar represents what we call a paragraph. A paragraph is a string of characters and carriage returns and tabs and all of that which is a block of text essentially.

I want to notice the safe margins here. So we have Title Safe and we have Action Safe. Now for some of you who have to develop shows that have to be aired in 4:3 as well, we have a safe margins of 4:3 inside 16:9 option for you. Now if you’re working on a 4:3 project from the Media Composer timeline, of course you’d get the appropriate safe margins, but right here we’ll go back to our widescreen format.

So what are we going to do here? One thing is scrub the timeline, and look, we have frame-accurate motion video behind our text. So we can really see what’s happening because Titler Pro is going to be giving us animation, which we’ll get into later.

So this is a shot of a band, and this band’s name happens to be The Keplers. So we’re simply going to Control+A and type in “The Keplers.” Now how do you move in size? Well you can do that in the Attribute Panel, position X, position Y. You can check this anchor point of this lock icon for X, Y and Z to stay together for your scale and scale up and scale down. Don’t necessarily confuse scaling with Z-space, closer or further away. That will matter later on when you’re doing animation. But for now, let’s just keep things basic.

And what you can also do is do those same operations directly in your workspace. So if you grab the corner of text, you’ll be sizing it up and down and keeping its aspect ratio. If you grab the side of a paragraph, you’ll be squashing or stretching both directions. So that’s how to keep all that work in there.

Now what about justification? Well, let’s go ahead and enter another line so that we can see this working. “Down” is going to be the song that we’re going to be talking about. So right here you have justification center possibly, you have justification right, left. You also have left and right, which we get into when we’re doing rolling credits in that tutorial because of that center trough or margin that we have. But we’ll stick with justification left.

And to move, you simply grab the edge, not one of these resize handles, but simply the edge of the paragraph and move it around.

Now one thing we want to do is sometimes text is in an area that’s not so readable. So how do you change color? So let’s go to Attributes, Style, and let’s work with the color tool. You could simply use the eye dropper to pick a color out of the scene, so I’m going to say a brown or maybe a green, and maybe that green needs to be pumped up so you click the color swatch and work with the color that way.

But actually what I want to do is I just do a basic white, so we’re going to do that. Now we just did a color. What about a gradient? Well, you can do a gradient or a texture, which we’ll get into later, but let’s work with a gradient right now. The gradient has two points that you can work with, and if you check one of those circles, you can dial in another color.

Notice that we have the gradient happening on both lines. So you can have each line having its own gradient control. In fact, it’s really doing character-by-character at the moment. If we change this gradient to the side, you’ll see each character is receiving that gradient.

We’ll go ahead and go back to what we had, and there’s another way to do this too. In fact, let’s go edge-to-edge. We can check Stretch to Paragraph, and now you can see that this gradient is being controlled across the entire paragraph. That can be handy depending on the effect that you want. But what we’re going to do here is simply have it do line-by-line on its own, so we’re going to uncheck Stretch to Paragraph.

And also, you know, the text is not popping so well, so how would you add a shadow? Well, we’ve just been working on what we call a style layer. We have one style layer right now. So I’m going to add another style layer, and that is a shadow in this case. So now, “pop”, there’s your shadow. You can change the blur settings. You can change its opacity, its offset in different positions, and there you have a gradient, a blur, your text.

So the next thing I want to do is simply edit the title that we’ve been working on. So let’s select it down here in the timeline, and let’s go into our Effect Editor and click “Launch User Interface.” This is going to bring up NewBlue Titler Pro, and we’ll continue working from here.

So let’s talk about leading and kerning. Now, the paragraph that we were talking about has this green bounding around it. If you don’t select anything, you can do your leading and kerning to the entire paragraph. In fact, you can dial in the leading, which is the spacing between lines, you can dial it down or dial it up as well. You can also put in different values that you want, such as the value of eight.

So those changes are all on the paragraph. Now, if you want to do a sub-selection of characters, you can. In fact, let’s do that sub-selection right now, and let’s reduce the kerning just by a little bit. And if we had another line here, let’s do that, if you did a selection of only one of these lines and you worked with the leading, you can see how that’s operating right there. Let’s just go back to a value of one and ditch this gobbledygook at the end of my paragraph.

So another thing you can do to change the size or the layout, which is not available elsewhere, is to  do a sub-selection just like we did, but then you can also resize and reposition any sub-selection you want. In fact, I could go down here and move that to the center, maybe tilt it a little bit. Bring it over here and click off of those letters again so I get back to the green paragraph, and now we have a whole paragraph that each character has been manipulated separately. In fact, I could go to K, maybe rotate that a bit, the P, rotate that a bit and you can rotate ER together, rotate those. And you can see what you can really develop in a very easy and very fast amount of time.

So now let’s deal with copy and paste and of multiple paragraphs. Right now we have everything in one paragraph. Let’s get it into multiple. Let me back off these crazy orientations that I did, and we are going to do multiple paragraphs. All I need to do is simply get my cursor and get this paragraph selected, and now I can Ctrl+Copy or right click Copy, and now if I paste it, I would paste right into the same paragraph I have because it’s selected. So I want to get off of that paragraph, not have anything selected, and right click and paste. Now I have a second paragraph. In fact, we can go ahead and drag that off right there, and you’ll see what’s going on.

So with this second copy, I’m just going to get rid of this first line. Hit Delete here and for this one right here, there we go. So we have “The Keplers” and we have “Down” as two distinct paragraphs. So let’s start treating these differently.

So the first thing I want to do is highlight The Keplers, and let’s change a font for example. So we can go into all the fonts that we have installed on our system, such as maybe Bauhaus, or we can actually use our up and down arrows to start jumping through all these different characters that we want here. How about that one?

All right. So what we have here is one style layer, one shadow. What we want to do now is add a different kind of style layer. So let’s go into the 3D category and let’s do an outline. So we’ve put an outline in. It’s a bit red. Let’s change the colors a little bit. Let’s go to a gradient. We’ve done this before. Dial that down a little bit, get them into a category of taste. There we go. And what we can do here now is we can bring up the thickness.

Also, if we look right here, we have a sharp edge. We can also bring in a roundness to the whole thing, so we can round off there. Let’s dial this down and click this XYZ handle, which gives us a bowling ball, in which we can grab it at the south pole or somewhere around the north pole or right at the equator and start really turning this, and now you’re going to see when I do extrusion what’s happening. So there you go. We don’t want a lot of extrusion. Let’s do something like 1. There you go. So there’s The Keplers.

One thing I want to do is go to this other paragraph. Now notice where this other paragraph is. We actually created that when we had our play head at this point. Let me zoom out of the timeline so you can see the full ten seconds. We don’t want it to end at that point. Let’s slide the mark in of “Down” to something a little earlier. So I have “The Keplers”, and then “Down” pops in right there. Well, what are we going to do with “Down”? Well, let’s give it a rotation that’s similar to the other guys. So click that XYZ handle, move it in space like that, and now we have The Keplers, Down. That looks pretty good.

At this point, let’s go into how to get these things to come in and go out. So let’s go to the Library, and that’s where you’re going to find animations. Let’s go to our Animation category in the Transitions group. So you can see styles. In fact, we could hover over a style right here and see what Down is doing. It’s taking on these different styles. But we’re going to go into Transitions, Animations, and let’s do something like dropping words.

Now when I hover over a preset, you’re going to see instantly what’s happening to that word. I could be dropping letters, falling wave, but I like that first one, airbed. Let’s use that. And I can drag and drop, or I can double click to apply it to the timeline. And now it has, if we go ahead and play this, Down coming in. I like that.

What about The Keplers? Well, let’s do something different with those. Let’s select The Keplers. You could’ve selected it in the timeline as well, and let’s go over to the library. And let’s go into a category called Fly In. So I could hover over a transition there and see what that Fly In is going to look like. Fast Right, Words. Yeah, let’s start with that. Let’s drag and drop and apply Fast Right, Words.

So if I select that, notice that we’re in the Transitions Tab now. I’ve got this fly in, fast write words. Now let’s say I don’t want these two to come in so far apart. Well, that is what’s called the Overlap Control. So if I reduce the overlap to something maybe closer to 90, now I have The Keplers coming in right together. In fact, let’s shorten that down to a one-second animation, “The Keplers”, and “Down” comes dropping down into the scene.

So now we have two different transitions – in fact, you can drag their own duration down here on the timeline.

So there you go! You actually have an interesting title. It’s oriented in 3D space. It’s got some drop shadow. It’s got some extrusion. It’s got different fonts and characters, leading and kerning going on as well as animation bringing both paragraphs in at a different time. All we have to do is simply click the X to close this down.

What we’re going to dig into now is effects and adding shapes.

So the first thing we want to do is re-open our title in Avid Media Composer and simply select that clip on the timeline, open up our Effect Editor and launch the user interface, and we will be back into working with this NewBlue title.

So just a quick review of what we have so far is that we have two different paragraphs with two different pieces of text in them, and they each have transitions that bring them in. In fact, we’ll go ahead and play this. You can see “The Keplers”, our band, and the word “Down”, the name of the song that they’re going to be playing. So we have them go out right there.

Now you’re probably wondering what’s all this dead space? Well, this dead space is, just to recap, ten full seconds of our title effect on the Avid Media timeline, because the slice on the Avid Media Composer timeline is ten seconds. But we wanted our actual elements to only last four seconds, so we’ll zoom back in here and work with that.

So now we want to put some effects in here. So let’s have this paragraph, “Down” selected. I’m going to open this up a bit, and let’s go into our Library to go get some effects. So drop down the Effects category, and we can go into the Starter Pack. Starter Pack is simply a selection of effects from the NewBlue Catalog of Effects just to show you that if you own anything from NewBlueFX, it also comes up in NewBlue Titler Pro. So you get double duty out of it. Not only is Avid Media Composer a host, but Titler Pro is also a host for these effects.

So we can go through some of these. Let’s say we click on Film Camera, for example, and hover over a preset and see what that’s going to look like. We could do maybe a handheld crank, electrical storm perhaps, maybe something a little more subtle. Maybe firelight would be nice? Let’s do that so that we could double click or simply drag and drop, and now that effect is applied to our paragraph.

Let’s go back to the Library and go get another effect, something like Dream Glow. So we can hover over a preset, Grey Day or Lemon Jell-O in this case, and now you can see how this glow as well as this animation of the film camera is working together. So we’ll go ahead and drag and drop and apply that as well. Now notice that we have both effects here on the timeline, and we can adjust the parameters. Notice you have the Film Camera, and you have the Dream Glow. Each effect that comes in has its own parameters to work with.

So now we have a transition, two effects on the paragraph and a transition out. Let’s go get a third effect. So we’ll go to the Library, Effects, and instead of being in the Starter Pack, let’s go to Animations, and we could do something like a pan. So if we do like a fast side, you see how not only is the transition bringing it down, but the pan effect is bringing it to the side. Or we could do something like a turn, 180-degree turn let’s say. Remember NewBlue Titler Pro is a 3D application, so you can see it turning in 3D space.

Maybe something a little more slow like this slow turn? That will work nice. Let’s drag and drop and apply. And now at this point we can go earlier in our paragraph and decide what we want in our effects, such as turn, that the start point might be a little bit more extreme over there, and the end point we don’t want to be turned nearly as much. Let’s bring this back closer to center. So now when we go ahead and play that, you can see how it’s turning as it sits there.

All right. So let’s go into Shapes at this point. So there’s a number of ways you can bring in shapes. You can go to the Library under Shapes. You can go inspect what different kinds of shapes that you have, and these are shapes that you would drag and drop into your project. There’s this one shape right here. It’s a little bit of a star. Go ahead and delete that. We could also get something like this plate, drag and drop this plate in.

Now if you want to reorder things on the timeline, you can reorder the tracks, just like this. In fact, let’s bring that plate to the front just to work with it a little bit.

Now how is this plate stylized? Well, if we can go to the Styles and see all the different style layers, this is exactly the same as you worked with, with your different characters. So we could hide different elements here and see which element we want to be working with, like there’s a face right there that we might want to do a gradient or a color or that kind of thing. But what I’m going to do is I’m going to put a shape inside a paragraph. So let me delete this shape, and the first thing I want to do is select a paragraph and I want to get my cursor to the point where I want that shape to be inserted. I can go back to the Library and go find this plate red shape, drag and drop. There we go. Now that whole glow is kind of getting in my way, so I’m going to ditch that glow. Let’s do Dream Glow, right click and Delete Effect. All right.

So with this same shape we want to select it and move it around wherever we want it to be and go to the style and let’s inspect and see what layer we want to be adjusting. So is it this one? No. That’s the one that we want to adjust. And instead of having a gradient there, I want to put in a texture. So let me go to my pictures. The song is called “Down”. Let’s use a down arrow. So now you have a down arrow in that shape. Let me click off of that one shape to the total paragraph because we want to move this in a little bit in our composition. So let’s move that right there.

Now if you had been key-framing animations, for which you can do in Titler Pro and other solutions as your only option, just by moving that paragraph I would have messed up my key frames. But because we’ve been working with animations for our transitions and for our effects, no problem. Let’s go ahead and play this from the beginning. “The Keplers” and “Down” comes in right there.

So let’s go ahead and close this down to the Avid Media Composer timeline so you can see what this composition looks like. Go ahead and play. Here they come in. “Down” comes in. You can see the shape as part of it. It’s flickering with that other effect that Down has, and whoosh, there it goes.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed the basics of NewBlue Titler Pro inside Avid Media Composer. I’m Travis White. Thanks for watching.

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