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In Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training, author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates basic and intermediate editing techniques in Media Composer, one of the most widely used nonlinear, video editing systems. This course covers how to build sequences, mix audio, color correct footage, apply effects, and troubleshoot common post-production issues in Media Composer. Exercise files accompany the course.
Making sharp looking titles is an absolute must in video editing, whether it's a full page graphic, a lower third or an animated title sequence, Avid Marquee is a great solution for title creation. Marquee is an application within Media Composer and is the more advanced of the two available title tools. Both applications can be found via the tools menu under Title Tool, and as you can see Media Composer asks what you want to use. For this demonstration, we'll explore Avid Marquee.
As you can see, once you launch Avid Marquee, the interface changes and we are looking at a new application. The image displayed on the screen is the image that the position indicator is resting on in the sequence. Now, this is not part of the title we are about to build. It's just a reference for us as we build the title. If you prefer not to use it, you can also choose Background and your screen will turn black. I do recommend you put on the Safe Title Grid. This produces two boundaries. The first is the Safe Action Line, the boundary that guarantees the action that will display on most televisionsets, and the inner one is the Safe Title Boundary which is what you should strive to keep your titles within.
Now, in the left-hand side is a tool palette that contains a number of title making tools. The first, which is selected by default, is the Edit tool and it allows us to move our text and objects around. Since we haven't created anything yet, we'll come back to it. The second is the Text tool and as you can imagine, it's how you create text. If I select it, I can just click anywhere on the interface and begin typing and the bounding box forms around the text automatically.
I can also use the Title tool to create a bounding-box initially, so that when I type in it, it will automatically return to the second line when I reach the boundary of the box, like so. I am going to delete this one and just create one more box and we'll come back up to our Edit tool to get these positioned appropriately. Notice that when I move my title, it snaps to my safe title boundary, which is really handy.
If I'd like to resize my text, I can do so by entering numbers in here or using the accompanying value shuttle. Now, because I have a bounding box, if I enter in a larger number, say for example 120, it returns the text to the second line. If I make my bounding box larger, it will return it to the first line. I can also drag my value shuttle up and down to increase and decrease my text accordingly.
We'll go ahead and make his title of this size and let's make this one a little bit smaller, like so. If I want to increase the size of my text by increasing the size of my bounding box I can do so. Notice that when I increase the size of my bounding box without pressing any modifiers, nothing happens to my text. If however, I hold down Alt or Option on a Mac, it will increase the size of the text as well. If I hold down Shift+Alt or Shift+ Option on a Mac, it will constrain my proportions and if I want to effect the text kerning, I can do so via this box up here.
Again, I can type in a number or more often just increase the numbers via the value shuttle like so. If I want to do this on the keyboard, I just have to select my text and Alt+Right arrow to increase my kerning, Option+Right arrow on a Mac, and Alt+Left arrow or Option+Left arrow on a Mac to decrease my kerning. Also, we have our justification controls up here, Left Justified by default. I can go center or right. This should be very familiar to you if you use word processing programs.
I think I have got the titles situated and sized the way I want them. Now let's go over to the Quick Title Properties window and explore some more options. At the top of the window is a place that I can change my color. If I go ahead and select my text, I can come into base color and get a basic color swatch. Notice that the title change its color as I progress through them, and I'll go ahead and select a yellow, and for my second title let's select orange.
And notice that I can also come in and use my Color palette which gives me a lot more choices, or I can come into the Windows or Mac Color Picker where I can not only effect the color, but also the Saturation, Brightness, and Opacity. There is one more way I can affect color via the eyedropper. I can go ahead and click here and select any color within the application. So if I like the color of those drapes behind Tony, I can make my text the exact same color.
I think I'll go back to yellow though. If I'd like to change my opacity, I can do so right here with the Opacity control, make sure my text is selected, and drag down with my value shuttle and up, and I will leave it fully opaque. Just keep in mind that all of this stuff is animatable. You can really change the way things look through an animated title sequence, which you can certainly explore on your own. It's beyond the basics of this course, but this gives you a good foundation for all of the options that can change at any given point in time.
One more thing I would like to do with this point is add a drop-shadow to my text to separate it better from the background. So I'll go ahead and select both titles by Shift+Clicking and show drop shadow. By default it gives me a 50% opacity drop shadow with an X and Y offset of 1. I like to have a little bit of a crisper shadow, so I am going to change this to 75 and I am going to decrease the offset by about half. So I am going to enter 0.5 and -0.5.
There we go. We are going to do more things to this title in a future movie, but for right now this is a good base. Avid Marquee is a deep application and it offers countless ways to create interesting titles with customized lighting, animation, 3D manipulations, all of which you can certainly explore on your own. The bare basics you learned in this movie will give you a good foundation upon which to build more complex titles. In the next movie, we'll go a little deeper and explore how to add gradients and shapes to your titles.
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