Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a lower third


Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Creating a lower third

During many sporting events and interviews, you'll often see a little bar come across the bottom of the screen that will describe what's going on, like this dude is flying on the snowboard or this person is talking about this and they have this authority, or whatever. And that bar, typically at the bottom or towards the bottom of the screen, is referred to as a lower third. Now don't let the name fool you. Lower third does not mean that it's going to be like at that third mark, or it's going to take up a third of the screen, or anything like that. It could be above the subject. Typically, it's just a line at the bottom stating what's going on.
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  1. 4m 1s
    1. Welcome
    2. What is Premiere Pro CS5?
      1m 41s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 25s
  2. 16m 44s
    1. The Premiere Pro workflow
      2m 21s
    2. Adding footage to the Timeline
      2m 19s
    3. Understanding timecode
      3m 3s
    4. Making basic edits
      5m 15s
    5. Getting familiar with the interface
      3m 46s
  3. 21m 59s
    1. Setting up a new project
      3m 48s
    2. Creating a new sequence
      5m 30s
    3. Capturing and ingesting footage
      2m 51s
    4. Importing files
      5m 23s
    5. Sorting and organizing clips
      4m 27s
  4. 33m 19s
    1. Making a rough cut
      4m 0s
    2. Making preliminary edits
      4m 55s
    3. Creating overlay and insert edits
      4m 16s
    4. Using video layers to add B-roll
      3m 47s
    5. Using ripple edits and ripple delete
      3m 1s
    6. Performing slip edits
      2m 54s
    7. Using the Razor tool
      3m 51s
    8. Moving edit points
      3m 47s
    9. Navigating efficiently in the Timeline
      2m 48s
  5. 28m 45s
    1. The job of an editor
      2m 59s
    2. When to cut
      5m 54s
    3. Avoiding bad edits
      6m 31s
    4. The pacing of edits
      3m 47s
    5. Using establishing shots
      2m 44s
    6. Using emotional cutaways
      2m 1s
    7. Fixing problems with cutaways
      2m 48s
    8. Matching action
      2m 1s
  6. 21m 38s
    1. Using markers
      3m 31s
    2. Replacing clips
      2m 36s
    3. Exporting a still frame
      1m 51s
    4. Creating alternate cuts
      1m 25s
    5. Rearranging clips in the Timeline
      2m 15s
    6. Targeting tracks
      2m 32s
    7. Disconnecting audio and video
      5m 0s
    8. Reconnecting offline media
      2m 28s
  7. 9m 46s
    1. Adjusting the rubber band
      3m 13s
    2. Adjusting clip position
      1m 21s
    3. Moving the anchor point
      2m 50s
    4. Adjusting clip size and rotation
      2m 22s
  8. 8m 15s
    1. Changing the speed of a clip
      1m 58s
    2. Using the Rate Stretch tool
      1m 57s
    3. Playing a clip backward
      4m 20s
  9. 10m 26s
    1. Understanding pixel aspect ratio
      5m 15s
    2. Understanding frame rates
      2m 15s
    3. About HD standards
      2m 56s
  10. 10m 32s
    1. Using layered Photoshop files
      2m 31s
    2. Animating clip position
      3m 33s
    3. Fading layers in and out
      4m 28s
  11. 12m 40s
    1. Applying transitions
      6m 2s
    2. Using transitions effectively
      4m 41s
    3. Setting up the default transition
      1m 57s
  12. 38m 31s
    1. The importance of ambient audio
      6m 35s
    2. Cutting video to music
      7m 38s
    3. Changing audio volume over time
      9m 55s
    4. Fixing audio problems
      9m 57s
    5. Censoring audio
      4m 26s
  13. 16m 25s
    1. Creating censored video
      5m 22s
    2. Creating a lens flare
      2m 20s
    3. Creating a logo bug
      3m 27s
    4. Creating background textures
      5m 16s
  14. 13m 23s
    1. Intro to compositing
      1m 11s
    2. Removing a green screen background
      9m 14s
    3. Compositing with blend modes
      2m 58s
  15. 22m 37s
    1. Adjusting white balance
      2m 24s
    2. Increasing contrast
      3m 5s
    3. Adjusting luminance
      4m 30s
    4. Creating cinematic color
      5m 21s
    5. Creating a vignette
      3m 12s
    6. Creating a day-for-night shot
      4m 5s
  16. 16m 5s
    1. Creating titles
      4m 55s
    2. Creating a lower third
      9m 12s
    3. Animating rolling credits
      1m 58s
  17. 14m 13s
    1. Exporting sequences from Premiere
      3m 57s
    2. Exporting with the Adobe Media Encoder
      2m 13s
    3. The most common formats and codecs
      4m 42s
    4. Exporting portions of a sequence
      1m 54s
    5. Rendering letterboxed footage
      1m 27s
  18. 6m 46s
    1. Examining the other apps that come with Premiere
      4m 25s
    2. Working with Final Cut Pro
      2m 21s
  19. 20s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training
5h 6m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins shows not only how to edit video with Premiere Pro, but he also explains how to use video to tell compelling stories. This course covers the Premiere Pro workflow from a high level, providing a background on how projects go from start to finish before diving into basic clip adjustments, such as color correcting scenes for more dramatic impact, applying transitions effectively, and slowing down and speeding up clip playback. The course includes creative techniques, such as making titles and removing a green screen background from a shot. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adding footage to the Timeline
  • Creating dynamically linked content
  • Making overlay and insert edits
  • Moving edit points
  • Playing a clip backwards
  • Understanding pixel aspect ratio and frame rate
  • Applying motion effects
  • Cutting video to music
  • Compositing with green screen and blend modes
  • Correcting color
  • Creating titles and lower thirds
  • Exporting sequences
Premiere Pro
Chad Perkins

Creating a lower third

During many sporting events and interviews, you'll often see a little bar come across the bottom of the screen that will describe what's going on, like this dude is flying on the snowboard or this person is talking about this and they have this authority, or whatever. And that bar, typically at the bottom or towards the bottom of the screen, is referred to as a lower third. Now don't let the name fool you. Lower third does not mean that it's going to be like at that third mark, or it's going to take up a third of the screen, or anything like that. It could be above the subject. Typically, it's just a line at the bottom stating what's going on.

Now ideally you want to design something like this in a design program like Photoshop, or Illustrator, or even Adobe After Effects. But if you don't have access to those things in a pinch, you can actually use the Titler in Premiere to create titles. We are going to be looking at making a lower third in the Titler right now. So let's go to the Project panel, create a new Title. I am going to call this title Lower Third and press OK. Now in the last movie we created Type. But now we are actually going to go down below those tools, and we are going to create a lower third using these shapes here.

So I am going to click on the Wedge tool, otherwise know as Triangle Maker. And if I hold the Shift key on any of these shapes, it will constrain the proportions, so that the width and height are the same. So I can do that here. And I am going to make a triangle about yea big, and then I am going to select the Rectangle tool above it, and I am going to click and drag to make a rectangle. Looking pretty good. I'm going to select the Selection tool here. I'll click the triangle and move this up and over a little bit.

And I actually want to make it so that the bottoms of the triangle, or the wedge, are lined up with my rectangle. And actually I can click this little center dot right here at the top, to resize this vertically. I could also resize it vertically using the one at the bottom. Resize it horizontally using middle dots or anchor points on the right hand and left hand sides. And if I click and drag on the corners, I could resize vertically and horizontally at the same time. So I am going to make this about as wide, but a little less tall. They are not lined up now, but what I could do is go back to the Selection tool and I can click on one and then Shift+Click.

I'll hold the Shift button down and click on the other, so they are both selected. Now once you have more than one Shift selected then you have these cool Align options that are all laid up for you. So I actually I want to align their vertical bottoms. So I am going to click on the Vertical Bottom button. So now their bottoms are aligned. And actually I might want to also click this button, which will align their left edges, and let's go ahead and do that. Now I want to create another triangle that's kind of like the opposite of this on the right-hand side, maybe a little bit smaller.

So I am going to click the Wedge tool. Click and drag to create a triangle holding the Shift key. I'll make this one a little bit smaller. That looks pretty good. Now as we have talked about in the last movie, we can adjust stuff, including text, in the right-hand side of the Title Properties panel here, and we can adjust Shapes the same way. So I am going to actually fiddle with rotation until it flips upside down here, 180 degrees. Select the Selection tool and move this into place. And then I'll actually, while this is selected, Shift+Click the rectangle.

Then I'll do the Vertical Align of their tops and of their right edges, kind of like we did with the left wedge. Now we have the cool basis of a lower third. And actually now that I am looking at, I am going to click this and resize it. Make a little bit taller, so we have more room for our text in here. Now this is looking pretty cool, but I could continue to fiddle, and actually I am going to continue to fiddle. I want the angle of the wedges to kind of mimic this mountain here. So I am going to go back to Rotation. And I'm going to click and drag this to the left just a little bit and tell the Rotation we are creating some parallel lines here.

Do the same thing with this other Wedge. I want to make something a little bit more rough and frenetic. So if there are some extra edges popping out here, that's okay, and if it's not perfectly aligned, that's also okay. I am going to click this front wedge, and I am going to hold down the Option key on the Mac, Alt key on the PC. Notice when I do that I get a little buddy arrow there. And that indicates that if I click and drag, while holding the Alt or Option key, I'm going to make a copy, which is actually what I want to do. So I click and drag this out, and move this up a little bit, so we have some kind of staggered action there.

Same thing with this Wedge, except I am going to drag a copy down and to the left. So again, what this is doing is making it so that our design is a little bit more jagged and rough and has little bit more energy. Now what I could also do is select the Line tool, and I am just going to click and drag to give this a motion, and that looks good. I'll make a line at the top here, kind of shooting out and going up a little bit. And then I am going to make another couple of little lines on top here.

Actually let's start there, click in the line up top. It's a little bit too high, so I am going to select the Selection tool, and drag that down and move that over just a little bit. I am actually going to takes the Line Width down to 2, on that extra one. I just kind of want to add some extra sketchy lines for some extra motion, and actually I am going to click on this line here, and rotate it a little bit less because it's looking like it's a little bit too rotated there. Then same thing on this one, I am going to rotate it back the other direction, and then I could use my Arrow keys to nudge it upwards, and I'll go back and create another line here, just another little frenetic line just to show energy.

Click the Selection tool and then use the Arrow keys to bump that up. Move it over to the right a little bit, and I also might want to take this Line Width to 2 and maybe rotate it a little bit more in that direction. So now we have a pretty cool-looking title that we can add some text to. So now I could go ahead and select my Type tool. And actually, I am going to click and drag in this blank spot up here, and I am going to fiddle with my text up here. And then once I get the text the way I like it, then I am going to drag and drop it on top of these other shapes.

If I actually create it in place, the chances are that if I want to go back and adjust it, I am inadvertently going to click a shape, and I don't want to do that. So the first thing I am going to do is I am going to lower the Font Size. I want something much smaller here. I am actually going to change the Color, which you actually could do by any of these shapes as well. But I am going to go ahead and click the Color Swatch here, and I am going to get an orange that kind of mimics the snowboard going on there, maybe a little bit brighter and go ahead and click OK. And then I could start typing my text here.

Let's go ahead and type in capital PRO SNOW. So I am going to go ahead and click and drag to select all this text. I might reduce the Font Size a little bit. I also might increase the Tracking, which will stretch out the space between the letters there. And then I could select the Selection tool and drag this into place, and I'll probably change the Rotation just to make this a little screwy, a little off a little bit. There we go and contrast the lines around it.

And I might polish up these lines just a little bit, rotate those back, a little bit more crazy. There we have our awesome Titles, and actually select my Pro Snow and rotate a little bit more and make the Font Size a little bit bigger. I might need to increase the Size of the Textbox to do that. But we can do that. And there we have a pretty interesting Title. I might change the Font and kind of play with this a little bit more.

But I am kind of liking what I have here. And we could again close out the Titler and then drag and drop this onto video track 2, and there we have our lower third. Now this is a regular old layer, a regular old clip that we can click to select and then open up Motion, and we could adjust and animate the position if we want to animate it like coming onscreen or going offscreen, or if we wanted to open up Opacity and have it fading in or out, we can totally do that. So while it's not the most professional graphic you have ever seen created, I mean really, your creativity's the limit on what you come up with, because you have so much control with those basic shapes and all those other parameters on the right-hand side to adjust, that you really can come up with some interesting designs.

By the way, if you did want to go back and fiddle with this, for example, you might want to change the font here, this is the terrible looking font for this project, what I could do here is double-click lower third, the title in the Project panel. That will open you're the Titler again, and then I could go ahead and select my text and then select something a little bit more suited to our subject matter, maybe something with stencils, something a little but more intense like this Cracked Font. And then we could increase the Font Size, and there is magic all around.

So looking good, close this. We could see our changes show up in our Project automatically, and that is the way to create shapes and objects inside the Titler.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: When attempting to open the project exercise files into Premiere Pro CS5, an error message appears: 
This project contained a sequence that could not be opened. No sequence preview preset file codec could be associated with this sequence type. 
What could be causing the error, and how can the files be opened?
A: There are a few possible explanations. 

First, if the projects are not importing correctly, the error could be with the codecs being used on a particular machine. Check to make sure the Video Previews codec setting matches the file type being used.

Another possible issue could stem from using the trial version of Premiere CS5. Some codecs for encoding MPEG formats are available only with the full version of Premiere CS5. 

Additionally, the "Video Previews" codec setting for the Custom Sequence Presets could cause the issue if it is defaulting to “I-Frame Only MPEG”. Changing the setting to Microsoft AVI might fix the problem.

Lastly, if the projects are not importing into Premiere, try importing the video footage by itself, rather than the entire project file.
Q: How does one perform internal edits within a piece of video in Adobe Premiere? For example, if I have a single clip of video, comprised of multiple segments strung together, how would I go about removing gaps and/or cleaning up each segment and then assembling the clips in a desired order? Most tutorials emphasize laying down multiple clips on the Sceneline or Timeline, but not editing one clip of video.
A: To remove footage from a single video clip:
  • Drag the Current Time Indicator (CTI) to the first frame of the segment to be deleted, click the Split Clip button in the Monitor panel, drag the CTI to the last frame of the segment to be deleted, and then click the Split Clip button again.
  • Delete the segment by clicking on the clip and either choosing Edit > Delete And Close Gap, or pressing the Delete or Backspace key. That will remove the segment and the rest of the projectwill slide over to the left to fill the gap.
Q: I can't view the exercise files.
A: Most of the video clips in the training were encoded using H.264. If you are on a PC, you may need to download the latest version of the free
QuickTime player from Be sure to install QuickTime with your Adobe applications closed. QuickTime installs a series of codecs on your
machine, and many Adobe apps require QuickTime components to function properly.
Q: Why are many of the video files H.264 if some users must download additional components to view them?
A: This is one of the most common video formats in the world right now, certainly for distribution. This is because it is currently the most optimal
way to provide high quality video at the low files sizes that we need to be able to distribute these assets online. Even though it may require an extra
download for some users, this is the best way to be able to get you the highest quality exercise files. There isn't another video standard that is
cross platform that is free and that works as well as H.264.
Q: What is the most effective way to import a JPEG into Premiere Pro (i.e. best quality resolution, best playback speed)? When I import a photo as a JPEG and add it to a sequence, only a very small part of my photo is shown, because of the high resolution of these photos. Should they be resized in Photoshop first? Will changing it using effects provide the quality I am looking for?
A: Images can be scaled down using the Scale Transform in the Effect Controls panel as explained in the training. You can also scale down the images in Photoshop to match the size of your sequence in Premiere. But I prefer to use the Scale Transform as it gives me more flexibility and allows me to "zoom in" (aka scale up) photos without loss in quality. You'll probably want to make sure that the proportions of the image match the sequence though.
Q: Does Premiere Pro offer Z-axis editing like After Effects?
A: Premiere Pro does not offer 3D as After Effects does, but you can use the Basic 3D effect in Premiere to simulate that environment.
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