Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating lower thirds


Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training

with Abba Shapiro

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Video: Creating lower thirds

In the previous movie we learned how to create a title, and we took advantage of some of the presets. In this one, we are going to create a lower third from scratch. So once again, I'm going to pick a representative frame--and these are all pretty standard--to create a lower third for Brian Dash, our installer. With my playhead parked over a representative frame, once again, I am going to go back to Title, New Title, and choose Default Still. Click OK. And as you see, we have a picture of Brian, and we're ready to start creating our lower third.
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  1. 56s
    1. What is Premiere Pro?
  2. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 42s
  3. 27m 52s
    1. Launching the application for the first time
      3m 27s
    2. A tour of the interface
      4m 55s
    3. Customizing the window layout and the interface
      7m 0s
    4. Exploring the different ways to drive Premiere Pro CS6
      4m 33s
    5. Understanding system configuration and the Mercury Playback Engine
      3m 17s
    6. Adjusting essential preferences
      4m 40s
  4. 40m 7s
    1. Importing files and folders
      11m 2s
    2. Importing card-based media
      6m 1s
    3. Capturing from tape
      4m 10s
    4. Organizing media
      12m 3s
    5. Reconnecting offline media
      6m 51s
  5. 21m 0s
    1. Basic editing overview
      4m 44s
    2. Previewing and marking media in the Project panel
      7m 11s
    3. Previewing and marking clips in the Source panel
      9m 5s
  6. 33m 38s
    1. Editing clips into the Timeline
      7m 56s
    2. Marking and targeting destinations in the Timeline
      2m 53s
    3. Moving clips in the Timeline and performing a swap edit
      4m 11s
    4. Adjusting edit points in the Timeline
      2m 6s
    5. Splitting clips using the Razor tool
      2m 16s
    6. Deleting clips
      2m 38s
    7. Performing an insert edit
      4m 14s
    8. Performing an overwrite edit
      3m 10s
    9. Dragging to a second layer to edit cutaways
      4m 14s
  7. 43m 16s
    1. Performing a three-point edit
      7m 23s
    2. Performing a replace edit
      3m 48s
    3. Targeting specific tracks in the Timeline
      3m 1s
    4. Linking and unlinking audio and video tracks
      3m 51s
    5. Performing roll and ripple edits
      6m 51s
    6. Performing slip and slide edits
      6m 42s
    7. Creating subclips
      4m 29s
    8. Locating and working with different versions of a clip using Match Frame
      7m 11s
  8. 42m 52s
    1. Taking control of your Timeline
      7m 57s
    2. Adding video and audio tracks
      5m 32s
    3. Performing audio-only and video-only edits
      4m 49s
    4. Changing track visibility and locking tracks
      5m 42s
    5. Rendering
      7m 43s
    6. Using the History panel to undo multiple actions
      2m 31s
    7. Creating keyboard shortcuts
      5m 35s
    8. Creating buttons
      3m 3s
  9. 23m 28s
    1. Working with audio
      5m 22s
    2. Adjusting audio levels in the Source Monitor
      3m 0s
    3. Adjusting audio levels in the Timeline
      10m 10s
    4. Adjusting the audio mix on the fly
      4m 56s
  10. 9m 4s
    1. Inserting markers
      4m 8s
    2. Snapping markers to each other
      4m 56s
  11. 29m 52s
    1. Working with stills
      10m 57s
    2. Moving on stills
      5m 54s
    3. Exporting and re-importing stills
      3m 47s
    4. Working with still and animated graphics with transparency
      2m 39s
    5. Working with layered Photoshop files
      6m 35s
  12. 20m 58s
    1. Changing speed and reversing a clip
      6m 22s
    2. Changing speed at a variable rate
      9m 10s
    3. Creating and using freeze frames
      5m 26s
  13. 28m 22s
    1. Using transitions
      9m 36s
    2. Understanding the nuances of transitions
      6m 24s
    3. Modifying transitions
      8m 37s
    4. Setting default transitions and applying multiple transitions
      3m 45s
  14. 36m 36s
    1. Applying and modifying effects
      4m 51s
    2. Applying presets and motion effects
      5m 42s
    3. Saving favorites
      3m 50s
    4. Understanding color correction
      4m 4s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      3m 23s
    6. Working with green screen and chroma key footage
      6m 36s
    7. Using the Warp Stabilizer to stabilize clips
      6m 27s
    8. Applying filters to audio
      1m 43s
  15. 27m 45s
    1. Creating static titles
      7m 8s
    2. Creating lower thirds
      10m 2s
    3. Creating a credit roll and crawls
      6m 41s
    4. Using Photoshop for titles
      3m 54s
  16. 20m 0s
    1. Introducing multicam editing
      1m 46s
    2. Creating a multicam clip with timecode
      3m 25s
    3. Creating a multicam clip using sync points
      4m 1s
    4. Editing a multicam clip in a Timeline
      4m 26s
    5. Refining a multicam edit
      6m 22s
  17. 9m 51s
    1. Exporting a movie
      4m 12s
    2. Sending to Adobe Media Encoder
      3m 44s
    3. Printing to video
      1m 55s
  18. 1m 22s
    1. Next steps
      1m 22s

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Watch the Online Video Course Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training
6h 59m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course introduces Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, using a project-based approach that introduces video editors to all the skills necessary to cut their own program. Using a short commercial project as an example, author Abba Shapiro walks viewers through a complete and logical workflow that begins with importing media, creating a basic rough edit, and then refining the cut with music and sound effects, transitions, visual effects, and titles. The course also includes troubleshooting advice, such as reconnecting offline media and using the History panel to undo multiple actions.

Topics include:
  • Customizing the window layout and the interface
  • Importing card-based media
  • Capturing media from tape
  • Marking and selecting the best takes from clips
  • Editing clips into the Timeline
  • Performing insert and overwrite edits
  • Performing more advanced editing tasks, such as 3-point editing, replace edits, and trimming using ripple and roll edits
  • Mixing audio
  • Editing more efficiently using markers
  • Working with stills and graphics
  • Creating speed changes on clips
  • Adding transitions and effects
  • Creating titles, credit rolls, and lower thirds
  • Demonstrating multicamera editing techniques
  • Stabilizing shaky footage
  • Exporting your final project to the web, mobile devices, and tape
Premiere Pro
Abba Shapiro

Creating lower thirds

In the previous movie we learned how to create a title, and we took advantage of some of the presets. In this one, we are going to create a lower third from scratch. So once again, I'm going to pick a representative frame--and these are all pretty standard--to create a lower third for Brian Dash, our installer. With my playhead parked over a representative frame, once again, I am going to go back to Title, New Title, and choose Default Still. Click OK. And as you see, we have a picture of Brian, and we're ready to start creating our lower third.

Now I do want to point out something that's pretty important to take note of when creating any kind of a title or actually to realize whenever you're creating any video that could be broadcast onto a television set in someone's home, and that is these two little boxes. The outer one is called Action Safe, and the inner one is called Title Safe. On many TV sets, the viewer doesn't see anything beyond this outer ring and this is by design when people create television sets to make sure they have a nice clean image.

Now every TV is built a little bit different, so if you really want to be safe, when putting in, say, a title or logo it is recommended that you actually put it inside the inner box, which is called Title Safe. So keep that in mind when creating any kind of graphic or text. Now if you're exporting to the web, your viewer may see all the way to the edge. So be careful there that you don't have some garbage or trash or junk you don't want them to see outside of the title safe area either.

With that said, let's go ahead and create a new line of text. So the first thing I want to do is type his name, and his name is Brian Dash, and by default, the tool will choose the last typeface that you used, or the default if this is the first time you have launched the tool. But I can go over here to this dropdown menu, and I can choose any title I want. You may notice that you can choose the font family here. And as you see, it's the exact same typefaces. Just use whichever is closest to where your mouse is parked.

I'm a big fan of keeping things simple, so Arial and Helvetica are my two favorite typefaces to use. We are going to go ahead. We tried Arial Narrow. I think that's a little too thin, so I want to just go with a nice solid Arial Black, a nice solid title. And I want to position this so I am going to go back here to my Selection tool and I'll put it down here where I want it to be. And I am going to leave a little bit of space for not only his name, but for his title. As you see, this is still pretty boring, and I don't go down to the Title Styles, I want to build it from scratch so you can get a sense of the flexibility of the Title Properties part of the panel.

The first thing I usually do is I select a color, and we are going keep it simple. We are going to keep it with a solid, and I am going to pick a color that stands out, and generally White and Yellow are the two most popular colors for lower thirds. White if it's a darker background. Yellow just to make it pop. It's all personal preference, but make sure that your title actually stands out from your background. Now a trick that we'll learn later on this movie is creating a bar and put it behind the title but for now let's make sure it pops.

Because this title is vector based, you can really control exactly how it looks on the screen. We won't go super deep into topography, but I just want to point out you can control things such as Kerning, which is the space between letters, and tracking. Now you might say tracking and kerning, they seem the exactly the same. Well, tracking is the physical space between letters and kerning is for letters such as when the letter A is next to the letter V, and you have that kind of slanted line, how closely those go to together.

I want you to be aware that you can really control a lot of elements here. And if you make a mistake, simply turn it off or press Undo. But I do find that one of the most valuable things to do to any piece of text is to add a little bit of a stroke or an outline. Under Outer Strokes I am going to on a click Add, and generally the default is pretty good, but depending on how big or how small your text is you may want to modify that. I think a little more of an edge is really going to punch.

So now this really stands out no matter what color my background is. The other thing you may want to add is a shadow. Once you've added the shadow, you can control the angle and the distance, and the further back you get it--and also there is an option for spread, and really that's a softness because in real life when you have shadow, it's not always a hard edge. So the defaults are actually pretty good, but if you want to change it, it's easy as just selecting it and modifying it. Well, that looks pretty good to start, and now I want to create the second line.

Instead of reinventing everything from scratch, I am going to simply Option-drag Brian Dash to create an exact copy of what I have already created. I can go ahead and move this one up a little bit, and now I'm going to go ahead and place the lower one which is a perfect match of the typeface, the size, the color, the outline, and the drop shadow. And I could just go in and change and write what his title is, which is Lead Installer. But usually the second line is a little smaller, so I can very easily, once this is selected, go up to text and scale that down and maybe change the color a little bit just to give me a little bit of difference in my lower third so it stands out.

Now don't panic that you can't actually see this really well against the white background. We're going to create a bar that we are going to put underneath that. Once I have actually created the copy, I'll go back and select the Text tool or hit keyboard shortcut of T, and I am going to type in Lead Installer. By pressing the Escape key, I'm back to my positioning tool, and I'm good to go. Now I could treat this and make it larger or smaller as necessary, but one last thing I want to make sure I do is that I want these to line up. And I can eyeball that, but sometimes it's easier just to select them. I am going to lasso both of them, go over to the Alignment tool.

And with the click of a button, I can make sure that they are both justified left in the same place. The last thing I want to do is I want to put a little bar behind here, and these are Drawing tools, and you can kind of see exactly what the tool is by looking at the picture, and I am going to start with a rounded rectangle tool. I select it, and you'll notice that the color is the last color that I picked. But that's okay, don't panic. And I am simply going to draw a rectangle from my background and position it a little bit off screen, and you're thinking to yourself, wow, that's really ugly, and I just blocked my letters.

Well, this is the starting point. The first thing I am going to do is go ahead and change that outer stroke to either invisible or really small. I'm going to change it to Invisible. I don't want an outer stroke in my background. Drop Shadow is okay, and that's getting there. Don't want it to be Yellow. I can simply go ahead and change the color to something I like, but I don't want this to be boring, so instead of being a Solid color, I am going to choose a Gradient. And there is a variety of gradients, and I can choose--let's keep it simple--a nice linear gradient from green to green is pretty ugly to start, so let's go ahead and double-click on that square. I'm a big fan of blue.

We'll select a nice dark blue, click OK for the top part of the gradient, go over here, slide that over, and change our angle. Now one of the things that I can do once have created this angle here--now we'll give it a little bit of a slant-- I like that--is I can also modify the Color Stop Opacity. And what does that mean? It means I can actually make part of this translucent. So now I can see his name and everything is good except for the fact that his name should be on top.

A simple right-click on that element, choose Arrange, Sent to Back, and I am almost good to go. Let me go ahead and grab that and move that up a little bit. And I think that's pretty good. I think it's a good place to start. I could have obviously played with a lot of other elements to make it pop, adding a little bit of sheen and focusing his name in the middle of that sheen. But for right now, we're good to go. Let's go ahead close this out. And as you see, I now have my Title here in my Project.

I am going to go ahead and rename that lower third so I can always find it when I need it and grab it, drop it onto my timeline. There we go, a great lower third. If that punches too hard, I could play a little bit with the opacity, but I think it's perfect, and I want to be able to use that over and over again, because I like the style. To do that, I simply right-click on the original one, duplicate, and now I can actually start naming these instead of just generically lower third, I can name it, say, lower third in the person's name.

So let's say I wanted to add the name of another person in the show and their name is Michael. I'll drag it over Brian, I don't think he will mind. As you see, it still says Brian, but now I simply double-click, it opens up in the Title tool, select the first part, and I am going to type in Michael--he is going to be a Junior Installer-- press Escape, and close. And if you notice it's now been updated Michael Smith, Jr. Installer, but our original one's still Brian Dash.

So creating a lower third is actually pretty easy to do, and once you've built one that you like, you can simply duplicate it, rename it, and modify it as necessary.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Premiere Pro CS6 Essential Training .

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Q: The exercise files don't work for me. I get an error message stating the sequence(s) could not be loaded and it returns me to the Welcome screen. I am using the trial version of Premiere Pro and the correct codecs do not seem to be included.
A: All the required codecs are included in the trial version of Premiere. You just need to activate the trial with your Adobe ID. If you don't sign into Adobe, anything with MPEG compression will be unavailable. Signing resolves that issue and restores all MPEG-based support.
Q: I'm receiving the following error message from Premiere Pro. "This project contained a sequence that could not be opened. No sequence preview preset file or codec could be associated with this sequence type." How do I resolve it?
Additionally, when I try to create a project, I only have DV sequence presets available.
A: Solution 1: Deactivate, and then reactivate Adobe Premiere Pro.
Launch Adobe Premiere Pro by clicking the application icon. Do not attempt to load a project file. Choose New Project, then create a project. The settings you choose in this step are not important.
Launch Premiere Pro so that the Help menu is available. Choose Help > Deactivate. Then on the Deactivate, screen click the Deactivate button. On Premiere Pro CC Choose Help > Sign out ...Then sign back in. Launch Adobe Premiere Pro as you did in Step 1. On the Sign In Required screen, click the Sign in button. If prompted, sign in with your Adobe ID. The full list of sequence presets is reinitialized. Open the project the generated the error to ensure that it opens correctly. If you are still unable to open your project, contact Adobe Technical Support.
Solution 2: Re-create the Adobe Premiere Pro preferences and plug-in cache.
Get ready to press the Alt (Option) + Shift keys simultaneously. Launch Adobe Premiere Pro by clicking the application icon, and immediately press and hold the Alt (Option) + Shift keys. Continue to hold the Alt (Option) + Shift keys down until you see the Welcome Screen. Note: If the preferences have been reset successfully, the Recent Projects area of the welcome screen will be blank. (Holding Alt (Option) alone on launch will reset the preferences. Holding Shift alone will delete the plugin cache.)
Q: When I tried to open the exercise files for this course, the following message popped up.
"This project was last used with Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA), which is not available on this system. Mercury Playback Engine Software only will be used?"
What do I have to do to solve the issue?
Luckily, there is no issue. This is how Premiere Pro operates. "Mercury Playback Engine Software only will be used" is an indication that the machine that is being used does not have an approved/fast enough graphics card. However, all the files and media for this course will work just fine.
You can read more about the system requirements for Premiere Pro here and here

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