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Organized Lower-Thirds Without Rendering

If you create branded content for TV and assemble it in post, Adobe has a replacement workflow you should consider if transitioning out of Apple LiveType and Final Cut Pro.  The solution presented below is especially notable for anyone wanting to quickly apply a similar look to a series of lower-thirds graphics without purchasing any kind of title-based plugin to do so, allowing endless design possibilities & flexible creativity.


Those familiar with Apple’s integrated family of applications know that you used to be able to bring a LiveType project file directly into your FCP timeline, saving on render time from not having to export the content as a flattened .MOV file.  This provided many advantages such as the ability to edit such content without having to re-export the changed elements or files (instead FCP would just refresh/update with each change).  If you relied on this for your CG-style solutions and changed NLEs to Adobe Premiere Pro, you now have an even more powerful tool set at your fingertips.  That program is called After Effects—and it’s a design/animation application that many professionals use to create stunning visuals, which enhance the look of media content and television programs.


[Note]: The solution described below requires previous design knowledge of Adobe After Effects.


Here is a sample CG-style relationship you may wish to adopt between AE and Premiere Pro…


1)   Create a comp in AE that matches your source settings in Premiere

2)   If creating a series of matching L3 graphics, consider how long you want each to appear on the screen and set your comp’s total time to the desired length, then create your master template and name the comp appropriately

3)   Duplicate that comp when finished and change any text/design elements as needed for the new graphic

4) Repeat step 3 for as many graphics as you need


[Tip]: you can have fun and create customized transitions for both the introduction and disappearance of the text and any L3 bar in the background


5)   Save your work in AE

6)   Open your video cut in Premiere Pro

7)   Create a new bin called CGs

8)   Import your AE comps from the L3 project you just created and saved in steps 1-4

9)   Select all of the CG comps in the new Premiere Pro bin

10)  Right click and select: Modify > Audio Channels (you want to set the number of tracks to 0 unless there is a SFX tied in)

11)   Then they are ready for use; drag each to its appropriate location on the timeline above the video