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There are several amazing title tool packages that allow you to create graphical scenes with complex motion. One of those programs is Avid Technology's Marquee. Avid Marquee ships as a plug-in with the Avid Media Composer software.

Marquee allows you to add 3D extrusion parameters to a title, or individual characters. However, it has one major limitation. It cannot import vector based artwork. This means you are not able to add 3D extrusion to graphic elements.

The work around is to convert a graphic into a font! For example, you could map a single 'font-set' with each character representing a different graphical element.

3D_graphic_title.gif


'FontLab' is a company that makes software that will convert any graphic into a font. I'll admit, I've only tested the software in the most basic manner, but it appears to be quite powerful in terms of all the various features it offers for creating fonts.
type_tool.gif

To convert a graphic into a font, you'll need two pieces of software, TypeTool, and ScanFont. There are version's for PC and MAC.

Make sure both programs, TypeTool and ScanFont, are installed. Launch ScanFont and open a graphical logo that you want to convert into a font. Navigate to the Image > Place into Font.This will automatically convert the graphical element into a vector based font. It's that easy!

scan_font.gif
*ScanFont has all sorts of advanced features, including the ability to create separate 'font objects' from a single graphic. This sort of thing is important if you plan on having a 3D graphic with multiple textures. Without going into additional details, I'll move on to keeps things simple.

After you've placed your graphic into a font. A tracing options box will appear showing you how the font will look based on newly created vector points.

create_font.gif


You can make all sorts of adjustments here to fine-fune the vector drawing. When your satisfied with the results, press the okay button.

An untitled font-map will appear. This is where you can map your new font to a key. Start with the Letter 'A' and work your way down if you have multiple elements.

font_info.gif


*It's critical that you click on the 'font info' button in the upper left corner of the font-map. Make sure you give the font a unique name, so you can find it within your font list. Click on the 'build-names' button to assign all the fields to the same name. 

font_family_name.gif

Make sure you press the 'apply' button when finished.

Navigate to the File menu > Generate Font. Save the file with the default settings (.tff) which stands for true-true font.

Import the font into your system's font folder. This process is slightly different for Mac OS X and PC. If you are on a MAC use the 'font-book' program which is located inside the Applications folder. PC users should use the 'Font' Utility located in the Control Panel.

Finally, launch your favorite titling package, and you'll be able to use your graphic elements as vector based fonts.

vector_font_marquee.gif

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Aplying effects to your groups in Apple Color was the previous entry in this blog.

New Feature in iPhoto--Face Recognition is the next entry in this blog.

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