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Creating Radiant Title with Avid Marquee

Check out this short tutorial on how to create a giant crawling title using Avid Marquee with light rays shooting through it!

It's been awhile since I've written a tutorial for Avid Media Composer. I thought I'd mix it up a bit and share an extremely valuable tool for creating moving mattes. The ability to create moving mattes is a critical skill when building effects. This tutorial demonstrates how you can use Avid Marquee to create a giant title with a glassy appearance that travels through a scene.

This exercise is not for the light hearted and requires some basic knowledge of the Media Composer interface. I've done my best to include as many screen shots as possible to help you along. GeniusDV teaches these types of exercises in its 5 Day Media Composer training course.


I'll admit, I probably went a bit overboard with the length of this tutorial, and it does take on the assumption that you have some basic Media Composer editing skills. However, I wanted to give everyone a taste of some of the things we like to teach in our Media Composer training course.

Marquee is a complex 3D title tool supplied with all current versions of Avid Media Composer. One of Marquee's strengths is the ability to animate objects with relative ease. Take a look at the effect above.  Here are the basic steps:

If the following dialog box doesn't appear, look for the Marquee Title settings in the Project window. Set the Marquee Title Setting to 'Marquee or Ask me'.


After Marquee launches, change the Toolset menu to Basic Animation. You can also use the keyboard shortcut F4. The Basic Animation toolset will open a timeline window so you can easily animate a moving matte.

Set the main Monitor Window to 25%. This will reduce the workspace so you can see outside the visible picture area.


Type some text Using the text tool from the Marquee toolbox. Change the text size so the title is very large. In this example, I've chosen a font size of 430. I also recommend that you use a relatively basic font set. In this case, I'm using the Arial Bold font.


Place the text object off to the extreme right of the visible picture area.


Next, place the blue timeline position indicator at the end of the timeline at the 5:00 mark. You can change the default timeline duration by right-clicking on the value, but I'm going to leave it at 5:00.


Next, click on the Animation Mode button. The animation Mode button is located at the top of the toolbar. It looks like a filmstrip.


Move the text object over to the left portion of the visible picture area. Holding down the shift key will constrain the horizontal movement so your object moves in a perfectly straight line.


Okay, that’s it! You can now turn off the Animation mode button. If you back up and press the play button in the timeline window, the title should crawl across the screen. Navigate to the File Menu and exit Marquee. It will now take a minute or two for Marquee to save the title to an Avid bin.

*Now, you may be asking yourself, why not use Marquee's automated crawl function? Well, I must tell you, I started off writing this tutorial using Marquee's the crawl function. That method will work perfectly fine until you attempt to finish the last part of this tutorial. It turns out using this manual method of animating the title yourself is less confusing.

Next, find some background media to place onto V1.  Since the Marquee animation is 5:00 you'll want to edit at least 5 seconds of material onto V1 which will be your background.  Next, edit the Marquee title onto V2, and then again onto V3.  Your timeline should look like this:


The next step is to add an edge to the title that is on V2. De-activate the V3 and V1 tracks. Enter into effects mode by clicking on the Effect Mode icon in the upper left corner of the timeline window.


The Avid effect editor window will appear. Click the other options icon in the upper left corner of the effect editor to change the title on V2. This will re-launch the Avid Marquee title tool.


The key to making this effect work is to add an edge to the Marquee title. Remember that we are adjusting the title that's on V2. Select the title object by activating the edit tool within the toolbar. *You may need to zoom out a bit from the Monitor window in order to see your text object.


Activate the change edge properties parameter within the Quick Titles Properties dialog box. Also activate the Enable Lighting and Enable Gradient parameters. Set the Size to a value between .30 and .40. In my example, I am using a value of .39.


*Navigate to the file menu and exit Marquee. Make sure you choose EXIT. DO NOT perform a save as, otherwise you'll break the link between Marquee and its ability to update the Media Composer timeline.

You should now have three layers that are laid out as follows:

V3: Marquee Title without an edge
V2: Marquee Title with an edge
V1: Background Video

The next step requires that you edit the same background video that you used on V1 into the nested track of V3. Nesting can be a tricky thing to learn, and you may need to practice the concept a few times or read up on how nesting works.

To open up the nest, activate the red segment arrow, which is located in the lower left corner of the timeline window. Double click on the V3 clip segment. This will open the segment into three nested tracks. (1.3  Alpha Matte, 1.2 The Fill, 1.1 Empty background track).


The trick is to place a copy of the original background into 1.2. Load the original background clip into the Media Composer source window. Patch V1 to V1.2. Mark In-Out points for V1.2. Overwrite an exact copy of the background video that you used on V1 into V1.2. Make sure your timeline looks like this before you move onto the next step.


Click the image for full rez picture.

When finished, you can collapse the nest by using the red segment arrow and double clicking on the clip segment located on V3.

To make the title stand out, add a color effect to V1.  Then enter into Effects Mode.


Then adjust the saturation parameter to -100 to change the V1 background clip to black and white.


This next step requires that you've installed the Boris Continuum Filters.  Boris Continuum now ships with every retail version of Media Composer.  Unfortunately, Boris Continuum does not ship with the Academic version of Media Composer.  You'll have to purchase it separately if you own an Academic version of Media Composer.

Place the BCC Rays_Puffy filter into the V2 track that contains the Marquee Title


Then enter into the effect editor for V2.  Twirl down the disclosure triangle for Title Matte and click on the Apply to Title Matte parameter.





With the help of using Avid Media Composer’s Marquee title tool, you can bring in resolution independent files. This means, you can create moving mattes that exceed the format resolution set within the Project window. The trick to making this effect look good is to create two identical titles on top of each other on V2 and V3.

Start by launching the Marquee title tool.



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Sequencing Text Effect using Apple Motion was the previous entry in this blog.

Motion 5 rumors is the next entry in this blog.

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