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How to apply effects to Avid titles

This tutorial is not for the light hearted. I have included as many screenshots of the Avid Xpress software as possible. If you are having a difficult time mastering this effect, I reccomend that you take a certified Avid Training course. In particular, take a look at the Photoshop for Video graphics course, Avid Xpress 210.

I will also mention, that this tutorial is only going to work with certain effects. For this particular example, I will use the 'swirl' effect that is located in the illusion plug-ins folder.


Many seasoned Avid editors are used to holding down the (alt, or option) key to auto-nest effects on top of exisiting effects. The problem with this method, is that it will not work with titles, or keyable graphics. The end result will look like this:


The background video and title will have the same effect applied to them. This is a problem. To apply a particular effect to JUST the title, you will need to go through the following steps to create a matte key.
The first step it to create your title on top of some background video. Next you are going to (step into) the title using the step-in command located in the bottom left corner of the timeline window. *Make sure the V2 track is turned on before clicking the (step in) button.


After you step into the title, you should see three track elements. These tracks are: Alpha Matte, Graphic Fill, and a background area (should be blank)

V3 Matte
V2 Fill
V1 Blank


Mark in In and Out points for the entire segment that is located on V3. This can be a little confusing, since you will not see any physical IN or OUT points located at the bottom of the timeline. Just make sure the entire segment is marked in purple. Next, if you have not mapped the (copy to clipboard) icon, press the C-key. This will copy the V3 (matte) to the clipboard.


After you have copy the V3 (matte) to the clipboard, (step-back-out) to the original timeline.


Now that you are back to your original timeline, you need to remove the title-key effect-icon from V2. Press the remove-effect icon which will remove the key. You should now have a timeline that looks similar to the graphic illustration below.


You now need to add an additional video track. You can use the keyboard shortcut (ctrl + Y) to add an additional Video Track. Next navigate to the clipboard montior menu, located under the Tools menu.


After selecting the Clipboard Monitor, it should bring up a source window with a black-and-white matte of the clip you copied from within the nest.


You need to edit this new source clip onto V3. Next, navigate to the effects palette and drop a matte-key effect onto V3.


Your timeline should now look like the graphic illustration below.


Believe it or not, you should be back to where you started. The only difference, is you have rebuilt the effect from scratch utilizing a matte key effect. You have now seperated matte and fill tracks so effects can be applied to them seperately. With V3 turned on and highlighted, press the (step-in) arrow again.


Drag the swirl effect (from the Avid Xpress effects palette - illustion category) onto V3. This is where you would also create any necessary key-frames to animated the effect over-time.


Your Avid Xpress Pro composer window should like something something to the graphic illustration below.


Notice, how the the matte has the swirl effect applied to it. Now, you need to copy these effect parameters so they can be used in the next step. To do this, click on the effects editor icon to launch the Avid Xpress Pro effects editor window.


Within the Avid Xpress Pro effects editor, you need to drag the (swirl) effect icon from the effect editor and drop it into a bin. This effect icon will store the parameters and any keyframe adjustments that you have made to that effect.


After you have saved the (swirl) effect icon off into a bin, you need to (step-back-out) to your original timeline. You will notice that only the matte has been affected by the (swirl) effect.


You need to apply the same parameters to V2 (the graphic fill.) Drag the (swirl) effect that you stored in your bin to V2 (the graphic fill). Your final 3 layer effect should look like the example below. You will now need to render the top-most layer.


The Final result should look like the example below.


Remember, if you make any adjustments to this effect, you will need to make the same adjustments to the Matte Layer and the Fill Layer. They need to mirror each other.

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Fixing Final Cut Pro out of sync problems was the previous entry in this blog.

Exporting Compression Settings from Sorenson Squeeze is the next entry in this blog.

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