Custom Text Backdrops with Graffiti

custom video text effects

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Tired of using the same text templates over and over again? They came bundled with your NLE and they looked great the first time you saw them but now you need something custom-made. A copy of Boris Graffiti can solve that problem. Although it comes with even more ready-to-use templates it gives you tools to make your own titles and backdrop graphics. We all heard about vector text. It looks sharp at any size and project aspect. What about a backdrop? If it is a raster image made in an external application chances are it will not look so sharp when it is stretched to fit text or a larger size HD project? Graffiti allows you to build vector-based backdrops to match the text. Let's see how it's done.

Graffiti plug-in can be used in any NLE on Mac or Windows. For a complete listing check The same tools are available in BORIS RED and BLUE products but Graffiti is the lowest cost, professional title generator and it's perfect for this tutorial. When you first launch Graffiti plug-in, the Text Window will show up as a convenience to type in your text:

Graffiti Text Window

I'm using a simple common font and style with a slight dropped shadow. A great variety of text styles is available with the style controls or pre-saved in the Style Palette but in this tutorial I'd like to focus on the backdrop part of the template leaving the typography discussion for another occasion. Close the Text Window and observe the text appearing over the background video in the Comp window.

Text Over Background

I'm now ready to create a backdrop for my lower third text. Graffiti offers an option to attach the backdrop to any text object. Make sure to have the Face sub-track selected in the timeline (hit F on you keyboard to toggle between Shape and Face track).

titling plugin

Our Control window will now display many animatable and static text options available within Graffiti interface. The backdrop controls are found in the Backdrop Tab.

Video Text Effects

Note the Scale and Shift parameters in this tab. They will be useful later to adjust the size and position of the backdrop relative to text.

By pressing on the Make Backdrop Track checkbox we are creating a backdrop object for our text. Note how the Timline now includes a Backdrop Track. Let's make sure the backdrop is selected by clicking on it.

Boris Graffiti

By default the type of the backdrop is a Spline Primitive but we'll change that to custom Spline Object in the pop up box. This choice gives us full freedom to draw a custom spline shape with the standard pen tool.

Text Effects

Before we draw our own spline we want to delete the rectangle object that was placed there by default by using Delete Key while the Spline Object 1 subtrack is selected.

Text Special Effects

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