Declaration of Resolution Independence

What does it mean to have a titler that's resolution independent? All kinds of good things. It means that you can change resolutions while you work for faster previews. It means you can use Graffiti with any media, from DV to uncompressed HD, film res and beyond.

It also means you can bring in documents of any size to include as part of your title animations. You don't even need to add titles if you don't want to: simply use Graffiti to create pan-and-zoom, documentary style animations. It's easier than you think.

Step 1. Apply the Boris Graffiti filter the way you normally would. It actually doesn't matter WHAT you apply it to, since you're going to ignore the clip on the timeline for the rest of the effect. That's because most NLEs force everything on the timeline to be the same frame size, for obvious reasons. The way Boris gets around this is by taking care of the big images itself, and simply handing over a frame-sized image to the host software.

The one thing that you'll want to note about the clip in the timeline that you apply Graffiti to is its length: the length of that clip will determine the length of the animation in Graffiti.

Step 2. Instead of text, select the still image you want to animate. Use the pop-up menu under the orange T icon to navigate to the file on your hard drive.

Step 3. Animate to taste. Boris Graffiti is a very powerful animation tool, and offers enormous flexibility for just about anything you'd want to do with 2D motion graphics. I devoted a lengthy article to this a while back, called Big Pictures and the Big Picture, showing off many of Boris's advanced animation features. If you're going to be doing a lot of this sort of animation, I can highly recommend that you check it out.

But since you've made it this far, I'll show you a couple of quick Graffiti tricks I didn't mention there.

First, build an animation. In this case, I imported an image, which just happens to be where I live in the Florida Keys. (Yes, I'm rubbing this in.) I animated the position and scale using Ease In/Out. Just to keep track of what I'm doing, I renamed the track. To do this, clicking on the name of the track, hit the return key, and start typing.

Then create some text, nice and big. Go to the Color tab in the text window to select Texture as the fill, and Use Texture Track. Click on the text layer's Disclosure Triangle to twirl down and reveal the Texture Track. Here's the fun part: click and drag the animated still track down to the texture track. Preview to RAM, and you'll see the still image animate across the text! It really is just that easy.

Why not just assign the still file directly as the texture? Or assign the still image as the side of a cube or 3D text? Because then we wouldn't have the ability to animate the image apart from the obect it's applied to. Creating the animation of the still image as a separate track means that we can then use that animation anywhere we want.

So far, all of this can be done in any flavor of Graffiti, including Graffiti LTD. Among the advantages that the full version of Graffiti offers is the ability to use this kind of animated track anywhere we want.

Here's an example. Open the text window back up and flip the Texture pop-up back to Color. Close the window, and change the shape of the text layer to 3D Text. Now the still image is animating across the face of the 3D text! We could drag this track anywhere we want: to any surface of 3D text, to the surface of any shape (cube, sphere, cylinder, page turn), anywhere at all.

In fact, when you get a track like this that you might like to reuse, simply save the individual track. Click on it to select, and choose Save Selected Tracks from the file menu. You can of course save any number of tracks this way, for those times when saving the whole effect isn't exactly what you need. To add a saved track or tracks to a setting you're working on, choose "Insert Settings"… from the File menu.

This is just scratching the surface of what you can do with the graphics animation power of Graffiti, but animating large images across the surface of 2D and 3D text is a good place to start declaring your Resolution Independence.

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