The Easiest Star Wars Roll in the Galaxy

You're not going to believe how easy this.

Step 1. Create your text.
Step 2. Place it in a Title Container with the Animation Style set to Roll.
Step 3. Place the Title Container in a 3D container, and tumble it back.

That's it. Honestly. Here are the details.

Step 1. Create your text.
If you're working in the Graffiti or Red KeyFramers, or the Red plug-in, click the New Text Page button in the timeline. If you're working in the Graffiti or Red plug-in, the Text window opens automatically.

The fact is that you don't even have to type any text: you can import it instead. In case you don't have one handy, you can download a text file by clicking here.

[TextFile.zip]

Once you download the text, press the Import File button in the Text window. Boris preserves the formatting of imported text files. However you'll need to make a few changes. Using your OS's standard keyboard shortcut, select all the text and change the font to 24 point Arial Black

On the Page tab of the Text window, turn Word Wrap on using the pop-up menu. The default page width is Title Safe, which will work fine. Because the page will animate at an angle, it won't fill the width of the screen.

Close the Text window to apply the text. Change the Background track to Color. The default is black, which works just fine for this effect. That's it for Step 1.


Step 2. Create A Title Roll.
Rolls in Boris couldn't be easier: select the text page you just created, and press the Add Title Container button.

In the Controls window, set the Animation Style menu to Roll and you're done.

Preview to RAM (Control-zero on Windows, Command-zero on Macintosh), and you'll see that the roll's in and out points are automatically set to correspond to the length of your effect. Change the length of your effect, and the roll automatically adjusts. Change the text, and the roll automatically adjusts. Nobody makes it any easier than this.

Any of these parameters can be customized by dragging the start and end keyframes of the container. We'll save that for another tutorial, though.

However, let's add a soft-edged mask at the top and bottom of the roll. Again, very easy: set the parameters on the Title Container's Animation tab in the Controls window. It's easiest to see what you're doing if you move the CTI (Current Time Indicator) to the middle of your timeline, so that the text fills the Composite window. A little bit of a Mask, a little bit of Blend, and once again, you're done in only a few clicks.

Step 3. Create A 3D Container
You've likely already figured out that the point of a Title Container is to make it easy to animate titles. The point of 3D Containers is to make it easy to composite any elements in three-dimensional space. Among the elements you can position are other containers.

Add a new 3D Container by clicking the Add 3D Container button on the timeline.

Now drag the Title Container track on top of the Container track. The title roll is now nested inside, hence the name Container.

As you click the disclosure triangle to hide the tracks, you'll see another benefit of containers: they help tidy the timeline. It's not a major consideration for this particular effect, but the nested, hierarchical timeline makes it very easy to organize even the most complicated animations.

With the 3D Container selected in the Timeline, all you have to do is tumble it. Since we don't want the tumble to animate, click the Animate button on the Controls window, which toggles between the creating static and animated parameters. There are benefits to Boris's assumption that all parameters are animated until told otherwise -- well, now we're telling it otherwise.

The most distinctive part of the Star Wars-style animation is that the roll is tumbled back in 3D space, and that's just what we'll do here. You can click inside the Tumble dial in the Controls window (no need to drag the little handle -- it will automatically move anywhere you click). Or you can type a value into the box for degrees. Minus 70 degrees looks about right to me.

Preview to RAM again and you'll see that we're almost done. Depending on the length of your text and how far you tumbled the 3D Container, you may need to tweak the start and end points of the roll to make sure that the text begins and ends in the right place.

If you've followed along until now (used the provided text file at 24 point Arial Black with the default page width, top and bottom masks of 50 and blends of 100, and tumbled the roll minus 70 degrees), then the Title Container's starting Y Position should be 375, and the ending value should be minus 1960. (You can enter values from 54000 to minus 54000, even though the sliders don't go nearly that far.) These values will be different if you've done anything different -- used a different text file, for example -- but the ones here give you an idea of how to make your own adjustments.

The Easiest Star Wars Roll in the Galaxy
Even with the added detail, you can see that we've got the same three steps with which I began: create text, put it in a Title container set to roll, and tumble the roll in a 3D Container.

As a finishing touch, Boris Red users can add a Stars filter to the background track, complete with twinkling stars and galaxies. I'll be honest that this isn't the fastest rendering filter in the world, so I tend to export a still image of the Stars filter to use as a background track. I've included an example here, along with a setting based on this tutorial.

example for mac l example for windows

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