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Text Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4: Sheens, Strokes, Shadows, and Fill

Working through one of the cool built-in templates that come with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, the Adobe Creative Team shows off some of the program's many text effect features.
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Reverse-engineering can be a good learning tool. In this exercise, you'll deconstruct one of the many built-in templates that come with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, to learn how to work with Titler's effects.

Unlike styles, templates are a combination of background graphics, geometric shapes, and placeholder text. Tremendously useful, templates are organized into themes with enough variety for just about any circumstance.

You can easily customize graphic themes to suit your needs, or build your own templates from scratch and save them for future projects.

  1. Choose Title > New Title > Based On Template. Alternatively, you can open the Titler and choose Title > Templates to get to the same Templates screen.
  2. Open as many template folders and click through as many templates as you like.
  3. Open the Lower Thirds folder, select Lower Third 1024, and click OK (see Figure 1). This is a good template for experimenting because it has a full range of effects, including four-color gradient, reduced opacity (transparency), sheen, stroke, and shadows.
  4. Click the Selection tool and move it over the template. Bounding boxes appear, delineating the three components of this title: Title One text, a brown-and-yellow rectangle, and a black rectangle superimposed over the right side of the brown-and-yellow rectangle.
  5. Drag each bounding box in turn up the screen so you can see the template's three components. At this point, your Titler screen should look something like Figure 2.
  6. Drag the top edge of the brown-and-yellow rectangle to expand it. This action selects the rectangle and displays its characteristics in the Titler Properties panel.
  7. Collapse the Transform and Properties areas in the panel to make some room.
  8. Expand Fill, Sheen (in the Fill section), Strokes, and Outer Strokes (no inner strokes are used in this template), as shown in Figure 3.
  9. Open the Fill Type pop-up menu for Fill and select each option in turn to see what it does. When you're finished, return to the 4 Color Gradient fill type.
  10. Double-click one or two of the four color-stop boxes around the 4 Color Gradient display to open the Color Picker. Select new colors. (Notice that each color is slightly different from the other three, and the colors at the top are slightly darker than the bottom colors. This design gives this rectangle extra depth.)
  11. Change the color-stop opacities by clicking each color-stop box and changing its opacity setting. You can change the opacity (transparency) of any color applied to any object or text, whether it's a fill, sheen, or stroke.
  12. Click the Sheen color box and change its color, opacity, size, angle, and offset. Sheen is a soft-edged color that typically runs horizontally through shapes or text. In this case, it's the brown horizontal line that runs through the entire rectangle.
  13. Click the two Outer Stroke disclosure triangles to expand the parameters. Strokes are outer or inner borders on text or graphic objects. They have the same collection of properties available for text and other Titler objects. In this case, both strokes are three points wide, and they fall adjacent to one another.
  14. Change the size of the two outer strokes to 10 points each. As shown in Figure 4, this change more clearly displays the sheen applied to these borders.
  15. Click the word Add next to the Inner Strokes setting to open the Inner Stroke property.
  16. Check the Inner Stroke box to turn on its parameters. Experiment with this new stroke by changing its Size, Fill Type, Color, and Opacity settings.
  17. Click the Title One text to select it, and then open its Shadow properties. Title One doesn't have an obvious shadow, because the shadow size is only two points. It's more like an outer stroke.
  18. Change all the characteristics to see how the Shadow feature works. The shadow settings are self-explanatory, with the exception of Spread. Increasing the Spread value softens the shadow.

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