Lower Thirds done right

We all need to do tummy tags. Name captions, usually running along the bottom of the screen. It’s part of the plumbing, rather than the showy part of a production. There’s a simple FCP generator if all you want is two lines of left aligned text at the bottom, with perhaps a strap behind it. But what happens when you’re doing a corporate job title? Time to launch Motion or LiveType, and there’s fiddle and faff, and rendering, it’s all a hassle unless you have the time to set up a Motion template and adopt a format for a series.

A lot of us are knocking out stuff for a variety of uses, where all you want is just a neat little name caption – just a little more than the standard generator can provide. Often it ends up as three little chunks of generator, a couple for the text plus another for the background, and it all gets a little messy and needlessly complex as you begin to wonder if you’d be better off in Motion after all…

Well, I’ve simply got to rave about this…


Okay, so as well as doing

  • three lines of text on a lower third
  • justify-right and centre as well as justify left
  • control over box behind (so it can bleed off bottom and sit halfway through the top line

It now does the insanely useful:

  • graduates off to the left or right for that expensive feathered edge look
  • position text anywhere (not just lower third, not just inside text-safe)
  • put returns inside the textbox to wrap into multi-line text areas
  • provides a 3 layer hierachy of text with as many lines as you’ll need

This one little plug-in covers about 97% of my needs for lower thirds. No rendering required, no trips to Motion, only one channel in your timeline, quick to set up a style and modify it, and it’s free!

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