FCP 7 Tutorial - Creating Titles and Using Text

Overview of Titles and Text With FCP 7

Whether you're putting together a highlight reel from a family reunion or working on a feature-length documentary, titles and text are the key to providing your viewer with enough information to understand the scenario.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you'll learn how to add text, lower-thirds, and titles using Final Cut Pro 7.

Getting Started

The main gateway to using text in FCP 7 is located in the Viewer window. Look for an icon of a filmstrip labeled with an "A" - it's located in the bottom-right hand corner. When you navigate to the text menu, you'll see a list that includes Lower-third, Scrolling Text, and Text.

Each of these options can have different applications depending on your movie. Lower-thirds are typically used to introduce a character or interview subject in a documentary, and also introduce anchors for news and television shows. Scrolling Text is most commonly used for credits at the end of a movie, or to introduce the movie's scenario, as in the famous opening sequences of the Star Wars films. The "Text" option provides a generic template for you to add supplementary facts and information to your project.

Using Lower-Thirds

To add a Lower-Third to your project, navigate to the text menu in the Viewer window, and select Lower-third. You should now see a black box in the Viewer window labeled with Text 1 and Text 2. You can think of this as a video clip generated by Final Cut that can be cut, lengthened and spliced the same way as a video clip you recorded with your camcorder.

Using Lower-Thirds

To add text to your Lower-third and make adjustments, navigate to the Controls tab of the Viewer window. Now you can enter your desired text into the boxes that read "Text 1" and "Text 2". You can also choose your font, text size, and the font color. For this example, I've adjusted the size of Text 2 to be smaller than Text 1 and have also added a solid background, by navigating to Background and choosing Solid from the drop-down menu. This adds a shaded bar behind the Lower-third so that it stands out from the background image.

The Results

Voila! You should now have a Lower-third that describes the image in your movie. Now you can lay the lower-third over your image by dragging the video clip into the Timeline, and dropping it into track two, above the existing video clip you want to describe.

Using Scrolling Text

To add scrolling text to your movie, navigate to the text menu in the Viewer and choose Text > Scrolling Text. Now go to the Controls tab along the top of the Viewer window. Here you can add all of the information that you need to be part of your credits. You can adjust the settings just as you did with the Lower-thirds, such as choosing a font, an Alignment, and color. The second control from the bottom lets you choose whether your text scrolls up or down.

The Results

Drag your credits to the end of your movie sequence, render the video clip, and press play! You should see all of the text you added scroll vertically across the screen.

Using Text

If you need to add text to your film in order to supply the viewer with necessary information that isn't included in your audio or video, use the general Text option. To access it, navigate to the text menu of the viewer and choose Text > Text. Using the same controls as above, type in the information you need to include, adjust the font and color, and drag the video clip onto the Timeline.

You can keep this information separate by making it your only video track, or you can overlay it on a background image by putting it on track two above your desired footage. To break up your text so that it's laid out on several different lines, press enter where you want the phrase to break. This will take you to the following line of text.

Now that you know how to add text to your videos, you'll be able to communicate to your viewer all the things that aren't described by the sound and image alone!