[ This article was first published in the February, 2006, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
UPDATED December 2007. ]
This technique grew out of a class I taught recently. I thought it was an elegant solution to a major limitation in Final Cut, so I want to share it with you.
Here’s the challenge. Final Cut’s internal text generators only allow one font, point size, and color in a single clip. How can you easily create scrolling end credits that allow you to change colors, fonts or sizes. While you still can’t do it in a single clip, here’s an easy way to do it with two.
The asterisk following a line of text aligns text to the left of it flush right to the middle of the frame. The asterisk preceeding a line of text aligns it flush left to the middle of the frame. The “Gap Width” command controls how far apart the two sides are.
For a more professional look, add a Fade size of 25% (near the bottom of the Controls screen) and see how it looks.
A couple of notes: the speed of the credit roll is determined by the length of the clip. If you want credits to roll slower, make the clip longer. Also, there is no way to pause a credit roll at the end of a clip. The best way to do that is to export it as a self-contained Quicktime movie, import the movie, and make your speed changes to that movie clip.
Still, this technique can make your end credits look much more interesting and now you know how to do it.
UPDATE – Dec 2007
Paul Delcour writes:
I found an easier way to create a double-sided credit scroll. I use the FCP scroll text – prepare one with the parts – copy this on top and change the text to the actors names – I then change the actors names to yellow for instance – one is aligned left, the other right – I line both scrolls up so they leave a nice gap in the middle and hey presto! Works like a gem.
But as someone mentioned: if I want to add other names just single in the middle, there’s no way of adding them. I fear it’s Photoshop then of which I only have an illegal copy, so I do not use this for my commercial projects. Option could be to copy text from a word processor in Graphic Converter and use that instead of Photoshop: I just tried a bit and it does seem to work.
Still, it’s a pain creating even relatively simple credits…
Larry replies: Paul, first, here’s an article on creating multi-color credits in FCP that might help: Creating Multi-Color Credit Scrolls
Also, if you add a name in the middle of one clip, just add an empty carriage return at the same position in the other credit roll to keep them in sync.
However, for credits, I prefer creating them in LiveType. Here’s an article you can use to save you a lot of Photoshop work: Scrolling Text in LiveType.
UPDATE – Dec. 27, 2007
Tom Wolsky adds:
You can also do this using Final Cut Pro’s Text > Title Crawl. Complete text control, including guttering, though that’s a little tricky.
Ben Balser writes:
CHV makes a killer and affordable ($49) plug-in that does all this and more. It’s very flexible and I recommend it IF you’re going to do this type of credit coloring in an on-going basis. Just FYI. Click here to learn more.