Reversed Text Effect

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the February, 2011, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

OK, I confess. I was playing. Sometimes thinking up stories to write about for this newsletter is easy. This month, for some reason, it is very hard. I’m wandering around the office, bothering the staff, sharpening pencils, making tea — anything to avoid writing.

Then, I re-read an email from Colleen Stratton about finding a way to have the opening credits on her movie change color, depending upon what was in the background.

In her case, she had a black-and-white video of a cat artfully walking around a white background. (Using some very pretty photography, I might add.)

When she wrote, I gave her some suggestions to try to create the effect she was looking for. Then, tonight, as I was re-reading her email, I thought this would be a cool technique to share with you.

Here’s how it works.

1. To give myself a varied background to work with, I clicked the Generator menu in the lower right corner of the Viewer and selected Render > Checkerboard.

Here’s the default setting. While there are lots of ways we could modify this, I’ll keep it simple by leaving it at the default setting.

2. Next, I created text to superimpose over the background. For this to read properly, I would recommend selecting a fairly heavy typeface. However, this effect will work with any font, depending upon how busy the background is. (In my case, I have a very busy background, so I’m using a heavy font: Cooper Black at 100 points)

3. Superimpose the two clips. As you can see, the text is almost impossible to read.

4. Select the text clip and choose Modify > Composite modes > Difference.


Very cool. Very fast. Very simple. (OK, and maybe a bit weird.)

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!


Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.