How to Create Transparent Video Titles in Photoshop


Hi there, after a very long time. A lot has passed between my last blog post and this one. During this while, especially in the last couple of months, my interests have slowly deviated from writing to filmmaking. I’ve always have had an interest in cinematography and the visual arts but this time round, I was actually prepared to delve into it and learn it hands-on, rather than just continuing critiquing movies and random YouTube videos.

To overcompensate for my utter lack of knowledge of anything related to filmmaking, it was, of course, necessary for me to get pro-level gear, starting with the software.

“Shoot for the stars… if you fail… at least moon… something… something… eh?”

A quick Google search told me that Adobe’s Creative Suite of applications, especially Premiere Pro, and, on a much later and advanced level, After Effects, were what I need first and foremost. These almost-industry-standard tools would also play nice with Photoshop, something that I’ve been meaning to learn but have stayed away till date out of sheer intimidation. Then I saw Adobe’s new-fangled subscription-based policy.

Oh well, Snapseed edits RAW photos beautifully on iPad now, so it will have to do for the moment. More on photos soon.

Back to videos. I have used iMovie a bit before and found it easy to use, as most Apple consumer software are. But this time, I need to have to have pro-level software, leave alone prosumer level, for no justifiable reason, and so it had to be Final Cut Pro X. Another quick Google search told me that this completely revamped piece of non-linear editing (NLE) software had a difficult birth and hostile initial reception, but Apple has kept fine-tuning and improving it constantly, and it is a perfectly capable editor now. More importantly for me, it is the only editor that wouldn’t send my 3-year old MacBook Air up in flames. Yay for painstaking hardware/software optimization.

So, as someone who’s also interested in typography, one of the first things I wanted to learn was making those slick titles. FCP X does come bundled with a nice bunch of them, but I wanted something fancier. And so it was then then I learnt doing it in Photoshop, which I’ve also been sneakily learning on the side (don’t tell video).

The first type of titles I learnt is that cool transparent video-inside-text effect with a white border around the whole thing. I had to take the help of quite a lot of different tutorials and YouTube videos before finally perfecting it, so I thought it would be nice to make a video detailing the whole procedure in as simple steps as possible, for anyone looking to learn the same technique.

This is the first time I’ve ever created a video with voiceover and anything more than a quick montage, so please go easy on me. At exactly 4 minutes, it is also my longest, and ahem… most ambitious, if you can call it that. This is the first and only time I’ve actually made a video for the purpose of sharing it online.

Please check it out and leave me your bouquets and brickbats in the comments. Cheques, PayPal and bitcoin are also accepted.


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