Adding Fill to Text

Use the Fill fly-out menu (you may need to scroll down the Object Style window to see it) to fill in your text with color. The variability of the options, once again, is mind-boggling.

Because the selection of the fill color(s) for your text may be largely dependent on any video running beneath the text, now is a good time to place an image from a video clip in the Title Designer's text window.

Task: Place a Video Clip Image in the Title Designer's Text Window

To place an image from a video clip in the Title Designer's text window, follow these steps:

  1. Shrink down the Title Designer by clicking the little dash in the upper-right corner.

  2. Find a video clip to put under the text you're about to create. Because this is just an exercise, any clip will do.

  3. Place the clip on the timeline and move the edit line over an image.

  4. Open the Title Designer by clicking its "double box" icon or double-clicking its title bar.

  5. Put a check mark in the Show Video box. I've highlighted that box in Figure 8.9. Your clip should appear inside the Title Designer's text window. If you now add text, as I've done in Figure 8.9, the video frame will display behind it.

    Figure 8.9. The Show Video box displays whatever frame is under the timeline's edit line. You can type in a specific frame by clicking the "parking meter" icon.



From within the Title Designer window you can select a specific frame of video based on its timeline location. Click the little icon that looks like a parking meter at the top of the Title Designer window. I've highlighted it in Figure 8.9. That displays the current timeline location of the current image displayed in the text window. Simply type in a new time, using the format hours:minutes:seconds:frames, and see what pops up.

Task: Use Your Video Image to Select Fill Colors

Here's one way to use your video image to help select fill colors:

  1. Make sure the Fill box is checked. Open the Fill menu by clicking the triangle next to the Fill check box.

  2. Click the Fill Type drop-down menu and select Solid.

  3. Use one of two ways to choose a color: Either click the little box to open one of those rainbow-style color-selection interfaces or use the Color Fill tool. In this case, select the Color Fill eyedropper.

  4. Move the Color Fill eyedropper, highlighted in Figure 8.10, over your clip image in the text window. You will get immediate feedback. As you hover the eyedropper over an object, the text matches the object's color. When you find the color you want, click to select it.

    Figure 8.10. The Color Fill eyedropper lets you select a font or graphic color from your clip.


This serves two purposes: First, it lets you select a text color that is not "jarring" to the viewer?not distinctly different from the color scheme on screen at that moment. Second, it's an excellent way to ensure that any text you place over a screen image will be legible. Without testing a color over an image, you could select a color that causes the text to blend in.

Using Gradients

The Fill Type drop-down menu offers six other options. I'll cover the three that make up the gradient options. The other three?Bevel, Eliminate, Ghost?fall into the category of extra credit. As I've mentioned before, Premiere is deep. There is more to discover in Premiere than most video producers have time or energy to learn.

Task: Create Type with a Linear Gradient Fill

This task applies two colors to each letter?from top to bottom. Figure 8.11 shows how the fill looks after you've applied it to text. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Make sure you have some text in the text window.

  2. Select Linear Gradient from the Fill Type drop-down menu. That opens a thin, horizontal color bar. Two little boxes, capped by triangles, appear below it. I've highlighted all three items in Figure 8.11.

  3. Double-click one of the little boxes. This opens a color-selection spectrum window. Select a color. You'll note that it appears in the corresponding half of the horizontal color bar.

  4. Do the same for the other box using a different color. Your text should now be two-colored, with the colors blending from top to bottom.

  5. Drag one of the little boxes along the color bar. Note that the relative amount of the color in the text increases or decreases as you move the box, proving once again that Premiere is eminently configurable.

Figure 8.11. Text colored by the Linear Gradient fill type.


Radial Gradient

The fun doesn't end with something as mundane as a Linear Gradient. Take the Radial Gradient for a test drive. It applies one color to the middle of each letter (if that letter is an O, you may not see that center color) and places the other color on the edges of each letter. I created an example in Figure 8.12. Here are some points to note:

  • The left color in the horizontal color bar is the center color.

  • The right color goes around the edges.

  • You can adjust the relative amount of each color by moving the little boxes, just as you did with the Linear Gradient.

  • The closer the two boxes are together, the less of a gradient there is between the colors in the text. When they're side by side, there is no gradient. When they're far apart, there is a very gradual change from one color to the next.

Figure 8.12. Text colored using the Radial Gradient tool.


4 Color Gradient

This is the Linear Gradient times two. Open it and you have four little boxes to play with. It appears Peter Max posters (visit for an example) were the inspiration for this font style. I created a 4 Color Gradient text example in Figure 8.13.

Figure 8.13. 4 Color Gradient text.



For a fun little exercise, expand your text by dragging the corner of the text-bounding box?if you selected Point Text. Otherwise, go to the top of the Object Style window and change the font size to 200 or so. This will make this effect you're about to create easier to see.

Go back down the menu and select either your Linear Gradient or Radial Gradient text. Within the Fill section, locate Repeat. Type in a low number (5 will do) and press Enter. Look at your text now. Bull's eye. My example is shown in Figure 8.14. Drag the color sliders to adjust the effect.

Figure 8.14. A bull's eye created with a Radial Gradient and a Repeat value of 5.


Changing Opacity/Transparency

Sometimes it's nice to be able to see through your onscreen text. The default setting for any text is 100% opacity?in other words, opaque.

Task: Change the Opacity of Solid-Color Text

Changing the opacity percentage for a solid color is simple:

  1. The best way to view the effect of a change in opacity is over a video still shot. Therefore, make sure your video clip displays in the text window by checking the Show Video box.

  2. Make sure you have some text onscreen.

  3. Select the Solid Fill type.

  4. Change the opacity percentage to something less than 100%. In Figure 8.15, I've highlighted the Opacity option in the Fill section. About 50% is a good number to get a feel for how this works.

    Figure 8.15. Changing the opacity creates transparent text.


Task: Change the Opacity of Gradient Text

Changing the opacity of gradient text is more interesting and offers more options:

  1. Select one of the Gradient Fill types.

  2. Make sure you have some text onscreen. You may have to double-click one of the Gradient color boxes and click OK when the color spectrum selection box opens to get the onscreen text style to change to the gradient.

  3. Change the opacity. Notice that it changes only the color you just selected. The other color remains opaque?at an opacity of 100%.

  4. Change the opacity of the other color(s) if you want. This, too, is a super-creative little tool that lets you toy around with fonts to your heart's content.


If you created those bull's eyes by following the previous tip, then use them (or re-create them) to demonstrate one cool opacity effect. You can select one of those bull's eye text's colors and reduce its opacity while keeping the other color at full capacity. You'll get a collection of truly bizarre-looking text. See my example in Figure 8.16.

Figure 8.16. The bull's eye with reduced opacity for one of its colors.


    Part II: Enhancing Your Video