How to Create Transparent Text (with background clip showing through)

I saw this technique used on a video once and thought it was a really cool way to show a glimpse of something while attaching it to a word, phrase or sentence. I had a lot of extra clips for my video portrait and I wanted to use as much as I could. This was a way for me to use the clips in a unique way. It’s a pretty quick process and can help to spruce up your typical black background with white text (not that that doesn’t work, because it’s a classic). Here are the steps:

1. Find the clip that you want to show through the text. Typically, this clip has a lot of movement, texture, or is abstract – you don’t just want it to be a clip of a tomato just chillin’ in the garden.

2. Once you find your clip, you want to create a slide with text that you can put over the clip. Choose title, new title, and default still. Then you want to draw a rectangle (choose the rectangle button on the left side) over the entire clip. *My screenshot shows the process, but you want the rectangle to cover the ENTIRE clip.

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 7.25.14 PM

3. Then choose a background color for your drawn rectangle. Black is usually a good choice because it typically stands out against a colorful clip, but white can also be a good choice. Play around with it! In experimenting, I tried a brown background that gave the clip a sepia look, which was pretty, but didn’t go with the overall feel and look of my video. Then use the text tool to type whatever you want the slide to say and change the text color to white. I found it really easy to choose from the text options at the bottom of the screen, which many are already white. When you have chosen your text and background, exit out of the slide window.

4. Drag the slide above the clip into Video 2.

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 7.55.44 PM


5. Then you need to add the effects to the slide overlay. Choose video effects, keying, and then luma key.

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 7.56.26 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 7.56.36 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 7.56.54 PM

6. Then, go up to the left working window and find the luma key effects. Change the Threshold to 0% and Cutoff to 100%.

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 11.58.50 PM

7. Voila!

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 12.17.26 AM






One thought on “How to Create Transparent Text (with background clip showing through)

  1. This comment is a little biased but I love this!! Knowing (obviously) what your footage is, I think this is a great way of adding text without taking away from the theme of your video! Nice work!

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