January 4, 2016
NewBlue FX’s Titler 4 Pro is an incredibly powerful multi-host plug-in, that far surpasses the built-in capabilities of any NLE’s text editor.
As usual, I’m testing in Adobe Premiere Pro, but every major NLE except Lightworks is supported. After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, and HitFilm are as well! Creating a new title is pretty straightforward: From the same menu that you would choose to create a new Premiere Title, you have the option of creating a NewBlue Title then an external interface pops up.
There are so many things that Titler does well, but I’ll stick with the high-level stuff. Titler is fast because it’s GPU-accelerated, it supports realtime preview, and the finished title is fast in your timeline as well. This is because after you finish making changes to your title and close the window it actually renders a separate file, which ensures realtime playback.
Opening the plug-in shows you the Quick Edit view (more on that in the comments section), but the Title Designer is the main meat of the plug-in. You’ll find all of your familiar NLE title controls, but everything is better. You get a timeline; grids and guides that support snapping; effects with realtime preview on rollover; transitions; and 3D space with a camera, depth of field, and lights! In addition to all of these native functions, Titler supports EPS, PSD, PNG, and video import. This means you can create some incredibly complex titles and you’re not just limited to included assets. Think bigger than lower thirds because Titler can handle it. You could do something nice looking like a spinning 3D logo for a sports video board, or you could do full screen motion graphics in an environment that’s more limited, but certainly not as complicated as After Effects. Even if you do know After Effects but your turnaround is too tight, Titler Pro will probably be a good fit for you. This is far more than a basic text editor, and importing your own vectors and PSDs will allow you to shed the “template look.”
I found the controls for manipulating layers in Title Designer confusing at first, but once I worked them out I actually found direct manipulation of elements very intuitive. I also had troubles selecting some text to edit when there were other elements composited on or under it, so instead, you can right-click on the text layer in the timeline and click “Edit Text.”
Effects and transitions are handled masterfully—NLEs should really take a page out of NewBlue’s book here. The name of each effect and transition is visible in the timeline, and a single click on any of them takes you to the appropriate panel in the Inspector area. Clicking any keyframe also has the playhead immediately jump to its location.
Another powerful feature is the Elastic Timeline, which allows you to dynamically adjust your title’s length with Fixed and Flexible regions. A Fixed region is a marker that you extend over the part of your title with animation; this ensures that your animation stays the same length you designed it to be. The Flexible region allows you to extend or contract the static parts. So lets say that you have a six second title but you decide you want it to be nine seconds. Instead of slowing the clip down to 67% and changing the animation speed too, you could add a Flexible marker range of three seconds to extend just the static portion of your title, while leaving the animated timings intact!
NewBlue FX has a great set of short training videos: https://www.newbluefx.com/support/titling/tutorials. The ones I particularly like are called “60 Second Studio.” These are short videos that show you the basics of a single feature, such as vector import, depth of field, or how the Elastic Timeline works. These videos are great for a quick overview that then allows you to jump into a new feature with some familiarity.
For a deeper dive, you can go straight to the official Help for Titler Pro, located here: https://www.newbluefx.com/support/help-files/titler-pro-4/whats-new-titler-pro-4
The help pages are pretty similar to the short videos, but I like having both options.
The main Titler Pro 4 plug-in comes in three flavors: Regular, Elite, and Ultimate. Check out the feature comparison list near the bottom of the page: https://www.newbluefx.com/titling
Titler Pro 4, which comes with 15 plug-ins costs $239
Titler Pro 4 Elite, which comes with 26 plug-ins costs $299
Titler Pro 4 Ultimate, which comes with 31 plug-ins costs $374
The nice thing about your purchase is that it will support all hosts. There’s no separate OFX or Avid pricing here.
In case the built-in templates aren’t enough for you, NewBlue FX also offers nine affordable collections for expanding your library. Each one of them is priced at $59, so all you need to do is decide what suits your design needs. There are three Lower Third, two Style, and two Titling Templates collections. There don’t have to be any surprises with what collection you get because you can see a preview of every single title in each collection here! https://www.newbluefx.com/products/titling-extras
So one supported host that I missed listing back in part 1 is Telestream Wirecast. I missed it because there’s actually a separate product just for Wirecast, and it wasn’t until I was looking at the extras that I saw this option. I actually use Wirecast for streaming live events and it’s really fantastic. It does have built in titling tools, but I’m not a huge fan of the templates, so I usually make my own graphics and import them as PNGs, but with Titler Pro Live 2 Express (that’s a mouthful) you actually get a plug-in that was created just for Wirecast. At $99 for the main product, it’s significantly cheaper than Titler Pro, and it comes with 60 ready to use templates. What’s great though is that all the aforementioned extras are also supported by this Wirecast version, so you’re not missing out on the great templates that users of the Pro product can buy.
Overall Titler Pro 4 is an incredibly impressive plug-in for people who don’t fancy themselves motion designers, but there’s also a lot of goodness for those who do. It might be considered to be on the pricier side, but given how bad some of the native NLE title designers are (and the templates are usually even worse), this is a killer replacement for them. If you’re not sure, you could always check out a trial at https://www.newbluefx.com/titling to see if Titler fits into your workflow.
Connect with the author, David Arbor, here.