Rolling Credits Without a Character Generator

Creating rolling credits without a character generator for the end of your production is easy. There are two ways of doing this. The first way is with an image editing or draw program. The second way is to use Adobe® Premiere®, although Premiere® has limited type options.

The roll credits that you can create these two ways are not for elaborate credit rolls. It is for the person who wants to create simple, but quality, roll credits.

Image Pan Filter 

The Image Pan Filter is used to scroll over photos or other large images. This is the filter you will use to scroll your credits across a long vertical image.

Because Premiere® cannot read text from a word processor, you will need to create this image in a program such as Illustrator or Photoshop or a image editor that can save in PICT or Targa.

Creating Image

Open your Image Editor. Set the width of your image to the width of your video image. You can choose any height that you need. If your video is 320 pixels wide and your scroll is average length, you might create an image that is 320 x 800. Play with the length to find what you need.

Because all of the credits we have seen have a black background, we suggest you start with black. Play with the background untill you have one that you are happy with. Choose a text color that will compliment the background and not bleed into it.

After this is done, you are ready to start typing. Choose a font, add your title, cast, crew, people you want the thank, consulting experts, and anyone else you want to add.

Remember to set the left and right margins at 10% so it doesn’t run edge to edge in your video. Always use antialiasing if it is available in your image-editor. When you are finished save it in a format Premiere® can read, such as Targa or PICT. Now you are ready to add it to your production.

Adding To Production 

Start Premiere® and open your production file. Open the file you just created and drag it onto the video track in the Construction window. Set the clip to the length of time you want the credits to roll.

Setting Image Pan Filter

Click on the clip menu at the top of the screen, and open the filter dialog box. Scroll down until you come to the Image Pan filter (or type the letter “I”). Double click Image Pan filter to open the settings dialog.

Set the width to the width of your production. Set the “start height” the height of your production. Click on “copy” to set the end setting; this will be the same as the start setting.

Drag the viewing rectangle on the end image to the bottom of the image. Click “OK,” click “enter” and you are ready to preview the credits.

Adjust the length of the credits to roll in the Construction Window so they will roll at the speed you want them to roll simple but effective.

Creating Text Blocks Within Premiere® 4.2 

The frames can be created within or outside of Premiere® in an Image Creator. If they are created in an Image Creator, make the file size the same size as your project. 
To create titles in Premiere®, click “file,” “new,” then “title.” Make sure the safe title guide lines are showing (the dotted lines in the screen). If they are not, click Windows, Title Window options. If the Show Safe Titles is not checked, check it and then click OK.

Change the foreground and background color squares to the colors you want to work with, the background should be black. Now click on the Text Tool (the capital T) and begin typing. Premiere will not automatically center your text on the page. In order to center the text, click the arrow and stretch the text box so that the box stretches from the left of the inside dotted box to the right side.

After the text is centered, you can move the box around to center it from top to bottom. After you are finished with this page, name it and save the file. After the title page for your movie, continue to make a file for each page you need (such as the cast, crew, special thanks, etc).

After you have all of your pages created, combine them in a Rolling Credit Sequence. The first thing is to make sure the “Snap to Edges” in the Construction Window is active. To activate the Construction Window, click “Windows,” “Construction Windows Options,” then check to see if “Snap to Edges” is checked (or right click in the Construction Window, then Windows Options).

Create a black color matte (click Project, add color matte, black, OK). Drag color matte onto the Construction Window, place it on the track and set for the time you want , usually two second. Place the movie title frame in Track B, starting where the color matte stopped. Set the title frame to run for the amount of time you want, say 5 to 8 seconds. Place the next frame in Track A overlapping Track B a couple of seconds, and set the time length. Continue alternating Tracks and setting time length until all of your frames are in place.

You can pause a frame for a second by placing it one second after the previous frame (i.e. frame 1, on Track A is running from 8 to 12 seconds, place frame 2 on Track B beginning at 13 seconds). This will allow frame 2 to pause for a second. To give people more time to read a frame, stretch it out in length. Place another black color matte at the end and you are almost finished.

Adding Push Transition 

Now you must add the push transition in order for the title to roll. In the Windows menu, choose “transition,” push “P” six times to get to the push transition quickly. Drag it onto the transition track in the Construction Window. Set it to run from several seconds into the clip to the middle of the first Color Matte. Double click the push transition to open the settings.

Click the tiny white triangle under the preview window (the moving window on the lower right). This will make the screen push vertically instead of horizontally. Make sure the transition pushes from Track A to Track B, then click OK.

Now make a copy of the transition and paste it to the right of the original. Double click it and have the transition move from Track B to Track A. Continue copying the transition, changing the direction it pushes, and placing them on the transition track. Place them about mid-way of the title frame in Track A to mid-way of the title frame in Track B. Leave a little space between each of these transitions. Play with where you place them to get the effect you want.

To get the last title to stop and fade to black like in the big movies, you need to use an Additive Dissolve transition. Place it mid-way between the last title frame and the final color matte. Set the transition to fade the title track to the black color matte track.

Preview the clip one last time, making your final arrangements. Add audio if you want, save the file, and add it to your existing movie.

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