Usage of the gladly overseen Text-Generator ‘File’
Let’s pretend, you edit a weekly report with frequently changing team of 16 players, or a daily gameshow with 3x3 contestants, or a same-day-delivered summary of five panel-of-8 discussions. Sort-of. The usual craze we do for money …
You made yourself a nice, perhaps animated lower-third title generator in Motion, quickly accessible via ctrl-T in FinalCut… keyboard-combos, speed freak, yeah!!
Now, the paying client wants a sub for every speaker, every moment screen time, omg - 8 to 10 diff. names, exotic names, alien glyphs.-
For sure, you could have made in Motion a published ‘content’-well, and you could type every time the cam catches a different speaker. <yelling in the edit room> How’s his g’damn name spelled!? My keyboard has no silly dotty umlauts, never had, never will!! …
Wouldn’t it be nice, to have a ‘selector’, a drop down menu, which allows to choose from a ready-made list?
And, an option to import such lists into Motion?
Sure you can, mostly, in a few easy steps (after prep, on edit just one):
First of all, the list has to be in pure txt Format, no rtf, no docx, no pdf, just plain txt - TextEditor does the job, hit shift-cmd-t …
To follow my description, DL and unzip attached file; drag the two txt files to your desktop, open the Motion file in … well…, Motion.
Here’s my custom-build lower-3rd:
You notice a group ‘just some background’ which does exactly like that …
And a Replicator, with a Text-‘File’-generator (nomenclature is a bit confusing, Title, Generator, Text… )
… and a Rig to select the names from the list, more on that in a minute …
But no names, no 10 Titles with opacity of 9 set to zero etc.
Select the TextGen ‘File’, click on the ‘Browser’ and select the file ‘List Names day 1’ from your Desktop…
Goto the published parameters, or export to FCPX:
The DropDown Rig allows you to select from #1 to #10 from your list of names … (if your list is shorter, those numbers are empty…)
Day2 of that crazy job, your assistant (you have an assistant, don’t you??) comes with a new list of names, again in txt-Format:
Open your Motion Project, use the Browser to open that new list, check/uncheck once the File Generator (s. below) - tadahh! All new names at hand! How’s that?
How is it done?
The Text-Generator ‘File’ itself is out of-the-box meant to display line-by-line (CR) a txt-document … haven’t found any use for that in my reality, guessing: credits crawl? …anyhow …
Shorten its length to number-of-items + 1 frames (why +1? Don’t ask me, I have absolutely no clue It works that way…).
Make it a Replicator which doesn’t replicate at all: Point as Shape, no rows, no angles, everything set to zero; the magic happens in the lower Replicator settings:
Uncheck ‘Play’, and rig the ‘StartFrame’. … that’s all.
Example: when you set the Start-Frame to 7, frame#7 of our FileGenerator is on display, but we unchecked the Play button, so only that frame#7 is shown …
Saw these technique first in some of fox_mahoney’s advice, don’t know wether he claims any ‘my invention!’ rights, anyhow, kudos sensei!!
Apply all your designs and behaviors to that File-Generator … it behaves like any other ’Title’…
Hiccups and suggestions:
• As mentioned, for some Voodoo reasons, you have to check/uncheck the File-Generator once after switching your txt-source - why? A slap to update some pointers, data-base? No idea …
• Changing the Source File of this generator does NOT affect already applied instances of that Title - this is good news and bad news:
even when you change the List within one project, the already applied names are ‘baked’ in, are not affected by any later appliedtxt-sources = no changes!
Hint: Yelling at the assistant (you do have an assistant, don’t you? Looks silly yelling yourself…) doesn’t fix it, so, as fall-back: publish a 2nd, ’manual’ version of your Title, which allows typing …
• If you need a longer, >10 items list, adjust the length of ‘File’ accordingly.
• Unfortunately you can not copy/paste my ‘basic’ template to your project - Motion doesn’t allow to copy/paste Rigs … but it is really easy … ok, have to admit, a Replicator which doesn’t replicate, used as a Player with disabled ‘Play’ functionality is a bit … mind-bending …
• Same technique allows for sure to select just a portion of some longer moving content, … well, next semester
Oh, and when it doesn’t work - somehow the stupid assistant managed to create a fail!!
yep, had you in mind, knowing you're knee deep into 'industrial TV making' …
It is a time-safer, if you a) have a very 'formatted' show, b) a very 'formatted' screen design - otherwise, a good typist should be faster. But then it's 'type once, use multiple'…
You could create 'preloads' for the Generator, if you know content in advanced… Just a tiny txt-file.
Or, an assistant types subs while recording, into a txt-file, and in edit, you just drop in those typical 'Name/describing line' subs.
Add some live-tagging tool as Lumberjack into calculation… and we're close to auto-edit
… the combo of 'plugin'/Title generator and txt-file is huge.-
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