Creating and working with the Title Tool – Avid

This guide has been written to support the MA International Journalism at Cardiff School of Journalism, Cardiff University. Some of the text may be specific to our own setup but Im sure the guide will be of use to anyone working with Avid Newscutter.

Graphics are used in TV to visualise complicated areas, to make a point and to help tell the story.

This guide will explore how to create a graphic to be used within a piece for TV (i.e. your documentary). This example will use a range of different tools and techniques and you will learn skills which are transferable when creating and working with graphics.

Creating Graphics with the Avid Newscutter Title tool

The title tool is an excellent tool to create text and graphical elements that lay over video. This example, as shown in the video below, will show you how to add text and a graphic over a freeze frame. The freeze frame fades to grey reducing background distraction.

Freeze Frame

  1. Edit one or two GV type shots on to a sequence
  2. Move the play bar a few seconds into a shot stopping on a frame that will become the background for the text
  3. Make sure there are no IN or OUT points on the timeline
  4. Press the Match Frame button. This will locate the frame the play bar is at within the source material. The matched frame should open in the Source Monitor (left).
  5. Go to the Clip menu and choose Freeze Frame – 20 seconds. A new Freeze Frame (FF) clip is added to your bin
  6. Edit (overwrite) about 12 seconds on to the sequence to follow the original frame

Fading to Grey

  1. Go to the Effects Palette and choose Image.
  2. Drag the Colour Effect option onto the freeze frame shot on the sequence.
  3. Open the Effects Editor and reduce the Saturation to remove the colour from the shot
  4. Move the play bar to the start of the freeze frame shot and add a dissolve with the Quick Transition tool

Title Tool

Title toolbar

Title toolbar

  1. Go to the Tools menu and choose the Title Tool. Do not select the Marquee Tool if prompted.
  2. When adding text or shapes/graphics you must be aware of the Safe Zones. Words and images might be cut off if placed outside of the safe zones. To view the safe zone guides go to the Object menu and select Safe Title Area.
  3. Use the Shape tool to add a rectangle wider than the safe zones.
  1. Adjust the Fill colour as required and the Transparency to about 40%

    Title Tool Transparency

    Title Tool Transparency

  2. Use the Text tool to add text within the text safe zone.
  3. Adjust the Fill colour as required and the Transparency to 0%


  1. To add an arrow, first select an arrow head option, then select the line tool and draw the arrow.

    Title Tool ArrowHead

    Title Tool ArrowHead

  2. Choose the Arrowhead Size option (last option in the list) to adjust the size of the arrow head.
  3. Adjust the thickness of the line with the Line Weight option
  4. Save the title to your bin.



Edit Title to the sequence

Title edit to sequence

Title edit to sequence

  1. Using a new/unused video track add an IN and OUT point over the freeze frame shot to mark where the title will be added
  2. Turn off any other tracks and make sure V1 source is parallel with V2 sequence
  3. Open the title clip in the Source monitor (left) and move the play bar a few seconds in from the start of the title
  4. Choose Overwrite to edit the title onto the sequence

Finishing touches

Title Tool Graphics

Title Tool Graphics

  1. Use the Quick Transition tool to add dissolve effects where required
  2. Use the Trim Tool to adjust the position of the shots as required


About shazmagill

I work as a Senior Technical Demonstrator and Lecturer in digital storytelling at Cardiff School of Journalism, Cardiff University. I teach and support any tools necessary for our students to function as journalists or media practitioners. This means anything from audio recording techniques, video editing, photography and print and mobile publishing. I have recently completed MA in Arts Practice (Fine Art) at the University of South Wales exploring the subjective and objective view and community storytelling through art of the Rhondda valley.
This entry was posted in Video and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s