How to Make Title Cards in Photoshop for TV and Film
So if you’re an Art Director or Graphic Designer with a client that just signed off on creating your first TV commercial, or perhaps a budding film director, editor, or just someone who wants to learn how to use an AVID, Premier, or even Photoshop to create a cool video, this how-to article on how to make title cards is for you.
The below information was written as a guide to quickly walk you through the process of creating broadcast title card graphics.
It’s based on the premise you have, at least, a fair amount of experience using Photoshop so it doesn’t cover every single action.
Creating title cards for videos, film, or TV commercials doesn’t require any fancy plug-ins, actions, or filters. Although I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 (on a Mac) to create the graphics displayed below, the process is straight forward and uses basic features that have been around since, at least PS 5 or 6.
Update: The same features are available in Photoshop CC.
The difference between creating standard title cards vs. those with an Alpha mask (or channel) is the title cards with the Alpha mask will allow the masked graphic to overlay other images or footage. e.g. the client’s logo superimposed over a product. So if all you need is a standard art card, you can follow the same steps outlined below–but skipping steps four and five.
Lastly, although the following eight steps use dimensions for TV title cards, the process is exactly the same for creating art cards for film projects.
How to Make Title Cards in Photoshop (with Alpha Mask)
Step 1: Create a new Photoshop document
Select “Film & Video” from the “Preset” drop-down menu
Select “NTSC D1 Square Pixel” from the “Size” drop-down menu.
Select “OK”. This will create a 720 x 540 document (with guides).
Step 2: Place your .EPS or .AI Graphic into your new document
Step 3: Scale Graphic as Required
After scaling the Placed graphic, add any additional text or graphics required for shameless self promotion.
Step 4: Load Selection/s
Hold down the “Command” key while clicking on the layer your graphic is on. The graphic will be surrounded by the ever popular “marching ants”.
Another option is to make sure the graphic layer is selected and then Select: Select > Load Selection
If you have multiple layers to be selected (such as the graphic and text shown in the below sample), just (Shift + Command + click) on each layer.
Step 5: Save Selection
The dialog box will prompt you to give the new Channel a name. I used “graphic” but you can name it anything you want. Select “OK”
Step 6: SAVE AS
From the “Format” drop-down menu, select “PICT File”. Make sure the “Alpha Channels” box is checked.
Step 7: Click: “Save”
Step 8: Import into AVID or Adobe Premier
And there you have it, you’re good to go. You now have a crisp and clean title card graphic with a masked background to overlay over other graphics which is to become a customized title in Adobe Premiere Pro.
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