The Top Ten Tips for Good Looking Typography in Final Cut Pro X

“Yes, the 3D text in Final Cut Pro X is amazing, but it is not a one-click solution to getting good looking text. We take a look at ten tips that should help to make your words on screen look good and avoid some common mistakes.

 

There is no doubt that good typography is hard. That’s why there are graphic designers who do nothing but concentrate on the design and layout of text.

The days of molten metal and Linotype machines are long gone, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t apply some old basic rules and guides to laying out text, this time in an NLE.

So here’s my top ten tips for making good looking, readable text in Final Cut Pro X. The examples are shown with the FCPX GUI, but the most of the techniques apply to all editing systems with a character generator.

10) Kerning

My pet hate is bad kerning and yes I shout at the television when I see text with incorrect spacing. It is also one of those things where once you have been made aware of it, you will see it everywhere.

Kerning is the adjustment of spacing between individual characters – not to be confused with tracking which adjusts the spacing between all characters at the same time.

Well kerned text should have the same surface area between each pair of letters or indeed numbers. Some fonts auto-kern, but still need a tweak to get looking right.

Take the name David for example as this is quite common in credits and shows the problem up well. The top name in the example below shows the text uncorrected. The second David highlights the different spacing between characters.

The third, kerned David shows an easier to read version where the character positions have been adjusted correctly. You can see there has been a lot of movement between the A and V, with not as much between the V and I.

FCPX kerning

Don’t forget that good kerning rules should also be applied to numbers.

FCPX kerning numbers

You will find the kerning control in the text inspector, but you’ll have to twiddle down the Advanced disclosure triangle to see it. Place the cursor in-between the letters and kern away until it looks good. Move on to the next spacing and repeat.

FCPX kerning GUI

9) Serif or not Serif?

Hang on a minute, what on earth is a serif?

A serif is a small extra line attached to a letter, indicated below by the red arrows on the image. They originated from the days when text was written with a brush. By varying the pressure and angle of the brush, these additions or flourishes to each character were added.

Serif fonts include Times, Courier and Copperplate which you should all find on a standard install of FCPX & OS X.

Fonts without serifs are called sans-serif and include the Helveticas, Arials and Lucida Grande for example.

With the current design trend for flat graphics, the contemporary thought for good design is to use san-serif fonts. Personally I think they are easier to read anyway and are my choice unless I’m looking for the old typography look of a book or newspaper.” – Peter Wiggins

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idustrial Revolution XEffects Messages for FCPX

Designed to emulate an SMS, iMessage, Facebook or WhatsApp chat.

XEffects Messages are a set of professionally designed templates that emulate an onscreen conversation via SMS, iMessage, Facebook and WhatsApp.


Highlights

All elements animate automatically. The push up is directly linked to the adjustable height of the message. Overlays for top and bottom status & icon sets are included.

Pre-built colour options are included, along with all of the Google Materials palette. All text, boxes and background can be custom coloured.

Get messaging!

Click Here to Learn More & Purchase

Tips to Make Your Text Look GREAT! – Larry Jordan

“This week’s article was spurred by a Ted Talk on Typefaces delivered by Matthew Carter, a legendary typeface designer that I had the pleasure of working with in the mid-1980’s when we both worked at Bitstream in Boston.

It was from Matthew all those years ago that I developed my love of using the right font for the task, which has carried over into my video work. By the way, Norbert Florendo has a great definition of the difference between “font” and “typeface:” A “font is what you use, and typeface is what you see.”

Think of a font as a song, with the typeface being the MP3 version of that song. (Though, truthfully, since the Mac calls just about everything a font. I’ll be using the two terms interchangeably during this article.)” – Larry Jordan

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New: SUGARfx Funtextic

Funtextic, from SugarFX, makes it easy to create animated 3d titles right inside Final Cut Pro X.

Funtextic is a powerful tool for 3D text animations in Final Cut Pro X that is easy to use and understand. Its intuitive interface lets you control where and how the text is moving at any time throughout the length of the animation, providing creative control at any stage of the process.

Click Here to Learn More & Purchase

Tutorial: Extruded EPS Logo in FCP X

Have you ever wanted to up your look and create am Extruded EPS Logo in FCP X? John Rofrano Senior VASST trainer for Boris TV has a new set of tutorials for Boris FX, covering one of my favorite tools, Boris Continuum Unit: 3D Objects, which comes as it’s own unit or part of Boris Continuum Complete.

Extruded EPS Basics in FCP X, Part I

Learn to make an extruded EPS logo in FCP X with Boris Continuum Complete 3D Objects. He uses the Ferrari Logo in his example.

Extruded .EPS Basics, Part II

Learn how to animate the logo that was created in part 1.

Boris Continuum Complete 9

Boris Continuum Unit: 3D Objects

Boris Continuum Unit: 3D Objects includes Extruded Text, Extruded EPS, Type-On Text, Extruded Spline, and Layer Deformer from Boris Continuum Complete.

The plug-in we’re focusing on here is BCC Extruded EPS, which rovides an easy way to import and extrude Illustrator layered vector logos and graphics. The filter includes full integration with After Effects’ 3D camera and lighting system and incorporates the same 3D material presets and free-form deformation properties of other 3D Objects filters. The filter is capable of tracking an EPS file using a Watch Folder, making the EPS file “live” should it be edited in Illustrator. A handy “Keep EPS Color” feature lets operators preserve the original fill colors for each element as a diffuse color option of the materials.

Of course, you don’t have a 3D Camera in FCPX, like you do in After Effects, but don’t worry because there are adjustable camera parameters built right into this great plug-in.

Try a free demo of Boris Continuum Complete.

More Tutorials

Tutorial: Doctor Who Inspired Titles – Paul Ezzy explains how to create some Doctor Who inspired titles with Boris Continuum Complete. He uses the BCC Type-on-Text to create the 3D animated title, which is also contained in this unit. He also generate a smoky 3D particle background with BCC Organic Strands, BCC Particle Emitter 3D, and BCC Film Glow, which are in Continuum Complete.