Titles and Texts in Kdenlive. Chapter 5: Animating Texts and Backgrounds Part 2


In the previous post, the effects that from my point of view can be useful to animate and decorate the titles were listed; I recall once again that we can insert any video effect to a title clip, whatever it may be: there are some that are static, which can be very useful for decorating, but in these posts I have focused on the effects that are they can animate, both to decorate and to give dynamics to the texts and their backgrounds.

Working with animated titles in Kdenlive

Before entering to make new practical examples, I will take advantage of this post to explain something that I think is very important when making a video with several titles.

One question that may arise is, and every time I insert an animated background or text, will I have to repeat the animation process? The answer is NO, it will not be necessary.

The other question is, what if I make a series of videos in which I want to use the same style of backgrounds and texts, will I have to perform the animation of the backgrounds and texts in each new video? And the answer is again NO.

I will take advantage of this chapter to explain how to solve all the cases in which we can find ourselves when making titles and animated backgrounds.

We start from the basis that when making a video project we have thought and rethought the style and format that we will give to our titles, designing backgrounds according to our taste and the type of video and it is usual to have some variants within the same style .

I explain this point with an example: suppose we are going to make a documentary about whatever it is and we are going to interview people. At a graphic level, it is normal that we need a minimum of three types of text tablets (this is how texts with audiovisual background are called):

  • one to headline at people: usually with two lines, name and descriptive data of the person.
  • Another for places or narrative elements: which usually has two variants, for short texts of one line and long texts of two lines.
Title to present people
Localization title or short phrase of a line
Two-line title

The durations of the animated text pads are typically between 5 to 9 seconds; a good value for this is 8 seconds. Actually both the input and output animation will eat between a few frames up to 2 seconds at the most.

Without further ado I am going to explain how the topic of copying the animation to all the clips in the project is done in Kdenlive and how to save this animation to apply it to next projects.

We start from the fact that we have animated the text tablets and of course, throughout the video, they will always appear with the same animation.

  • Now we will see the case that tablet and text all come together in the same title clip:
    1. First of all, we will duplicate the title clip in the project folder, enter its edition and put the corresponding text.
    2. We will insert the clip in the desired place on the timeline.
    3. We will select the clip that is already animated and copy it (“Ctrl + C” or right button and choose “Copy”)
    4. Now, with the right button on the clip that we want to add the animation of the previous one, we right click on it and choose the option “Paste effects”

In this simple way we are inserting the tablets; the only change is the texts.

  • Now we will see the case of the empty text pad (background), without text and the text in another track (both animated):
    1. In the case of the text, which is what varies, we apply exactly the 4 steps seen in the previous section.
    2. In the case of the tablet that is empty in a clip, in this case it is not necessary to duplicate it in the project folder, we simply copy the one that we already have inserted in the timeline (with “Ctrl + C” or right button) and, with the right button in the place where we want to insert it, again we choose the paste option. We have to click on the desired track in an empty space and with enough space to house the clip. We can also paste by clicking on the desired track, in the place where we want it to start, and using the keyboard combination “Ctrl + V”. If it is not exactly in place, nothing happens, we reposition it by dragging the clip with the mouse.
    3. Another option is to insert the clip again and copy the clip already inserted with the effects and paste with the option “Paste effects” to the clip just inserted.
  • Now we need to see how we do it to save this animation from one project to be able to use it in another.
    1. The first thing is to save the title clips as templates. This is as simple as opening the pickup in the “Title Clip” edit editor and saving as a template from the save icon at the top right of the wizard. It is important to give it a name that is easy for us to recognize.04.png
    2. The second thing is to select the already animated clip on the timeline and save the effects that it has inserted (it can be one or more). It is important to give these effects a name that describes well what you do so that it is easy to identify. Saving is as simple as displaying the effect header menu and choosing the save option as shown in the following image:
      The save option is in the header menu in all effects

      This will be saved in the family of effects called “Custom” with the parameters and animation that it takes at the time of saving.

    3. In the new project create a title clip and load the saved preset corresponding to the pickup that we need.06.pngRepeat this step for each background or text clip that we need.
    4. Once we have the title pad, we insert it in the timeline and we insert the effects that we have saved with the parameters of the corresponding animation (remember that they are in the “Custom” family). It is very important to insert them in the same order, in case you have used more than one, and that the title clip has the same duration to avoid synchronization problems with the animations.

It is not a bad idea to make a project for each type of text with its background or a project in which the different tablets will be created with their animations (which in many cases will be the same or very similar) so, once one is animated, just we will copy the effect to the others and, as we saw, we will save this one, or these.

These pads will be created using all the resources that we saw in previous chapters that the title clip assistant makes available to us. Once created we will save the title clip files as templates, and we will do the same with the effects used. In this simple way we will have our pickups created to be inserted into our project, be it a single chapter or several.

Normally the pads of different types within the same project are variations on a style that we have chosen, so once one has been made, the others can be made by duplicating it and making the necessary variations and then saving this new template.

For this example I first made the tablet to title people with its section for name and another for description; the other two come out of the first.

If images are used to make these backgrounds in the title clip wizard, they should not be removed or moved from their location. The normal thing in this case is to be orderly and within the project folder of this video, of one chapter or several, it is to have a folder with all the material that we use for this purpose. This folder may be called “Graphics” or “Text Pills.” Being ordered in a video project always optimizes our work.

Just remember that the backgrounds, and even the texts (although these are better to create from the “title clip” wizard itself), we can have created them in an external image editor. We saw an example of a background for animated texts in the post that I talked about how to work with images.

Practical examples of title animation in Kdenlive

Practice 1. Animate a background without using effects

As we saw in the previous post, the animation of a text without using more than the method of creating several title clips, we can do the same with the backgrounds.

In this case I am going to create 3 clips that will make a dynamic input for the background and another clip for the texts that will go on the upper track. The texts will fade in with the Transform effect.

Now I’m going to create the background animated:

  1. First we create the finished background, in this example I use the seen in the previous explanation to title people.14.pngI call this background 03 (because it will be the last clip of the animation on which the text will go) and I give it a duration of 5 seconds.
  2. Now I duplicate the previous one, call it 02, go into editing the title clip and modify it; in this case, removing the yellow rectangle and slightly varying the size of the orange and the white background. I give it a duration of 3 frames.15.png
  3. I duplicate the previous one, I call it 01, I enter its edition, I erase the orange rectangle and modify the white background. The duration I leave it in 3 frames.16.png
  4. Now I have three clips that, inserted into the timeline, will form an input animation. To make the output, it is as simple as adding the two clips from the beginning to the end, leaving the clips on the track of the timeline in this order: 01-02-03-02-0117.png
  5. Now I create a title clip for the texts, with the cursor in the timeline with the chip visible in its clip 03. I activate the view of the background in the title clip assistant to insert the text. This text will have a duration of 5 seconds just like clip 03.
  6. I insert it in the timeline above clip 03 and, adjusted with this at the beginning and end, I insert the “Transform” effect to make it fade in and out.18.png
  7. In the transform effect, in the first keyframe I set the opacity to 0, advance 5 frames, insert a key and set the opacity value to 100. Now I go to the end, create a key and set the opacity value to it to 0. I go back 5 frames, insert a key and set the opacity value to 100.19.png

In this simple way we already have an animated text tablet. Next I put a gif with the result where I have shortened the time in which the clip is static; since the interesting thing is the animations.prcta0.gif

With this simple technique for the backgrounds, much more complex animations can be made, and we can save each clip as a template to make use of it in other projects.

Now I attach the gif of a more elaborate animation with this same background; in this case I have created 5 input clips:

  • 01, 02 and 03 of 3 frames duration
  • the 04 with 2 and
  • the 05 with one

and what I have done has been to lengthen the rectangles in their horizontal and progressively I have inserted transparency. The output I have done the same as before: attaching the clips at the end in reverse order.prcta0 2 2.gifIn this example I have reduced the duration of clip 06, which would have to be 5 seconds, to one, since the interesting thing is the animation.

The text I have put in a higher track and I have added the input by fade of 12 frames which is how long the animation lasts.twenty

Now I put the images of the different clips so that their construction can be seen better and can serve as a reference for your projects:twenty-one






The animation in these cases is done in reverse order, so now look at the images from bottom to top to see the process of how it has been done.

In the animations sometimes we give a result as good and the next day it does not convince us, so as advice I indicate that when you are carrying out this task of animating the text tablets it is good once the animation is done to take a break by doing other things. For example, in the previous one I have made some input clips with the indicated durations, now I have made another version in which the first clip (01) I have given 5 frames of duration and the rest (02, 03, 04 and 05 ) a single frame, and the result is slightly different. The next day we visualize both finishes and choose the one we like the most. I am attaching a gif with these times so that you can see the result.prcta0 3.gif

Practice 2. Using the “Box Blur” effect to make the text block appear and disappear

To carry out this practice I have created a simple title tablet with 3 rectangles with the text inserted in the same tablet and a duration of 5 seconds, so in this case I will only need one track to insert the titles.

Text pickup that I will use for this practice.
  1. We insert the text pad in the timeline and insert the effect of the “Blur and hide” family called “Box Blur”.
  2. In this case I have adjusted the values ​​as we see in the following image.09.png
    • As I want the effect to be in the horizontal field, I have raised the value of the horizontal multiplier to 40, leaving the value of the vertical multiplier at 1
    • In this effect, only one parameter is animated, which is the “Blur factor”; We can see the settings in the previous image to get the result that we see in the next gif.

Result of this practice: the time has been reduced by removing part of the frames in which the title is static since what is interesting to see in this specific case is the animation that we have achieved.prcta1BgB.gif

Now I put an example of this same animation on the background used in the previous practice so that you can make a comparison of what is achieved with this effect to what is done manually.

Performing this has been very simple since I only had to load the template that I had already made and add the effect that I had already saved and in a few seconds I made this animated tablet.prcta1 2.gif

Practice 3. Variation on the previous practice adding the “Distortion” effect

In this lab we are going to add a distortion effect to the text pad; This effect can reduce clarity to the text so, in this case, we will need a clip for the background and another for the text since, this time, their animation will be slightly different.

As we can see in the following image, I have a title clip for the background and another for the text.10.png

And in the timeline I need in this case two tracks to create the titles: one that will carry the background and another, on top of it, that will carry the text.11.pngBoth clips have the “Box Blur” effect with the same animation, in fact, to save myself having to reconfigure this effect, I saved it in the previous practice and inserted it into the clips as I indicated at the beginning of this post. ; As this animation is the same as in the previous practice, I will only explain the variation that I have inserted in this one.

  1. I have the background with its input and output animation (which is the same as the one we made in the previous practice) and I add, in this case, the “Distort” effect of the family of the same name, with the settings that we see in the next picture.12.pngAs can be seen, the effect only has two values, Amplitude and Frequency; in this case the value of the amplitude is the same from beginning to end and the one that we animate in the Frequency one that will create a meandering effect.
  2. Now it is the turn of the text. Since to make it more homogeneous with the background, I have also applied the “Distort” effect but, as we see in the following image, with different values, in this case the effect being softer so that the text does not subtract clarity .13.pngIf we compare the two images we see that the only thing that varies is the value of the “Amplitude”, being lower in the text.

Gif with the result of this animation that has an input through the box blur effect and an oscillation throughout its duration created with the distortion effect.prcta2.gif

Practice 4. Text background animation with the Transform effect

The tablets with very complex animations should be done in image editors such as Gimp or Inkscape (among others) and export the animation as frames with alpha channel and load them as sequence of images as we saw in the post that I talked about how to work with images in kdenlive.

An application that is very useful to make sequences of images for very elaborate backgrounds, or whatever you want (in fact it is designed to make cartoons and 2D animations) is Synfig Studio. And another that is very good is Blender, a very complete and professional 3D suite.

But since here we are looking at the possibilities of kdenlive, I am going to make an animation of a tablet of Simple text with the Transform effect to show more qualities of it when animating text backgrounds. In this case I will make a background that will consist of three rectangles and will be fragmented into three clips, because each rectangle will be animated independently and the text will be in another clip, also animated with the transform effect.

In short, I am going to make an animation of three background elements plus the text, and for this I will need four title clips on four simultaneous tracks. Go for it.

  1. We create a background for the text using three title clips, each clip has a rectangle and the combination of the three forms the background
    Ornament 1 that goes on the lower track
    Ornament 2 that goes on the top track
    Text background that goes on the track between the two ornaments

    04 all.png
    Full background

  2. To each clip we insert the Transform effect and proceed to its animation. This will be a long animation for better appreciation; a time that is usually used in the entry and exit of a background is usually 5 frames more or less. These animations are to the taste of each director or the type of program and can range from 3 frames to one second. In this case I will make an average animation that will be 10 input frames and 10 output frames. In audiovisual between 3 and 6 frames are considered fast, 7 to 15 medium speed, and more than 15 slow. In news programs everything goes very fast, in nature documentaries the times are slower… it all depends on the taste of each one and the type of production we do.
  3. The first element that I encourage is the “Text Background”. I’ll make it appear from the right side by stretching it with the scale.
    • The simplest thing is to go to frame 10, insert a key and now we go to frame one and modify the values ​​as we want this background to enter.05.pngThese are your initial values ​​for the animation; Once the animation is done, to give it a little flicker, what I have done is insert a key in frame 5. Initially I have set the opacity to 25% and in this key I lower its value to 0.
  4. Now I animate the “Ornament 1”. I’ll make it appear from below, with a bit of rotation and lowering its opacity value.
    • As before, as in its static position it is where it should, because I add a key in frame 10, I go to the beginning and I put the parameters for the animation06.png
  5. Now all you need to do is animate “Ornament 2”. In this case what I do is keep it hidden on the left of the image and, once the other two pieces have been placed, I make it appear in 4 frames (which will be from 11 to 15) so that it is put in place.
    • I insert the effect and, in the default key, I hide the rectangle by varying the value “X” on the left side, I go to frame 11 and insert a key.
    • Now I go to 15 and insert another key and reset the value of x so that the ornament is in place.
  6. Now I make the outputs simply by inserting a key 10 frames before the end and, at the end, another and in the latter, I put the values ​​of the beginning. As it does not allow us to copy the values ​​of a key and paste it to another we have to do it manually.
  7. Now only the text is missing, and since it goes over the large rectangle that I animated at the beginning, what I do is paste the effect that the aforementioned rectangle has inserted into the text. I do this process as I explained at the beginning of this article: I select the background clip, right click “Copy”, now right click on the text clip and “Paste effects”.

Gif that simulates the result of this animation:RESult.gifFor the realization of this background with text I have needed 4 video tracks, for this I recommend that when we want to make backgrounds with very elaborate animations (with different elements animated in different ways) we value resorting to an image editing program that we master, or some of the aforementioned Synfig Studio type to elaborate the sequence of images thus, in a single track, we will have the animation; the text is recommended to be inserted into Kdenlive.

More animation examples

Now, from here, I will put some examples of input and output animation of text pads with different effects; Instead of explaining step by step how it is done, I think that, seeing the result, indicating the effect used, a brief explanation and an image with the parameters used is enough to understand and know how to perform.

In these cases, for simplicity, I have used a single title clip with the text and background to insert on a single track. The way to work with a single track, background and text in a single clip, or with two tracks depends on each case, on the animations, or on the preference of each one.

The clips are 5 seconds long.

Example 1. Using the Pixelate effect

01_pixelar.gif01.pngThe input and output are the same as can be seen in the image.

Example 2. Using the Lens Correction effect

02_correcLente.gif02.pngIn this case I have made a different input and output, you can see in the image the difference in values ​​from the initial key to the final one.

Example 3. Using the Corners effect

03_esquinas.gif03.pngThis effect can be intimidating due to the amount of parameters it has, but it really is very easy to use. Its operation is based on a rectangle the size of the screen that we can modify precisely from its 4 corners; Now, if we look at it, we see that it really has two parameters per corner: one for the “X” axis and one for the “Y” axis and, at the end, two for stretching that will deform the object if the enable stretch box is activated.

The input and output are different and, if you look at the image, you can see that I have only manipulated two parameters in the initial key and two in the final one.

As an important note to mention that we must activate the transparent background button and set the “Alpha channel operation” to the “Minimum” value so that the image or video in the track below can be seen.

Example 4. Another animation with the Equines effect

04_esquinas.gif04.pngIn this case I have made use of stretching so I had to activate it.

Example 5. Using two effects, Distort together with Square Blur

05_Multiple.gif05In this order and with these settings they give the result that we see in the gif.

The possibilities of animation combining effects is very extensive. In animations, blur effects help give a feeling of speed and realism, although sometimes just playing with opacity is enough.

I believe that with these practices and examples I have left the ban open for you to experiment with animations of texts and their backgrounds, and I also believe that it is demonstrated that without leaving Kdenlive we can do real wonders in terms of titles and decorations, since , the title clip assistant, also helps us to make ornaments to decorate our videos or image presentations.

Download files with practices by clicking here.See_Video_G

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