WIFV – NLE Demo & Petting Zoo

On Tuesday, Sept. 20th, I gave a talk at the Washington D.C. Women In Film & Video NLE Demo & Petting Zoo. It was a good talk and I think a lot of information was exchanged. I’m sure it raised a bunch more questions than it answered, but that’s what happens next – here or Twitter or at the next event. Thanks for coming. If you missed it, here is the Presentation I gave:

(And the link in case the embed doesn’t work)

Smooth Credit Rolls in After Effects

{I’ve been looking for something like this for years. Thought I’d share it in case you might be looking for the same thing – B.}

Step-by-Step to create a smooth credit roll in After Effects

1. Grab a copy of the project template. Smooth Credit Roll Template.aep

2. Grab a copy of the Credits you need to roll. A Plain Text file will work best.

3. Rename the After Effects Template to your project’s needs.

4. Open in AE4 or higher.

5. In this project there are two Compositions to deal with:

5a. Text Layer – This is the comp where you will put the text. More on adjusting it in later steps.

5b. Roll – This is the comp that actually produces the credit roll. Nothing should be adjusted in this comp – except the length.


The combination of these two comps in conjunction with an expression. The expression computes the length (in pixels) of the text layer. It then divides that length over the time of the roll and moves the text so that it only moves up two scan lines per frame. This control over the movement prevents the roll from flickering and allows for it to move smoothly. Fortunately, you do not need to mess with the expression at all. The expression was found on a Creative Cow Forum post by Kevin Camp of KCPQ – (http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/951001#951080). Take a look at that post or peek at the expression itself. Kevin put a nice set of instructions into the expression about how to get it working.

6. Edit the text in the Text Layer Comp. There are no animation keyframes in the Text Layer. The best thing to do is adjust the font size and leading so that the entire roll fills the layer as much as possible (see picture to left). Make small adjustments (a point here, a point there, etc.) Since you’re adjusting over a large layer, even small tweaks can make a large difference. If you need to include logos or other elements in the roll, they can be pasted into the Text Layer Comp at this point as well. Take care when adjusting the size of the Text Layer, the size it currently is seems to be in the sweet spot for about a 29-second roll. Making the Text Layer shorter or taller could affect the time that the roll takes to complete.

7. Once you’ve edited the text to fill the Text Layer comp, you can switch over to the Roll Composition and take a look. You should be good to go for rendering. Choose your codec and output. IMPORTANT NOTE: You must choose to output with Fields turned on if you are going to an interlaced output (ie. 29.97, 59.94)

8. Render it out


– Generally, even at 100%, the Roll Comp will look like crud when played back on the computer display. You will only see the smoothness when displayed on a broadcast monitor using a Kona, Decklink, etc.

– Time of the Roll does not always use all of the length in the Roll Comp. Because of the math, there are only certain durations that work out correctly given a certain pixel height of the Text Layer. What happens is that the formula for moving the layer causes it to come out correctly at a time that is shorter or longer than the exact duration you may want. If you scroll through the text in the template you will see that the final element scrolls off the screen at about 28-seconds. This time is calculated the actual length of the Text Layer and how tall it is. Changing the height of the Text Layer will affect the time when the roll completes – sometimes shorter, sometimes longer. Be careful when adjusting the height of the Text Layer.

New Service: help-by-email…

A help-by-email service for Media PeopleGot a nagging issue with your production, try emailing us: help @ buttonpusher.tv.

It’s a new service we’re offering here at buttonpusher.tv. No question too small! There are no dumb questions! Ask us about Production! Or Post-Production! Or Distribution!

It’s a media-production-help-by-email service with tickets and issue tracking and all kinds of geegaws.

But, wait, how much is this going to cost me? Well, asking is free. And, if you like the answer, you decide how much it’s worth and then slide us some renumeration.

Go to the main page for the service and read all about it.

$10 Motion Templates

I’m looking for inspiration for a design project I have to do this week & I came across these HD Motion Templates.


motionVFX is a boutique website dealing in Stock photos and HD Motion Templates. Their work looks good and I wish I were working in 24fps because I could probably use them more often…maybe in the future, but at $10 a pop, it certainly is going to help more than a few folks get something nice looking for little expense.

At that price, it’s almost worth it just to get them and look under the hood of how they are created, just to learn a little more about Motion and how to get it do some interesting stuff.


An editor and friend of mine co-authored a book recently & I’m voraciously reading it. Final Cut Pro Workflows, written by Robbie Carman & Jason Osder is a great “cookbook of postproduction workflows that teams can follow to deliver an array of products to their clients.” (from the back cover).

Final Cut Pro Workflows: The Independent Studio Handbook by Jason Osder and Robbie Carman, Amigo Media

It is a great resource for all things workflow-related, but it also has a great set of chapters that cover formats, codecs, and compression. It will be a great book to get non-technical people to understand the complicated world that is non-linear, digital media production. It is also going to become an important part of getting everyone I work with to really think hard about the workflows of our projects and how to streamline them.

My only complaint is that Robbie’s offer to serve as a technical editor for the book didn’t work out – I would have loved to help craft a text like this. Check out the website for the book here – there’s a sample chapter, news, and other stuff.