7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 13, 2013 9:54 AM by the_wine_snob

    Adding an Arrow or Other Shape/Character to Video

    the_wine_snob Level 9

      Often, one needs to add an element to “call out” a person, or object in the video. There are several methods to call attention to the person, or object, but one way is to just add an “arrow,” pointing to that person/object.


      This can be done easily in the Titler, and one can use Shapes, or characters in a particular font set. Wingdings and Webdings are two font families with all sorts of arrows, and other symbols, that can be very useful.


      To accomplish this, one would Open Titler, and then choose a character in a font family, that has the right look. That character would be added in the Text box, after one deletes any “placeholder text” from the Title. For this example, I used Wingdings 3 arrowhead, and chose a font size that was adequate for my image. I adjusted the Stroke and Fill to suit. Note: in PrE’s Titler, one must first add a Style w/ Stroke and Fill, before they can make the adjustments. In PrPro, Titler will add, and allow adjustments to any selected object, without the need to first add a Style.


      In Titler, one can position, scale and rotate, as is needed. That Title is placed on a Video Track above the Video Clip. Then, if necessary, they can animate the fixed Effects>Motion>Position (to track with a moving subject), or Rotation, if necessary. This is done by adding Keyframes to make changes over time. Note: in PrE, one goes to Edit Effect with the Clip Selected to access the Effects Control Panel. In PrPro, with the Clip Selected, one just Opens the Effects Control Panel, Window>Effects Control Panel. Also note: this is NOT the Effects Panel, but the Effects Control Panel.


      One can also create these Titles in Photoshop/PhotoshopElements, and can use the included Shapes. In PS, one would choose New Image, and then choose the Preset to match their Video Frame Size, say, NTSC 720 x 480 Standard/4:3 w/ Guides, and a Transparent Background. When done, they do a Save_As PSD, to be Imported into their Project and would drag that from the Project Panel to a Video Track above their Video Clip. That PSD can also be animated, and the Scale can be tweaked, if necessary, by Effects>Motion>Scale.


      One of the beauties of using Titler is that they can work on the Title with the underlying Video Clip visible (can be toggled ON/OFF in PrPro). If working in PS/PSE, they might want to do a still capture of a Video Frame, to use as a guide. This would be placed on a Layer below the Shape’s Layer, but would need to be either Deleted, or have Visibility turned OFF, prior to doing the Save_As, since one would NOT want that to appear in the PSD - it is only a reference to be used for the layout of the Title.



      Here is a look at a Title with an "arrowhead" used from the Wingdings font family:


      The program, in this case, is PrE 4's Titler.


      Here is a look at the partial character set of Wingings 3:


      Hope that this is helpful.


      For other methods of highlighting a moving subject, see this ARTICLE




      Note: this general technique can also be used to "draw" onto, say a map. In that case, one might want to add an animated Crop Effect, or an animated Wipe Effect, to simulate the "drawing" of the line, or Shape.