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Differing text styles to follow for multiple versions..

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Michael CaroniaDiffering text styles to follow for multiple versions..
by on May 11, 2010 at 5:59:07 pm

Hi all,
We're working on broadcast graphics, and in the spirit of working more efficiently, need to find an automated workflow which would allow multiple versions of different text styles in a project.

To try and explain, say you have a line of text, but on that line, there are 3 different fonts, sizes and colors...but those fields would change for each graphic you make. One would be Wednesday at 9/7c, where the 'Wednesday at', '9' & '/7c' are each unique styles. The next page to build would say 'Premiering Saturday at' '10''/9c', with same parameters for style. Now think about doing 200 of these.

How can one have the fields follow the next while appearing as one coherent line of text without manual intervention for each graphic? Has anyone done a script to handle this particular issue? I've tried parenting, but it locks to the anchor point, and that does not change depending on how much text is in the field. I readily admit, scripting is a weak point on the old resume. If anyone has any ideas, or can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.

thanks,
michael c.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Differing text styles to follow for multiple versions..
by on May 11, 2010 at 7:22:14 pm

Sorry, but there are some things in AE you just can't automate, and you're asking for some of them. You can make an expression to change the copy in selected text layers based on the copy in one master text layer, but you can't for variations such as Bold/Thin/Black/Italics/point size. If AE could even do it, you'd probably need something like a standard character count to get it to work, and that ain't happenin' between something like "Monday @ 8PM" and "Saturday @ 11 AM".

Please note that I work at an ABC Affiliate, and that I'm well aware of making multiple versions of the same spot to reflect things like Next Week/Thursday/Tomorrow/Tonight.

Why not simply render out all the different time variations with alpha channels, adding them in your NLE? I'll bet they all go in a standard position in your design for the episodics. I've even faked 3D in the past for my variations: it's remarkable what the appropriate kind of track matte can accomplish when you're rendering out animated lower-thirds.

It all depends on coming up with a good design that'll accommodate what you want to do.


Well, that's what I'd do, anyway...

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael CaroniaRe: Differing text styles to follow for multiple versions..
by on May 11, 2010 at 8:34:36 pm

Thanks for the reply Dave!
And I completely understand. We've tried moving the workload off the particular CG in the room to this type of workflow due to the nature of the style changes with the intent of giving the creative types their intended 'look'.
I like the idea of pre-building the variations, but when you're talking about network graphics, as you probably know, there are a lot of people making the scheduling decisions, and new verbiage and templates are needed for every thought. This would give the people scheduling too many templates to keep track of, and it's just simpler to manually create than to rein them in.
But I'll keep trying to figure something out! :)
thanks.
-mac


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Dave LaRondeRe: Differing text styles to follow for multiple versions..
by on May 11, 2010 at 9:10:38 pm

I hear you. Y'know, I don't think I've seen one of the Big 4 networks stay absolutely consistent in graphics use for more than a few weeks at a pop.

I'm most familiar with ABC -- they've got an primetime drama look, a primetime comedy look, a news look, a pro sports & college sports look, a morning look......I wouldn't want your task.

Although I will say that taking the spots into an NLE keeps everything file-based, and running most NLEs' text functions isn't too tough... especially if the fonts are loaded and there's a style book handy.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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