Creating Versions of a Program with and Without Titles

A common requirement, especially from networks and broadcasters, is that you provide separate tape masters of your program with and without titles (also called texted and textless masters).

To make it easy to output both texted and textless versions of your program, it’s a good idea to edit all titles being used in your program into a separate set of video tracks. You can then turn off all your titles at once using the Track Visibility controls in Final Cut Pro.

Separate Titling Requirements for SD and HD Video

If you’re expected to provide both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) tape masters, be aware that some broadcasters have different titling requirements for each format. The reason for this is that titles are often sized and framed specifically for HD, widescreen presentation. However, the same titles will look too small, or be forced outside of the title safe area of the picture, if that master is downconverted to SD video.

In general, there are two ways broadcasters handle this issue:

  • Sometimes you’re required to use separate title templates to create both SD and HD versions of every title, lower third, and credit in your program. In this case, you need to output two versions of your program from Final Cut Pro, one with SD titles edited in and another with HD titles edited in.

  • Other distributors require that you use title templates that are 4:3 safe at HD resolution and that you size your title text large enough to remain legible after downconversion. In this case, you can output only an HD version, and an SD version can be easily dubbed and downconverted from that.

Check with your distributor to find out which method is required.