How Do Data Graphics Work?

What is a Lower Third?

The name "Lower Third" (Or lower 3rd) traditionally refers to any type of graphic that appears in the "lower third" portion of the screen during a video or broadcast. Lower Thirds are just one type of a family of graphics called "titles". Lower thirds are most commonly used to inform the audience of a subject's name. Due to the prevalence of popular graphics editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, the production of these graphics might seem straightforward to a layperson. However, live broadcasts often require the operator to make quick changes mid-broadcast, a task that is not possible with traditional graphics editing programs. For that reason, dedicated software is required to automatically apply real time text changes to graphical backings. This is called Titling software.

  • The definition of Lower Third is: One type of a family of graphics called "titles" that are shown in the lower third of a screen.
  • Most text graphics can be referred to as a "title".
  • Titling software is used by professionals to add titles to their videos and broadcasts.

History

The humble beginnings of on-screen graphics began with processes as simple as text written on paper and scrolled in front of the camera. The early seventies saw the rise of the first "character generators", hardware devices which were used to overlay text characters onto the "lower third" of a broadcast. Over time these devices evolved from simple to complex, with increasing options for graphics, fonts, colors, and more. With the rise of digital broadcasts (i.e. streams), many titling solutions have arisen that operate completely on software.

  • The first titles were superimposed using analog techniques, such as holding cards up in front of the camera.
  • Hardware known as Character Generators introduced the concept of overlaying graphics in the control room.
  • Modern titling software gives more creative flexibility than ever.

Titler Live 4 Broadcast Social Inputs

Live Titling

The process of adding a lower third title to a live broadcast starts with the Design phase. The visual elements of a title, such as colors, animations, font and size, are constructed before the broadcast. If the graphic designer is aware of the content, she will likely build dedicated graphics with that content in mind. Some titling solutions allow designers to designate certain text fields as "variables", allowing the operator the ability to change the text in those design through a variety of methods, such as from within the titling software itself, or through the use of external files. The broadcast operator runs the titling solution during the broadcast, giving real-time control of on-screen graphics.

  • The visual elements of a title are constructed well in advance of the broadcast.
  • Broadcast operators run the titling software while their broadcast is live.
  • Predesignated elements of a title can be changed mid broadcast.

NewBlue Titler Pro Page Header Image

Post Titling

Adding titles to videos is a separate process from Live titling because there is no need to control titles in real time. For this reason, many video editors still rely on conventional graphics solutions. However, the advances in titling introduced by television industry have carried over into the post-production realm, and now many professional video editors rely on advanced titling plugins as part of their workflow.

  • Post-production titling functions entirely within the editing software.
  • Most editing softwares come with primitive titling plugins that serve basic needs.
  • Professional titling plugins are used to increase quality while saving time and money.

Templates

Many websites offer lower third and other title templates which can be downloaded, modified, and re-used by editors and broadcast operators alike. The formats for these templates can vary from single image files to movie files to multi-layered project files for use in graphical or video editing software. Here at NewBlue, our project templates are compatible with the Title Designer, available as part of the Titler Live and Titler Pro software downloads.

  • Click below to purchase and download titles from our library of lower third title templates.
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NewBlue Titling

NewBlue offers professional titling solutions that allow for the easy creation and control of lower thirds in both Live and Post environments. Build to address the needs of professionals dating back 70 years, NewBlue's Titler Live and Titler Pro lines offer state-of-the-art solutions at a fraction of the price of conventional hardware stacks.

  • Deliver graphics to your project faster than ever before.
  • Easily share your project files for seamless cooperation.
  • Save money over traditional hardware based solutions.
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