June 3, 2014

Premiere Pro Tutorial: Using the 'Set Matte' Effect to Create Badass Titles in Seconds

Premiere Pro Title TutorialAdding titles may not be the most exciting of your post-production process, but that's not to say that you shouldn't spend some time taking your titles to the next level. Anyone who's ever wandered over to the fantastic blog Art of the Title knows that titling can not only play an integral role in defining the aesthetic and themes of your film, but that the titles themselves can be a standalone piece of art. Of course, some of the astounding title sequences on that blog take months, even years, to create. However, with a few clicks and two minutes of time, you can take your titles from bland to visually stimulating. Here's a quick tutorial from GeniusDV which shows you how to put video inside of your titles in Premiere Pro CC.

There are numerous ways to use the Adobe suite of tools to create eye-catching titles, and the most recent update of the software saw some of the titling features, once only available in After Effects, integrated directly inside of Premiere Pro. However, none of these new tools are necessary for creating the simple effect of having a layer of video playing behind (or inside of) your text. That's exactly what this tutorial shows you how to do in the most simple and effective way imaginable:


Of course, the example in this tutorial is a little bit over the top. (Although, who doesn't love skate videos shot with a fisheye lens and titles full of fire?) However, this effect can be used to create some eye-catching titles in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. For example, the title below took me about two minutes, give or take 30 seconds.


There are some oddities when filling your titles this way. Primarily, if you want to manipulate the "Motion" effect of the video or photo layer that you're putting inside of your text -- that is, if you want to manipulate and keyframe the size, position, or rotation -- you're going to have to do all of those manipulations in a new sequence, and then nest that sequence in your original timeline. Additionally, this technique makes it impossible to keyframe any of the properties within the text layer, because the "Set Matte" effect pulls information from the static text frame, and not the final output. With that said, there could very well be a work-around for that problem, so if anybody has one, leave it down in the comments.

All in all, this is an incredibly simple technique that you can use in a pinch when you don't want to go into After Effects for your titling. Of course, there is so much more that you can do in AE, but for a simple "Video inside of Titles" effect, this technique works admirably.

What do you guys think of this technique? Do you have any tips for how to spice up your titles directly inside of Premiere? Let us know down in the comments!

Link: Adobe Premiere Video Tutorial: Video in Text -- Premiumbeat

Your Comment


lol, sad.

June 3, 2014 at 7:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


no no, the holocaust was sad, this....well this is terrible.

June 3, 2014 at 11:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


This post is just silly

June 4, 2014 at 1:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Caio Silva

okay, so I don't mean to be a troll at all, but you'd be better off just doing plain white characters than doing either of the examples here.

June 3, 2014 at 7:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Yeah, my example was something I threw together really, really quickly. Honestly, I think the whole video inside of text technique works best against either a black or colored background, and with thin text so that it's an understated effect. It's pretty distracting and weird on top of moving footage.

June 3, 2014 at 8:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom

Good call.

June 4, 2014 at 12:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


I think you are selling yourself short Robert. Your No Film School effect looks about 60 seconds of work and 1-2 inspired teaks away from feeling very dark and moving. Some type of push in, slow the footage, maybe a slight blur on the footage, and I think it could start to feel.....Inceptiony?......I'm perfectly aware that's not a word....but I stand by it. Of course you need to sneak in some killer sound design.

June 6, 2014 at 9:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Did you just say "colored" dude? :-D

June 7, 2014 at 8:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


yeah, these are the kind of titles you learn in film school...

June 3, 2014 at 8:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Maybe at a community college in Kansas. Guess you've never been around a film school.

June 4, 2014 at 1:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


This is exactly what they teach you not to do at any film school.

June 5, 2014 at 2:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


First of all, Extreme Sports is not the word to be used anymore, it is Action sports, the athletes are not vandals, thieves nor kamikaze pilots. Second, what the hell are those fonts????????? and third, fire???…….. fire?? are we in the 80s using Umatic footy and fx?

Awesome tut, bad examples

June 3, 2014 at 8:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Cris Cazor

The eighties ruled!

June 3, 2014 at 11:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Fonts. Premiere Pro continues on using the same title generator, that was introduced in premiere 6.0 around 1999. As I restarted editing with creative cloud lately, there were pleasant improvements, I was chocked to see the same title generator though.

June 4, 2014 at 2:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Richard Lizier

All of the presets in Premiere Pro are hilariously terrible. The title tool is among the nicest I've ever used in an NLE, but Richard is right—I learned Premiere Pro 1.5 back in high school before switching to FCP in college. Then, in 2011/2012, when I moved to Premiere CS5.5, I couldn't believe the title tool presets were (to my recollection) the exact same styles.

That being said, when I cut I make a goal to use as many of these terrible styles as possible as temp titles: https://twitter.com/davidsikes_/status/429254371788857344/photo/1

June 4, 2014 at 8:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM



That's one way of making sure you don't forget to update a temp title!

June 4, 2014 at 10:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


The Supernatural opening title has fire in it ...and wings, and an explosion - and it looks pretty good!

What matters is HOW it's done!

June 7, 2014 at 6:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


While I agree with most of the comments I would like to see more actual tutorials from this site. Help me learn techniques instead what cameras look good or what a professional take on the industry is. Don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of the camera pieces and professional perspectives but balance it out a bit.

June 3, 2014 at 9:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Jeremie Barineau

Agreed. Personally I like the articles about new gear coming out but the industry perspectives are not very practical. They're interesting but at the end of the day it's not going to change what I work on (unless the medium goes away altogether). I'd be much more interested in reading real world examples on how someone did something interesting or new techniques, etc.

June 4, 2014 at 9:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


this 1

June 4, 2014 at 11:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

zach burns

That's pretty much my thoughts as well. Glad I'm not alone here.

June 4, 2014 at 8:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Jeremie Barineau

NFS stands for "No Film School" which implies that school is not for learning what matters, which means don't go to school, which means get out there in the real world and use your brain and heart and soul. Which also means this blog doesn't owe you squat. Which is probably the perspective that made it a hit to begin with.

June 5, 2014 at 3:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


I like fire titles.

June 3, 2014 at 10:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Pretty sure all you have to do in iMovie is create a project and these titles just appear.

June 4, 2014 at 1:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Seriously. What's with all the personal hate? I for one would like to thank you for the interesting tidbit. Yet another small tool for the bag in case I'd ever want it or something similar. I'm on a personal years long hiatus from UCLA film school but plan to go back someday and finish up so little things like this are always appreciated. Thanks Robert!

June 4, 2014 at 6:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


This is a cheap looking title and effect. I like this site a lot but this post isn't good. But i guess knowledge is knowledge..

June 4, 2014 at 9:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


This is not genius. This is dumb.

June 4, 2014 at 10:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


The examples are terrible, I don't think anyone really disagrees with that - but the methodology is a useful bit of information that could be used to much better effect in the right circumstances. So thanks for the post!

June 4, 2014 at 10:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM



June 4, 2014 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Please delete this post. It's embarassing. Refocus to what this blog was about, guys. Crappy tutorials are not the reason why I come here.

June 4, 2014 at 10:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


whats this blog about?

June 5, 2014 at 3:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


The hottest effects in 90's video production, now available on YOUR editing suite!

June 4, 2014 at 10:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


The articles on this website differ from very high quality to ... this. You better delete this or attach some hugh disclaimer at the top "written while drunk" or otherwise people less tolerant will un-subscribe. Wow, this article is embarassing.

June 4, 2014 at 10:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Dude, look beyond the cheesy samples and see it for what it is: a technique. Just because a technique can be applied in bad ways doesn't make the technique itself bad.

I didn't know this was possible in Premiere before reading this. Now I do. That means it's a successful article.

June 4, 2014 at 11:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM



June 4, 2014 at 12:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


As others have said, this is a useful technique! One I didn't know about until I read this post and watched the video. Sure, the example given isn't to my taste, but that's all it is: an example. I can definitely see myself using the Set Matte effect in the future on some of my projects.

June 5, 2014 at 4:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


That's true - and it was pretty clear from the videos that these titles were not meant to be used, they were just put together really quickly to demonstrate how to insert video into a font with the set matte filter.

It doesn't matter what it looks like in a tutorial, as long as you can see clearly what you need to do step by step

So now you know how to do that - go ahead and make a good looking title!

A tutorial like that is not supposed to teach you creativity, and if you can't imagine making something good with this technique, it's your own fault!

June 7, 2014 at 6:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


OK. I no longer need Video Copilot - its all here lol

June 4, 2014 at 12:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


As a long time reader of NFS and also a full-time editor, I appreciate this tutorial, and I would love to see more Premiere tutorials. I often get in a rut of editing and I am oblivious to effects like Set Matte. Robert, thanks for posting this. Yes it looks a bit cheesy, but the concept is great, and will give those who take notice another tool for their editing.

June 4, 2014 at 3:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Thanks Robert, I didn't know about the set matte effect. The flames helped burn it into memory.

June 4, 2014 at 4:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Hari Har

At least you had the right idea to change the title to something a bit more honest, haha.

June 4, 2014 at 10:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


The comments in this post illustrate what is wrong with this business. Poor understanding of subtext. That in this case is drum roll. Keep - it - simple! Not everyone needs amazing AE titles. If you study your craft and hone your aesthetics simple tools tools can be very powerful.

June 5, 2014 at 3:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Just a suggestion - but if you're feeling annoyed about a post on NFS, take a deep breath... and then read a different post. Here's a great one for you, and hardly anyone has commented on it so far: http://nofilmschool.com/2014/06/vhx-direct-distribution-bonus-content/?h...

June 5, 2014 at 5:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Thanks for pointing out the useful tutorial.

June 5, 2014 at 7:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


I think some of the people hating on the flames need to take a step back. 90% of the stuff I learn or use to make my life easier looks like crap at first For the longest time I didn't get why most Red Giant Preset type things looked so bad at first. Here's why. Most of this stuff is teaching you a technique so you can express yourself faster. The guys who are teaching it to you give "sweet fuck all" about design. Yes, he used fire. Yes, he's not allegedly hip enough to call it Action Sports, instead of Extreme Sports, but guess what.......He taught me something.

Now I don't have to mess with fonts, photoshop, alpha channels, and the cut out effect to get this.....


Thank you generic sounding, but empowering tutorial guy. You're my hero.

June 6, 2014 at 9:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Exactly - he was probably using some random video clip from his hard drive, and used the fire clip to insert into the title because then you could clearly see how the set matte effect worked.

If he had used a much more subtle clip it would have looked better, but that was not the point of the tutorial!

June 7, 2014 at 6:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Bitch bitch bitch! That is all some of you can do. Get over yourselves. Sure, these were not GREAT examples, but the idea is to explore... to get to know the rudimentary options and then play with them and discover other uses. in the time it took some of you to think, type and post flamey and trolly snarks, you could have been experimenting with the idea...if not the actual example.

Tsk tsk tsk to you whiney types.

June 7, 2014 at 2:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

Glen Sutton

I just wish the title creation window had an "ok" button (I'm using CS6). It is so unintuitive to click on the red "x" out box to close your title.

June 8, 2014 at 2:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Awsome Tip

June 9, 2014 at 2:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM


Wow, the amount of trolling.

We need a new hero - The Troll Hunter. Tracks trolls IP's and goes and slaps them. Hard.

Like people are saying, it's a technique, it's not about the content or style of the actual title.

June 11, 2014 at 4:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM