Creative Titling Using Bezier Masking in Sony Vegas
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Creative Titling Using Bezier Masking in Sony Vegas Sony Vegas can help you create unique titles if you move away from the basic presets By Jeffrey P. Fisher

Its a no-brainer to place white titles over video in Sony Vegas. Drag the Default text with its transparent alpha channel to the top track and place some video on a track below it. Done.  But most of us would rather be a little more creative.

While the Vegas title tool gives control over font, point size, bold/italics, leading, and so forth, you are forced to use a single color for all the words in a given text event. While you can stack multiple text events on different tracks, lining items up can be challenging. Theres a simpler way that uses the Bezier mask tool found in Event Pan/Crop.

Start with a basic title and tweak its look to taste. Leave the text color white, though. Add the background video, too. Right-click the title track and choose Duplicate Track from the pop-up menu that displays. This places an exact replica of the original text on the lower track.

Add two new video tracks and place one empty track below each of the title tracks. Navigate to the Media Generators tab and select Noise Texture. Drag two different textures to the tracks and adjust to fit the timing.

Change each of the title tracks Compositing mode to Multiply (Mask). This puts the Noise Texture color inside the title.

Click the Make Compositing Child button for each of the Noise Texture tracks. This effectively isolates the text effect from the rest of the project and the background video will again show through.

Notice how only the top titles color shows; the lower one is still obscured. Click the original titles Event Pan/Crop button to open the EP/C dialog.

Enable the Mask mode by clicking the checkbox.

Use the Bezier mask Anchor Creation tool to draw a simple box around only the top half of the title. Notice that once you complete drawing the mask, the bottom half picks up the color from the other duplicate title (on the track below). There is now a two tone title onscreen.

Tweak the Feather type and Feather % to taste and soften the transition between the fill patterns of the titles. No feathering creates a hard line edge. Close the Event Pan/Crop dialog when complete.

Add another blank video track to the top of the project. Hold Ctrl while clicking the Make Compositing Child button of the original title track only. Repeat this with the duplicate title track. Holding Ctrl maintains the original parent-child relationship between the titles and their noise texture fill patterns. Now you have a new parent (Grandma!) which you can use to further refine the tiles in tandem.

Click the Parent Motion icon on the uppermost parent track (Grandma) to display the Parent Motion dialog. Move the title to taste and see how the whole composite (comprised of four tracks) moves together. Click the 2D Shadow box to add a drop shadow to all of the titles, too.

Add another video track at the top and place a simple title on it and position accordingly. Next, create a video track above the background, place another Noise texture on it, and then use Track Motion on that track to resize and position it under the title. Adding moving video, or animating the Noise texture, can create a nice contrast here, too. Be sure to turn off the Lock Aspect Ratio button in Track Motion for the most flexibility when resizing the frame. Also, reduce the opacity on this event so the background shows through a little.

Finally add transitions to complete the look of the sequence. Sony Vegas can help you create some unique titles if you just move away from the basic presets and instead employ the entire Vegas toolset to arrive at the look you want.


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Jeffrey P. Fisher is a Sony Vegas Certified Trainer and he co-hosts the Sony Acid, Sony Sound Forge, and Sony Vegas forums on Digital Media Net ( For more information visit his Web site at or contact him at [email protected].

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