Remember LiveType? That quirky little titling application that came along around Final Cut Pro 4 and did some pretty cheesy nifty animated titles without a whole lot of animation effort? Many people loved it, some people hated it and others would use it but never admit it. It was possible to create some nice titles that didn't scream LiveType if you used a bit of restraint. We won't even mention LiveFonts, except to mention you could pick out a LiveFont from a mile away. That may be good or bad, depending on your opinion.

LiveType is gone but if you're looking for a dedicated title creation and animation tool, then Titler Pro from NewBlueFX might be right up your alley. This $300 application works on both Mac and PC and supports most NLE out there (except Final Cut Pro X). What makes it feel very LiveType-like are the ton of preset animations, transitions and movements that can be applied to text with very little effort. There's a Library of everything, from text styles, moves and animations onto the screen and off, to entire templates that combine many different moves and transitions into a prebuilt text effect. The interface takes some getting used to but there are familiar things like sliders and the parameters that any editor who has done any animation will be familiar with. The templates are a nice way to explore exactly how NewBlueFX Titler Pro works. Apply a template and click on any of the animations in the timeline to explore how the app does its thing. It's very easy to explore different options, since previews happen in real time and you can tweak parameters as well as preview entirely new presets, all without stopping playback.

The timeline in NewBlue Titler Pro is worth mentioning as well: any animation and transition gets a segment in the timeline. It's a nice way to visualize what is going on as well as provide some control when adjusting animations. It did take me some time to figure out that deleting items out of the timeline takes the actual delete key on an extended keyboard (this is a Mac install inside Adobe Premiere Pro CS6) and not the backspace. And don't expect After Effects-like animation control when keyframing, as it's basic at best. However, in a simplified application like this, it is still very usable. As with all good useful tools there is a free demo available.

Click through for a full list of features and a video clip that goes into how to create a title in NewBlueFX Titler Pro.

Here's the bullet list of features from the NewBlueFX Titler Pro website:

  • Drag-and-drop animations allow you to apply rich animations without manual keyframing
  • 100% GPU-accelerated effects for real-time results in your NLE for previews and playbacks
  • Import of images as textures so you can layer any JPG or PNG image onto your text or shapes
  • Advanced text animations, vectors, extrusions, and z-rotations to create feature-rich titles without the complexity
  • 2D and 3D text layers to combine the benefits of raster effects and 3D animations into one stunning result
  • Raster-based effects and transitions to create organic, beautiful looks like motion blur, light rays, and glows
  • Animation-based effects and transitions allow you to move your composition through space character by character
  • True 3D space so you can move both 2D and 3D elements in a full-3D environment
  • Credit tools to easily lay out justified credits and then apply animation for any kind of motion roll required
  • Resolution independent projects so the same work can be used in a variety of aspects and resolutions

This YouTube video is a good example of how Titler Pro works: