After Effects Lower Third Template Tutorial

Motion Array After Effects 29/01/2019 3 min read

In this After Effects tutorial, you’ll learn how easy it is to customize one of our After Effects lower third templates. You’ll see step by step instructions from importing your logo, to change the text and template colors, to rendering your final lower third with an alpha channel. Be sure to render your lower third with an alpha channel if you plan on dropping it over footage in your editing software.


Hey guys. Welcome to this Motion Array After Effects tutorial. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to customize one of our Lower Third templates. So, we’re in After Effects with our template open, and you’ll notice over here in the Project Panel that we have one main folder and inside of that we have three other subfolders. Now, we’re only concerned with the Edit folder and the Render folder.

So, first I’m going to open up the Final Comp folder, and we can see that this template comes with four different Lower Thirds. I’m going to double click on the second Lower Third and open it in my Timeline. If I scrub through the Timeline we can preview the animation. I like this Lower Third so I’ll go ahead and customize it. Now, if I open the Edit Comps folder I see that this Lower Third template has a logo placeholder. So, the first thing I want to do is import my logo and to do that I’m going to click File, Import, File. I’ll select the logo I want to use and click Open. Now you can see the logo in the Project Panel, and the next step is to insert it into the template. To do that I’m going to double click on the Logo composition and after it opens in our Timeline, I’m going to drag my logo from the Project Panel into the Timeline.

Next, I want to edit the text for our Lower Third. So, if I open the Text folder I can see that the second Lower Third has both A and B Text compositions. I’m going to double click on the A composition and open it in the Timeline. To change the type, I’m going to double click the text layer and simply type in whatever I want. Now I’m going to repeat the last step for the B composition. I’m going to double click it. I’m going to double click the text layer and change the type to something awesome. If I double click the Lower Third’s final composition I can scrub through the Timeline and we now see that the logo and the text has been updated.

If the template you’re working with has the option to customize the color you’ll see a Color folder inside of the Edit folder. I’m going to double click the Color Composition and once it opens in the Timeline I’ll highlight the color control layer and press E on the keyboard. This will bring up all of the customizable color options. In this case we have five different colors we can customize, but I like this color palette so I’m going to leave everything as is.

We’re now ready to render this Lower Third. To do so, I’m going to double click on its final composition, and once it opens in the Timeline I’m going to come up to Composition, Make Movie. We’ve now added our Lower Thirds final composition to the Render Queue. It’s here in the Render Queue where we can adjust all of our final video’s compression settings. With Lower Thirds you want to render them out with an alpha channel. An alpha channel basically tells all the space around the Lower Third to be transparent when you drop it into your editing software. I’m going to click on the Output Module and change my Format Option to Animation. Then I’m going to click on the Depth and change it to Millions plus. The plus sign represents the alpha channel. Next, I’m going to click on the “Output To” option. This is where we tell After Effects where we want our final video to go. I’ll just choose my Desktop and click Save. Now I’m ready to click Render.

So, that’s it. That’s how you customize one of our Lower Third After Effects templates. If you liked this tutorial, we’ve got lots of other tutorials for Premiere Pro, After Effects, and filmmaking in general!  If you’ve got any questions or want to see another future article topics, leave us a comment down below.