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How to Make a Lower Thirds Template That You Can Reuse Anywhere

Learn how to make a lower thirds template that you can easily customize and reuse with any project. Let’s get started.

In this tutorial, we’re going to walk through how to create a reusable lower thirds template. To do this, we’ll build the lower thirds in After Effects, then export it as a motion graphics template. From there, we can customize and use the template in Premiere Pro.

DOWNLOAD THE MOTION GRAPHICS TEMPLATE PROJECT FILE

By downloading, you agree not to resell or redistribute these free assets.


Design Guidelines

While creating this reusable template, I thought of four design guidelines to follow. These guidelines should help insure that the template is universal and easy to use.

  • Easy to create in After Effects, even for beginners.
  • Simple to use in Premiere Pro.
  • Adaptable, so it’s easy to customize.
  • Render fast in Premiere Pro.

Creating the Lower Thirds in After Effects

First, create a new composition that’s 840 x 120 pixels and name it Lower Third. Next, create a new Solid Layer. Make sure it is Comp Size and name it Background.

Lower Thirds Template: Solid Layer
Create a 840 x 120 composition and a solid layer.

Next, keyframe the position of the Background layer so that it slides in and then slides back out after about five seconds.

Lower Thirds Template: Animate Background Layer
Animate the position of the Background layer.

Then, unlink the Scale value on the Background layer. (Click the little chain link icon.)

Lower Thirds Template: Unlink Scale
Unlink the Scale setting.

Now, create and center some text above the Background layer. For my example, I just had the text say “Title Text Here.” We’ll be able to customize it later.

Lower Thirds Template: Add Text Layer
Add a Text layer.

Now, we need our Background layer to reveal the text when it slides in. To do this, we need to create a Matte of our Background layer. Duplicate the original Background layer and move the second copy above the Text layer. Name the second copy Text Matte. Then, set the Track Matte for the Text layer to Alpha Matte.

Lower Thirds Template: Add Text Matte Layer
Set the Text layer to Alpha Matte.

Unlink the Scale value on the Text Matte layer, then Parent the Scale to the Scale on the original Background layer. The Scale value on the Text Matte layer will turn red after it has been parented to the Scale of the Background layer.

Lower Thirds Template: Parent Scale Setting
Parent the Scale of the Text Matte to the Scale of the Background layer.

Next, we need to create a new Solid layer. Make it Comp Size and name it Background Matte. Place it directly above the original Background Layer.

Lower Thirds Template: Background Matte
Add a Background Matte Solid.

Then, set the Track Matte for the Background layer to Alpha Matte.

Lower Thirds Template: Background Set to Alpha Matte
Set the Background layer to Alpha Matte.

Next, unlink the Scale value on the Background Matte layer.

Lower Thirds Template: Unlink Scale on Background Matte
Unlink the Scale setting for the Background Matte layer.

Finally, apply a Fill effect to the Text Layer and to the original Background layer. This will allow us to change the color of each of these later on. You can set them to whatever color you’d like them to start as.

Lower Thirds Template: Apply Fill Effect
Apply the Fill effect to the Text and Background layer.

Building the Motion Graphics Template

Now, we need to set the settings we’d like to adjust using the template. First, open up the Essential Graphics window. Navigate to Window>Essential Graphics. Then, select the Primary Composition, which will be our Lower Third composition. You can also name the template “Universal Lower Thirds.” Click Set Poster Time to create a thumbnail image for the template.

Lower Thirds Template: Essential Graphics Panel
Open the Essential Graphics window.

Next, add a Comment and title it “Text Settings:.” Under it, we’ll drag-and-drop any text-related settings we’d like to adjust in Premiere Pro.

Lower Thirds Template: Add Text Settings Comment
Add a Comment that says “Text Settings:.”

Click Solo Supported Properties to reveal all of the properties that can be added to the Essential Graphics panel. These are all settings we have the option to adjust in Premiere Pro, if we add them to the template.

Lower Thirds Template: Solo Supported Properties
Click Solo Supported Properties.

First, add the Source Text property. Simply drag-and-drop it into the Essential Graphics panel.

Lower Thirds Template: Add Source Text
Add Source Text property.

Once the Source Text has been added to the panel, click the blue Edit Properties button on the right side of it. Check on all of the Font Properties options.

Lower Thirds Template: Edit Text Properties
Click Edit Properties for the Text.

Next, drag-and-drop in the text Position and the Fill effect that’s located on the Text layer.

Lower Thirds Template: Add Position and Fill
Add Text Position and Fill effect properties.

Now, add another comment titled “Box Settings:.” Then, add the Fill effect from the original Background layer.

Lower Thirds Template: Box Settings
Add a Comment that says “Box Settings:” and add the Fill effect from the Background layer.

Next, add the Opacity and the Scale from the original Background layer.

Lower Thirds Template: Box Opacity and Scale
Add the Opacity and Scale.

Finally, add the Scale setting from the Background Matte layer. Rename it “Box Clip.” If you adjust the Box Scale, I recommend setting the Box Clip to the same value. This will ensure that the animation looks smoother.

Lower Thirds Template: Background Matte Scale
Add the Scale from the Background Matte layer and name it “Box Clip.”

Exporting the Motion Graphics Template

We’re now ready to export our Universal Lower Thirds template. Simply click Export Motion Graphics Template. You’ll then need to select a save destination for your .mogurt file.

Lower Thirds Template: Export Motion Graphics Template
Export the Motion Graphics Template.

Loading the Template in Premiere Pro

To load our motion graphics template into Premiere Pro, first we need to open up the Essential Graphics window. Navigate to Window>Essential Graphics.

Lower Thirds Template: Open Essential Graphics Panel
Open the Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro.

Next, click the three lines next to the Essential Graphics panel name. Then, select Manage Additional Folders. From there, click Add and select the folder where you saved the .mogurt file to. Click OK. Now, you should see your Universal Lower Thirds template available to choose in the Essential Graphics panel. The templates are listed in alphabetical order.

Lower Thirds Template: Loading the Mogurt Template
Loading the .mogurt template file.

Using the Lower Thirds Template in Premiere Pro

To use the Universal Lower Thirds template, simply drag-and-drop it onto the sequence timeline, just as you would any other piece of footage.

Lower Thirds Template: Add the Template to the Sequence
Drag-and-drop the template into your sequence.

Once it’s applied, you may need to adjust the Scale and Position of the template using the Effect Controls panel in Premiere Pro.

Lower Thirds Template: Adjusting the Effect Controls
Adjusting the Scale in the Effect Controls.

From here, you can customize all of the template settings available in the Essential Graphics panel. These will be the settings we selected in After Effects.

Lower Thirds Template: Template Settings
Customize the lower third template settings.

You can easily customize the font, box scale, colors, etc. You can even add multiple copies of the template for secondary lower thirds text.

Lower Thirds Template: Customize the Template
Use multiple copies of the template to add secondary text.

Get Creative with the Template

I encourage you to get creative with the template. You can also use it for video titles, list animations, and much more built and rendered entirely in Premiere Pro.

Lower Thirds Template: Titles
Use the template to create video titles.

Use multiple copies for text and others for the box animations. This allows you to create much more complex lower thirds looks. You can even try applying video effects to the template, such as drop shadows!

Lower Thirds Template: Creative Uses
Apply video effects to the lower thirds template to create even more looks.

Interested in the royalty-free tracks we used to make this video? Give them another listen:


Find even more on creating templates (and download FREE motion graphics assets) here:

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