How to Create Data-Driven Titles in Adobe Premiere Pro.
As an overview, you build these templates in After Effects and save them as MOGRT (MOtion GRaphics Template) files that you can deploy in After Effects and Premiere Pro. Note that you have to be running the 2019 versions of both programs, which don't run on Windows 7. If you resisted Windows 10 up until now, that's likely $199 you'll have to pay for the privilege of working with data-driven MOGRT files.
In Premiere Pro 2019, you can customize the data within the template and change those aspects of the template that the After Effects designer allows you to change. For example, Figure 1 shows the Adobe template on the left, and the version I customized is on the right. As you can see, I changed the data, the background color, the main title, and for those particularly sharp-eyed viewers, the "k" suffix in the template to "%" on the right. To be clear, I changed all this in Premiere Pro, not in After Effects.
Moreover, I input the data by dragging a CSV file into Premiere Pro and syncing the contents, as you'll see later in this tutorial. You don't need to do it this way; you can edit the numerical content and other data directly in Premiere Pro without creating a spreadsheet. However, if you're creating a video with multiple graphs, tables, or other data-driven graphics, you can deploy the MOGRT multiple times and drag a different spreadsheet to customize each.
The traditional alternative was to create the charts in Google Sheets or Excel, save the graphic, and input and deploy that in Premiere Pro. This wasn't always a horrible workflow, but if the numbers changed, you'd have to repeat the process. If the numbers change when deploying a MOGRT, you simply modify and save the CSV file and the graphics update.
Clearly, this is interesting for producers of videos with lots of math-driven graphics. What does this mean for the rest of us?
Do you frequently add credits to your productions? You can use the same schema to populate a credits MOGRT, entering names in a spreadsheet and dragging in the CSV (see Figure 8 on page 62). Back when I was producing two ballet videos per year for my wife's ballet company, I stopped adding credits because it was cumbersome, time-consuming, and error-prone, and there was no way to delegate the work. With this feature, I could send a spreadsheet to my wife and ask her nicely to fill in the data and return the spreadsheet. One quick import and I'd be done. That's something anyone who produces a video with credits should get excited about.
The other scenario that may be interesting to some producers is creating an animated lower-third or similar template that you can populate by dragging in a CSV file and selecting the correct name or other descriptors by row number in the CSV file. As near as I can tell, Adobe didn't create any templates that enable this schema, so I couldn't test it.
Step 1: Find and Choose a Template
To a great degree, your ability to use data-driven templates is tied your ability to either find useful templates, create them yourself, or pay (or otherwise convince) someone else to create them for you. At the time of this writing (February 2019), there were very few templates.
This article was assigned with no budget for custom production, and I find After Effects only slightly less confusing than Sanskrit. So, my testing was limited to the free templates that Adobe provides.
To begin accessing templates in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019, switch to the Graphics workspace by choosing Window > Workspace > Graphics.
There are two ways to see and browse available templates. One is to search for them in the Essential Graphics panel by clicking Adobe Stock and searching for "data-driven MOGRT," which will deliver the result shown in Figure 2 (there are four pages of these templates; the figure just shows the first page). Then you can drag them into your projects and deploy them as described below.
The other approach is to download data-driven MOGRT templates from Adobe Stock (go2sm.com/stock) and manually input them into your project as described in Adobe's Help documents at go2sm.com/motion. It's pretty simple; just download the templates to a known location, click My Templates in the Essential Graphics panel, and use a barely visible plus (+) sign on the bottom right of the panel to import the MOGRT. After I found a magnifying glass and located that plus sign, I used this approach because I knew where I stored the MOGRT files. This allowed me to open them in After Effects.
Why was this a positive? Interestingly, the biggest hassle I encountered when using these templates was creating the CSV file. If you don't format it correctly, you can't use the data, and that happened to me multiple times. When inputting the MOGRT files into After Effects, you have to choose a folder where the program opens and stores the template. If you dig into the folders, you'll notice the CSV file that populates the data in the template (see Figure 3 on page 60). Once I started using this CSV as the starting point for my spreadsheets, most, but not all, of my problems disappeared.
I'm guessing that if you drag the MOGRT directly from the Adobe Stock tab in the Essential Graphics panel into a Premiere Pro sequence, the MOGRT file is stored somewhere on your hard drive where you can access it and import it into After Effects. But I liked the certainty of downloading the template into my Downloads folder so I knew where it was. So, I downloaded the MOGRT files from the Adobe Stock website and imported them manually.
Step 2: Deploy the Template
Either way you get it done, once you do, the template will appear in the Essential Graphics panel. From there, drag it into the sequence like you would any other template (Figure 4).
Step 3: Customize the Data
Click the template on the timeline and then the Edit tab in the Essential Graphics panel to access the configuration controls. On top is a box where you can either drag a CSV file or click the Edit Spreadsheet Data button to edit the data directly in Premiere Pro. The Spreadsheet Data window is shown on the upper left of Figure 5 and also in Figure 6 (both on the next page). If you don't want to create a spreadsheet, you can simply change the numbers and descriptors in this panel.
To fully explore the feature set, I created the spreadsheet shown on the bottom left in Figure 5. When you drag a CSV file into the spreadsheet area in the Essential Graphics panel, the Spreadsheet Data window opens, and you may have to map the data in the spreadsheet to the data in the template.
You see this mapping on the top left of Figure 6. On the top left, Data Label is mapped to Data Label, with Pie Color mapped to Pie Color on the right. In the middle, the Pie Data didn't automatically map to the Pie Data, so I had to manually map the two by clicking the drop-down list and choosing Pie Data.
The need to map is obvious and mapping is straightforward, but only if your CSV file is formatted correctly. If it's not, you can't map the data and Premiere Pro simply won't recognize it. At first, I tried creating CSV files by carefully mimicking the data structure in the Edit Spreadsheet Data window, but that proved time-consuming and generally ineffective.
When using the original CSV file from the template (after opening the template in After Effects), I was able to map data correctly in every template except for one. That's where I recommend starting.
Step 4: Customize the Rest of the Template
As mentioned earlier, the MOGRT designer chooses which aspects of the design you can modify in the Edit tab of the Essential Graphics panel. All available customization options are below the spreadsheet data in Figure 7 (on page 62). Adobe did a nice job of grouping and labeling the controls of this MOGRT for easy customization, but the items you can configure and their presentation in the panel will vary with every template and designer.
If you're buying templates, you should check which options are customizable, and more is better. Fonts, font sizes, colors, and the sizes of the different elements in the panel should all be accessible within Premiere Pro. Ditto if you're commissioning a custom MOGRT from either internal or third-party resources.
As promised, Figure 8 shows the data-driven credits file used at the end of a video. On top you see the preview, on the bottom is the Spreadsheet data, which I input via a CSV file. Of course, I cribbed the CSV from the original MOGRT file as detailed above, which is why all of the data quickly mapped correctly.
That's how to choose and use data-driven MOGRT templates in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019. While the glitz, glamour, and marketing hype focus on data-driven animated graphics, those who create lots of animated lower-third titles or post-video credits will also find them a great way to speed their work.
By Jan Ozer
Jan Ozer (email@example.com) is a streaming media producer and consultant, a frequent contributor to industry magazines and websites on streaming-related topics, and the author of Video Encoding by the Numbers. He blogs frequently at streaminglearningcenter.com.
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|Date:||Apr 1, 2019|
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