Making Flash Titles with SWISHMax

How to make an animated title in Vegas using SWISHmax

There are times when you need a quick animated title in Vegas but don’t have time to do a lot of keyframing. Luckily, Vegas supports Flash SWF files which means, you can make animated titles in any Flash tool and drop the SWF file in Vegas. Here’s how you do it.

I’m using SWISHmax for this tutorial but any Flash tool that supports the export of SWF files will do:

  1. Open SWISHmax and select Start a new empty movie.


  2. This opens up the SWISHmax interface. In the image below I’ve highlighted all of the major areas that we will use in this tutorial.


  3. In the attribute area (right side), select the Movie tab and set your movie up for the video dimensions of your project. I’m using NTSC which is 720×480 with a pixel aspect ratio of 0.9091. Because Flash uses a pixel aspect ratio of 1.000 we enter enter 655 width, 480 height to compensate. I’ve also used30 fps, with a black background.


  4. Select the Text tool so that we can add some text for our title. This will add a Text tab to the properties on the right.


  5. Go to the Text tab and set your colorfont, etc. and the text you want for your title. I’ve selected the OCRATTRegular font because it looks like the early computer fonts before Windows was popular. I’ve also selected green as the color because most old computers had green-screens. We associate green-screens and OCR fonts with computers terminals.


  6. With the Text Tool selected, drag your cursor to position the text in the video area. You are just positioning the width. SWISHmax will take care of the height, which you can adjust later.


  7. Your text may look perfect at this point but what if it doesn’t. In this example the text did not flow the same as we wrote it in the Text Properties.


  8. To adjust the text flow and not the size you use the green diamonds on the text box. The green diamonds will reflow the text. The white squares willresize the text.


  9. Use the Add Effects button to add an Appear into position effect and select Typewriter – Slow.


  10. You can press Play to watch your title animate and make any adjustments before exporting it. I didn’t like the text being centered so I changed it to Left Justify to look more like a computer terminal.

  11. Use File > Export to export your title to SWF format. This is a format that Vegas 5+ can use directly.


  12. Now just drag-n-drop the SWF file onto the Vegas timeline and you have an animated title. Vegas will automatically detect the alpha channel and apply the correct transparency.


That’s all their is to it.

Happy Editing,


Johnny “Roy” Rofrano

About John Rofrano

John Rofrano is a Senior VASST Trainer and the author of Instant ACID, a book on Sony ACID Pro software, from CMP Books. He is also the developer of Ultimate S Pro, Vegas Pro Production Assistant, Mayhem, and other software plug-ins including the FASST Apps for Sony Vegas Pro NLE software. John has been a performing musician, singer, songwriter for over 40 years, and programmer and computer architect for the past 28 years. He is also a forum moderator at the Creative COW.