Positioning elements on the screen

Positioning elements on the screen

When you position elements on the screen (like text and logos), video is not often seen edge to edge. If you’re publishing to a television set, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc, you’ll often lose part of the picture.

Follow the same guidelines that people use with print layout (essentially, the use of a margin). In video, all text elements are kept inside the innermost 80% of the screen (called the Title Safe area). All elements that are meant to be seen are kept inside the innermost 90% of the screen (called the Action Safe area). Additionally you may also see additional lines on HD and 16:9 material to keep things safe for both 16:9 and 4:3 broadcast.

There are a few options for Title Safe overlays:

  • In Adobe Premiere Pro, click the Safe Margins button in either the Source or Program panels.
  • In Photoshop, guides are added to all of the video-sized document presets. You can also load Video Actions set in the Actions panel. Here you’ll find a Title Safe action.
  • In After Effects, they’re in an overlay. Click the grid overlay button in the composition and choose Title/Action Safe.
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About the author

I'm a visual storyteller exploring the fusion of photography and video. I'm also a husband and father.

View all articles by Richard Harrington

2 comments

  1. Cat

    Hi, I am an animator and currently I got myself hooked on using the NTSC D1 Widescreen Square Pixel and the first time I tried it there were guidelines. BUt as I sed it the second time, as I took a new NTSC D1 Widescreen Square Pixel document the guidelines were gone. I tried looking for the settings and stumbled on View>Show wherein I saw Guide. However it was disabled, cause the font was Gray and I have no clue on how to enable it. I hope you can help me. Thank you very much!

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