Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started
Viewed by members. in countries. members currently watching.
After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now I know you're thinking animating a lower third graphic seems kind of easy. And I got to tell you, it's sort of is as long as you watch out for a few small things like title-safe and readability. Let's look at our composition here. Scroll down to the bottom of your Timeline and you'll notice I have a background layer, Falls_CU.mov. Let's turn on the Visibility and you'll notice I dropped in some of the footage we've been using earlier in the title. This is really important when you're creating a lower third graphic.
You want to make sure you have a background that looks kind of similar to the show so you can see exactly how the lower third is going to appear on the page. Now I love the realistic kind of tattered effect that I'm getting from our matte, but I don't like the fact that it's not really popping off the background. So to make things pop let's go ahead and add a Drop Shadow to our Textured Background. Select layer 6 and just Ctrl or right-click, go up to layer Styles, and choose Drop Shadow. Now you notice we get a little bit more dimensionality to our lower third. That's perfect.
That's making things a little more readable as far as the lower third over top of the background, but let's do the same thing for the type layers. So scroll up to type layers and just Ctrl or right-click on the layer, go to Layer Styles and choose Drop Shadow. Do the same thing for layer 2. Perfect! Now we can easily read both lines of type and our lower third is popping right off of that background. Now what we need to do is animate the lower third going in and going out.
So it's really important to set a time limit for your lower third. Most lower thirds are anywhere from four to around eight seconds long, just long enough for you to read what's going on on the page. I want to go ahead and make this one last around 6 seconds. So move the playhead to around 6 seconds and let's go ahead and trim the length of our composition. If you press N, you're going to reset the Work Area duration to wherever your playhead is at that point in time. So now the duration is set to 6 seconds.
Now since I don't need this extra 4 seconds, I'm just kind of Ctrl or right-click right here on this gray bar at the top of my Timeline. There I can execute the command Trim Comp to Work Area. Now our comp settings are actually set to 6 seconds. This is perfect! Now all we have to do is animate the in and out. We have a couple of things going on with this graphic element. If you notice, we have our Background layer, but it's looking at the matte of the Textured Matte and we have this PaintStroke-- If I move down the Timeline here, you can see it.
There we go, which is also looking at its own matte, Textured Matte 2. So just to make things a little easier let's go ahead and make layers 3 and 4 the child of layer 5. Go ahead and select both layers and grab the parent pick whip and point it right at the Textured Matte, layer 5. Now all we have to do is animate layer 5. So let's press P with layer 5 selected to open up the Position keyframes. Now I want this to animate in over, I don't know, roughly a second.
So let's move our playhead to 1 second and add our first Position keyframe. Before that second I want this to kind of pop around the scene. So we can do that pretty easily by adding some other keyframes. Move your playhead back in the Timeline to around frame 16 and let's go ahead and just click in the canvas and reposition our lower third element. Now we can do the same thing again, just moving a little bit further back in the Timeline. I'm going to go ahead and reposition over here and then back at the beginning we can just position it completely off the screen.
Now if we load up a RAM Preview of our animation here you'll notice it's just kind of sliding across the page, and that's not at all what I want. I want it to pop. Well it's easy enough to do. All you have to do is select all the keyframes and Ctrl or right-click right on one of the keyframes and enable Toggle Hold Keyframe. Now if we look at our preview, you notice it's popping onto the page and I think that actually looks kind of cool. I still think it's a little slow.
So let's go ahead and shorten these keyframes. Hold Alt or Option and click and drag on the last keyframe to compress the length of these keyframes. Now it's going to animate in over the first 16 frames. Let's go ahead and preview that one last time. There we go. I think that's a little bit better. The only problem I am seeing is the fact that this curve is actually not appearing until right before the end and that has to do with the fact that we actually have the brushstroke animation set at a different point in time.
So select the UpCurve layer and press U, and sure enough the brushstroke reveal has already occurred by the time this lower third actually appears. So let's move the reveal back a little bit. And just to make sure that we don't get any sneak peeks of the stroke let's go ahead and trim the in point by pressing Alt or Option+Left Bracket on layer 4. Now the in point has been trimmed in and now we can see our wipe on and the wipe off.
I don't want this to wipe off until just before the end. So let's go ahead and extend the length of our curve by clicking and dragging on the right side and just repositioning brushstroke 2 towards the end of our composition. Now the brushstroke is going to stay there until right before the end of the animation. Since this graphic popped onto the scene, I don't think it will look too strange if it actually just disappears, but just to kind of reinforce the same style of animation, let's go ahead and just make it pop once or twice before it disappears.
So move your playhead back to around 13 in the Timeline and let's move our Textured Matte position one more time. Let's go ahead and just move that down. There we go, and then move your playhead to the end and we can just move it off the screen. Now let's go ahead and preview our animation. If your preview is taking a long time to load, change your Resolution down a little bit.
Notice mine is set to one third resolution. So let's go ahead and check out our animation. Okay, that's pretty close, but I think we do need to move our brushstroke to start a little bit early in its disappearance. Well I think that's okay. Now all we have to do is actually animate the type itself. So since we have this kind of interesting popping on, let's go ahead and just use a simple cut to reveal the names.
So move your playhead to right around 1 second and let's select both Type layers and just press Alt or Option+ Left Bracket to trim them in. I want to stagger their appearance, so let's actually select the title layer, which is layer 1, and trim its in point in just a little bit further. So now if we go ahead and preview our animation, we have the title pop on and then the text layers pop in.
And just so we don't have type living on a background without our lower third let's go ahead and trim the out points as well. I'm just going to click and drag and get a rough approximation. So I think it's kind of cool that for that 1 second the type is offset from the background, so I'm actually going to leave that. Finally, I'm going to go ahead and set the Resolution back to Full and give you one last RAM Preview as we check out the animation we created for our lower third graphic.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics.
Here are the FAQs that matched your search "":
Sorry, there are no matches for your search ""—to search again, type in another word or phrase and click search.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.