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Adding a text layer

From: After Effects Apprentice 15: Creating a Sports Opening Title

Video: Adding a text layer

Time to add some text to this composition. To make sure that the appropriate panels are open, change your workspace to the Text workspace preset. If the Character and Paragraph panels do not appear, go back to the Text pop-up and choose Reset Text. Now I'll click Yes. I'm going to resize my Comp panel slightly to make sure I'm viewing this at 100%. I've gone back to 1 View, and I'm going to temporarily turn off the camera, so I can see my set face on with no perspective distortion. I'm going to make sure that Paragraph is to centered text. That'll make it easy for me to arrange my text in this window, and I don't know what fonts you may be currently using.

Adding a text layer

Time to add some text to this composition. To make sure that the appropriate panels are open, change your workspace to the Text workspace preset. If the Character and Paragraph panels do not appear, go back to the Text pop-up and choose Reset Text. Now I'll click Yes. I'm going to resize my Comp panel slightly to make sure I'm viewing this at 100%. I've gone back to 1 View, and I'm going to temporarily turn off the camera, so I can see my set face on with no perspective distortion. I'm going to make sure that Paragraph is to centered text. That'll make it easy for me to arrange my text in this window, and I don't know what fonts you may be currently using.

So I'm going to go ahead and choose Reset Character to get this back to its defaults. Now the problem with creating lessons like this is we don't know what fonts you have. So we have to pick fonts that come bundled with After Effects. So we're going to pick the nice, safe Myriad Pro. Not the most inspiring font, but at least we know you have it. Feel free to pick your own font. I'm going to use the regular way to sort out. Of course you can always change this later. I know I am going to need a larger type than 36, which tends not to be very big. 72 or so is a good headline size for a standard definition composition.

But again, you can change these things later. My text is currently white. That's great. Let's go ahead and start typing using this. I'll go up to Layer > New > Text layer. That makes sure that my cursor is centered in my panel, and I'll type the name of this segment, which is Dirtboard Devil. Something that relates to what he's writing. I'll press Enter to accept the text. Now as I mentioned before, Myriad Pro is not the most inspiring font. You might want to go ahead and try a heavier way like semi-bold or something like that, and again feel free to choose a different font.

For the sake of those following along using the apprentice book, I'll set this back to Regular because that's what we used there. The readability is okay, but I wouldn't mind making sure that it stood out like as the bright parts of the video. So I am going to add a very small stroke, not to make it obvious, but just to give it some differentiation from whatever images behind. I'll click on the Stroke Color swatch-- currently has a line through it, indicating it's inactive--and I'll set its color to black. I'll make a fairly thin stroke like 1 or 2 pixels. Important for me, I want to make sure that all Fills are over of all Strokes, and Strokes are over Fills.

It kind of thins out the text; it doesn't make it look very good. All Fills Over All Strokes makes sure that the Fill is always forward, no matter how the characters are overlapping. So there's the words. Since we've been creating a 3D world, and we like our text to act like its part of this world, I need to put it in 3D as well. So it's just a matter of setting the 3D layer switch for the text layer. Next, let's put it down in a good position to make sense. I'm going to press V to switch from a Text tool, back to the Suction tool, and I can either drag the Y axis arrow directly here in the Comp panel, or press P and edit it numerically down in the Timeline panel.

I know that I have been putting other layers like the Skater at 400 Y. That's where the floor is. I could just numerically enter 400, to make sure it's sitting right on the floor, or scrub it to maybe pull just little bit off the floor--make sure it doesn't intersect. If my title happened to have characters with descenders like G, P, Q, et cetera, those descenders would be going through the floor, and I might need to raise my text higher to make sure nothing is intersecting with the floor inside this composition. Since this title does refer to what the character inside the video is doing, I want to make sure it has the same X position as the video, so that the text is centered relative to my Video panel.

To do that, I go down and check out the Skaters, X Position 513, and type that in for the X position for my text, 513, centered. They don't seem to line up right now because they're separated in Z. The text is considerably for that panel, and the closer you bring the text to you, the more it'll seem to go off the right edge of the screen, since it is offset slightly right from center. I actually want to put this text a little bit further back in my scene. Now I scrub the value here 'til it starts to look appropriate, and this is the case where I might want to indeed look at it from an alternate view, such as, say, one of the custom views.

See how that lies in there relative to the composition. Might put it right on the Grid line again, like right maybe around there or so. Or I could go back to my Active Camera view and turn the Camera back on to see how the text sets relative to the Camera. And that works pretty well. I do have a problem here at the end where it is going outside of my action and title safe for my four to three center cut. But remember I was planning to cut-away form this composition by 4 seconds. Since we've had a lot of time to read it there, I think it can get away with it sliding out of screen, because I am going to be leading into the next composition after this.

If this concerns you, you go ahead and slide it further back. Make it smaller or otherwise reposition it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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  1. 3m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 17m 38s
    1. Building the grid floor
      8m 48s
    2. Creating a radar sweep
      5m 13s
    3. Adding lightning
      3m 37s
  3. 14m 18s
    1. Building the video panel
      4m 34s
    2. Using the Block Dissolve effect
      3m 52s
    3. Stylizing the footage
      2m 15s
    4. Duplicating precomps
      3m 37s
  4. 21m 22s
    1. Importing Illustrator files
      5m 47s
    2. Working with paths and masks
      4m 54s
    3. Animating the Stroke effect
      4m 20s
    4. Tinting the event names
      2m 42s
    5. Wiggling the rings
      3m 39s
  5. 33m 35s
    1. Starting a new composition
      1m 48s
    2. Spotting music
      5m 55s
    3. Building the floor
      5m 27s
    4. Adding a video panel
      3m 40s
    5. Creating a reflection
      7m 47s
    6. Adding the dial
      4m 7s
    7. Arranging the frame
      4m 51s
  6. 9m 22s
    1. Setting up the final pose
      4m 28s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      4m 54s
  7. 14m 39s
    1. Adding a text layer
      5m 16s
    2. Using text animation presets
      3m 16s
    3. Customizing the preset
      6m 7s
  8. 6m 56s
    1. Adding a Spot light
      3m 41s
    2. Casting shadows
      3m 15s
  9. 12m 7s
    1. Improving consistency
      2m 43s
    2. Adding a 2D background
      4m 29s
    3. Tying up loose ends
      4m 55s
  10. 20m 37s
    1. Overview of Main Comp 2
      3m 32s
    2. Grouping layers
      4m 39s
    3. Animating the swivel
      9m 2s
    4. Assembling the final comp
      3m 24s
  11. 25m 56s
    1. Adding a transition
      7m 0s
    2. Keyframing the camera
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a filmic glow
      4m 0s
    4. Increasing the motion blur
      4m 2s
    5. Retiming a video source
      7m 34s
  12. 13m 4s
    1. Exploring render settings
      2m 48s
    2. Outputting for archiving
      1m 15s
    3. Outputting anamorphic widescreen DV
      1m 57s
    4. Creating a 4:3 center-cut version
      2m 31s
    5. Outputting for web
      2m 23s
    6. Exploring components for editors
      2m 10s
  13. 12m 49s
    1. Creating the inner ring
      5m 19s
    2. Creating the outer ring
      3m 9s
    3. Creating the text ring
      4m 21s

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