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This course pulls together the skills you've been learning in the previous After Effects Apprentice installments to create a real-world video promo. Trish leads you through building the artwork and components used in the final piece, and then Chris shows how to assemble these precompositions into a 3D world, timed to music. Along the way, Trish and Chris also share their thoughts as they design a video project, including unifying the overall look and handling change requests from clients.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
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.
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