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One of the cornerstones of motion graphics is creating and animating type. In this course, Trish Meyer shows how to typeset titles professionally and create custom animations, as well as apply and modify the hundreds of text animation presets that After Effects ships with. Additionally, Chris Meyer shows how to add audio to projects, including spotting "hit points" to align keyframes and video action.
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 Online Training Library®.
Now, when we left this animation, the range selector was moving one word at a time, but now I'd like to animate scale and rotation, so let's see how that's going to work--and I will introduce a few new concepts for you. First, I will remove the Position offset, so that the title is just fading on one word at a time, and that will keep it a little simpler. I will also twirl up the Advanced section since we are done with that, and I will add Property > Scale, and add Property > Rotation.
I will increase Scale to a large amount. And although the selection is moving word by word, each character is scaling around its own individual anchor point. If I set Rotation to 1 revolution, each character is also rotating around its own individual anchor point. So how do we fix that? Well, that's where the More Options section comes in. Twirl down More Options and the first section, Anchor Point Grouping, also has a menu for Character, Word, Line, or All.
If we set it to Word, now each word has its own anchor point, and that anchor point is on the baseline of the word. This is a master anchor point grouping for not just this text animator, but for all text animators you might have applied to this layer. The next option to set it to line will create a single anchor point for the line. Now, remember the selection is still moving word by word, but you can see that the words are spinning around the central anchor point in the center of the title.
This may or may not be the effect you're looking for, so we will set that back to Word. The next parameter in More Options is called Grouping Alignment, and you can think of this as a master anchor point control. What's nice about Grouping Alignment is that when I adjust it, I can actually see those little axes moving up and down. So if I center it vertically on the words, each word will spin on a central axis. This gives a kind of nice effect. Now, I am going to change Scale back to 100%, because I'd like you to compare the effect you are getting with the Grouping Alignment with the effect you get with the anchor point that we saw earlier.
So I will set the Grouping Alignment back to 0%, so you can see what it looks like animating around the baseline, which is the default. Earlier, I showed you how to Add > Property > Anchor Point. By adjusting the anchor point, text will spin in a circle and then land on the baseline. And you can go to quite large amounts, but this is a subtly different effect.
In this case, whatever Offset value I've added for Anchor Point is being reduced to 0 as the text transitions to normal. Remember, that's what happens with all of these properties. So as my text transitions, it ends up looking as if it's rotating around the baseline, just as it did before. Of course, I can use both of these at the same time. I can add a little bit of Grouping Alignment so that as it finishes its animation, it appears to be rotating around the center.
I just wanted to point out that there is a difference between the Grouping Alignment and the anchor point. So now that we know about Grouping Alignment, I will return to the animation we saw earlier. If you remember, we added the anchor point to this animation so we could scale around the vertical center. If I twirl up text, twirl it down again to reveal more options, I can also use the Grouping Alignment to do exactly the same thing. The advantage of using Grouping Alignment is that as I adjust it, I can see the axes moving up and down and I can carefully place them in the vertical center of the title.
You might find this easier than adjusting the anchor point. On the other hand, with more advanced animations, you may need more than one text animator to get the effect you're looking for, and adjusting any of the parameters in More Options applies to all the animators, so in that case you might want to use the Anchor Point property for just one individual animator. In the next chapter, I'll show you how to animate text along a curve as well as animate tracking.
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