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After Effects CS5 Essential Training

Animating text manually


From:

After Effects CS5 Essential Training

with Chad Perkins

Video: Animating text manually

This movie is going to be kind of an introduction to how to animate text manually. We have our Hansel & Petal text here. Again, let's go to the Hansel layer and open this up by clicking the triangle to the left of its name here. And we have the basic transform properties and we could animate this the same way we animate everything else. I am just going to hit Command+Z to undo that. But if you can actually use the text animation power that's built into every text layer, we'll have much more control and flexibility with the animation of this text. If we close up Transform, open up Text, you will see that we have certain properties here that we don't find on regular layers, but the real power in text animation comes to the right of that.
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  1. 5m 40s
    1. Introduction
      1m 30s
    2. What is After Effects?
      3m 12s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      58s
  2. 28m 14s
    1. After Effects workflow overview
      2m 18s
    2. Bringing elements into After Effects
      2m 23s
    3. Adding elements to the Timeline
      1m 57s
    4. Working with layers
      3m 45s
    5. Creating animation with presets
      3m 24s
    6. Applying effects
      3m 34s
    7. Creating animation without presets
      5m 38s
    8. Previewing your work
      2m 46s
    9. Exporting content as a movie file
      2m 29s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Touring the interface
      6m 2s
    2. How After Effects projects work
      4m 47s
    3. What is a composition?
      4m 52s
    4. Tips for adding content to compositions
      2m 49s
    5. Understanding the properties of video
      8m 50s
  4. 57m 8s
    1. Importing an Illustrator file
      4m 57s
    2. Animation basics
      7m 12s
    3. Animating opacity
      6m 40s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      4m 57s
    5. Animating position
      6m 8s
    6. Animating rotation
      4m 41s
    7. Animating scale
      7m 19s
    8. Using the Puppet tool
      7m 13s
    9. Copying and pasting keyframes
      3m 4s
    10. Animation shortcuts
      4m 57s
  5. 9m 42s
    1. Understanding precomposing
      6m 51s
    2. Navigating through compositions quickly
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. A showcase of effects
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a layer for effects
      3m 1s
    3. Applying effects
      4m 54s
    4. Animating effect properties
      4m 29s
    5. Using Glow
      5m 34s
    6. Creating patterns and textures
      6m 57s
    7. Creating a fireball
      7m 9s
    8. Using the Cycore effects
      5m 58s
    9. Adding blur
      5m 45s
    10. Creating a galaxy scene from scratch
      8m 38s
    11. Distorting objects with effects
      4m 7s
    12. Creating and using lens flares
      4m 21s
    13. Creating lightning bolts
      4m 3s
    14. Viewing random variations with Brainstorm
      4m 39s
  7. 30m 52s
    1. Shortening the duration of layers
      4m 23s
    2. Trimming in the Footage panel
      4m 14s
    3. Slowing and accelerating video speed
      7m 9s
    4. Applying video transitions between clips
      6m 7s
    5. Working with image sequences
      4m 47s
    6. Importing footage with an alpha channel
      4m 12s
  8. 36m 11s
    1. Brightening dark footage
      9m 12s
    2. Changing colors in footage
      6m 34s
    3. Creating cinematic color treatments
      8m 17s
    4. Creating a quick vignette
      3m 42s
    5. Colorizing black-and-white objects
      4m 50s
    6. Using adjustment layers
      3m 36s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Creating and editing text
      7m 39s
    2. Applying text animation presets
      4m 41s
    3. Animating text manually
      4m 43s
    4. Applying layer styles to text
      4m 6s
  10. 28m 58s
    1. Let's get better
      37s
    2. Using work areas
      3m 37s
    3. Creating markers
      6m 17s
    4. Replacing layers
      2m 35s
    5. Mastering Timeline navigation
      3m 18s
    6. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 4s
    7. Selecting layers quickly
      1m 56s
    8. Cropping layers
      3m 43s
    9. Adjusting comp resolution
      3m 51s
  11. 23m 53s
    1. Using the paint tools
      9m 35s
    2. Using the Roto Brush tool
      9m 25s
    3. Animating growing vines
      4m 53s
  12. 40m 29s
    1. Creating and using masks
      6m 42s
    2. Exploring mask options
      7m 57s
    3. Creating masks with Auto-trace
      6m 51s
    4. Masking objects with other objects
      5m 33s
    5. Making shape layers
      3m 43s
    6. Modifying shape layers
      9m 43s
  13. 30m 44s
    1. Turning 2D layers into 3D layers
      9m 22s
    2. Creating lights and cameras
      6m 14s
    3. Creating shadows
      4m 23s
    4. Using depth of field
      4m 42s
    5. Working with 3D effects
      6m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. Removing a green screen background
      4m 37s
    2. Refining the matte
      4m 48s
    3. Compositing with color adjustments
      4m 50s
    4. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 55s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Understanding spatial interpolation
      2m 5s
    2. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      3m 55s
    3. Orienting moving objects along a path
      1m 29s
    4. Drawing motion with Motion Sketch
      2m 51s
    5. Creating pauses in animation
      3m 6s
    6. Understanding temporal interpolation
      1m 56s
    7. Easing keyframes
      5m 57s
    8. About the Graph Editor
      4m 25s
  16. 12m 13s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      7m 46s
    2. Tracking the motion in footage
      4m 27s
  17. 24m 58s
    1. Setting up parent layers
      5m 49s
    2. Working with null objects
      2m 31s
    3. What are expressions?
      7m 17s
    4. Modifying simple expressions
      2m 20s
    5. Using the wiggle expression
      7m 1s
  18. 6m 52s
    1. Understanding audio in motion graphics
      1m 22s
    2. Previewing and mixing audio
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing audio tracks with effects
      1m 35s
  19. 11m 36s
    1. Adding comps to the Render Queue
      2m 30s
    2. Exploring key Render Queue settings
      4m 11s
    3. How should I export my video?
      4m 55s
  20. 7m 16s
    1. Using Photoshop with After Effects
      2m 10s
    2. Using Illustrator with After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Using Flash with After Effects
      2m 4s
  21. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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After Effects CS5 Essential Training
8h 39m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In After Effects CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins discusses the basic tools, effects, and need-to-know techniques in Adobe After Effects CS5, the professional standard for motion graphics, compositing, and visual effects for video. The course provides an overview of the entire workflow, from import to export, as well as detailed coverage of each stage, including animating text and artwork, adding effects to compositions, working in 3D, and rendering and compressing footage. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the After Effects workflow
  • Precomposing footage
  • Explaining the basics and beyond of animating
  • Creating glows, patterns, textures, and more with effects
  • Color correcting footage
  • Working with text
  • Manipulating video playback speed
  • Masking objects and shape layers
  • Removing backgrounds with keying
  • Compositing multiple pieces of footage
  • Integrating After Effects with the rest of the Creative Suite
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Chad Perkins

Animating text manually

This movie is going to be kind of an introduction to how to animate text manually. We have our Hansel & Petal text here. Again, let's go to the Hansel layer and open this up by clicking the triangle to the left of its name here. And we have the basic transform properties and we could animate this the same way we animate everything else. I am just going to hit Command+Z to undo that. But if you can actually use the text animation power that's built into every text layer, we'll have much more control and flexibility with the animation of this text. If we close up Transform, open up Text, you will see that we have certain properties here that we don't find on regular layers, but the real power in text animation comes to the right of that.

We'll see this Animate with a flyout menu. Let's choose a property to animate and talk about how this works. I am going to choose Scale. Now what this does, it creates two things. It creates an animation property, Scale, which is what we just chose, and it also creates something called a range selector. And you notice that the property Scale and the range selector are grouped within one animator. This is going to be important in just a moment. Just know that the action that we just did by going to Animate and creating a Scale created an animator, which contains the range selector and the property. Okay.

So, let's go ahead and click and drag on the right for Scale to scale up our text and you will notice a very different scale than if we were to scale this text up with the layer. If I were to select this layer and hit Shift+S so that you could see the layer's Scale property, it's actually not showing it to us here so I am going to open up Transform, increase the Scale. It's scaling up everything. It's scaling up all of the characters uniformly. I am just going to take this back to 100%, but the Scale here for Text is scaling up each character individually.

So, again, much more power and control here. But the scaling is only taking place within the range selector. If you see this vertical line here with a little triangle next to it, this is the left side boundary of the range selector, and this is the right side boundary of the range selector. And the way this works is that only what is within the range selector gets this attribute applied to it, so everything else is just normal. So, if I click and drag this range selector and move it in, you could see that now this is the range that is being selected. Everything outside of it is just a regular scale.

So, you notice that 195% scale here, only these characters that are now in the range selector have that extra scale up applied to them. Now, let's open up the range selector area for one second here. We have a start, which is the left side and we have the end value, which is the right side of the range selector. And I am actually going to go and change this, so that only the letter N is increased in scale. It could be a little bit of A and S if you want, but basically 35-50% for my start and end values respectively, so that only one character is selected.

Now, you may want to have kind of like a shuffle through your text where like one character, it's kind of like the wave at a baseball stadium or something, and we can adjust the offset property, so that that one character kind of waves through your text. And what we are doing here is we are taking the entire range, which is only about one character big, and the Offset value moves that range throughout your text. And you could see here that it's not exactly 1 character big. It does get a little bit of the extra character next to it.

But if we want to, we could refine that by bringing in these values. But you get the idea. So we can shuffle through these different character attributes with the range selector. Now, if we go over to the Animator, you'll notice the animator is still here, so if we wanted to, we could add like another animator for rotation. What that would do is it would add a new range selector and a new property to animate. So, if we wanted to use the same range selector and maybe have the characters rotate a little bit, then we would go to the Add menu right across from Animator 1.

So, we go to the Add menu. We could go to Property. We could go to Rotation, and so maybe we could rotate this a few degrees, maybe 25 degrees positive so it's clockwise. So, now as we move this range selector, the characters not only scale up, but they rotate as well. So, again, I realize it's probably a little complex, because there is a lot of stuff going on with the animators and the range selectors and the properties that are added to the range selectors. It's definitely a complex subject. But you could also see the fun and power being able to manually control how this works.

There really isn't another program that I am aware of on the market that allows you to have so much control over text animation.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: In the "Creating a fireball" movie in Chapter 6, the author showed how to make a fireball. Unfortunately, it all centered around a blob layer that he made without showing how to make a blob layer. How does one go about creating a blob layer like the one used in the video?
A: To create a blob layer, make a shape layer using the Pen tool. Animate the anchor points over time to make it move. These concepts are reviewed in depth in Chapter 4, "Learning to Animate."
Q: In the Chapter 5 video "Understanding precomposing," the exercise file provided does not seem to match up with the file the instructor uses. My file does not include a "Biker Body" layer. Is there an error in the exercise file?
A: Unfortunately, the exercise file originally distributed for this chapter was incorrect. A new file was issued in February 2011. If you downloaded the exercise files prior to then, you can download the corrected file on the Exercise Files tab of the course page.
Q: How do I transition from one piece of animated type to another in After Effects?
A: There isn't an effect that can create these types of transitions. It's really a matter of animating the type and camera, using basic keyframing and positioning.
 
If you understand the basics of moving the anchor point of a type layer, animating the parameters of that layer (Scale, Rotation, Position, etc.) and then separately animating the camera around the type layers, you can achieve different types of transitions.  Check out the following videos for more information:

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