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Animating type in 3D space

From: After Effects CS6 Essential Training

Video: Animating type in 3D space

Animating text in 3D space is really no different than animating text in 2D space. You just have to be a little more methodical with keeping track of exactly where you are. For this animation, we're going to create a text animation, where the word wind will zoom out towards the camera and then disappear back away from the camera, and of course, it will zoom out in 3D space. Now just so you know, in the previous video, we animated this Text layer at five seconds and so this animation is going to be five seconds as well.

Animating type in 3D space

Animating text in 3D space is really no different than animating text in 2D space. You just have to be a little more methodical with keeping track of exactly where you are. For this animation, we're going to create a text animation, where the word wind will zoom out towards the camera and then disappear back away from the camera, and of course, it will zoom out in 3D space. Now just so you know, in the previous video, we animated this Text layer at five seconds and so this animation is going to be five seconds as well.

We are eventually going to add all of these text animations together to create one big animation. So now that we understand that, let's press Home to move our current-time indicator to the start of the project and press Command+T or Ctrl+T on the PC to grab the Text tool. Now hover your mouse over the canvas and click. With our cursor set in the canvas, let's type W-I-N-D in all caps and grab the Selection tool to set our text. Now since I want this to shoot out towards the camera, I'm going to actually make the text a little bit larger by clicking and dragging in the Paragraph panel.

If you don't see the Paragraph panel, quickly grab your Text tool and just toggle this button on and off. Okay, back to our Selection tool. Let's move wind down into the center of our comp and enable 3D on the layer. Now if you press P on your keyboard, notice if you scrub on the Z parameter, wind is moving together as one big word. Well that's kind of in 3D space but not exactly. So let's Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo and open up the Properties for WIND, and the open up the Text Properties.

There is nothing in here like a check box to enable 3D. It's actually under the Animate menu. So click on the Animate button and there we go, Enable Per-character 3D. So when we select that, now you notice I have slight, small bounding boxes around each of the individual letters. And also look at the 3D switch; it has two boxes letting me know that not only is the layer in 3D space but each individual character. The way I like to work with animating things in 3D space is to set everything up in its starting position with the selector having selected absolutely everything.

So to show you what I mean, let's add the parameters we're going to animate. So let's go back to the Animate button and click, and we'll start by animating position. And if you just click and drag on the Z position, drag to the right to move the wind back in the comp. Let's drag it to around 1200. Okay, that's look good. And now I want the letters to fade in as well. So if we go to Add, we can go to the Property and add Opacity. Notice I didn't have to go back up to Animate since the animator already has this nice Add button.

So let's go to Property and choose Opacity. Now with Opacity set up, since I want this to start at 0% Opacity, let's click and drag the parameter to set it to 0. Now let's open the Range Selector. As you can see, it selected everything because its start is at 0 and its end as 100%. Most of the time when I animate type, I like to just animate the offset, so let's see what happens if we scrub the offset, because this is how we want our text to start.

If we scrub it to the right, when it gets to 100% you can see everything and it's exactly at the front of the scene the way we want, but notice it stops. In this animation, I want this to pop-out towards us and then go back away from the camera. I don't want to go back this way because I'm having the letters go back backwards, I want it to literally just kind of strobe through all the letters pop-in and then they all pop-out. So to do that, we need to actually go to the Advanced Tab and change the mode from Add to Subtract.

This way when we adjust the Offset all the way back to 0, notice nothing is selected and as we scrub through when it hits 0, the word is going to be all up, and now as we continue on to 100% through the Offset, it's back to its starting point. So to reiterate, let's scroll down and look at the mode again. See, when I set it up to Add, this is how we had it set up originally. As we animate the Offset, if I drag it back to the beginning, notice it's starting where I want the middle to be and halfway through that's where I want the end and the beginning to be.

So it makes sense to go down to the mode and change it to Subtract because that would give me the inverse of the animation we just created. To literally create the animation, we now need to finally add our keyframes. So let's scroll back up to the Offset parameter and click and drag all the way to the left and create your first keyframe. Now move the current-time indicator two seconds down the timeline and scrub the Offset all the way through to 100%.

This way, you can see when you press 0 to load up a RAM Preview, it's going to start away and faded out and then back in. Just to give this a little bit more flavor, I want to adjust the rotation because this coming out looks very similar to a scale to me. So if we collapse the Text layer and just press R to open the Orientation or the Rotation, we can just set the Rotation for the layer itself. Now in order to see what we're doing in terms of how things are moving through the scene, let's move the current-time indicator to the middle of our animation.

That way when we adjust the Y rotation here, you get a more clear picture as to how far the letters are travelling from their source and their end positions. Let's add a little bit of the X rotation here because I want it to sort of popup and Z rotation just to kind of give it a little flavor. All right, so there we have wind pop-out and then fade back away. So as you can see, animating text in 3D space is remarkably similar to animating text in 2D space.

You just get the added benefit of the third dimension.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS6 Essential Training
After Effects CS6 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 58651 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 15s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 21s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

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