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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.
As we'll see in the next movie, text animation can be a pretty daunting task. But it doesn't have to be if you're going to use text animation presets, and they are tons of them and they are again easy and quick to use. What we are going to do is select the hansel text and we are going to go to the Effects & Presets panel. Then we are going to go to the flyout menu of the Effects & Presets panel and we are going to choose the option Browse Presets. Now what that's going to do is it's going to open up Adobe Bridge.
I am bringing this over from another monitor, so the resolution is little different. But this opens us up to the Presets folder inside of the After Effects folder on your hard drive. And After Effects ships with a load of presets. Some of these we use at the beginning of this training series for our sample of Hansel and Petal project in the Behaviors folder. We actually access these from the Effects & Presets panel. But what we are looking for here is the Text folder. Now while we are here, I should point out that if you open up the Backgrounds folder, there are a lot of really cool backgrounds here.
A lot of this is made in Fractal Noise. But a lot of cool backgrounds that we could use for inspiration and to apply one of these presets, all you have to do is double-click. As you are seeing here on the right, once we select one of these presets, we are getting a preview of it on the right- hand side. Some really cool stuff going on. I am just going to go ahead and go to the top of the Bridge area here and click on the word Presets to get back the Presets folder. Then I am going to double-click the Text folder to open up the presets made for text. Now as you can see here, there is tons of categories of text animation presets.
So, if you want to animate text coming in there is a folder just for that. And once these all load, you can click on one to see like a Slow Fade On. You can have Pop Buzz Words, Fly In A With A Twist. Some of these are very simple and get the job done very easily and then you have some that are like the Flying With A Twist that are a little bit more complex. This Matrix-like raining in of characters pretty cool stuff. Now I want to go back to the Text and we are going to go to Organic and some of these are some of the most amazing text animation presets.
They have so much character and personality, like Flying Formation and Chewing Gum that's kind of all bouncy and stuff, Fish Bait. Now any of these will do. I'll just go ahead and click on the Leapfrog one and to apply this to our text, actually that's a little bit spazzy for what we're going for, but it will work. I am just going to go ahead and just double-click this and then if you didn't select you text layer before you went into Bridge, it applies that text animation preset to your text. It doesn't appears that anything has changed. But if I hit the Spacebar and play this, you can see that our text now animates on as we just saw from this Leapfrog preset.
Notice that it did not apply to that petal text because I put that on a separate layer, but that is the case here. One word of warning is that when you apply a text animation preset from Adobe Bridge that wherever your Current Time Indicator is becomes the first frame of the animation. So, if my Current Time Indicator would have been here at 22 frames in-- I will move it will bit further, let's just say one second-- then the animation would have started at one second, and for the first second there would have been no animation.
So, if we select this and push the letter U, we can see keyframes that were created and if we wanted to, we can go in here and just click and drag and move these around if you wanted to lengthen something out, or have it start later, or go faster, or whatever, we can do that. So, these gaps in between, in between this keyframe and that keyframe, I realize that these are little bit oddly shaped. We'll be talking about that later in the training series, but nothing happens from here to here and because I move this two keyframes closer together, the movements are a lot faster in between them.
Now quite honestly, the text animation presets that you can access via Adobe Bridge are so complex and so just organic, like this Ocean Tide for example, to be able to create this on your own would require a lot of knowledge of what they call After Effect expressions, which are kind of a programming language inside of After Effects. Again, very complex stuff. So, if I'm looking for something very complex like the Loose Line, like the Rubber Floor stuff like this it would just be easier to use text animation preset even if you were experienced in After Effects.
So, if you're going for more simple stuff, if you want manual controls we are going to look at in the next movie, then fine, do it by yourself. But if you are looking for super complex stuff-- even if when you get experience in After Effects, you might still find yourself coming back to these very well done presets for text.
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