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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®.
In this chapter, I am going to cover applying, editing, and saving animation presets. The first thing we'll do is check out the presets that come bundled with the program. If you have the exercise files, I'm using composition 09-Apply Preset, which includes a text layer as well as an audio layer. I'll be showing you how to edit a preset to time it better with the audio, but for now I'll turn off the audio layer. If you don't have the exercise files, that's fine; just create some simple type.
I'll select my text layer. At the top of the Effects and Presets panel is an Animation Presets folder. If you can't see this folder, make sure that Show Animation Presets is enabled on the Options menu. I'll also drag out the Effects and Presets panel, and I'll place it to the right-hand side of my comp, just so I have a little more space to work with. I'll twirl down Animation Presets and I'll focus on the Text folder. Inside the Text folder are subfolders where the hundreds of presets are grouped into such folders as 3D Text.
I'll make this a little wider. These are all the presets that use Per-character 3D. The next subfolder, Animate In, include all the presets that will transition into your title. And no surprise, the presets in the Animate Out folder are presets that will transition all of your characters. Now, you can spend hours exploring all of these presets. I am just going to focus on a few as we learn how to apply them. Now, if you're already familiar with some of these presets, you can simply select the presets and drop it on your title.
I'll RAM preview, and you can see this is a very simple animation, pretty much like the first example we learned in this lesson. I'll undo to remove the preset and we'll apply a couple of other ones. Now, I find that when I'm previewing animation presets I don't like to work with just one layer. That's because I might find one I like and yet I don't want to stop previewing. So here is how I tend to work. I select my text layer, and I duplicate it a few times. I'll turn off the duplicates so I just have one selected.
Now I'll start applying presets to my first layer, and I'll keep applying them until I find one that I like. So let's say I know I like this Raining Characters In, so I can either drag and drop it to my layer, or I can double-click it, and that will apply it. After I've applied it, I'll select the layer and press U so I can see any keyframes that are applied. I can also press UU, and that will show me all of the parameters that have changed from the default settings. What's most interesting about this animation is that it also applied the Echo effect.
I'll RAM preview. You can see it's a very interesting effect. But a lot of this credit goes to the Echo effect. If I turn off the Echo effect and RAM preview again, this is the result of the text animator only. The reason the characters are scrambling is because this text animator is using the Character Offset parameter, which you may not be familiar with. Just applying text animators, examining how they were built can teach you a few more tricks.
If you like the result of the Echo effect, there is no reason why you couldn't add Echo to any of the other presets. Now very few of the presets do add effects like Echo, but some of them do. So if you don't like a preset, it's a good idea to press Undo and don't just select the animator and press Delete. Another reason why you don't want to do that is that remember there are Path Options and More Options, and if you just delete the animator, you're not deleting any effects and you're also not resetting the parameters inside More Options.
So after a while, if you just keep deleting animators you might apply an animator and it doesn't even look right because you've got More Options set from a previous preset that you were playing with--or maybe the Echo effect is still applied. So for that reason, I highly recommend if you don't like a preset, press Undo. But let's say I like this preset, and maybe I'd like to keep it and review it later. So I'll turn off the eyeball for this layer, select my next layer, and turn on the eyeball for that.
Now I have a clean piece of type with no preset applied and I can start previewing more presets. So if I work this way and every time I find a preset I like I keep that layer and start working with a new layer, when I am done previewing presets, I'll have a number of layers with some presets that I liked. At that point, I can compare each one, decide which one is my favorite, and delete all the other layers. Or maybe I want to show the client a number of options, in which case I can turn on all the eyeballs and then just solo each one and preview each one until we decide which one is the favorite.
Then I'll just delete all the other layers. So I hope this workflow makes sense. I think it's a good way of working. Otherwise, you'll keep applying presets, undoing them, and then once you're tired of searching through the presets, you'll have trouble remembering the name of the preset you liked the best. In the next movie, I'll show you how to use Adobe Bridge to preview and apply animation presets.
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