After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating bumper animations


After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

with Ian Robinson

Video: Creating bumper animations

You might be asking, "All right, I give. What's a bumper?" Well, the answer is simple. It's a graphic element in a show package that's usually shown just before or after a commercial break where you either show the title again or create some other similar element to use to add further value to the content of the program. For example, like little quiz shows and things like that. Using bumpers is also a great way to sell sponsor time that can be easily used for cross-promotion between the show, its sponsors, and consumers.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
    3. Defining motion graphics
      1m 32s
  2. 11m 11s
    1. Workflow for creating motion graphics
      5m 7s
    2. Organizing projects for motion graphics
      4m 25s
    3. Defining a motion graphics "package"
      1m 39s
  3. 12m 58s
    1. Collecting visual inspiration
      2m 14s
    2. Listening to imagine
      3m 20s
    3. Creating elements for inspiration
      7m 24s
  4. 33m 4s
    1. Essential theories of typography
      6m 34s
    2. Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE
      7m 27s
    3. Converting type from Photoshop
      5m 51s
    4. Importing type from illustrator
      9m 44s
    5. Creating shapes from text
      3m 28s
  5. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the role of timing in motion graphics
      8m 1s
    2. Creating and using markers
      7m 58s
    3. Creating animation with markers
      5m 16s
    4. Using audio to create animated graphics
      5m 47s
    5. Editing techniques for graphics and video
      9m 28s
  6. 49m 27s
    1. Understanding different kinds of type in After Effects
      15m 53s
    2. Using animators with type
      7m 59s
    3. Using type presets
      7m 35s
    4. Creating custom type presets
      4m 35s
    5. Animating paragraph type
      13m 25s
  7. 45m 51s
    1. Exploring the use of color in motion graphics
      10m 40s
    2. Creating and using color palettes
      13m 45s
    3. Exploring color correction tools in AE
      6m 46s
    4. Advanced correction with Color Finesse
      8m 30s
    5. Creating custom color presets
      6m 10s
  8. 59m 6s
    1. Exploring textures in motion graphics
      8m 30s
    2. Building an animated background texture
      16m 48s
    3. Creating textures for type
      10m 19s
    4. Animating seamless textures
      15m 1s
    5. Creating custom vignettes
      8m 28s
  9. 38m 25s
    1. Understanding lighting in After Effects
      12m 57s
    2. Intro to lighting techniques
      5m 17s
    3. Using material settings to enhance lighting
      7m 36s
    4. Adding polish to a light setup
      12m 35s
  10. 50m 32s
    1. Animating swoops and swooshes
      12m 37s
    2. Creating repeating light trails with the Vegas effect
      6m 28s
    3. Repeating patterns with shape layers
      8m 11s
    4. Exploring graphic transitions
      10m 37s
    5. Exploring video transitions
      5m 16s
    6. Adding dynamic elements to a video transition
      7m 23s
  11. 22m 23s
    1. Working in 3D
      8m 36s
    2. Rigging cameras for animation
      8m 45s
    3. Working with depth of field
      5m 2s
  12. 50m 54s
    1. Creating storyboards in After Effects
      10m 20s
    2. Creating an animatic
      18m 14s
    3. Polishing the animation and timing
      8m 45s
    4. Applying the final effects
      13m 35s
  13. 47m 53s
    1. Preparing a map for animation
      7m 59s
    2. Animating and styling a map
      8m 24s
    3. Designing a lower-third graphic
      8m 22s
    4. Adding animation to the lower-third graphic
      9m 10s
    5. Creating bumper animations
      13m 58s
  14. 14m 17s
    1. Defining the toolkit
      2m 2s
    2. Preparing templates
      7m 12s
    3. Creating a style guide
      5m 3s
  15. 1m 3s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 3s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
7h 57m Intermediate Feb 09, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics with Ian Robinson covers some of the core principles used to create motion graphics, breaking them down into smaller groups of applied techniques in After Effects. The course explores everything from gathering inspiration to integrating traditional typography, transitional elements, animated textures, color, and more into motion graphics. Instructions for building a toolkit with templates and a style guide for future projects are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Converting type from Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Creating shapes from text
  • Using markers in animation
  • Editing techniques for graphics
  • Using type presets
  • Animating type
  • Exploring color correction tools
  • Building animated textures
  • Creating custom vignettes
  • Understanding Lights and Material settings
  • Adding dynamic transitions
  • Rigging cameras for animation
  • Working efficiently in 3D space
After Effects
Ian Robinson

Creating bumper animations

You might be asking, "All right, I give. What's a bumper?" Well, the answer is simple. It's a graphic element in a show package that's usually shown just before or after a commercial break where you either show the title again or create some other similar element to use to add further value to the content of the program. For example, like little quiz shows and things like that. Using bumpers is also a great way to sell sponsor time that can be easily used for cross-promotion between the show, its sponsors, and consumers.

If we look at our project here, notice I do have a folder called Sponsor Logos. If we double-click the logo that's in there, sure enough, KaBlammo! We have a logo. Now we're actually going to create two bumpers in this video and that's because most of the time when you're creating a show package, you will have to create more than one bumper. Now to get things started I want you to double- click the Camera Rig comp in your Project pane. This Camera Rig comp was created from Chapter 10 video 2.

I wanted to make sure to notate that because I know when we were building it, it probably looked pretty exciting. So let's go ahead and just rename this comp since we know where this actual build came from. Let's go ahead and rename it. Select the comp and rename it Bumper_01. Okay. With Bumper_01 open, now all we have to do is create our first bumper. Well, let's look at what's going on in the scene before we create the bumper.

Choose the Orbit Camera tool and make sure you have at least two views active and make sure one of the views is the Custom View, which I have going on right here, and then the other view you want to make sure it's at least Camera 1 or the active camera. So now as I orbit around my scene you can see I have a whole bunch of these brushstroke layers positioned around in 3D space, and I also have a camera layer that looks like it has some null objects rigged to it.

If I go ahead and select the different null objects, sure enough you can see that my camera is pointing at those objects. So let's go ahead and just grab our Selection tool and start moving the Interest Control. Sure enough, you can see that the Interest is rigged to the camera. We also have a Camera Control null object. If I go ahead and click on that, you can see that that is actually moving both the camera and its point of interest.

So that's pretty cool. Most of the time with a rig setup like this what I will do is actually animate the Camera Control null object and never really touch the camera itself for adjusting its position, and different things like that. So let's get started by just undoing these last few moves that I did. We will create our first bumper element. Now for the first bumper, let's go ahead and use the Show Title. So we don't need this the story begins text layer.

So let's go ahead and turn the Visibility off on that and I just want to do a simple push for our first bumper. So let's grab the Camera Control and on the null object here in Custom View 1 go ahead and click and drag on the Z axis, and let's move back through the scene here so we can kind of see exactly what's going on. Let's move our camera back there. That's perfect. Let's set our first keyframe. So under Camera Control open up Position and let's set our first keyframe.

Typically, bumpers are anywhere from 3 to 5 seconds. So let's create about a 4 second bumper for this first one. So move our playhead down to around 2 seconds and let's go ahead and do our Z push in here and now really all we have to do is add our title element. So to do that, we actually have to open our Title_Open comp, which is in the Graphics Package Elements folder. Since we are up here let's go ahead and drag the bumper into the same folder.

Open up the Title_Open. Now, let's just copy all the text layers for our title and paste them into our bumper. So go ahead and select layer 6 and Shift+Click layer 11 and now we have everything selected. Let's copy those and paste them right into Bumper_01. Now their position in the Timeline held up. So we need to go ahead and just move the start point of these layers up a little bit. If we scrub through the Timeline here, you can see that we still have plenty of animation on these type layers.

So what we need to do is actually turn off some of this animation, because I don't necessarily need all of that in this bumper. So let's go ahead and delete some of these position keyframes that we have for the type layers. So select all the Type layers and press P to open the Position. Let's move our playhead around to make sure we have the title positioned the way that we like it. Now to see things a little bit better in Camera 1 here, let's zoom in and deselect all the layers.

I sort of like that placement for the text. So what I am going to do is now delete the Position keyframes. Just click on the stopwatch for the Position, and now when we scrub through the Timeline you notice we only have one move left here and that's really this Artist text. So let's go to the Artist text and I have a sneaking suspicion this was scaled, and I was correct. So let's go ahead and delete those keyframes. Now, we are actually all set.

We've created our first bumper. Now if we wanted to render this out for use in the show, all we'd have to do is position our playhead for the desired length of the bumper. So if we want a 4 second bumper, position your playhead at 4 seconds, and press N to set the endpoint for the work area. Now, when we press Command+M to load this in the render queue, when we look under the Render Settings by clicking on Best Settings, notice the start is at 0 and the end is at 4 seconds. So that's perfect.

Let's jump back to Bumper_01 and what we need to do is actually create a duplicate of Bumper_01, because now we want to create the sponsor bumper, which is going to be Bumper_02. Select Bumper_01 and press Command or Ctrl+D to duplicate the comp and now go ahead and double-click on Bumper_02 to open it up. Okay. So for Bumper_02 we want to actually start from this point, because in this bumper we will see the show title and then we are going to tilt the camera up and do a slight push up into these graphics up here and this is where we'll reveal our sponsor logo.

So let's go ahead and move our playhead back in the Timeline a little bit to around 3 seconds. That should be perfect. Now, press B to reset the beginning of the work area and let's just slide our work area down here. Let's change our work area to end around 8 seconds. Don't worry about the fact that the text actually ends in a few seconds, because our camera move is going to make this out of frame before we actually see the layers or the letters disappear.

So let's go ahead and scroll until we get to our Camera Control. Now in order to make this adjustment, what we are going to have to do is reposition the Camera Control layer. So let's go ahead with Camera Control selected and move our playhead down to around 4.16 or 4.15. This will be the start of the move. So go ahead and click the little diamond here to the left of the Position data to set a new Position keyframe.

Now let's make this rotation happen in just about a second. So let's go ahead and just add a second in there right at 5.15. Let's go ahead and reposition our Camera Control. Now I know it looks kind of funny because we've repositioned the Camera Control, but honestly what we have to do is also keyframe the orientation or rotation of the camera. So let's move our playhead back to the first keyframe here and press Shift+R to open the Rotation while keeping the Position open.

Go ahead and add a keyframe for the orientation and move your playhead down to the next keyframe. Now, let's go ahead and adjust the Orientation on its X axis. So, if we go ahead and rotate that to around 85 degrees-- Actually I kind of like this framing. This is kind of neat. We can go ahead and scrub through the animation and you can see I'm getting this kind of cool effect. Now the only problem is that title actually isn't moving in three-dimensional space.

That's because this title actually is only in two dimensions. So let's select all the text layers and instead of turning them all into 3D space independently, what I'd like to do is actually pre-compose all these layers. So go up under Layer and choose Pre- compose, and be precise with your naming. So let's call it Bumper 2 Title Precomp and click OK. Now let's turn on 3D for just this one layer, and yes, we had a slight shift.

Now it really wasn't that big of a deal. All we had to do was just move the layer forwards on the Z axis until it's in front of the paint stroke and we can actually go ahead and adjust the scale of this as well to kind of scale it back to the way it was. Now, since bumpers aren't shown back-to -back, it's okay if it isn't the exact same placement for the start of this next bumper. So right now let's go ahead and preview what we've got. As we scrub through, perfect! Now, all we have to do is add our Sponsor Logo up here in this area and do a slight push in at the same time.

So to push we can either animate the Camera Control again or literally just adjust the camera position on the Z axis, because the camera is always going to be pointed towards the Interest Control, and the Interest is the child of the Camera Control. So if I just go ahead and adjust on the Z axis here you notice I'm going to create a slight push-in, but I'm not necessarily having to add more keyframes to my Camera Control.

So let's add the push first. Move your playhead til it's right in between the keyframes for the rotation. Now let's add our first keyframe for position of the camera and if we go ahead and move down in the Timeline just a little bit, let's move to around 6 seconds. Let's move in on our object, perfect! Now, as we go ahead and scrub through, you can see we have kind of a cool mechanical animation and we're going to achieve a very nice effect once we actually add in the sponsor logo.

So to add the sponsor logo, it's kind of fun. What we need to do is obviously go to our Project panel and select the Sponsor Logo and just drag it and drop it right into the scene. Now this would work, but I would like the sponsor logo to actually be sitting in this exact placement in three-dimensional space. So what we need to do is turn on three dimensions for the logo and sure enough it will kind of disappear out of the view because the camera is oriented upwards.

So to reposition the logo so it's oriented to these other layers, let's go ahead and select one of those layers, like this one right here. There's a neat key command. If you hold down Alt or Option as you grab the parent pick whip, go ahead and point your pick whip down towards the selected layer, which is layer 15. Now you notice the logo repositioned itself within the scene. Now since I don't necessarily want the logo to be tied directly to that layer, all we have to do is just turn off parenting for that layer and now it's been positioned.

So if we select our logo here, we can reposition it within the frame and add some text in here that says sponsored by KaBlammo! But for the most part I think you guys understand exactly how I created this. So let's go ahead and go back here, and perfect. We actually have our animation created for the second move. Now all we have to do is just preview the move. So I am going to move my playhead back to the beginning and load up a RAM Preview, so we can see exactly what's going on here.

But once we preview this move, as long as it looks good, we are actually all set. Now, by all means, I encourage you to continue to polish this animation by adding some ease to the keyframes and adding some text in there where it says sponsored by KaBlammo! But all in all, I think you understand pretty well how to move throughout this three-dimensional environment and also how to create sponsored bumpers in addition to the traditional bumpers you would see before after some commercials.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
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:

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.