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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.
If you're on that big green energy kick, you might want to roll that into your life as a motion designer as well by conserving your energy. What do I mean by that? Well, whenever you're working on a project, undoubtedly you'll be constantly going through the process of painstakingly keyframing some beautiful animations. Then it really doesn't make any sense, why you wouldn't want to save those to use in future projects? I mean you can save yourself some time and hopefully get a little extra money and save these complex animations as some presets in your future projects.
So now let's go and look through the project. As we scroll through the beginning of this animation, look at the first linotype. As you can tell, there's some animation that's been applied, and what I want to do is save that text animation for use in future projects. In order to do that, all you have to do is select the layer that contains the animation and press the U key. The U key is telling me exactly which parameters have animations tied to them. So, for example, I have these two range selectors.
When you have range selectors that's letting you know that there's actually been some kind of animation applied to a type layer specifically. Now to save the preset for the entire animation for this text, what we need to actually do is collapse the layer, open it up, and literally select the entire animator. So this first animator was renamed Fade and that contains the range selector that we saw a second ago adjusting the opacity down to 0.
Also, Animator 1 contains the next line of animation where we change the Fill Color and change the Opacity to 35. So what we want to do is select the Fade animator and hold down Shift and Select Animator 1. Now that we have these two animators selected, we can save this as a preset by going to Animation > Save Animation Preset. Now by default, After Effects is going to try and save your presets in a preset folder that's already been created.
One of the things I like to do is actually add a little tag to the name of any presets that I've created, so I know specifically these are ones that I created. So let's name this FadeColor, and I'm going to add -i at the end of it. That way I know I am the one that created it. Now when we click Save, this will save into that folder, and now if we want to apply this to any other text layer, we can go right back up under the Animation menu and it should be in your Recent Animation Presets list.
Now, you can also go back to Browse Presets and apply it straight from the Bridge, but before we do that, let's go ahead and just create another text layer to apply our preset to. Just grab your Type tool and click anywhere on the canvas to begin typing. I just typed "now it gets interesting", and press Enter on your keyboard once you're finished entering your text. Now with that layer selected in the Timeline go back up under Animation and choose Browse Presets.
Now, I know that that preset is saved in my Text folder under Mechanical, and sure enough, there is FadeColor-i. So if we double-click that, notice my text has now disappeared, and if I press U to open the Uber key, you can see that's because my preset has been applied. So if we move our playhead back to the beginning and load up a RAM preview by pressing 0 on our keypad, you can see here we have our first layer of type and then our second layer of type with our preset animation.
Let me just press the Spacebar to stop playback. Now I want to stop for a second and just sort of tell you something important about saving presets. I saved a preset for this text animation, but actually in After Effects, you can save any of your animations as a preset. So, for example, if I applied a filter or animated keyframes for position and scale data, I could go ahead and select all those specific parameters and filters, et cetera, and save those specific things as presets to apply to future layers and projects.
So there you have it, save yourself some time and energy by saving your own custom presets. This is yet another great way to build your own individual animation style, while adding yet another tool in your motion designer tool belt.
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