Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating the main title


From:

After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Creating the main title

Next, I want to add our main title over this final Hero shot. Now the camera move is constantly pushing in on this shot. So to make sure that my title is visible at the end, hasn't gone outside of the frame, I'm going to press End on my keyboard. This is the closest we're going to zoom in during the length of this entire shot. I have my Action and Title Safe Areas turned on. I need to make sure that my title's final resting area is inside the Title Safe line, you can press apostrophe to toggle that off and on and now I'm going to double-click the Text tool to create a new blank text layer.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
3h 30m Intermediate Jan 17, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This project-oriented course leads you through the creative and technical process of building an opening title sequence from scratch in Adobe After Effects. Author Chris Meyer shows how to pull together numerous skills you've learned in the other After Effects Apprentice courses, from working in 3D space to creating type and shape layers to writing expressions. Along the way, Chris lets you in on the mental process he uses when creating similar spots for real-world clients, while sharing numerous tips that will help broaden your After Effects skills.

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 library.

Topics include:
  • Animating to music
  • Arranging layers in 3D space
  • Performing time stretches
  • Working with 3D camera tracking
  • Typesetting and animating text
  • Adding effects like drop shadows and motion blur
  • Creating and animating shape layers
  • Building and delivering a broadcast package
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Creating the main title

Next, I want to add our main title over this final Hero shot. Now the camera move is constantly pushing in on this shot. So to make sure that my title is visible at the end, hasn't gone outside of the frame, I'm going to press End on my keyboard. This is the closest we're going to zoom in during the length of this entire shot. I have my Action and Title Safe Areas turned on. I need to make sure that my title's final resting area is inside the Title Safe line, you can press apostrophe to toggle that off and on and now I'm going to double-click the Text tool to create a new blank text layer.

Doing so opens up the Character and Paragraph panels automatically. I think I want to center my text and I'm going to make sure that I'm starting with the Center Text option but this is something I can always change later. The client has told me that the title of the show is "Surviving a heart attack." Heart attack sounds like it's the main words. Let's set those first. I'm going to type heart, press the Return on the main part of my keyboard, not the enter key, to start a second line and then type attack. Now I can press enter to accept the line of the text and I'll even press V to return to my Selection tool.

I want this text to move in 3D space following the camera that I've created for this composition, so I will enable the 3D layer switch for my text layer. And next I want to attach it to this null that's already tracking the camera's movement throughout this shot. You'll see that the text at its default position in the center of the roll already has some movement but it may not exactly relate to this foreground actor. So I'm going to press Shift+F4 to reveal the parent panel and for the Heart Attack layer, I can either set its pop-up to Track Null 1 or use its pick whip tool to attach it to Track Null 1.

Before I release the Mouse button, I need to make a decision here. Normally, parenting remembers the current offset between the layer's initial point and the null's initial point. Since my Heart Attack layer is pushed back in space, I really don't want to remember this offset, I want to jump to where that null is. So this is a nice little feature they've added in After Effects, if I press the Shift key while parenting, any offset between the child and parent, the text and the null in this case will be zeroed out. When I release my Mouse button, my text jumps to where the Null is, if I press P, I can verify that its offset is 0.0.0.

If you're using a version of After Effects before CS6 that does not support Shift parenting, just zero these values out. Okay, now that I see how my title is going to be at the very end of this frame, I can actually start typesetting it because I'm seeing it in context. I think I'm going to make my initial color white, there's also a little swatch you can click on to immediately set to white. I don't think I like the full Italic, I'm going take that off and you can choose whatever font you have installed to set this title. I am kind of limited to what was installed with After Effects, I'm going to assume you are, too, so I'm going to go ahead and use this Myriad Pro Semibold.

I think my title could be a little bit larger in size and I think I need to change the space between my lines of text, so they sit closer on top of each other, maybe like that. It might be a bit too big, maybe somewhere around there and change its spacing. Now it might be nice if the bar in the T and the K lined up with each other so I think I'm going to play you some games here with kerning. I double-click the layer which makes the Text tool active again. I'm going to place my cursor in between characters that could stand to be tightened up, like this A and C. Hold Option on Mac, Alt on Windows and use the left arrow to tighten these up a little bit.

That could frankly use a little tightening as well. The A could tuck more into this T. I'm going to keep an eye to also align the bars in the T and K just to make it look a little nicer, up in the center again. Finally, I need to offset the position of this Heart Attack title so it sits where I want at the very end of this composition. In this case, I think I like it centered, down here at the very bottom of the frame. So I'm going to scrub the X and Y positions to make it sit here on my Title Safe line and pretty much centered on my composition.

Now that I see it in context, I do see they could be larger. So let's go ahead and make this some larger type, get my spacing correct and then press V and drag it back up again to sit on this Title Safe line. Something else I might do just to improve the multiplaning experience, to make it appear just on a different plane than this actor's shoulder. So I might go ahead and pull it towards me in z space, just so it's a little bit in front of the actor. And let's get it back up in top of that Title Safe line, somewhere around there looks like a good starting point for me.

Of course, you can set this to your personal taste. I will drag it over here, be a little bit more centered. Get it away from this item he's holding. Let's see how that looks throughout the composition. Okay, it's pushing forward, along with the camera movement. It's still large enough at the beginning of the move and ends nice and bold. I like that.

There are currently no FAQs about After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title.

 
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.
Upgrade now


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 Upgrade now

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

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title.

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


OK
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?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

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 lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom 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.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com 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 lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com 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.