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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 joining me from the previous movie, you've seen how much fun outline type can be when trying to draw graphic elements onto the scene. But in case you missed it, don't worry; we're going to cover some of it again. More importantly though, this time we're going to cover how to create outlines from text right here natively within After Effects, instead of having to go copy and paste paths from Illustrator. So, if we look at our scene here, we have our KING WAVE type that's actually editable type right here in After Effects over top of our FallsSunrise video.
So, what I want to do is actually convert this text into path outlines. The easiest way to do this is select the type layer, go up under Layer--so right here you'll notice I have two options. I have Create Shapes from Text and Create Masks from Text. So, what we want to do first is choose Create Masks from Text. Now, you'll notice After Effects made a duplicate of the King Wave type layer and renamed it King Wave Outlines.
And if I go up under the Layer, I can go to Solid Settings, and you'll notice it created a solid. So here I could go ahead and choose a different color if I wanted to, and now you notice I have a duplicate of my type, but it's actually a solid color with the same paths creating the type. So, if I press M to open up my masks, here you can see Mask path. Just like we had done in the previous movie, if we want to draw these letters on the screen, you can just go up under Effect, choose Generate, and choose Stroke, and sure enough, here's the option to stroke in individual letter.
Well, go ahead and make sure you select all masks, and now all the letters will be stroked. For paint style, if you change it to On Transparent, now all we'll see is the stroke. Now, it's kind of hard to see under these masks, so let's change the brush size up a little bit, so we can see things a little more clearly. Now, to animate, all we have to do is just keyframe this End parameter. So, no matter where I start or stop, you can see that the animation is actually going to the stroke through all the masks sequentially.
Now, that's one way of converting type to outlines. Let's go ahead and collapse layer 1 and turn its visibility off. Turn the visibility for layer 2 back on and select it. Now, go up under Layer and choose Create Shapes from Text. Now, instead of a solid, we actually have shapes from shape layers. So if we open up the options under the Content window, you can see I have separate shapes for each individual letter, and they're fully editable through this Add function just like any other shape layer would be.
So if you want to repeat an individual letter or animate exactly how the paths are wiggling around the screen using Wiggle Paths, you get the general idea. Instead of converting type to mask- based outlines, you can actually convert it to After Effects' easy-to-animate shape layers. Even though many artists look at the After Effects as just that--the application you go to after you've already created everything--just remember, when you're talking about type specifically, After Effects does have a number of different ways you can do things, whether you started in After Effects or not.
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