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Creating shapes from text

From: After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

Video: Creating shapes from text

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.

Creating shapes from text

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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This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

60 video lessons · 22945 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  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

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