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Creating the subtitle

From: After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

Video: Creating the subtitle

Now that we have our main title set, let's go ahead and set our little subtitle 'Surviving A' and place it above our main title. Now you can indeed mix and match fonts, different sizes, etcetera, in one text layer. But to maximize my control over arranging these two layers, I think I'm going to create a brand new text layer. I'll make sure nothing is selected in my composition by pressing F2, then double-click my Text tool to start a brand new text layer. Type 'Surviving A' and press Enter.

Creating the subtitle

Now that we have our main title set, let's go ahead and set our little subtitle 'Surviving A' and place it above our main title. Now you can indeed mix and match fonts, different sizes, etcetera, in one text layer. But to maximize my control over arranging these two layers, I think I'm going to create a brand new text layer. I'll make sure nothing is selected in my composition by pressing F2, then double-click my Text tool to start a brand new text layer. Type 'Surviving A' and press Enter.

I don't think I really like it being in the same font as 'Heart Attack'. I might set a different font just to de-emphasize it a bit more. Make sure you don't turn your titles into ransom notes by using too many fonts, but this is a case we're going to something contrasting like maybe an italic font might help add some interest to this title. Now again, you can use whatever font you want to. I'm limited to what ships with After Effects just because I want to make sure you have it, too. A nice little italic font is Adobe Garamond Pro and I'll set it from regular to italic and that's not too bad.

I think it could probably stand to be a little bit smaller as well, but we'll play with that more once we get it positioned in context. I need to treat it the same as my main title, so I will enable its 3D layer switch and I want to place this subtitle on the same plane as main title Heart Attack. I could parent Surviving A to our Track Null and enter the same offset as Heart Attack to get a good starting point or another approach would be to go ahead and just parent Surviving A to the Heart Attack layer.

I grab my little pick whip for parenting. I'm going to add the Shift key in After Effects CS6 that will zero out any offset between the two layers, so initially it had the same position. I'll type P to reveal the position of the text layer and if you're in After Effects CS5 or earlier, you can zero this out as the starting point and then I'll start placing my Surviving A layer in relationship to Heart Attack. Well, it's already looking a little too large to me, so I think I'll make a little bit smaller of a font size, maybe little more tightly tracked like that and, I'm going to type V to return to my Selection tool and work further on arranging these two.

I think putting that G in the space between A and R works really well as a good way to fit the descender in here and get the text close to each other, might still be a little bit small though, let's make it a little bit larger, maybe around there, hold it up a little bit, position it where it sits nicely, trying to get this G nicely in this gap, but also trying to put the S in line with this bar in the H, so they all work together nicely. Yeah, I think I like something around there. I'm going to drag my current time indicator, through my timeline and indeed the text is following of the camera movement in this shot which is what I wanted.

But I am having a little bit of trouble reading the text against the background. These blown out areas are too close to the text color and kind of reducing my readability a little bit. I could add a stroke to the text but an easier way would be just to add a drop shadow to it, so I'll select Heart Attack and apply Effect>Perspective>Drop Shadow. I don't actually want the shadow to drop in a particular direction. I just want a nice soft black halo behind it. So I'll set the Distance down to zero and scrub up the softness until I see that halo appear behind the text.

I'll increase the opacity to make it a bit darker and get a look that I like, which I think is going to be somewhere around there. I'll copy this Drop Shadow effect, select Surviving A, and paste. And now, my text is a lot more readable throughout this shot. So we have our text in place, but I suspect we can make it a little bit more exciting. So let's work on that in the next movie.

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