After Effects CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating type animators


After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

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Video: Creating type animators

Text animators are designed to give you the utmost control over each and every letter in your type animations. And when you combine them with some of the other traditional animation techniques found inside of After Effects, you can really make your text do pretty much anything you can imagine. For our project today, we'll focus on just making adjustments to layer 1. Now for our project today, we'll focus on making text adjustments just to layer 1. So select layer 1, and let's go ahead and enable Solo.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 36m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 27s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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After Effects CC Tutorials | Essential Training
14h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 17, 2013 Updated Nov 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
After Effects
Ian Robinson

Creating type animators

Text animators are designed to give you the utmost control over each and every letter in your type animations. And when you combine them with some of the other traditional animation techniques found inside of After Effects, you can really make your text do pretty much anything you can imagine. For our project today, we'll focus on just making adjustments to layer 1. Now for our project today, we'll focus on making text adjustments just to layer 1. So select layer 1, and let's go ahead and enable Solo.

Now, just so I can see things more clearly I'm going to change the magnification of my comp up to 100%. I'm going to press the Spacebar and just reposition the text so it's in the middle of my Comp panel. Now text animators take up a fair amount of your timeline so go ahead and click and drag on the top of the timeline just to give ourselves a little bit more space. And again, I'll use the space bar to grab my hand tool And reposition my text. Now let's explore Type Animators. Open up the options for Layer 1. As you can see, we have Transform and Text.

The Transform options are the exact same options that we would have on any other layer inside of After Effects. But with Text layers, it allows you another layer of control. We can animate text using our text animators. And then still animate the layer that that text resides on using the transform functions. Now, let's Collapse Transform. If you want to focus on creating animations with your text, slide down your timeline towards the right and you'll see this word animate with a circular arrow button pointing to the right.

This button will always be there regardless of whether or not you have your modes selected or your switches. So, I'm going to toggle my switches and modes back to my Switches section. Now, click on the arrow next to the word Animate. For our example today, we're going to choose Scale. But I want you to check out all the different parameters that we can add and animate. We can even change the color of the Fill or the Stroke. Now, let's chose Scale, and notice we have an animator that's been loaded into the timeline, a Range Selector and then a Scale Parameter.

Now, let's change this scale down to about 20%. Notice each individual letter, has scaled down around that value. So if we open up our main selector, we have a start value and in and value. If we click and drag to the left, honor and value we are selecting less or fewer letters in our type layer. See this little line with a arrow to the right of it? If you click on that and drag it will give you direct control of your selection process, within your Composition panel.

Notice I can do the same thing here to the left of the letter D. As I drag, I'm changing my Start value. Let's go ahead and make our end value a little further down the timeline. I'll leave it set around 44%. Let's go to the Advanced options. In here, we could change the units from Percentage to Index. Now, since we switched to index, I want to draw your attention to the Range Selector. Notice the start and end values have changed. These values are in direct correlation with the number of characters required to create these two lines of type.

So there are 24 characters, so let's go ahead and change our n parameter to 24. Now notice, starting at character two, which is here, I've selected characters three through 24. That's all the Range Selector does. It allows you to specify a certain region of selection. Offset allows you to keep that region and then scrub the change all the way through the different characters. Let's change our units from Index back to Percentage just because I like to think of it that way.

Now, I'm going to change my Start Percentage to 0. And my Offset to 0, because I want to make sure I have all of the text layer selected. The next option below is Based On. So we've been adjusting Characters up to this point. If we changed it to Lines, then we would be making changes based on the number of lines. So if I click and drag to adjust my End percentage, notice the second I pass 50% it's going to start affecting my first layer. Once I pass 50% it'll start selecting my second layer. It works the same way if we were working in index, it would just use a value of two, because I have two text lines.

Again back to the percentage, I want to focus on Mode. Mode allows you to add to your selection. So, what I mean by that? If we scroll down on the timeline here just so we can see our scale value which is set at 20%. Notice we have line selected, the mode is add. We have 100% Of the letters and text selected. Now it's adding that 100% to the selection. So anything that's in that selected area is going to be set at the current value for whatever the parameter was that you've animated. Which, for us, was scale.

We're adding to the selection. If I change the end parameter for the Range Selector to 50%, now I'm only selecting 50%. And since it's the first area that's been selected, those are the first lines that are only going to be affected by our Scale Parameter. If we change it to subtract, it'll subtract, it does the inverse. Anything that's not selected is automatically going to be changed to our Scale Parameter. I typically like to use the word Add.

Now, if we go down to shape here, we could change how the selection actually rolls through The different parts of our text animator. So, if we close this, let's go ahead and change Based On back to Characters. And I want to change my shape from Square to Smooth. Now notice what's happening with my text. As I click and drag my end parameter, it's smoothly changing That selection. Now, you could change the Ease High and Ease Low functions to see how that change is happening in relation to the actual selection of our selector box. In order to better understand shape, I would just encourage you to kind of click around and look at the different options, and then make your changes accordingly to see if it's something that you like.

With the selection like square we have an option for smoothness. As I drag that option for smoothness, it'll allow me to make changes to the actual transition as the text is moving. Notice if we have smoothness, set it zero. As I drag my End perimeter, see how the letters just snapping down in its scale. Well look what happens to that change when I change the smoothness. Up to 100%. Now as I scrub through, you can see the letter actually scaling all the way through.

So that's enough about Range Selectors. Let's go ahead an collapse the advanced option here. And I want to show you one more thing about text animators. You can have more than one animator applied, and you can have more than one parameter applied to each animator. So if you click on the word Animator 1, let's go ahead and click on the fly out menu and add a property. Let's add a fill color. And if you click on RGB, it'll automatically choose red. Now notice anything that's been selected has now been changed to a scale of 20 percent and it's adding in this red fill color.

You could continue layering different changes just by clicking on this add button. Now what if I wanted to just control different parts of the word separately from just this one animator. If I want to create one more animator I could go back up to my text, making sure it's selected in the top of my layer, and then click on the Animate Flyout. This time, let's change the rotation. With rotation set up, notice we have a second animator. We could go ahead and rename that by clicking on the name and I'll call this rotate.

Now with rotate set up, I'll change the parameter for rotate. And rotate it to about 49 degrees. Now we have our own options for our rain selector. So let's go ahead and click and drag on the beginning of that And only have it start rotating, you know, towards the end of our other selections. Now notice we still have Keyframe options for our rain selector start and an offset, just like with Animator 1. So when it comes to animating text, even though all the text remains on one layer, if you want to have individual control over each individual character You definitely want to make sure that you enable and utilize your text animators.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .

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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.
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